With more than 400,000 U.S. citizen alumni, it is important to continue to invest in their careers and to connect them to the many opportunities that exist in citizen diplomacy. The U.S. Exchange Alumni Network and Capacity Building Program is designed to support enterprising U.S. alumni as they build on their exchange experiences through professional development and citizen diplomacy opportunities.
Key to this effort is the Global Ties Network and our longstanding partnership with the U.S. Department of State. As local hubs for global engagement, Global Ties Network members are the domestic infrastructure for U.S. public diplomacy efforts and will help us to identify and connect diverse and geographically dispersed exchange alumni. We will work with them to connect with diverse alumni from across the United States. Through our activities, we will build on the global skills of U.S. citizen exchange alumni, elevate them as leaders in their communities, and advance U.S. foreign policy goals through citizen diplomacy.
Activity for the U.S. Exchange Alumni Network and Capacity Building Program will begin in January 2022, and last through September 2024.
Over the next three years, Global Ties U.S. will meaningfully engage 1,800 U.S. exchange alumni through a series of Career Connections events, small grants awarded through the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund, and the photo exhibit “Impact of Exchange: Stories from U.S. Exchange Alumni.”
- Career Connections Events: In partnership with the Global Ties Network, we expect to host and organize 18 virtual, in-person, and hybrid events designed to help U.S. exchange alumni improve their professional development and leadership abilities; connect with citizen diplomacy opportunities; and explore careers in public service with the U.S. Government, nonprofit community, and internationally oriented companies.
- Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund: Through the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund, Global Ties U.S. will distribute $1 million to fund approximately 120-150 community service projects proposed by U.S. exchange alumni (teams of individuals) – sometimes in partnership with international exchange alumni – to address key U.S. foreign policy goals such as climate change activism, promoting diversity and inclusion, and strengthening democracy.
- Impact of Exchange: Stories from U.S. Exchange Alumni: This unique public art exhibit combines photography with storytelling, and features images taken by U.S. citizen alumni of U.S. Government exchange programs. The exhibit will take place in five communities across the United States between 2023-2024, and aims to inspire audiences in host communities to become future exchange participants, and pass on the power of exchange to others.
The Career Connections events, Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund awards, and the Impact of Exchange photo exhibit will provide opportunities for U.S. exchange alumni to leverage their skills, share their stories, and create pathways for them to be leaders in local and global communities.
The U.S. Exchange Alumni Network and Capacity Building Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government under a cooperative agreement with Global Ties U.S. and the Office of Alumni Affairs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.