Exchange Matters / December 24, 2019

The Leadership Corner: November-December 2019

Hello Global Ties U.S. Community,

A very Happy Holidays to all of you who are celebrating!

We’re pushing through the holidays to prepare for the 2020 National Meeting with the theme, “Faces of Exchange.” We’re excited to celebrate all of you who make exchange programs happen every day: participants and alumni, locally-based hosts and coordinators, government agencies, and more.

We’re also thrilled to help kick off a year-long celebration of the 80th anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the foundational, U.S. Department of State professional exchange program that unites so many of us.

In addition, we’re also closing the year with a new strategic plan for the organization for 2020-2023, which will take us into a period of celebration for 60 years of the extraordinary Global Ties Network, the largest and oldest citizen diplomacy network in America. The plan aims to advance our vision of a peaceful, prosperous world where individuals build enduring relationships through international exchange. We believe strongly that our mission is to strengthen relationships between individuals and nations by making those international exchange programs more effective.

In order to do this, we have four key goals for the next three years:

First, support Global Ties U.S. members in their drive for high performance and organizational sustainability by providing top-notch professional development tools and opportunities.

Second, create a centralized hub for the international exchange field that communicates the positive impact of the work and supports the Global Ties Network in telling their stories.

Third, maintain an effective organization at Global Ties U.S. that aligns people and processes to drive high performance and sustainable success.

Fourth, diversify funding and program opportunities for Global Ties U.S. and its members by partnering with federal and private sector entities, higher education institutions, and other NGOs to establish innovative and effective international exchange programs.

The Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors and I see each goal as being in service to our members, as the stronger we are, the better position we are in to support you with professional development opportunities, messaging and advocacy tools, operational support, and new lines of business to grow your organizations. We see this Network as the deeply impactful infrastructure for international exchange programs to thrive across the United States.

Having been an exchange participant myself, I know what a lasting impact those experiences can have. And, having spent most of my career in public diplomacy and national security, I know that the transformative experiences the exchange participants have begin with your professionalism and heart.

This holiday season, I’m incredibly grateful for the pioneering work of our colleagues at the U.S. Department of State to bring this community together via the International Visitor Leadership Program; for the economic and social impact you’ve had on your communities through the IVLP and multiple, creative exchange opportunities you’ve also implemented; and to be in a position each day to support you. We enter the next three years dedicated to our mission, and to helping you achieve yours.

As my first child is due to be born the week of the National Meeting, I’ll miss seeing all of you there. But please know that I’m celebrating and cheering you on each day. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

All my best,

Katherine Brown
President & CEO, Global Ties U.S.