Exchange Matters / October 29, 2019

The Leadership Corner: September-October 2019

Katherine (center) with members of the Global Ties Network at Petco Park in San Diego, CA as part of the Cultural Activity Tour of the Learning Lab.


Hello Global Ties U.S. Network,

I hope you all are enjoying the fall weather, which has been a welcome change in Washington! This is a busy period for all of us, so thank you for taking a moment to read through this edition of ExchangeMatters. I want to highlight a few items.

In September, the San Diego Diplomacy Council put together a fantastic Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit and Learning Lab, which focused on the dynamic cross-border collaboration between San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico. We learned about the challenges the California Baja region is facing, but more importantly, how innovators are actively solving problems to make it a better place to live and thrive. Read the recap here.

One of the many highlights was hearing from IVLP Gold Star Ivan Tagle, who found his voice as a leader in the LGBTQ community in Mexico after participating in the International Visitor Leadership Program. A heartfelt thank you and congratulations to all of you who made his tour through the U.S. so successful, as well as to Fabienne Perlov for making our time in San Diego so productive and enjoyable.

The next Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit and Learning Lab is in Louisville, KY this November, and will focus on international education. I know that Xiao Yin Zhao, Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana, is very busy ensuring it will be a fantastic two days, complete with good food and bourbon. Registration is open until November 7.

Another critical theme this fall is amplifying how exchange programs impact U.S. foreign policy and your local communities. In Washington, we’ll be gathering soon to discuss advocacy work for future federal budgets for these programs with our partners at the Alliance for International Exchange. We encourage all of you to meet with your Members of Congress year-round to talk about the local impact of this work as well. You can find resources from Global Ties U.S. on our website, and soon, we’ll be delivering a new advocacy toolkit to further support you in this work. We hope you’ll also extend the message about the centrality of exchange programs to your communities in advance of #GivingTuesday on December 3.

Another way to share the impact of exchanges is through podcasting, which many of our members and partners use to further amplify the cause of global engagement. Tim Horgan of the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire gives some helpful tips about how to create a podcast so that you can connect with these audiences more regularly (thank you, Tim!). Additionally, we share more podcasts produced by our members and partners, including the Presidential Precinct and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which help broaden impact and engage with the world beyond our immediate communities.

Last, we’re busy with plans for the 2020 National Meeting, which we hope you all will come to in January. We’ll be helping the Office of International Visitors kick off the 80th anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program – an absolutely remarkable milestone for a program that continues to prove its value and relevance each year, thanks to your commitment to making participants’ time in America so transformative. You’ll soon receive more communication from us to help you plan your January visit to DC.

On a personal note, I may or may not be around in-person for the National Meeting this year: my husband Jim and I are expecting our first child the very same week. The Global Ties U.S. all-star staff and board will be present in full force, so I know that nothing will miss a beat. But I am disappointed that I won’t get to see so many of you in person. If you have any issues or concerns, please do send me an email or give me a call so that I can give it my attention before we bring 2019 to a close.

In the meanwhile, wishing you all the best for a November full of joy and gratitude. Thank you to all of you for making this network so extraordinary.

All best,

Katherine Brown