Exchange Matters / February 28, 2017

The Stakes Are High—We’ve Got A Lot Of Work To Do

By Jeanne Briganti, Senior Advisor, Global Ties U.S.

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In opening remarks that set the stage for a deep-dive into the Transatlantic Relationship, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire acknowledged challenges in the partnership long held as the bedrock of global security and prosperity, but is “optimistic that we can and will rise to the challenge.” Senator Shaheen, a longtime committed advocate of the Transatlantic Relationship, introduced the event’s keynoter, European Union Ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan, who highlighted the importance of exchange in maintaining and growing this critically important relationship: “exchanges are absolutely indispensable for recreating, in every generation, the sense of friendship & kinship across the Atlantic.”

A Vision of Transatlantic Leadership through International Exchange is the third annual Strategic Dialogue, a pre-event to the annual Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, made possible through the support of co-sponsor Graduate School USA, as well as event partners Alliance for International ExchangeInstitute of International Education, and AFS Intercultural Programs USA. Held in the Congressional Auditorium of the Capitol Visitor Center, the dialogue featured remarks by Congressmen Jim Himes (CT-04), Steve Pearce (NM-02), and John Yarmuth (KY-03) [co-chairs and a member, respectively, of the Congressional Caucus on International Exchange and Study] as well as distinguished panels on The Future of Alliances and PartnershipsThe New Normal, and The Future of the Field.

Congressman Himes, who joked that he would not exist without international exchange (his parents met on one), took a more serious tone when he said, “International exchange is not just a ‘nice to have’. It’s a ‘need to have’.” Dr. Daniel Hamilton, Executive Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, wrapped up his session, The Future of Alliances and Partnerships by asking panelists to comment on and audience members to think about this key question: “What is the most important thing this group can do, moving forward?” For more from the Strategic Dialogue, visit