In March 2022, team members of Citizen Diplomacy listened to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s video remarks during the 2022 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting. Secretary Blinken, and leadership from the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, thanked YOU for #MovingExchangeForward, sustaining international relationships despite the ups and downs of foreign policy, and rebuilding America’s reputation abroad.
To our @GlobalTiesUS member organizations—citizens, communities, civil society groups, businesses, and more—I’m grateful for everything you do to support our international exchange programs across the United States. The more we collaborate locally, the more we achieve globally. pic.twitter.com/FG1sJU2omI
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 17, 2022
The Philadelphia region contributes to this national effort for people-to-people diplomacy when our volunteers welcome exchanges through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). You might know the ECA for its flagship exchange programs such as The Fulbright Program and International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). We work alongside peers in the Global Ties U.S. network, who span over 85 organizations across all 50 U.S. states.
Two team members who made Philadelphia SHINE to the U.S. Department of State, our national program agency partners, and peer community-based members.
Youth Program Manager David Buckholtz presented our program strategies engaging IVLP alumni and the launch of the Citizen Diplomacy Academy to 18 countries. The IVLP alumni network and Sister Cities connections promote and recruit teens to participate in the Citizen Diplomacy Academy. Exchanges changed their lives and they give back by inviting teens to participate in these free, virtual exchanges and volunteering as guest speakers.
Director of IVLP and Professional Exchanges Anna Schneider served on the 2022 event planning committee and presented closing remarks to the full house of attendees, teeing her up as the Chair of the 2023 Global Ties National Meeting.
They are exemplars of Philadelphia’s grit and passion for innovation.