Eliminating Cultural Barriers
Temple’s Intensive English Language Summer Program welcomed 20 students in July from our Sister City Incheon, South Korea. Program director and Citizen Diplomat Jackie McCafferty helps young people from around the world improve their English so that they can achieve success in their studies and make deeper connections with peers. To support conversational English, Citizen Diplomats hosted a welcome event, family dinner hospitality and toured cultural sites with the students.
Discussing Security, Intelligence & Counterterrorism
Deborah Cai, senior associate dean and professor, is an internationally recognized researcher specializing in intercultural communication, negotiation and social influence. In July, Deborah met with 15 international professionals working in security to explore possible reasons behind America’s aggressive stance against terrorism. The discussion included how religious attitudes affect people’s political and media preferences and cause ideological and racial segregation. Our visitors also shared analogies of their countries’ political situations.
Building Entrepreneurship & Small Business
Ellen Weber, executive director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, is an expert on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the U.S. In June, Ellen met to 22 visitors to explore how small businesses can drive economic development, democratization and stability around the world. She discussed how Philadelphia compares with other major urban centers and shared an interesting analysis of mentorship networks.
Promoting International Student Enrollment
Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) make it easier for international students to transfer and finish their degrees at Philadelphia colleges and universities. The Community College of Philadelphia was connected to the North West Regional College in Derry, Ireland and Holy Family University was connected to Bernardo O’Higgins University in Chile. We look forward to welcoming more students from Ireland and Chile to Philadelphia!
Bob O’Donnell O’Donnell Stacey
Having enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the law and in state politics, Bob O’Donnell volunteers his time to Citizen Diplomacy’s professional delegations. His firsthand experience as Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House and in public finance and education law provides an insider
perspective that scores of journalists, lawyers and politicians have benefitted from.
In February, Bob hosted 16 current and emerging leaders from Argentina to discuss journalistic integrity, freedom of the press, and protection of civil liberties, while dealing with domestic security concerns. They also discussed U.S. and Argentine relations and social, economic and political issues of interest to both countries.
Bob described his approach to conversations: “Initially, the group will have certain key issues and questions to discuss. After a time, if you help them to examine their own assumptions and avoid trying to move anyone to your point of view, you almost universally have fantastic,
In June, Bob met with five Russian foreign affairs journalists sharing insights on how policy is made and reported on in the U.S. Often, Russian journalism revolves around reporting on exhaustively comprehensive press conferences, which limits the access to politicians or business leaders. In addition, most Russian media outlets are now owned or controlled by the state or by private companies loyal to the Russian government. Bob underscored the importance of impartial reporting and the role of the media as a political watchdog.
“I am a Citizen Diplomat because I always come away feeling that the time spent was valuable and successful.”
– Bob O’Donnell