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Welcome to our new weekly virtual conversations with our City's international thinkers, past international visitors and Citizen Diplomats from all over the world. You want to know how people around the world are handling this crisis, and we want to keep you connected to our worldwide community of Citizen Diplomats.

- For more tips, check out our Virtual Event's Participation Guide

- All virtual events will be recorded. See Media Consent Guidelines

Previously recorded Zoom conversations

Thursday, November 19, 10 AM Eastern Time

David Briel, Executive Director of International Investment at the Department of Community and Economic Development and Karolina Kaptur, Pennsylvania's Trade Representative in Poland at AHP International

Conversation in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

David Briel will join Karolina Kaptur to discuss the strong ties between Poland and Pennsylvania and continuing opportunities for trade and investment as we navigate the Corona pandemic.

Thursday, November 12, 11 AM Eastern Time

André HaspelsAmbassador of the Netherlands

Conversation in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

Citizen Diplomats joined Ambassador André Haspels as he talked about how the Dutch are handling the second wave of Covid and the current connections with Philadelphia.

Thursday, November 5, 5 PM Eastern Time


U.S. Presidential election season is here and for November First Thursday, we discussed the U.S. Electoral Process with our international friends. Head Consul of Mexico, Carlor Obrador joined us for the evening's conversation. We also gladly welcomed our friend Manuel Vargas, IVLP alumna back to Philadelphia, virtually. . This event featured a Spanish-speaking breakoout room.

Tuesday, October 27, 9 AM Eastern Time

Alina ShkolnikovSocial Impact Program Officer at the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation and IVLP Alumna from Tel Aviv

In honor of Tel Aviv and Philadelphia's Sister City Anniversary, we are excited to welcome Israeli native, Alina to update us on the Social Impact portfolio she has been working on since her visit to Philadelphia. 

Alina Shkolnikov is a Program Officer at the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation, in Israel, where she manages the social impact portfolio. Her role entails strategic oversight of all projects and programs aimed at social impact, via specialized grants. Her projects include the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation (Israel) and Jewish Funders Network Matching Grant: Build & Strengthen the Impact Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Israel. Additionally, Ms. Shkolnikov is the founder of Ms. Catt aimed towards the implementation of UNSCR 1325, in non-Western conflict countries, empowering current and future female leaders in realms of international security. And, she is the co-founder of House of Genius aimed at leveraging collective creativity to help entrepreneurs solve critical challenges via professionally-facilitated monthly gatherings.

Thursday, October 22,  12 PM Eastern Time

Featured Speaker: Ciarán Madden, Consul General of Ireland in New York

Conversation in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

Consul Madden discusssed the long-standing cultural and economic ties between Philadelphia and Ireland and the opportunities to strengthen our connections in COVID times.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
9 AM
 Eastern Time

Featured Speaker: David Gill, Consul General of Germany in New York

Conversation in partnership with the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany New York and the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

In honor of German American Friendship Day, Consul Gill discussed 5 year FRA-PHL Sister City relationship, climate change, economics and 30 years of German reunification.

October First Thursday

Thursday, October 1, 2020, 5 - 6 PM Eastern Time
Where: Italy, Philadelphia, All over the world

Citizen Diplomats joined us to meet new Italian friends as we celebrated our Sister City anniversary with Florence, Italy! We are also excited to meet the new Deputy at the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia. This event also featured an Italian-speaking break out room.

Friday, September 25, 2020 - 10 to 11 AM Eastern Time
A special 1-hour conversation

Featured Speaker: Yasmine Mustafa, social entrepreneur and co-founder of ROAR for Good

Tune in with Yasmine as she talks diversity in STEM and starting a business with students from our "How to Succeed as an Innovator" virtual exchange program.

Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 12:30 PM Eastern Time
Featured Speaker: Manuel Vargas, IVLP Alumnus from Costa Rica

Check in with Manuel on how he is working through challenges of a digital divide in hopes to give more people access to education.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 5 PM Eastern Time
Featured Speaker: Chellie Cameron, CEO of Philadelphia International Airport
Conversation in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

How has travel remained essential to Philadelphia? Tune in to hear insights on the future of travel and making Philadelphia's impact on the nation's travel industry.

Thursday, September 3, 2020, 5:30 - 7 PM Eastern Time
Where: Egypt, Philadelphia, All over the world
This September, you are invited to meet Menna Khaliel and Ramadan Ibrahim from our How to Succeed as an Innovator STEM entrepreneurship exchange for college students from Egypt and Philadelphia. I know you will enjoy hearing about this fantastic educational experience and their recent travels from Egypt to Philadelphia for college.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 12:45 PM Eastern Time
Featured Speaker: Jim Moses, Vice President of PHL Hub Operations at American Airlines

Conversation in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

Jim Moses is the Vice President of PHL Hub, JFK, LGA and BOS Operations at American Airlines. Tune in as he shares insights on how American Airlines is adapting in the face of a global pandemic and the future of travel.

Thursday, July 23, 2020, 8:30 AM Eastern Time
Featured Speaker: Eduard Hechler, Director of International Affairs of Frankfurt, Germany

Eduard Hechler has served as the Director of International Affairs in Frankfurt since 2007. His responsibilities include, Foreign and European Affairs, Partner Cities Relations, the Consular Corps Liaison Office and International Networks. Mr. Hechler began his career with the City of Frankfurt am Main in 1976. He has served in a variety of roles, including at the Frankfurt Opera and Theatre and the Frankfurt Tourism Board. In 2002, Mr. Hechler was promoted to Head of Sister Cities Affairs and Deputy Head of Protocol and, in 2004, he joined the newly established International Affairs Unit in the Mayor's Office.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 12 PM Eastern Time
Featured Speaker: Khawar Nasim, the acting Consul General of Canada in New York

Conversation in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

Mr. Nasim is a career diplomat who joined the Canadian Department of External Affairs in 1993. Prior to his New York assignment, Mr. Nasim was Canada’s Consul General in Minneapolis. During his time at Headquarters, Mr. Nasim served in the European Investment and Technology Division, the South Asian Trade Division and the Trade Operations policy unit. His overseas career has included postings in Rome, where he served as Second Secretary (Commercial), Barcelona where he was Consul and Rome for a second time where he served as Minister-Counsellor (Commercial-Economic). In 2010, Mr. Nasim took a leave from government to work as Vice-President of External Affairs, for one of Canada’s largest gold companies, Yamana Gold of Toronto.

Thursday, July 16, 2020, 12:30 PM Eastern Time
Featured Speaker: Norman Vossschulte, Philadelphia Eagles Director of Guest Experience & German native

Citizen Diplomats tuned in for a conversation with Norman Vossschulte, the director of Guest Experience at the Philadelphia Eagles. Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of Philadelphia's Sister City relationship with Frankfurt, the German native talked about his role leading the Eagles' Go Green initiative and the unforgettable behind-the-scenes tour of Lincoln Financial Field he gave last November to visiting IVLP delegation of American Football players and managers from Russia.

Thursday, June 25, 2020, 12:00 PM Eastern Time
Nikarilkanth Kanthasamy, IVLP Alumnus, Sri Lanka 

As Assistant Secretary at Sri Lanka's Ministry of Skills Development, Employment & Labour Relations, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nikarilkanth will discuss his work protecting and advancing minority rights in Sri Lanka, including creating the first social security system for migrant workers in his country, and how his time in Philadelphia as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program helped him understand equal rights in completely new ways.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 12:30 PM Eastern Time
Edgar Vesga-Arias, executive director and CEO of Philadelphia International Medicine

Hear about his work connecting international patients and physicians to Philadelphia's network of world-renowned doctors, surgeons, and hospitals.

In partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 12:30 PM Eastern Time

Jameela HollingsworthHR Manager and Owner of The HR Boss

In 2018, Jameela visited Philadelphia on the International Visitor’s Leadership Program in recognition of her contribution to entrepreneurship in Barbados. At HR Boss, Jameela has built a Caribbean millennial career consultancy with readership in over 27 countries. She is a qualified HR practitioner with over 8 years’ experience in Jamaica, Barbados and St. Lucia. She is a certified recruiter & psychometric assessor and has helped thousands of persons take charge of their careers. Recently, Jameela expanded her consulting into political strategy and helped her first political client win a highly contested seat, which until now had never been held by the Barbados Labour Party.

Thursday, June 11, 2020, 12:30 PM Eastern Time
Gabriela Savova, Digital Communications Fellow, Bulgaria 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 3:30 PM Eastern Time
Jerry Sorkin, Honorary Consul for Tunisia
Partnership with Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia

Thursday, June 4, 2020, 5:30 PM Eastern Time

June First Thursday - Message from the CEO

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 8:30 AM Eastern Time
Ami Bharat Chheda, Professional Fellow and Youth Advocate, India

Tuesday, May 26, 12 PM  Eastern Time
Anne Bovaird Nevins, President of PIDC

Presented in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia.

Thursday, May 21, 2020, 11 AM Eastern Time
Dani Dayan, Consul General of Israel in New York

Presented in partnership with the Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 12 PM Eastern Time
Nwabisa Mayema, Entrepreneur, South Africa

Thursday, May 14, 2020, 9 AM Eastern Time
Mario Ramò, Deputy Head International Economic Relations, Economiesuisse, Swiss Business Federation, Switzerland

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 3 PM Eastern Time

Pier Attinio Forlano, Consul General of Italy

Hear Pier's reflections on COVID-19; the economic impact of the crisis; and what Italy has learned as a result.

Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 5:30 PM Eastern Time
Virtual First Thursday: Special Guest, Anne Grimes, Director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Visitors

Update on the International Visitor Leadership Program will give us an update, then we will Breakout for conversations exploring what does diplomacy look like in a virtual world?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
(Partnered with Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia)
Carlos Obrador Garrido Cuesta, Head Consul of Mexico in Philadelphia

Update on how COVID-19 is affecting business in Mexico; our Mexican community in Philadelphia, and a brief update on the new trade deal between Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Gerald B. Halt Jr., Citizen Diplomacy board member and partner at Volpe and Koenig, Andreas Lindgren at AWA in Malmo, Sweden and Michael Lucey at Purdy Lucey Intellectual Property in Dublin, Ireland

Thursday, April 23, 2020
Yelena Potapova, Open World Facilitator and International Visitor from Russia


Thursday, April 16, 2020
Dr. Emanuel Catumbela,  Medical Faculty at Agostinho Neto University and the National Director of
Post-Graduate Training for the Angolan Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation

Hear about his trip to Philadelphia, how Angolans are coping with COVID-19 and future plans with his work.

Thursday, April 8, 2020
Lauren Swartz, Philadelphia's Deputy Commerce Director for International Business and Global Strategy.

Hear how international business attraction has been impacted by travel restrictions and physical distancing, and then what comes next once this crisis has passed. 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

April First Thursday and Update on Citizen Diplomacy's Programs in the face of Covid-19

Our 2019/2020 community programs are made possible through our corporate partners at Elap Services, Volpe KoenigSpangles Custom Jewelry Designs, Philadelphia Credit Union, Temple University, and generous support from the Albert W. Bader Foundation.