State Department Engages Civil Society on White House Entrepreneurship Summit
WASHINTON, DC, April 28 – The Office of Public Liaison recently hosted a town hall meeting for NGO representatives, business leaders, and academic officials to discuss the White House Entrepreneurship Summit, which took place April 26-27 in Washington, DC. In addition to the in-person audience students and faculty from Babson College, Duke University, and the University of Central Florida participated in the discussion via video conference.
The town hall featured remarks by Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith and Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain, as well as E-Summit delegate Asim Siddiqui, a community organizer from the UK. Each emphasized the importance of U.S. engagement with Muslim communities and working together to build entrepreneurial partnerships. The town hall concluded with a panel discussion on cultivating grassroots partnerships. Panelists included Shelly Porges from the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, Robert Lalka from the Office of Global Partnership Initiatives, and Ari Alexander from USAID's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
In his June 2009 Cairo speech, President Obama announced that the U.S. would host a Summit on Entrepreneurship to identify how we can strengthen ties between business leaders, foundations, and entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world. Co-hosted by the Departments of Commerce and State, the Summit brought together more than 275 participants from over 50 countries. The Summit highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship as a way of building relationships that lead to greater opportunity at home and abroad.
You can listen to an audio recording of the town hall conversation here: www.blogtalkradio/public-liaison
U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association Visits the Department for Panel Discussion on U.S.-China Relations
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 23 – Members of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association visited the State Department in conjunction with their 19 th biannual Washington Seminar.
While at the State Department, association members engaged in a panel discussion on a range of issues affecting the relationship between the U.S. and China. Julie Hutto, an Economic Officer in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, gave a broad overview of U.S.-China relations. In her overview, she explained the evolution of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and described future policy goals surrounding this initiative. Thomas Hamm, a Public Diplomacy Coordinator in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, discussed people-to-people exchanges between the U.S. and China. He detailed efforts on the part of both countries to establish programs that encourage tourism, cultural immersion, and citizen-to-citizen communications. Peter Secor, Chief of the Energy and Natural Resources Division in the Energy Office, focused on economic issues impacting the relationship between the U.S. and China, with a specific emphasis on issues relating to energy policy. He spoke about each country's efforts to create renewable and sustainable energy and entertained questions regarding U.S.-China collaboration on such initiatives. Another panelist, David Meale, Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Monetary Affairs, highlighted the financial and economic issues affecting the U.S.-China relationship. He commented the impact of exchange rates and trade policies on the overall relationship between the two countries.
As one of the first U.S. organizations to participate in exchange programs with China when such programs began in the 1970s, members of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association were well informed and very interested in all aspects of U.S.-Chinese relations.
China, delivered keynote remarks to the Genesco Rotary Club. Later he discussed his career in the Foreign Service, his travels around the world, and the work of the U.S. Department of State with an audience of about 500 students at Genesco High School.
Mr. Borkowicz recently concluded his first two-year tour in the Foreign Service at U.S. Consulate Guangzhou, China. Originally from Roselle, Illinois, Mr. Borowicz is a participant in the Department's Hometown Diplomat Program, in program which diplomats return to their hometowns during their vacation time to engage with their communities.
Conversations with America: A Discussion on Afghanistan and Pakistan
WASHINGTON, DC, April 19 -- The Bureau of Public Affairs launched a new video program series entitled “Conversations with America.” The program pairs the State Department's senior leadership with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations for a live-streamed discussion on foreign policy and global issues. Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was interviewed by Marc Grossman, Chairman of the World Affairs Councils of America, on the Obama Administration's policy priorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley served as the moderator. Prior to the discussion, members of the public had the opportunity to submit questions on DipNote, the State Department's Official blog. Some of the questions were chosen and answered during the discussion. Video | Transcript | DipNote Blog: Submitted Questions
Conversations with America aims to provide a candid view of how leaders from the foreign affairs community engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues and how both the U.S. government and civil society are working across the globe on issues that concern Americans most. Look out for future Conversations with America.
Students Connect to Discuss U.S.-Russian Relations
Washington, DC, Apr. 16 -- Students from the University of Virginia linked in to the U.S. Department of State headquarters in Washington via digital video conferencing (DVC) technology to discuss U.S.-Russian relations on Friday afternoon. Mr. Kyle Scott, Director of the Office of Russian Affairs, discussed the opportunities and challenges in U.S.-Russian relations following President Obama's new approach to the relationship last year.
Students from DC-area universities and Department of State interns made up the in-house audience and touched on issues such as Russian relations with the former Soviet republics and partnerships in the region on energy issues. The group from the University of Virginia inquired about the U.S.-Russia relationship after the New START signing and its implications for nuclear nonproliferation worldwide.
The briefing also covered student programs and career opportunities within the Department of State for those interested in pursuing careers in foreign relations.
State Department Official to Discuss International Travel Safety
LAS VEGAS, NV, Apr. 13 – Susan Fitch, a representative from the Bureau of Consular Affairs, visited the College of Southern Nevada for a discussion with students and faculty on International Travel Safety. Ms. Fitch is an officer in the American Citizens Services division and is responsible for overseeing the safety and well-being of American Citizens in their travels abroad.
Capital Semester Program Students Discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan with Department Officials
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 12 – 35 Students participating in the Capital Semester Program with the Fund for American Studies visited the department to participate in a panel discussion focused on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The panel was led by two State Department officials. Alexander Evans, Senior Advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the difficulties of combining western policies on eastern ideologies and deceptions.
Mr. Evans was joined by Kevin Brady, who leads the Economic Team for Afghanistan and serves as a Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communications Liaison to the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Brady discussed the current state of Pakistan and the recent U.S. Pakistan Strategic Dialogue that was hosted by the Secretary of State on March 24, 2010. Following the panelist's presentations the students posed questions about the best solutions to rebuild and work with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Gap Year Students Visit Department for Discussion on Climate Change and the Environment
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 12 – Daniel Clune, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans and International and Scientific Affairs met with a group of students for a discussion on the State Department's work on global climate change and environmental conservation. The students were participating in Thinking Beyond Borders, a gap-year program.
Gap-year students are recent high school graduates who are taking a one-year break before heading off to college. The Thinking Beyond Borders Program offers the students an 8-month program that immerses the students in learning with locally-based non-governmental organizations in four core countries. Enrichment Weeks follow each five-week core country stay, allowing the program group to explore historical and cultural sites in those regions. The program concludes with a unique five-week synthesis component in the U.S., providing powerful learning opportunities and critical processing.
You can view the program itinerary here: http://www.thinkingbeyondborders.org/program/index.html
You can view their curriculum here: http://www.thinkingbeyondborders.org/program/curriculum.html
Cornell University Classroom Connects to State Economic Experts
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 6 – An International Marketing Strategy course from Cornell University's Business School invited State Department representatives to join their class discussion. Financial Economist Bradley Stillwell and Attorney Advisor Patrick Pearsall discussed the multilateral and legal instruments and institutions that affect the execution of business strategy overseas. The presentation highlighted general investor experiences in investment disputes and political risks as well as intergovernmental efforts to improve the investment environment. Following the presentation, students engaged the officials in a discussion on international business affairs and business strategy. Students also asked about Mr. Stillwell and Mr. Pearsall's career experiences and motivation for working for the U.S. Department of State.
William and Mary Students Learn More about Economic Issues, Human Trafficking, and Career Opportunities
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr. 1 – Fifteen students enrolled in an International Political Economy course at the College of William and Mary met with State Department Officials to discuss the Department's historical impact on economic policy. Thomas Engle, Director of the Office of Monetary Affairs, discussed the Department's history and changing ideologies with the students. Mr. Engle focused on the historical events leading up to the current fiscal crisis. He also talked about his career in the Foreign Service working on foreign policy such as the Cold War and terrorism. Kimberly Bell, from the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs, spoke with students about the National Export Initiative and its affect on foreign trade relations and domestic job growth.
The students also met with Abraham Lee, from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Mr. Lee spoke about how human trafficking affects the economy and the challenges the United States faces in combating this difficult and constant problem. Students gained an understanding of economic policy and its effects on both domestic institutions as well as the United States relations with other countries. Additionally, students gained a greater awareness of initiatives to combat human trafficking and promote human rights and national security. They were also able to discuss State Department careers, and learn about a wide range of issues that affect the stability of the U.S. economy.