Global Young Leaders Session 3: A Discussion on U.S. Counterterrorism Policies
WASHINGTON, DC, June 30 – Students participating in the Global Young Leaders Conference program visited the State Department for a briefing. The Global Young Leaders Conference brings together students from around the world to build critical leadership skills in a global context. This worldwide group of high school students represented 57 different countries.
Ambassador Robert Godec, Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism addressed the students on U.S. counterterrorism policies. Ambassador Godec is a career foreign service officer who previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia. Ambassador Godec was frank with the students about the worldwide threat of terrorism and how it is one of the greatest challenges of our time. He explained counterterrorism objectives and how the United States is working with other countries in the fight against terrorism. He discussed the threat of al-Qa'ida. Students raised questions about the war in Afghanistan and the effect on al-Qa'ida, as well as concerns about racial profiling and innocent civilians caught in terrorist attacks. Ambassador Godec's remarks are available Remarks to Global Young Leaders Conference
National Student Leadership Conference Students Visit the State Department
WASHINGTON, DC, June 24 — Students participating in the National Student Leadership Conference International Diplomacy and U.S. Policy and Politics programs visited the U.S. Department of State for a briefing. The students are spending ten-days in Washington, D.C. examining current issues facing the global community and participating in a simulation of the United Nations in New York City.
William Burke-White, member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff addressed the students on U.S. foreign policy priorities. Dr. Burke-White is on leave from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he teaches international law and human rights and writes on international law and international relations. Dr. Buke-White engaged the students in a discussion on their opinions on the most important foreign policy challenges facing the United States and how the challenges affect our world today. When asked for their thoughts on the most pressing foreign policy issues, the student attendees named Iran, nuclear issues, the war on drugs, development challenges, the war on terror, and environmental issues among other issues. Visit our Blog Talk Radio web page to hear the discussion on Engage America Radio.
Global Young Leaders Session 2: Visit State Department
WASHINGTON, DC, June 23 — The Global Young Leaders Conference continued its summer programs with a visit to the State Department to discuss human rights and democracy with Deborah Graze, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Students from over 40 different countries discussed U.S. efforts to promote freedom and democracy and to protect human rights worldwide are central to foreign policy. Students also discussed the wide range of diplomatic tools used by the U.S Government to advance freedom and democracy.
The Global Young Leaders Conference will continue to visit the State Department throughout the summer; stay tuned!
LeadAmerica Students Visit the State Department for a Discussion on U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities
WASHINGTON, DC, June 22— U.S. high school students enrolled in the LeadAmerica Congressional Student Leadership Conference visited the State Department to discuss U.S. foreign policy priorities. Neil Klopfenstein, Director, Washington Foreign Press Center, spoke with students about the importance of developing and maintaining strong diplomatic relationships between the United States, its allies, and other countries throughout the world. Students posed questions related to the Department's coordination with USAID and the Haitian government to provide assistance following the January earthquake as well the United States' relationship with Eastern Europe and Mexico. Students also participated in a discussion with Mr. Klopfenstein on career opportunities within the State Department.
LeadAmerica is a program that brings students from across the country to Washington, D.C. to develop leadership skills through visits with government officials. Students also participate in diplomatic simulation exercises at Georgetown and American Universities.
Neil Klopfenstein currently serves as the Director of the Washington Foreign Press Center. He is a Senior Foreign Service officer who has served in public diplomacy positions at U.S. embassies in Thailand, Brazil, and Norway. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Reykjavik.
GIVING BACK TO HAITI
USAID Representative Discusses International Aid and Haiti with US Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC, June 18 -- The All-Faith Consortium (AFC) hosted its first “Salute Your Service-Stand Down” Veterans Exposition. The forum was designed to inform the American public of the tremendous challenges placed upon America's veterans, with a focus on helping homeless veterans overcome challenges and restore their sense of dignity. The over arching theme of the forum was community service, underscoring how the veterans can give back to the community in both the United States and abroad. Philip Gary, Executive Chief of Staff of the Haiti Task Force and Chief of Staff for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), tackled the international aspect in a discussion on the United States efforts to assist Haiti in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. Mr. Gary gave an overview of the situation, current needs on the ground, and explained how veterans could help the Haitian community. In seeking a government representative to discuss reconstruction efforts and homelessness issues in Haiti, staff of the All-Faith Consortium hoped to highlight to the 300 veterans in attendance, how it might be possible for veterans to help the people of Haiti through programs modeled on those for veterans in the United States. The agenda also featured Anthony Love, Deputy Director of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, and Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Michele Jones, White House Liaison to the US Department of Defense. Courtney Robinson, from ABC News 7 and Maureen Umeh, from Fox 5, moderated the event.
The All-Faith Consortium was organized in response to community–wide cries for solutions to issues regarding housing, employment, training, and social development. The All-Faith Consortium houses the Qi-Life Center, which serves as the AFC's facility for housing, training and small business development programs to assist disabled veterans and their families. The facility, which gets its name from the ancient Chinese word “Qi,” which means “life force” or “spiritual energy,” can accommodate up to 100 veterans. Additionally, the center offers individual computer terminals and the opportunity to learn how to seek and maintain employment. The mission of the Qi-Life center is to provide a secure, fast-productive term facility and program for homeless veterans motivated to re-enter society.
State Department Hosts Diplomacy Conference on Sub-Saharan Africa
Washington, DC, June 14 – In the second Diplomacy Briefing Series, State Department officials discussed U.S. policy in Sub-Saharan Africa with a broad cross-section of U.S. civil society. The audience included over 400 NGO representatives, African Diaspora, African-American community leaders, university students, and two members of Congress – Representatives Don Payne (D-NJ) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX).
The briefing agenda featured a variety of speakers who spoke on key issues relating to U.S. engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson gave an overview of U.S. priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa; Ambassador Melanne Verveer addressed Global Women's Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa; Deputy to the Special Envoy to Sudan Tim Shortley discussed U.S. policy in Sudan; USAID Counselor James Michel covered U.S. development efforts while Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale addressed public diplomacy efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa. Secretary Clinton concluded the conference, by emphasizing Africa's importance to the United States and its great economic potential. Get more information from the conference here!
Session One: Global Young Leaders Visit State Department
WASHINGTON, DC, June 16— High School students from the United States and 40 countries enrolled in the Global Young Leaders Conference visited the State Department to gain further insight into U.S. policy in the Middle East. Michael Corbin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of Near Eastern Affairs, spoke to students about U.S. efforts to seek an inclusive and long term solution to the conflict in Iraq. He also spoke about building relationships with Muslim communities around the world. Students also discussed other pressing issues such as Iran and Pakistan.
The Global Young Leaders Conference is a unique leadership development program that brings together outstanding young people from around the world to build critical leadership skills in the global context. Students have the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with national leaders in Washington, DC and New York City. The GYLC will visit the State Department throughout the summer and will meet with other senior State Department officials. Stay tuned!
Suffolk University Business Students visit the State Department
WASHINGTON, DC, June 8 -- Graduate students from Suffolk University's Sawyer Business School in Boston, MA, visited the State Department to discuss foreign policy and diplomacy. They met with Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, and discussed State Department efforts to reach out to communities and businesses around to world to advocate for increased public-private business partnerships. Ambassador Bagley spoke to students about Secretary Clinton's vision for people-to-people diplomacy, as well as her focus on U.S. involvement in the Shanghai Expo and the Feed the Future initiative. She also spoke about her own experiences in U.S. Government and her time as Ambassador to Portugal, 1994-1997.
Ambassador Bagley has previously served as the U.S. Department of State Congressional Liaison Officer for the Panama Canal Treaties during the Carter Administration (1977 – 1979) and as a Senior Advisor to a former Secretary of State, 1997-2001.
Elizabethtown College Students Discuss Foreign Policy Priorities with Department Officials
WASHINGTON, DC, June 7 -- Undergraduates from Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania met with State Department officials to discuss U.S. foreign policy priorities. They attended the briefing at the Department as part of a two week continuation of an advanced public policy course.
Students met with Dean Haas, Executive Director, Bureau of Consular Affairs. Mr. Haas discussed his career in the Foreign Service as well as the work of the Department to aid Americans traveling abroad and smart power. They also met with Josue Barrera, Bureau of Human Resources, for a discussion of student programs and career opportunities within the Department.
Dean Haas currently serves as the Executive Director of the Bureau of Consular Affairs. He joined the Foreign Service in 1987 as a consular and administrative officer. He has previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Slovenia and Deputy Executive Secretary for the National Security Council.
Josue Barrera is an Outreach Specialist in the Bureau of Human Resources. Prior to joining Human Resources, he was a Public Affairs Specialist in Regional Media Outreach Office.
In addition to their discussion, the Bureau of Public Affairs gave the students information on the following key policy issues:
Connection Technologies in Diplomacy
WASHINGTON, DC, June 2 — Jared Cohen, Member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff participated in Ogilvy PR Washington's monthly lecture series. In his discussion, Mr. Cohen discussed Secretary Clinton's Vision of 21 st Century Statecraft, detailing the Department's use of connection technologies and innovation in the practice of diplomacy. Mr. Cohen discussed how technologies such as Facebook and YouTube are connecting people in an unprecedented way that is surpassing the influence of the printing press, telephone, and radio because of the technologies' ability to function without an intermediary.
Mr. Cohen's discussion drew on examples of innovation and technology use by citizens in various regions of the world. For example, he discussed how in the Middle East bluetooth technology is used to connect people in a way that the technology was not intended to function, and in a way that the companies who created the technology were unaware that it could be used. He discussed the text message campaign that raised millions, organized with the Red Cross, following the earthquake in Haiti. He discussed how technology was used to by a single citizen in Colombia to organize a very large global citizen movement against the FARC. Mr. Cohen also discussed how social media's ability to mobilize groups of people around a common goal has sparked a discussion about the evolving definition of non-governmental organizations. Following his presentation, he answered questions from the audience.
Arizona State University Students Visit the State Department
WASHINGTON, DC, June 1 — Students participating in Arizona State University's Capital Scholars Program visited the U.S. Department of State for a series of briefings. The ASU students are spending the summer serving as interns in Washington, D.C.
John Spykerman, a Foreign Service Officer in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs ' Office of Pakistan Affairs, addressed the students on Afghanistan-Pakistan issues. He explained U.S. challenges in Pakistan and Afghanistan including U.S. assistance and Secretary Clinton's October trip to Pakistan .
Abraham Lee, Public Affairs Officer in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons discussed U.S. efforts to combat trafficking in persons. He highlighted how awareness is being raised about the issue and how human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat to our national security that undermines the rule of law, is a risk to global health, and fuels a host of related illicit criminal activity.
Laura Williams briefed the group on student programs and career opportunities within the State Department.
In addition, the students toured the U.S. Department of State Operations Center.