On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Badger State” of Wisconsin through environmental programs, law enforcement cooperation, and international exchange opportunities.
First, the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) advocates in meetings of the Convention on Biological Diversity for the conservation of pollinators. Pollinators contribute $24 billion to the national economy, as well as $130 million to the economy of Wisconsin for potatoes and another $292 million for alfalfa, which is vital to the production of cattle for beef and dairy. Pollinators contribute another $156 million for cranberries, and tens of millions more for other agricultural products like beans, apples, and cucumbers. OES also continues to engage the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison to advance efforts to combat illegal logging through the development of technologies for rapid identification of timber species, and building the capacity of international partners to apply these tools in the field. The program also increases international engagement of U.S. scientists and researchers in collaborative activities worldwide to advance technology and innovation. These OES advocacy and research programs have a positive impact on Wisconsin’s economy and ecosystem, and, in turn, have a positive impact on its communities.
Secondly, the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotic and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WIDOC) to host a delegation of Tunisian engineers and senior officials from the Tunisian Directorate General of Prisons and Rehabilitation. In 2018, WIDOC officials offered insight on prison design for the management of high risk offenders, allowing the delegation to visit several facilities in order to observe security upgrades. On a second visit in 2019, WIDOC officials shared best practices regarding classification of inmates and housing. INL’s partnership with Wisconsin corrections has significant benefits for Wisconsin’s officers, who gain new perspectives and ideas, and for their counterparts around the world, who gain new tools and resources that contribute to regional and global security.
Finally, the State Department benefits Wisconsinites through international exchange programs, including the Fulbright program. The Fulbright Program fosters bilateral relationships and promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. More than 380,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program since its inception more than 70 years ago, and the Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 45 Scholars, Students, and Teachers from Wisconsin were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and 40 international students received a Fulbright grant to study in the Badger State. Outside of the Fulbright program, over 12,950 international higher education students studied in Wisconsin in 2016/2017. These exchanges build our people-to-people relationships between the international community and the people of Wisconsin.
From Eau Claire to Milwaukee, the State Department benefits Wisconsin communities through environmental programs that bolster the state’s economy, law enforcement cooperation programs that contribute to global security efforts, and through international exchange programs that build mutual understanding between the people of Wisconsin and the people of other countries.
Find out more about the Department of State’s impact in American communities at Department of State by State.