August 2011

The newly appointed chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, spent one year (1973-74) as a high school exchange student at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD, the Washington Post reported yesterday. Lagarde, a French citizen, formed a deep and long-lasting connection with her host family and said that her year in the U.S.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced last week the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2012-13, which authorizes $637.1 million for Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs in FY 2012, equal to the President’s request. The bill also includes an amendment to the Fulbright-Hays Act, requiring performance-based measurement reporting for high school exchange programs.

Grammy Awards-winning musician and producer of the Black Eyed Peas will.i.am will direct a concert in Beijing later this year to celebrate U.S.-China educational and cultural exchanges and to benefit President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative, according to the Department of State’s website.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, argued in an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post that even during this time of budget crisis, it is essential for the U.S. to engage with the world. “This is not time for America to pull back from the world. This is a time to step forward,” Kerry wrote.

Below please find the listing of Federal Register announcements issued by the U.S. Departments of State, Education, and Homeland Security, and USAID since 07/29/11.

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   Newly appointed chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, talked about her U.S. high school exchange experience in an article in the Washington Post, saying that her exchange year mattered more than any in her life.

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In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posted on his website yesterday, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) noted that he is “concerned that the [Exchange Visitor] program lacks sufficient oversight of program sponsors and enforcement of the protections against abuse.” Udall asked Clinton to “provide an outline of the steps that the [State] Department has taken to ensure proper oversight and enforcement to protect against possible misuse of the visa program as it pertains to the protection of U.S. workers.”

Udall also wrote that his intention with this request is to work with the State Department “to maintain the true intent of the Exchange Visitor Program as an educational and cultural exchange that can serve as an important diplomatic tool while also protecting the interests of American workers.”

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Adam Ereli posted on the Department’s DipNote blog on Tuesday, encouraging Americans to host high school exchange students. Ereli writes that the high school program “hinges on the goodwill and generosity of the volunteer host families. They represent America's diversity and cultural richness to these students and, by extension, to the world.”

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Below please find the listing of Federal Register announcements issued by the U.S. Departments of State, Education, and Homeland Security, and USAID since 08/05/11.

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The Alliance is pleased to announce that its 2012 Advocacy Day activities will be held February 29 and March 1, 2012 in Washington. An in-depth advocacy training session, as well as an issues briefing, will be held on February 29, while your Capitol Hill meetings will take place on March 1 (with a breakfast prep and strategy session to kick off the day).

Please mark your calendars for this important activity and keep an eye out for registration details this winter. (Participation in Advocacy Day is reserved for Alliance Full Members only.)

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