Department of State news

In her recent remarks to the U.S.-Brazil partnership for the 21st century, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed the importance of exchange programs between the two countries as well as President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative. This initiative aims to increase the number of students from Latin America and the Caribbean studying in the U.S. to 100,000 each year while at the same time sending 100,000 American students to the region over the next ten years, Clinton explained.

Following her confirmation by the Senate last week, Tara Sonenshine was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs yesterday.

Tara Sonenshine, former Executive Vice President of the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), was confirmed by the Senate last Thursday as the new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R).

The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced that it is currently searching for a full-time permanent Supervisory Academic Exchange Specialist.

Please note that the deadline for applications is next Friday, April 6. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Find all details about the job vacancy as well as instructions how to apply here.

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“Study abroad can change your life – and your country,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli proclaimed in a recent post on the Department of State’s DipNote blog.

The President’s FY 2013 budget, released on Monday, provides $586.957 million for Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs. This funding level is a decrease of $11.843 million (approximately 2 per cent) from the final FY 2012 appropriation for exchanges of $598.8 million.

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Robin Lerner, formerly Counsel for the majority staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Private Sector Exchange at the Department of State.  In her new role, Ms. Lerner will oversee the Exchange Visitor Program.  She succeeds Acting DAS Rick Ruth, who returns to his role as Senior Adviser in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  

Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs received $586.957 million in the President’s budget request for FY 2013, released this morning. This funding level is a decrease of $11.843 million (approximately 2 per cent) from the final FY 2012 appropriation for exchanges of $598.8 million.

Within this FY13 budget of $586.957 million, the President’s request sets out the following breakdown:

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Former Ambassador to South Korea Kathleen Stephens has been designated as “the Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs pending the Senate’s confirmation of the President’s nominee, Tara Sonenshine,” MountainRunner reports. Ambassador Stephens began her work in this role today. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock had previously been in the role of Acting Under Secretary since July 8, 2011.

The New York Times reports that the Department of State has removed the Council for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA) as a designated sponsor of the Summer Work Travel program. The article also provides some detail on the Department’s upcoming rulemaking for the SWT program:

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