Department of State news

“You never forget the friendships that you build, the cultural, political, philosophical, economic, social grounding that you get from [an exchange] and how it connects people and connects countries,” Secretary of State John Kerry told an audience of Fulbrighters at the Fulbright Foreign Student Enrichment Seminar last week.

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Addressing an audience at a Youth Connect event at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, Germany, during his first overseas trip in his new capacity, Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed the value of exchanges and expressed his determination to look into issues including the low number of Americans participating in exchanges and the creation of more exchange scholarships.

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Engagement with the Middle East and North Africa, and other Muslim-majority countries, is “a top priority” for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs Meghan Curtis said last week at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) conference in New Orleans.

Delivering his first official speech as Secretary of State, at the University of Virginia on Wednesday, John Kerry set the tone for his tenure in Foggy Bottom, drawing a simple and direct connection between U.S. foreign policy and domestic affairs:

“More than ever before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward; they also create a current right here in America. How we conduct our foreign policy matters more than ever before to our everyday lives.”

International exchanges are essential in “bridging the intersection between policy and public diplomacy” and help “empower future generations of political leaders,” Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine told an audience at George Washington University’s Elliot School of Foreign Affairs last Thursday.

Clinton says goodbye, underlines importance of IA budget and exchanges

Bidding farewell to the State Department this afternoon as she stepped down from her post as Secretary of State, and after “a challenging week saying goodbye to so many people,” Hillary Clinton said she was proud “to have been Secretary of State” and “in the work [the State Department has] done to elevate diplomacy and development.”

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By a vote of 94 to 3, the Senate overwhelming approved Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) yesterday afternoon as the United States’ next Secretary of State, The Washington Post reports. Kerry abstained from voting but watched the proceedings from the front of the Senate chamber. Three Republicans voted against Kerry: Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, and Sen.

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Great progress has been made expanding U.S.-China exchanges since 2010, and “it is those people-to-people ties that are going to determine the quality of the [U.S.-China] relationship for the future,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday at the launch of the 100,000 Strong Foundation.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) during his confirmation hearing to become the next U.S. Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) expressed his great appreciation for the work of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has “served above and beyond duty,” and vowed to build on her record, as well as President Obama’s vision.

Sen. John Kerry’s confirmation as Secretary of State is expected to go smoothly, due to wide support among both Democratic and Republican Senate colleagues and will, according to, coincide with President Obama’s inauguration to a second term in office. Once confirmed, Sen. Kerry (D-MA) will bring decades of foreign policy experience and many vital personal relationships with U.S.

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