Department of State news
The Department of State published a notice in today’s Federal Register capping current participant levels, and placing a moratorium on new applications, for the Summer Work Travel category of the Exchange Visitor Program. The full notice is pasted below.
President Obama announced today his intent to nominate Tara D. Sonenshine for Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Department of State. Assistant Secretary of State (R) Ann Stock has been in the role of Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs since July 8, 2011.
Sonenshine’s biography as posted on the White House website is as follows:
We urgently need your help.
We understand that a Senate floor battle is looming on foreign affairs spending. The State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill, in which exchanges are funded, is expected to come to the Senate floor in the next few days. As you know, the Senate appropriation for Department of State exchange programs in FY 2012 ($612 million) is far higher than that of the House ($538 million). Successful amendments that strip funds from the bill will put Senate appropriators at a lower starting point in their negotiations with House appropriators in the final draft of the legislation.
Two key appropriations activities are happening in Washington right now:
While it remains unclear how much U.S. government money will be appropriated in FY 2012 for international exchange programs, including the Fulbright Program, other countries have been “steadily raising their financial commitment to [Fulbright]—a sign of international interest in academic ties despite the tough economic times,” the Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
The U.S. Mission to China adjudicated more than one million U.S. visas for Chinese students, tourists, and businesspeople during FY 2011, a 34 per cent increase from FY 2010, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke recently announced in a press release by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. This number consists of the contributions by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, as well as the U.S. Consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenyang, and Chengdu, the press release points out.
The first U.S.-India Higher Education Summit was held last week at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Attendees of the summit, including numerous U.S. university presidents, leaders in the NGO international education and exchange community, and government officials, sought "deeper, broader, and more sustained collaboration" between the two countries, including educational exchange:
The Department of State plans to resume Fulbright student and scholarly exchanges and English language training programs in Libya, the Associated Press and the Chronicle of Higher Education both report.
The U.S. Diplomacy Center, an office in the Bureau of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, has launched a new interactive website that aims to educate high school and college students about the world of diplomacy and the work of the State Department.
The National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) recently reported that a former Yemeni participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Ms. Tawakul Karman, is among the three women who were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize last week. Ms.