Department of State news

The U.S. Department of State released yesterday a Fact Sheet outlining the need for increased cooperation with Ukraine, including enhanced people-to-people exchanges. The report followed a meeting between new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President Obama.

The fact sheet outlines a number of steps the U.S. will undertake to assist Ukraine including the $1 billion loan guarantee the government is working with Congress to provide.

The optional practical training program (OPT), which allows international graduates in the United States on student visas to gain work experience related to their fields of study, lacks sufficient risk assessment and governmental oversight, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Department of State international exchange programs are funded at $577.9 million in the President’s FY 2015 budget request, released today by the Obama administration. This request for exchanges marks an increase of $9.2 million, or 1.6 per cent, over the current FY14 funding level of $568.6 million.

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On the morning of February 18--his first as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Richard Stengel circulated the below message to the public diplomacy community:

A Message to the Public Diplomacy Community
From Richard Stengel, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

With a 90-8 vote, the Senate yesterday confirmed Richard Stengel as new Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Politico reports.

At the launch of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Partnership last week, Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of, and the Obama Administration’s commitment to, connecting young people worldwide.

Participation in the Department of State’s NeXXt Scholars Program, which aims to provide professional development opportunities for young women from countries with Muslim-majority populations and their American counterparts, has more than doubled since its inaugural class arrived in 2012, according to a State Department press release.

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

The deadline for applications is Wednesday, December 11.

All applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

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At the Closing Session of the 2013 U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong reaffirmed their countries’ deep belief in the power of exchanges and commitment to enhance and expand cultural and educational exchange opportunities between the two nations.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) yesterday approved by voice vote President Obama’s nomination of Richard Stengel to be Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Stengel, the former managing editor of Time magazine, is now awaiting confirmation by the full Senate.

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