Department of State news

The U.S. Department of State is increasing its efforts to assist Fulbright program alumni to maintain the links created while on the program and use their exchange experiences to improve their career prospects, the Chronicle for Higher Education wrote in a recent article.

On October 22, 2013, the Department of State sent revisions to Subpart A, the general provisions of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as an interim final rule.

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Richard Stengel, former Managing Editor of Time magazine and President Obama’s nominee for Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) this coming Thursday for his confirmation hearing.

Committee chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will preside over the hearing, which will be held at 10:30 am in room 419 of the Senate Dirksen building.

A live webcast will be available here.

The State Department announced the launch of “The Collaboratory”, a new initiative focused on virtual people-to-people exchanges.

According to a State Department press release:

“The Collaboratory is a platform for conducting virtual exchange programs and housing an idea lab to develop, incubate, and pilot new ideas that amplify people-to-people exchanges using new technologies.”

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The U.S. and the Republic of Korea signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the extension of two student exchange programs: the bilateral Working Holiday Program (WHP) for U.S. students and the Work, English Study, Travel (WEST) Program for Korean students.

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

Please note that the deadline for applications is Friday, November 8.

All applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Position and application details are available here.

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“I am a huge, huge fan of the Fulbright Program,” Secretary of State John Kerry proclaimed at a Fulbright Teaching Assistant Event in Malaysia today, where he lauded the program’s power to change lives and minds and cause a “remarkable transformation.”

The Department of State made publically available an internal memo sent to Assistant Secretaries and Executive Directors last week that details State Department procedures during the government shutdown that went into effect at midnight.

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The Senate confirmed earlier today the nomination of Evan Ryan to be Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State, and The Hill both report. President Obama nominated Ms. Ryan for the post in early July, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) held her confirmation hearing on July 30. The SFRC approved her nomination last week, leading to today’s full Senate confirmation. 

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In an effort to “revamp America’s ‘digital diplomacy’ efforts,” the Department of State has tapped Macon Phillips to lead its Bureau of International Information Programs, the Washington Post reports.  Phillips was the 2008 Obama campaign’s “digital guru” and has been responsible for many White House digital innovations, including its “We The People” online petition site. Phillips will report to former Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel, who has been nominated as Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs [the Alliance reported].

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