Public Diplomacy

Commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Programs, a congressional resolution introduced in the House of Representatives last week recognizes the value of these international research and training programs in promoting mutual understanding and global learning. The Fulbright-Hays Programs were created through the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, or Fulbright-Hays Act, signed into law by President John F. Kennedy on September 21, 1961.

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The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (USACPD) today released its 2016 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting Actives, detailing roughly $1.8 billion in programs worldwide. The report offers analysis, research and evaluation, policy recommendations, regional overviews, and country-specific spotlights for a host of public diplomacy and international broadcasting programs, including Department of State exchanges.

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Applauding the administration’s recent announcement to resettle 110,000 refugees in the U.S. next year, NAFSA: Association of International Educators urges the administration to ensure refugees who seek higher education opportunities have a path to do so.

In a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, Marlene Johnson, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA states:

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Secretary of State John Kerry and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced a new partnership to support the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program by helping send more students to study abroad. In remarks delivered yesterday at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Secretary Kerry highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships to help increase global interconnectedness and mutual understanding:  

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President Barack Obama addressed 350 emerging leaders at a summit in Laos last week as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). The President announced new initiatives in the region, connected with the youth from countries members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and highlighted the role of educational exchanges for leadership development and U.S.-ASEAN relations.

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In a foreign policy address at Youngstown State University yesterday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump proposed implementing extreme screenings and ideological testing for visa applicants, as well as a temporary suspension of visa processing from regions with a history of terrorism. Trump defended these new vetting mechanisms as a way to prevent any sympathizers of terrorist groups or those with hostile attitudes towards the United States from entering the country.

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The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a program launched by President Barack Obama in 2010 to empower young entrepreneurial African leaders, is holding its 2016 Presidential Summit in Washington D.C. this week. The Summit welcomes 1,000 fellows from the initiative’s flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF), double the number of fellows in the 2014 inaugural cohort.

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The recently appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Honorable Theresa May, is an alumna of the 2004 cohort of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), according to Meridian, one of the partners implementing the premier program.

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Exchange programs administered under the U.S. Department of State are being pushed to give special consideration to applicants from regions and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation, as stated in an amendment to the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act (S.2943).

The international education community is being called to promote the values of openness and inclusion as a way to combat the “unwelcoming political rhetoric” surrounding the U.S. presidential election, according to the PIE News.

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