Public Diplomacy

In a recent Politico article, retired Admiral Mike Mullen and retired General James Jones make a case for global engagement and international aid, urging Congress not to accept the Trump administration’s proposed FY2018 budget, specifically the 32% cut to the Department of State and USAID accounts. They warn:

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During this week’s House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on the administration’s FY2018 budget request for the Department of State, Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent (R) voiced his strong support for educational and cultural exchange programs and expressed concern about the 55% cut to exchange program funding proposed by the Trump administration for FY2018.

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Educational and cultural exchange programs were mentioned twice during a hearing of the Senate State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee this week. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared before the committee to review the administration’s FY2018 budget request for the U.S. Department of State.

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Cabinet members from various departments and agencies submitted Exit Memos to President Barack Obama last week, detailing the progress accomplished in their respective entities during the Obama administration. The memo by Secretary of State John Kerry focused on the strides made by the State Department in advancing national security, alleviating conflicts around the world, strengthening U.S. international partnerships, expanding opportunities for American citizens, and defending universal values.

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President Barack Obama recently issued an executive order granting Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) to alumni of three federally-funded Department of State academic exchange programs: the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, and the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program. Non-Competitive Eligibility is a specific hiring mechanism that provides an easier selection path for U.S. government positions.

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A new agreement between Ireland and the United States will add a three-year extension to the Ireland Work and Travel (IWT) program, lengthening the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two governments. According to a press release by the U.S.

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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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