Public Diplomacy

The New York Times reports that the Department of State has removed the Council for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA) as a designated sponsor of the Summer Work Travel program. The article also provides some detail on the Department’s upcoming rulemaking for the SWT program:

Lynne Weil has been named Director of Communications and External Affairs of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), according to a BBG press release. Ms. Weil will act as the Board’s primary strategist on communications and outreach activities, and as the Board’s chief advisor for Congressional and external affairs.

Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs received $598.8 million for FY 2012 in the “megabus” spending package passed by Congress on Friday and Saturday. This funding level is exactly even with the final FY 2011 appropriation for exchanges, and falls $38.9 million below the President’s FY12 request.

Tara Sonenshine, nominee for the role of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, stressed the value of people-to-people exchanges in U.S. public diplomacy during her confirmation hearing yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sonenshine said:

The U.S. Department of State announced this week the online opening of the Virtual U.S. Embassy Tehran as “an opportunity for engagement between the peoples of Iran and the United States.”

The House of Representatives recently cleared, and the President signed into law, S. 1487, a business travel bill that “would provide a seven-year authorization for the secretary of Homeland Security, in coordination with the secretary of State, to establish a program to issue Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards,” CQ.com reported.

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The Alliance recently released a video, “Highlights of a Cultural Exchange,” which details the positive experiences local American communities and international students have through the State Department’s Summer Work Travel (SWT) cultural exchange program. The full video is embedded below, and be sure to visit the Alliance's YouTube channel.

 

The Department of State published a notice in today’s Federal Register of a proposed information collection for the Form DS-7007, a new Summer Work Travel Job Placement Verification Form. The full notice is pasted below.

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:

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