Reflections from an Emerging Leader at Global Ties U.S. National Meeting

    Author: Megan McCarthy, Boston University Student and WorldBoston Program Coordinator

    In January 2020, Global Ties U.S. held its National Meeting in Washington D.C. The meeting brought together more than 900 attendees from across the United States and the world. The theme, “Faces of Exchange”, celebrated those who make the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) successful, from Community-Based Members (CBM) coordinators and locally-based resources to government agencies and the global participants themselves. In addition to its annual celebration, the Office of International Visitors also kicked-off the 80th anniversary of the IVLP, making this year’s meeting one to remember.

    As a Program Coordinator at WorldBoston I have facilitated citizen diplomacy and worked on the IVLP since May 2019, so I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to attend the National Meeting and meet with colleagues and experts in the field. I was one of seventeen students from across the United States to be accepted into the Emerging Leaders Program. The Program recruits interns and volunteers from the Global Ties Network to join the meeting as both a participant and a volunteer. During the program, Emerging Leaders attend professional development workshops, worthwhile networking events, and regular meeting sessions.

    My days at the meeting were packed with informative and rewarding experiences. Various career panels and workshops, including advice from ambassadors and state department officials, helped me gain invaluable insight into the next steps in my career. My favorite workshop was a diplomacy simulation on the topic of the international migration crisis at the National Museum of American Diplomacy. We learned important skills for successful negotiation and discussion between nations. While attending National Meeting Sessions, I gathered useful tips and guidance that I brought back to Boston to keep improving IVLP programming at WorldBoston. One of the highlights of the meeting was a trip to the Chinese Embassy where we celebrated the Chinese New Year with delicious food, incredible music, and lessons in Chinese calligraphy. 

    The Emerging Leaders Program came at a pivotal moment in my life as I prepare to graduate from Boston University and pursue a career in diplomacy. I learned so much from the sixteen other incredibly gifted Emerging Leaders, and I cannot wait to see what they accomplish. As we reflected on our experience on the last day, everyone agreed that the program provided us with indispensable knowledge and innumerable paths for the future. I’d like to thank the team at WorldBoston for nominating me for this opportunity and Global Ties U.S. for an outstanding program. 

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