February 2023 at WorldBoston

February at WorldBoston

Dear Friends,

“Above the fold” and “below the fold” are handy concepts that have lasted since the days when we held newspapers in our hands. “Above”, of course, means top of the news, today's big story. But “below” doesn't mean the story is a loser or irrelevant: It's still front-page, after all. Indeed, “above” and “below” often switch places, even over the course of a day.

We're not a news organization, but at WorldBoston, we keep these concepts in mind when we're programming. Often our programs seem uncannily timely: Who can forget Fiona Hill's Chat & Chowder in February of 2022? The very night before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Or this month, when we welcome SAIS's David Lampton for Great Decisions on China and the U.S., a week after Secretary Blinken cancels his much-anticipated trip to China this weekend. (What was that balloon doing over Montana, anyway?)

But the truth is, our community understands that international engagement requires attention to a range of issues and geographies, whether they are on today's front-page or not. That's one of the reasons many find Citizen Diplomacy so rewarding: There is nothing like contact with visitors, and their own, very particular, stories, to help us gain new global awareness.

Read on to learn more about lots (and lots) of upcoming Global Engagement events for you to join and to get an idea of the breadth of topics our delegations represent.

We hope to see you soon,

Mary P. Yntema

President & CEO

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Ukraine, Russia, and Nuclear Weapons, featuring Dr. Mariana Budjeryn

Wednesday, February 8, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at Foley & Lardner LLP

As the war in Ukraine intensifies this winter, could it escalate into a nuclear crisis? Can Ukraine's past history of nuclear disarmament help prevent this outcome?

On February 8th, we will host a timely discussion on nuclear weapons, Ukraine, Russia, and more, featuring Dr. Mariana Budjeryn, Senior Research Associate at the Managing the Atom Project at the Harvard Belfer Center. Join us for expert insights, live audience Q&A, lively networking, beverages and (of course!) chowders. All are welcome — international security scholars and foreign relations novices alike!


Advance registration is required. We cannot accommodate walk-ins for the in-person program. Sutdent tickets are buy-one-get-one-free!

China and the U.S.

Wednesday, February 15, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at the Boston Public Library

For the past ten years, the United States and China have been locked in competition, and tensions have been on the rise over the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty. How can the U.S. and China navigate this increasingly fraught relationship?

Join us for a timely discussion of this topic with Dr. David M. Lampton, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The program will feature expert remarks, live audience Q&A, and time for networking and discussion with other globally-oriented participants.


This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

SNEAK PREVIEW! Check out the great programs we have coming up in March, and visit our website events calendar to learn more and register.

Bagels With Bill

Friday, March 3, 9:00 – 10:30 AM

In-Person Event at Foley & Lardner LLP

Let's have a morning chat with one of our own, Bill Clifford, outgoing President of the World Affairs Councils of America, former President of WorldBoston, and current Red Sox Nation member. We'll get his take on global issues, international engagement in the U.S., and more: the whole schmear!

Accidental Conflict: America, China, and the Clash of False Narratives, with Stephen Roach

Thursday, March 9, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at Foley & Lardner LLP

The US-China conflict is an accident that wouldn’t have happened were it not for the false narratives that both America and China have embraced, leading them towards a tech war and a trade war. Join us for the perfect follow-up to our February Great Decisions program, an economic perspective on U.S.-China relations, featuring Stephen Roach, renowned economic analyst and Wall Street leader.

Registration is OPEN for Academic WorldQuest, our annual international affairs knowledge competition for high school students. Join us on Saturday, March 25th, at Bunker Hill Community College for this fun and engaging way to test your global insight.

What in the World?

Our What in the World? weekly quiz is a collection of 10 questions designed to test your knowledge of international affairs and current events. Every Monday, a new quiz is posted on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram stories. If you would like to receive the quiz by email, please contact Natalie Mase to be added to our What in the World? mailing list. The quiz can also always be found in WorldBoston Recommends, our weekly Friday newsletter.

Trivia Trail-Blazers

Congratulations to the top scorers in January! They got nearly every question right on all quizzes. Our high scorers are:

  1. George King
  2. William Levine
  3. Ann Shaughnessy
  4. Tom Ebling
  5. Robert Harrington
  6. Derek Lumpkins
  7. Linda Cheatham
  8. Jonathan Dorfman
  9. Luz Fernandez
  10. Leslie Griffin
  11. Jean Horstman
  12. Paul McManus
  13. Jim O'Connell
  14. Matthew Torrey

Monthly Prize Winner

When you take What in the World?, you are automatically entered into a raffle to win exclusive prizes. This month's prize winner is:

John Perry

Miss Something?

If you missed a quiz or would like to retake one, click on the links below.

Week of January 2

Week of January 9

Week of January 16

Week of January 23

To learn more about Global Engagement, contact Natalie Mase, Director of Operations and Global Engagement Programs.


The U.S. Department of State-sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is off to a great start in 2023! We kicked off the new year with three delegations. See some highlights from those programs below, as well as the engaging groups we'll welcome in February.

Visitors from the Western Hemisphere focusing on “Minority Participation in the Democratic Process” met with the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and members of the Boston City Council.

Lusophone journalists produced a Podcast at PDX Garage and attended a meeting hosted by Emerson College’s School of Journalism.

Near East and North Africa mental health professionals met with Boston University’s Marianne Farkas Sc.D. and with Boston’s Public Health Commission.

This February, WorldBoston hosts five in-person projects through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

Higher Education Partnerships

A Regional Project for the Near East and North Africa

A Global Moment in Time: Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

A Multi-Regional Project

Countering Foreign Disinformation

A Project for Egypt

Education and Employability

A Project for Pakistan

Current U.S. Social, Political, and Economic Issues for Young European Leaders

A Regional Project for Europe

As we return to in-person delegations, we welcome your thoughts and ideas for in-person programming. If you have suggestions, please contact Vice President for Citizen Diplomacy, Sarah Sibley.

Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program

On Saturday, February 25th, WorldBoston will host the Fulbright Visiting Scholars and their families for the first event of the new year, a tour of the city with the Freedom Trail Foundation entitled “African American Patriots”. We look forward to introducing the Scholars to an often-overlooked aspect of Boston’s history. 

This Fulbright Enrichment activity is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE), and WorldBoston.

Updates from the Office

Ann LaFrance has joined the WorldBoston board. She is an international expert in information governance including cybersecurity preparedness and response, data privacy compliance, and AI and other emerging technologies. Ann also has deep experience advising on international laws, policies, and regulations affecting digital communications and the internet. She currently serves as a Director and Vice President of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), a London-based nonprofit. A dual US-UK citizen, Ann has lived and worked extensively in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Congratulations to our own Josh Bruno, just promoted to Director of Citizen Diplomacy Programs. Josh joined WorldBoston in 2020 as Manager of Custom Visitor Programs, and greatly expanded WorldBoston's work in this area. In his new role, among other responsibilities, he'll also manage select IVLP projects and oversee our talented Citizen Diplomacy co-ops and part-time staff.

Recently, we welcomed Jill Mulloy to the team as Citizen Diplomacy Coordinator. Jill graduated from Stonehill College in 2022 in Political Science, and will attend The Fletcher School at Tufts University in the fall. She is passionate about international security, human rights, and peace and conflict.

Check your inbox every Friday for WorldBoston Recommends – our staff picks for high-quality virtual programs on global topics in the coming week.

Missed any of our recent events? You can find video recordings of our events on our YouTube channel! Below are links to recent events:

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The International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State's premier professional exchange program and WorldBoston's main citizen diplomacy partner. Launched in 1940, the IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. These visits reflect the International Visitors' professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.
The U.S. Department of State's bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administers the IVLP. In doing so, the bureau enters cooperative agreements with National Program Agencies, a group of private, not-for-profit organizations based in Washington, D.C., that design and implement national IVLP itineraries. In addition to the National Program Agencies, the IVLP relies on the commitment and skills of local community organizations across the U.S., known as Community Based Members (CBMs). Under the professional association of Global Ties U.S., local CBM members develop professional programs, arrange cultural activities, and provide home hospitality for international visitors.
WorldBoston is part of the Global Ties Network of more than 90 CBMs in 45 states.
WorldBoston is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America,
a network of more than 90 independent Councils in more than 40 states.

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