June 2021 at WorldBoston

June at WorldBoston
Dear Friends,

As the United States emerges from the trials of the pandemic period, we face many reckonings, not least of which is the future of racial justice in all aspects of our society.  

Our diplomacy is no exception. For years, observers and diplomats have been raising the alarm about the capacity and makeup of the U.S. State Department, along with more general worries about investment in effective foreign policy. (Studies by Harvard’s Future of Diplomacy Project and the Truman Center, among others, recently provided important coverage.)

The murder of George Floyd last year brought these matters into sharper relief, as protests erupted as far from home as Korea, South Africa, and Australia.

In April Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed these challenges directly, appointing Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley as the State Department’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Is State now confronting its “pale, male, Yale” image? And if so, how will the effort help ensure State pursues our national interests effectively in today’s changing world?

On June 8, WorldBoston is thrilled to present The State of the State Department and Racial Justice featuring our very special speaker, Amb. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, in conversation with Amb. (ret.) Nicholas Burns. This is our fourth annual State of the State Department program together with Nick Burns of Harvard’s Future of Diplomacy Project. Thanks to the support of the Lowell Institute, this important program is free and open to the public, and we hope you will join us.

Also this week, the WorldBoston board gathers for its second annual retreat by Zoom. So now is a good time to reflect on its mostly unseen toil. Did you know that the board of directors is the sine qua non of any U.S. nonprofit? (A nonprofit can legally exist without a staff, but not without a board.) Even though its members haven’t seen each other in person for over a year, the WorldBoston board has kept the faith and helped ensure that our mission indeed persists. Thanks, WorldBoston board!

June is generally buzzing at WorldBoston, both in our Citizen Diplomacy and Global Engagement programs, and also in our office as we welcome summer newcomers. (See below for more updates.)
Mary P. Yntema
President & CEO

Help WorldBoston bring the world to you! 

As a non-profit organization, WorldBoston relies on the generosity and support of members, donors, and sponsors to accomplish our mission: foster engagement in international affairs and cooperation between people of all nations.
WorldBoston’s annual State of the State Department is designed as an occasion to consider this key instrument in the pursuit of U.S. national interests within a policy context. This year, we are delighted to welcome Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the State Department’s inaugural Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, who was recently named to this historic role by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley will be joined in conversation by Ambassador Nicholas Burns, the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, and founder and Faculty Chair of its Future of Diplomacy Project.
Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a 30- year diplomat, is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State and was the longest serving U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta. She has served in a series of senior positions, including advising the Commander of U.S. cyber forces on foreign policy priorities, expanding counterterrorism partners and programs as Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and coordinating the largest evacuation of American citizens from a war zone since WWll. In addition to the State Department, she has held senior positions at the Defense Department and at the National Security Council of the White House. Amb. Abercrombie-Winstanley is the recipient of the Maltese Order of Merit and Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards. 
The “Brexit transition period” came to an end in 2020 and paved the way for the United Kingdom’s formal exit from the European Union at the start of 2021. Now, after the formal exit, what does the future of Europe and the UK look like? Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? And who will step up and take command of Europe now, as Angela Merkel steps down and is out of the spotlight?

This event is produced with our partner GBH Forum Network and sponsored by the Lowell Institute. 
Thomas Wright is the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. He is also a contributing writer for The Atlantic and a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He is the author of All Measures Short of War: The Contest For the 21st Century and the Future of American Powerwhich was published by Yale University Press in May 2017. His second book, Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order, will be published by St Martin’s Press this year.
To learn more about Global Engagement, contact Jordan Pederson, Interim Manager of Operations & Global Engagement Programs.
Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program
As the official New England cultural enrichment host, WorldBoston facilitates virtual events for the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program. 18 scholars representing 13 countries currently live and work in New England. They are completing their scholarly work at prestigious institutions including Harvard University, MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, among others.
In May, WorldBoston hosted:
  • Two Fulbright Scholar Interdisciplinary Discussions at which seven scholars presented their research projects to their peers. The diverse discussions ranged from soft robotics, historical non-fiction, nanotechnology and cancer, to diversifying classroom curricula. The two events ended with breakout rooms for discussion and networking. 
  • Home Hospitality with a Somerville-based host and his children. The event showcased everyday life in the Greater Boston area for a typical New England family. Scholars also brainstormed summer activities with the host, discussed American culture, and shared about their experiences living and working in Boston.
In June, we will host:
  • An exclusive opportunity to learn about the Perkins School for the Blind, a historic and progressive organization in Watertown, Massachusetts that works globally to provide children and young adults who are blind or deafblind the education, confidence, and skills needed to achieve their full potential. 
  • A virtual tour of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In addition to the collection, the architecture and gardens of the museum are world-renowned. The event will help visitors engage not only with the museum itself, but also its cultural significance and place in Boston and American history. 
Farewell Jim!
We say a bittersweet farewell to James “Jim” Moore, who has been our Fulbright Cultural Enrichment Program Coordinator at WorldBoston since 2017. We will miss his above-and-beyond contributions but look forward to hearing about his next adventures.

A former senior Foreign Service Officer, throughout his tenure at WorldBoston, Jim has been a friendly face for Fulbright Visiting Scholars and their families and an amazing source of professional knowledge for our team. Whether on a walk around the park at the Emerald Necklace, a trip to Plimoth Patuxet and the Plymouth Thanksgiving Day Parade, or introducing the group to college sports with front row seats at a B.U. men’s basketball game, Jim was the perfect ambassador for American culture. We thank him for his enthusiastic and hard work over the years — including the switch to virtual programming in 2020 — and we wish him success in his future endeavors. Good luck, Jim, and stay in touch!
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.

With the U.S. Department of State’s continued suspension of in-person exchange programming for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) through September 2021, we remain committed to welcoming virtual delegations. A warm thank you to all of our local citizen diplomats for joining us in this endeavor. Here’s who’s “visiting” in June:

Multi-Regional Project for Kazakhstan

Inter-Regional Project for East Asia Pacific and South Central Asia

Multi-Regional Project
We are looking for new ideas for virtual cultural activities, especially seasonal options. If you have any, please contact our VP for Citizen Diplomacy, Sarah Sibley.
Custom Visitor Programs

Have an idea for virtual international exchange? We do Custom Visitor Exchange programming to meet objectives of various clients — whether government, private, etc. Contact Josh Bruno, Manager of Citizen Diplomacy Programs, to learn more.
Updates From the Office
This month, we’re delighted to welcome Natalie Mase to the WorldBoston team as our new Manager of Operations and Global Engagement Programs. She brings with her diverse professional experience in educational programming, for both domestic and international affairs. Most recently, Natalie was a Program Coordinator with Network 20/20, where she helped launch its Virtual Briefing Series and Foreign Affairs Discussion Group, expanding the organization’s reach to audiences in more than ninety countries. Natalie holds a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College, where she graduated as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. She speaks advanced Modern Standard Arabic and enjoys hiking, jigsaw puzzles, and playing the French horn. Welcome, Natalie!
We’re also excited to greet summer interns. 

Griffin Ursin joins WorldBoston as a CVP Intern. He is from Connecticut and recently graduated from Endicott College with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies. In 2019, he spent a semester at Peking University in China studying Mandarin and Chinese foreign policy. In his personal time, he enjoys hiking, road tripping, and Yankees baseball. (See, we are citizen diplomats at WorldBoston, and we do welcome Yankees fans to Red Sox Nation!)
Lauren Walker joins us as an Outreach Intern. She is from the San Francisco Bay Area and is at Boston College, majoring in International Studies and minoring in French and Economics. Outside class, Lauren volunteers at Women’s Lunch Place in Boston. She speaks French and recently picked up knitting. She is excited to join the WorldBoston team as an Outreach Intern and looks forward to engaging with the WorldBoston community.
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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Corps Corner
WorldBoston celebrates the persistent work of Boston’s local diplomatic and representative corps. In the “Corner” we note recent arrivals and departures of senior members. Colleagues in the corps – please contact Jordan Pederson if you have a recent item to report! 
Welcome to last month’s new and returning WorldBoston members: Adrienne Petrillo, Joseph Ash, Michael Charland, Jack Perenick, Gar Chiang, Alice Zaff, A. Patricia Cronin, and Daphne Pariser. Thank you, we appreciate your support! 
WorldBoston Recommends!
Check your inbox every Friday for WorldBoston Recommends – our staff picks for hiqh-quality virtual programs on global topics in the coming week. 
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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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