June 2023 at WorldBoston

June at WorldBoston

Dear Friends,

This month, we recognize important changes in our leadership, as Jeffrey Cymrot completes his term as Chair of the WorldBoston Board. Jeff joined the Board in 2016 and was elected Chair in 2017. Driven by his passions for international affairs and commitment to teamwork, Jeff shepherded WorldBoston through both crisis response and organizational growth. We're delighted that Jeff will remain on the Board as a regular member. Below, you can read a certificate of recognition from Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, whom Jeff helped host at our historic 13th annual Consuls Reception in September 2022. Thank you, Jeff!

James De Vellis joined the board in May of 2022, and has been elected our new Chair. James is a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, where he practices intellectual property law. Already in his short time on the Board, James has been very active, meeting with numerous citizen diplomacy delegations and hosting many WorldBoston events. We look forward to working with James in his new role. Congratulations, James!

There is a lot going on beyond our board, too. We have a busy June for Citizen Diplomacy groups and will host our final formal Global Engagement programs for the season. (Over the summer, watch for fun networking events.)

We hope to see you soon,

Mary P. Yntema

President & CEO

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As a non-profit organization, WorldBoston relies on community support to accomplish our mission: Foster engagement in international affairs and cooperation between people of all nations.

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Jeff Cymrot

James De Vellis

Updates from the Office

This June, we bid a fond farewell to staffers who have been with us since January as part of the Northeastern Cooperative Education Program. Mytreyi Sureshkumar has served as our Program Associate for Citizen Diplomacy and Global Engagement, and Mae Lynds has served as our Program Associate for Outreach. Mytreyi and Mae worked closely with our team as well as partners throughout the community. Mytreyi and Mae move on to continue their studies at Northeastern University. We thank them for many contributions and wish them all the best!

Great Decisions | War Crimes

Tuesday, June 6, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at the Boston Public Library

What is the current outlook of Russia's war in Ukraine, and what actions may be considered war crimes? Learn more at Great Decisions featuring Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.

To celebrate the end of our spring Great Decisions programming, we will host a special networking session in the Newsfeed Café after the lecture — join us for expert insights, discussion, and light refreshments!


Chat & Chowder with Hassan Abbas

The Return of the Taliban

Monday, June 12, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at Foley and Lardner LLP

What is the Taliban’s strategy now that they’ve returned to power? Learn more at Chat & Chowder featuring Dr. Hassan Abbas, Distinguished Professor at NDU's Near East South Asia Strategic Studies Centre. Join us for expert insights, discussion, and (of course!) chowder and beverages.

The first time you attend Chat & Chowder, your ticket is FREE. Please note that we are only able to offer limited free tickets, so we appreciate your commitment to attend this program after registering.



Mark your calendar on Tuesday, July 11th, for a summer networking event outside at SIP Café in downtown Boston. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

WorldBoston Event Reporting Opportunity

Interested in international affairs and journalism? Then volunteer to report on WorldBoston's Global Engagement events! We are seeking individuals to write a post about one of our public programs: Chat & ChowderGreat Decisions, or special events. The selected reporter will create an event recap for our website blog and amplified on social media. For programs with a ticket price, like Chat & Chowder, the reporter will get two free tickets to attend the event with a guest.

For more information and terms please email Natalie Mase, Director of Operations and Global Engagement Programs.

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 May! They got nearly every question right on all quizzes. Our high scorers are:

  1. Glenn Fernandes
  2. Ann Shaughnessy
  3. David Douglas
  4. Betty Athanasoulas
  5. Diane Louie
  6. Nancy Morrison
  7. Suzanne Jette
  8. Steve Shinkel
  9. Corena Pincham
  10. 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:

Jess Swindell

Miss Something?

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

Week of May 1

Week of May 8

Week of May 15

Week of May 22

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

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

Managing Foreign Aid and Foreign Direct Investment

A Multi-Regional Project

Combating Illegal Fishing off the Coasts and in Lakes of Africa

 A Project for Africa

NGO Management

A Project for Belarus

U.S. Best Practices in Digital Economy and Governance

 A Project for Indonesia

Approaches to Climate Change Challenges

A Project for Saudi Arabia

Cyber Policy and Infrastructure Protection for Countering Transnational Threats in a Digital World

 A Project for Uzbekistan

Disability Rights – Equal Access for All

A Project for the Near East and North Africa

Human and Civil Rights Advocacy and Awareness

A Project for the Middle East and North Africa

Interagency Human Trafficking Task Force

A Multi-Regional Project

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

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

On May 11th, WorldBoston staff welcomed a cohort of 14 fellows as part of The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. YLAI is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship program for emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada to learn how to improve their own businesses back home, build an international network, and learn more about the United States’ entrepreneurial landscape. Our Boston cohort is a diverse group of young professionals from Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Uruguay.

WorldBoston has placed the fellows at incredible companies and organizations for four-week fellowships at Extrasense, Boston Public Market, The Capital Network, Amplify LatinX, Junior Achievement of New England, South Shore Chamber of Commerce & Jewish Vocational Services, Dress for Success, Foundation Kitchen, 1854 Cycling, Branchfood, Mattapan Technology Learning Center, Organic Bath Company, and Polkadog.

WorldBoston has arranged Friday sessions to enrich the fellows’ experience and introduce them to the entrepreneurial landscape in Greater Boston, including, so far:

  • Meeting with Mark Sullivan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI)
  • Tour of the Freedom Trail
  • Business solution pitch training with Henry Ancona, Executive Advisor, Board chair/member, and angel investor to several technology companies
  • Networking dinner with representatives from Boston-based businesses
  • Private tour of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC)
  • Business solution pitch training with Ben Littauer, angel investor and expert in Internet and communications technologies, healthcare IT, and the Boston funding ecosystem

Several weeks into the program, our staff has been impressed with the ingenuity of the fellows’ companies and their initiative to make the most of this special program.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), and

implemented by IREX and WorldBoston, the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program is the flagship program for emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Western Hemisphere. To learn more about YLAI, visit YLAI.state.org.

Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program

May was another busy month for the Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program! On May 10th, WorldBoston hosted the scholars at the the Massachusetts State House for an event with the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators. This was a unique and exclusive opportunity for Fulbrighters to learn about state politics in Massachusetts, women in state government, and cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.

Following the meeting, scholars took the “African American Patriots” tour of Boston, hosted by the Freedom Trail Foundation. This was a fantastic opportunity for Fulbrighters to hear about the many influential African American leaders during the revolutionary era in Massachusetts, a history that is too often overlooked.

On May 24th, WorldBoston hosted the scholars again for a farewell reception at the Museum of Science. During the program, two of the most active Fulbrighters in the Enrichment Program, Reka Sziva (Hungary), and Nur Judy Abdullah (Brunei), provided a keynote address in which they reflected on their experiences in the Fulbright program and WorldBoston's contributions to enriching their time here.

With the end of the academic year, many of the scholars and their families will return home in the coming weeks. However, for those that will remain in New England over the summer, WorldBoston will hold two final enrichment events in June: first, a guided tour of the Harvard Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, and second, a visit to The Perkins School for the Blind to learn about educational and global programs for people with disabilities. 

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.

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:

Don't forget to subscribe to our channel for updates!
Thank you to our partners at GBH Forum Network, who edit and publish many of WorldBoston's recordings. Be sure to check out their YouTube Channel and video archives!
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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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