May 2021 at WorldBoston

May at WorldBoston
Dear Friends,

Masks are coming off around Boston (outdoors, anyway), and, of a bright May weekend, joyful meetings are occurring seemingly on every block.  The young man from the Navy who delivered my precious second jab said, “I love the energy up here”.  Me, too: We’re getting there. 

But, wait:  Who is “we”?  The pandemic disasters in India and impending in South America both break our hearts and raise fears of an ongoing, morphing pandemic that could smother herd immunity and renewed growth.  Though the international order may be faltering in the 21st century, for good or ill, we are always connected.

So, spend some time with WorldBoston in May. We are thinking about these very items, and more.  We have a terrific month of Global Engagement programs for our community, including perspectives from a Citi economist on “The End of Globalization” (speaking of that international order); to the Ambassador of Armenia, a small but historically pivotal country; to something different:  A novel!  With 2034, WorldBoston friend Adm. (ret.) James Stavridis and co-author Eliot Ackerman offer a meditation on near-future geopolitics – hidden inside a stay-up-late page-turner.

And consider getting (and giving) some priceless on-the-ground perspective with our Citizen Diplomacy groups:  We have become adept at virtual exchange, including home hospitality.  You can host a group from far-flung places, and introduce them to your favorite food, pets, or any of your important domestic landmarks.  (Don’t worry, we’ll show you how.)  Enjoy informal international discussion — and don’t wash a single dish! (Contact Sarah Sibley for more information,

We hope to see you soon,
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.
During the 2020 United States Presidential election, the merits and drawbacks of globalization were constantly debated by the presidential candidates. The passing of the Brexit vote and then-U.S. President Donald Trump’s America First doctrine gave new prominence to protectionist policies, challenging globalization. What is globalization and how will it be affected by protectionist trade policies? How will the United States and the world be affected by such policies? Is globalization really at an end, or in need of a refresh?

This event is produced by our partner GBH Forum Network and sponsored by the Lowell Institute. 
Dr. Catherine L. Mann has been the Global Chief Economist at Citibank since February 2018. Prior to this position, she was Chief Economist at the OECD, where she also served as Director of the Economics Department
and was Finance Deputy to the G20 (2014-2017). She spent 20+ years in Washington, DC (1984-2006) where her positions included Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Advisor to the Chief Economist at the World Bank. Dr. Mann received her PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her undergraduate degree is from Harvard University. 
Armenian Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan will address key topics in Armenian current affairs and international relations with WorldBoston and the World Affairs Councils of America network. Armenia has been in U.S. news recently because of President Biden’s labelling of the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915-23 as genocide. Other important subjects may include regional tensions with Azerbaijan and the role of Russia, COVID recovery, upcoming June parliamentary elections, and relations with the U.S. and Turkey.
His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan was Appointed Ambassador of Armenia to the United States of America as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in 2018. Previously, he served as Assistant to the Prime-Minister of Armenia, as well as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Armenian Embassy in Washington DC. Before that, he was the Head of the External Relations Department at the Armenian National Assembly, and Head of the OSCE Division of the European Department at the Armenian National Assembly.
Chat & Chowder features key authors on global topics in an engaging setting. Even virtually, the spirit of “Chat” persists! We encourage everyone to BYOCB (Bring Your Own Chow(der) & Beverages), and also tojoin us for the informal post-Chat Chat with other WorldBoston members (separate Zoom link provided in registration confirmation email). Newcomers always welcome!

2034: A Novel of the Next World War asks the reader evocative questions about how America will fight in the future. What happens in the book is not beyond the realm of possibility. Pearl Harbor, 9/11 and even COVID were arguably failures of imagination – failures to imagine what could happen and therefore prepare for it. Today, imagination is a national security imperative. As such, Ackerman and Stavridis have fired a warning shot for what could happen if current and future administrations do not anticipate future challenges.
Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.) spent more than thirty years in the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of four-star Admiral. He was the Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and previously commanded U.S. Southern Command, overseeing military operations in Latin America. He holds a Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he recently served five years as Dean.

Elliot Ackerman is the author of several novels, most recently Red Dress In Black and White. His books have been nominated for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in both fiction and non-fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, among others. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. 
To learn more about Global Engagement, contact Jordan Pederson, Interim Manager of Operations & Global Engagement Programs.
WorldBoston hosted two International Women of Courage Awardees (presented by the U.S. Department of State) from Venezuela and Jerusalem. We connected them to our extraordinary local resources at the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, the Women in Public Policy Program at Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which was featured in the blog of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Read more about it at the recap that Global Ties U.S. included in their recent newsletter.
During the month of April, WorldBoston officially wrapped up the State Department-sponsored Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. The final cultural event included an exclusive visit to the Plymouth 400 Exhibit entitled “OurStory” which chronicles the history and cultural realities of the Wampanoag Native American tribe. Michele Pecoraro, the Executive Director of Plymouth 400 (and organizational partner of WorldBoston), and Steven Peters, the Creative Director of the Native American marketing agency SmokeSygnals, led the tour and subsequent discussion.
Follow @YLAIBoston on Instagram for pictures and highlights of the fellowship program.
The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by WorldBoston.
Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program
As the official cultural enrichment host for New England Fulbright scholars, WorldBoston organizes virtual events for the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Enrichment Program. Currently, there are 15 scholars representing 13 countries living and working in New England. They are completing their scholarly work at the region’s prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, among others.

In April, WorldBoston hosted:
  • Administrators and Staff from Bunker Hill Community College to discuss the U.S. community college model, the innovative educational practices at BHCC, and highlight the college’s initiatives in workforce development. Scholars were fascinated by community colleges and their key role in providing quality education in a variety of fields for low-income students.
  • Director of Development and External Relations of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Veronika Trufanova hosted a private, virtual tour of the Emerald Necklace. In the post-event discussion, the Boston-based scholars expressed how the parks within the Emerald Necklace have become a relaxing escape from the stresses associated with the ongoing pandemic.  
In May, we will host:
  • Two Scholar-Led Research Presentation Events that will allow scholars to practice presenting their research to an audience of their peers. Following each scholar’s remarks, the group will enjoy a coffee (or other) break with discussion and feedback. 
  • Home Hospitality with a Boston-based host who will showcase life in the city and share stories with the scholars.
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.
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.

With the U.S. Department of State keeping a hold on 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 May:

Multi-Regional Project

Regional Project for Africa

Regional Project for the Near East and North Africa

Regional Project for the Western Hemisphere

Sub-Regional Project for Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago
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.
Updates From the Office

This month, we welcome Matthew Findlayto the WorldBoston Board. Matthew joins us from Berkshire Bank, where he is the Vice President – Relationship Manager for MyBanker. He is a graduate of Siena College, and received his MBA from Bentley University. Welcome, Matthew!

Congratulations this month also go to WorldBoston’s Jordan Pederson, who will receive her B.A. from Northeastern, and Ryan Brinkey, who will receive his M.A. from Suffolk. Cheers for the graduates!
Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for updates!
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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: Nancy Powell-Daley, Jeri Bayer, Katherine Judge, Matthew Findlay, Fiona Creed, Vaheed Shahnam, Stephen Jeffries, John Regan, John Archibald, Fiona Creed, and Andy Laub . 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. 

Sign up to play for WorldBoston at the 13th Annual Combined Temples Charity Golf Tournament! Fifty-six spots are still available for the competition, which will take place on Monday, August 2nd at the Brookmeadow Country Club in Canton, MA. Find more information and register here. 
Wait, Did You Miss Something?

Don’t forget to check our News section for announcements and past newsletters. 
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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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