May 2023 at WorldBoston

May at WorldBoston

Dear Friends,

Best practices sure can bring some tough love. Yes, friends, we mean term limits. 

Back on the now-distant planet called 2018, the WorldBoston board wisely instituted term limits for board members. It was a forward-looking move to insure that our mission continues to attract new supporters and to that no particular volunteers end up doing too much. Hooray.

But now, the calendar has brought us to our first term-limit goodbyes, to, as it happens, two legendary, long-serving board members, Debbie Smith and Jim Kaufman. We can't thank you enough, Debbie and Jim. (Read below for more on their time at WorldBoston.) We hope we'll see both frequently in the future — and let's thank them again when we do.

Watch this space next month, when we'll hail our outgoing and incoming board chairs, Jeff Cymrot and James De Vellis!

In the meantime, May is full of activity, including must-do Global Engagement programs on Taiwan and Latin America and a real wave of Citizen Diplomacy visitors, including the return of the YLAI fellowship, serving entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean. Next week we'll welcome 13 entrepreneurs who work in fields from software to snack foods and beyond — and thank their wonderful local hosts, too.

We hope to see you soon,

Mary P. Yntema

President & CEO

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Updates from the Office

A world of thanks to two longstanding Board members, Jim Kaufman and Debbie Smith for their long service and ongoing dedication to WorldBoston. We'll count on seeing both Jim and Debbie again soon!

Jim Kaufman

Jim joined the board around 2006.

“Highlights? Well, being part of the board that hired Bill Clifford and then Mary Yntema!

Also, beginning the Consuls Reception and Chat & Chowder along with Bill and the board at the time. It has been gratifying to witness the amazing growth of both our visitors and speakers programs in recent years. And, of course, the evolution of the board into an influential and engaged body advancing the important mission of WorldBoston.”

Jim is always modest, so we'll note that WorldBoston recognized Jim with the 20th International Citizen Award in 2017, and renamed it going forward the James D. Kaufman International Citizen Award.

Debbie Smith

“My life at WorldBoston as a Board Member dates back to before the 2002 merger with the World Affairs Council, when I was recruited here from New York by State Street.

It's been a privilege and honor to help guide WorldBoston’s powerful mission over a period when Boston has become even more of a global city (and destination).       

As we say at WorldBoston, “The mission persists,” forging connections and compelling programs despite obstacles, thanks to dynamic leaders, supporters, citizen diplomats, and engaged board colleagues.

We also say, 'The World in Boston and Boston in the World.' So now I add, WorldBoston in me.”

Chat & Chowder with Ryan Hass | U.S.-Taiwan Relations: Will China's Challenge Lead to a Crisis?

Tuesday, May 23, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at Foley & Lardner LLP

Join us for this installment of our popular Chat & Chowder series, featuring Ryan Hass, Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Program, the Thornton China Center, and the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations and the role of China. Chat & Chowder programs are a great way to engage with expert speakers and other globally-oriented participants in an informal environment. (And don't forget that first-time Chatters come for free!)


Great Decisions | Latin America and the Active Non-Alignment Option

Wednesday, May 31, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at the Boston Public Library

In recent years, Latin America has experienced a wave of changing political trends, both domestic and international. From a left-wing surge, as evidenced by recent elections, to the rise of the non-alignment stance, these developments will have a lasting impact on the region and the rest of the world. Join us for this discussion featuring Ambassador Jorge Heine, Research Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and Global Fellow at The Wilson Center.



Great Decisions | War Crimes

Tuesday, June 6, 6:00 – 7:30 PM

Hybrid Event at the Boston Public Library

What are war crimes, and how will the crimes in Ukraine be dealt with? Join us for this discussion featuring Dr. Michael E. O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow and Director of Research in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution.


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

  1. Ann Shaughnessy
  2. Luz Fernandez
  3. Ira Shaughnessy
  4. Henry Brier
  5. Matthew Torrey
  6. Tom Ebling
  7. Corena Pincham
  8. John Strachan
  9. Suzanne Jette
  10. Peter Kalil
  11. Tyler Sloan

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:

Diane Louie

Miss Something?

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

Week of April 3

Week of April 10

Week of April 17

Week of April 24

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

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

Best Practices of U.S. Libraries and Research Institutions

A Project for Morocco

Sustainable Cities

 A Multi-Regional Project

U.S. Foreign Policy Decision Making

A Multi-Regional Project

U.S. Elections and Civic Engagement

A Project for Poland

WEAmericas Program: Supporting Women Entrepreneurs

A Regional Project for the Western Hemisphere

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

This May, we are delighted to welcome 13 fellows to Boston as part of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative! The U.S. Department of State’s YLAI Fellowship Program empowers emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to enable the full economic potential of the region’s citizens through a month-long residency in the United States. WorldBoston has placed each fellow with a host organization in the Boston area. We look forward to interacting with the fellows during entrepreneurship training sessions as well as weekly social and cultural activities we have planned. Learn more about the fellows and their host organizations below.

Ramiro Nantez Gomez (Uruguay) is the Co-Founder of Inflexium, a software company specializing in business resources. Ramiro’s fellowship host is Extrasense.

Shondell Alana Rodrigues (Guyana) is the Owner of Alana’s Fresh Organic Produce, a farming business designed to minimize environmental impacts. Alana’s fellowship host is the Boston Public Market.

Sharine Joseph (St. Lucia) is the CEO of Blu Media Marketing, a media consultancy business for entrepreneurs. Sharine’s fellowship host is The Capital Network.

Danitza Aguilar Perez (Peru) is the Owner of Ecopatodos, a social impact organization focused on entrepreneurship and finance education for youth. Danitza’s fellowship host is Junior Achievement of New England.

Jomarie Malcom Gordon (Jamaica) is the Founder of Malcolm Mavericks Creative Consultancy, a business designed to provide legal and strategic protection for creatives and brands. Jomarie’s fellowship host is the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.

Melissa Jara (Peru) is the General Director of Despega, a social start-up that provides educational opportunities for disadvantaged students and teachers. Melissa’s fellowship is hosted by The Capital Network.

Libia Jimena Diaz Ulabares (Colombia) is the Co-Founder and Research Coordinator of Escuela Audiovisual de El Peon, an organization focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Libia’s fellowship is hosted by Dress for Success.

Daniel Estuardo Mencos Murga (Guatemala) is the CEO of Productos Riquísima, a company that produces natural snack foods. Daniel’s fellowship is hosted by Foundation Kitchen.

Ivan Ordaz (Mexico) is the CEO of Connecting Company, a telecommunications company that brings the internet to rural communities. Ivan’s fellowship host is 1854 Cycling.

Lucas Daniel Gehlen (Brazil) is the Director of Massas Famigliare, a food startup producing gourmet pasta. Lucas’s fellowship host is Branchfood.

Phelisa Semone Ricketts (Jamaica) is the Founder and Managing Director of Western STEM Academy, a learning institution focusing on science and technology education. Phelisa’s fellowship host is Mattapan Technology Learning Center.

Madeleine Khadeshia Martinez (Belize) is Co-Founder of MB COSMETICS BZ, a producer of high-quality, budget-friendly makeup products. Madeleine’s fellowship host is Organic Bath Company.

Andres Jose Urioste Orias (Bolivia), is the Founder, COO, and General Manager of Alpha, a dog food catering service. Andres’s fellowship host is Polkadog.

Thank you to the wonderful organizations that will host these fellows during their stay in Boston!

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

Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program

The Fulbright Visiting Scholars Program has been busy! In April, we hosted the Scholars and their families for two programs. First, they visited Bunker Hill Community College, where they met with Dean Carlnita Greene, Dean Justice Kumahia, Dean Franklyn Talor, and Assistant Dean Lauren Ellis to learn about the community college framework in the United States and the challenges faced by higher education institutions. Second, the Scholars joined The Harborkeepers for a volunteer shoreline cleanup. Despite the chilly weather, they removed an impressive 164 pounds of garbage from the coast!

We look forward to several exciting events in May. On May 10th, we will host the Scholars for a Women’s Caucus event, featuring women legislators in Massachusetts from across the political spectrum to discuss their paths into politics and current topics of note in the U.S. political system. Later in the month, we will host the official closing event for the 2022-2023 Fulbright Program, an exciting annual program in which Scholars reflect on their time in the U.S. However, since many Scholars stay for additional time, we will continue to program several more events, including a trip to the Arnold Arboretum at the end of May.

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:

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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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