State Magazine November 2012 : Page 32

Office of the Month Engaging exchange alumni for diplomacy’s future By Lisa Barton, alumni outreach coordinator, Alumni Affairs Division What do the alumni of State Department-sponsored exchange programs do once they return to their homelands? With the support of the Alumni Affairs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), they change the world. The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) calls on the Department to look beyond traditional definitions of pub-lic diplomacy and engage broader audiences than officials in govern-ment ministries and global organizations. To meet this challenge, the Alumni Affairs Division works with overseas missions to leverage alumni of exchange programs to: • Shape the Narrative: “We’ve developed a diverse network of young alumni that is prepared to participate in Yemen’s historic national dia-logue process with a politically mature, unified voice,” said Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, noting that the network has given the embassy a larger footprint “and an expanded and productive dialogue with a larger, more geographically diverse population of Yemenis.” • Support Strategic Goals: “In Mission Pakistan, we see our ex -change program alumni as one of our greatest resources,” said the mis-sion’s Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Laura Brown. “Every day, they demonstrate the shared core values of Pakistanis and Americans as they work to make a positive impact on their communities. Young alumni organize leadership-skills classes that empower students throughout the country, political training and entrepreneurship sessions to teach disadvantaged women to become active citizens and mentorship pro-Networking Works 32 STATE MAGAZINE // NOVEMBER 2012

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