The National Council for International Visitors National Meeting, a gathering of representatives from Councils for International Visitors (including the World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts), National Program Agencies and the US Department of State, took place from February 12-16 in Washington, DC.
The meeting included keynotes from speakers like Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine, Senior Adviser for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies to Secretary of State Tomicah Tillemann, and Senior Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Michelle Kwan (who apparently had a little bit of success in an earlier career as a figure skater).
Michelle Kwan was on hand to kick off the US Department of State’s “Expand Your World” program to promote exchange experiences. Her public service announcement is available here.
The 2013 Gold Star IVLP Alumni Luncheon was also not to be missed and began with a rousing poem by IVLP alum Michael Mabwe, Director of Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights.
Other highlights of the National Meeting were networking opportunities, State Department regional briefings, and receptions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and at several embassies. More information about the event can be found here.
The World Affairs Council’s next contingent of International Visitors will be a group of 30 English teachers from around the world who will come to Springfield at the beginning of April for meetings at Merriam-Webster and a visit to the Emily Dickinson Museum.