Department of State news
Matt Armstrong, author and publisher of the Public Diplomacy blog MountainRunner.us, was sworn in as new Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy earlier this week.
Armstrong is hired by the Commission as a civil servant on a two-year appointment.
During his travels to Brazil last week, President Obama and his Brazilian counterpart, President Dilma Rousseff, agreed to strengthen educational ties and increase exchanges between the two countries, according to a fact sheet of the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
According to the fact sheet:
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) “has been changing hearts and minds about America through ‘soft power’ for 60 years,” according to an article featured in the current issue of the Foreign Service Journal.
The Senate rejected yesterday both Republican and Democratic spending plans to fund the remainder of FY 2011, Politico and Roll Call report. H.R. 1, the House’s bill that would slice $61 billion from federal spending (including more than $130 million from State Department exchange programs), was voted down 44-56. S. Amdt.
On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) today announced the launch of a yearlong series of events that will bring 100 women leaders from 92 different countries to the U.S.
A potential government shutdown was avoided, at least for now, when the Senate passed yesterday a two-week extension to the FY 2011 continuing resolution (CR), funding the government at FY 2010 levels until March 18. President Obama quickly signed the bill into law. This two-week CR cuts $4.01 billion in spending by targeting programs President Obama had already slated for elimination.
At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday, Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) noted, during a Q&A conversation with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that he believes citizen diplomacy and international exchange programs are “critical” aspects of U.S. public diplomacy. Sec. Clinton stated her agreement, saying that she would “double or triple” student exchange programs if she could, and that she is a “big believer in people-to-people diplomacy”:
The House of Representatives approved this evening a stopgap measure that would fund the federal government through March 18 (the current continuing resolution, or CR, expires this Friday). This two-week CR cuts $4.01 billion in spending by targeting programs President Obama had already slated for elimination.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported this week on a session at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) conference in San Francisco led by Michael McCarry of the Alliance and Miriam Kazanjian of the Coalition for International Education.
With a “bleary-eyed” roll call vote at 4:35 a.m. this past Saturday morning, the House passed HR 1, its bill to fund the remainder of FY 2011. In this bill, State Department international exchange programs receive a 21 per cent cut, or a reduction to $501.3 million from the current funding level of $635 million.