Department of State news

At the Closing Session of the 2013 U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong reaffirmed their countries’ deep belief in the power of exchanges and commitment to enhance and expand cultural and educational exchange opportunities between the two nations.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) yesterday approved by voice vote President Obama’s nomination of Richard Stengel to be Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Stengel, the former managing editor of Time magazine, is now awaiting confirmation by the full Senate.

The Department of State announced that 36 entrepreneurs from nine Latin American countries, along with U.S. partners, will arrive in New York today to participate and compete in the Latin America Idea Partnership (La Idea), a public-private partnership between the Department, USAID, and several partners from the private sector, including FHI 360.

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The recent elimination of the Title VIII program, a federal grants program that supports research on Russia as well as language study, could potentially cause significant harm to Russian studies, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, citing the concerns of scholars in the field.

Starting next week on November 12, the Department of State will recognize International Education Week, the annual worldwide celebration of the value of international education and exchange. First held in 2000, International Education Week is now celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide.

At his Senate confirmation hearing today, Richard Stengel, nominee for Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, stressed his long-time commitment to public diplomacy and pledged to advance international exchanges.

Stengel said he would focus on a number of issues he considers vital to U.S. national interests, including the advancement of “public diplomacy’s focus on youth, including girls and underserved communities,” as well as the promotion of educational exchanges:

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The U.S. Department of State is increasing its efforts to assist Fulbright program alumni to maintain the links created while on the program and use their exchange experiences to improve their career prospects, the Chronicle for Higher Education wrote in a recent article.

On October 22, 2013, the Department of State sent revisions to Subpart A, the general provisions of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as an interim final rule.

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Richard Stengel, former Managing Editor of Time magazine and President Obama’s nominee for Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) this coming Thursday for his confirmation hearing.

Committee chairman Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) will preside over the hearing, which will be held at 10:30 am in room 419 of the Senate Dirksen building.

A live webcast will be available here.

The State Department announced the launch of “The Collaboratory”, a new initiative focused on virtual people-to-people exchanges.

According to a State Department press release:

“The Collaboratory is a platform for conducting virtual exchange programs and housing an idea lab to develop, incubate, and pilot new ideas that amplify people-to-people exchanges using new technologies.”

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