Americans Leading the Way: Insights from my first 100 days

I am so excited to write to you today! It’s been a whirlwind 100 days in my tenure as President & CEO of Global Ties, and I can't thank you enough for your generous friendship, partnership, and financial support. Your commitment to the Global Ties Network guarantees that thousands of international visitors connect with American citizens each year. 

I am committed to working directly with our 120+ members that serve all 50 U.S. states and work in more than 40 countries. In my first few months, I've had the opportunity to engage with and highlight our Network's invaluable work by:

  • Meeting with our leaders, programmers, and partners in 14 U.S. cities to deepen my understanding of their work and communities;
  • Speaking with policymakers, elected officials, public diplomacy professionals, and opinion leaders at two Strategic Dialogues about the vital role exchanges have on U.S. foreign policy, national security, and economic development;
  • Spotlighting our Network’s tireless commitment to welcome international visitors into U.S. communities in an article published in The Economist in July.

However, much remains to be done for our Network to build a more peaceful, prosperous world through international exchanges. I'd like to share with you some reflections from my first few months at Global Ties, and ask for your continued financial support.

I joined Global Ties in April after being a longtime fan of exchanges and the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). I was an exchange student myself, and came to know about Global Ties while working as a Professional Staff Member for the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives. That’s where I met Sherry Muller, former President of Global Ties (then the National Council for International Visitors), and learned about this remarkable network of American citizen diplomats providing the infrastructure for the IVLP and other public diplomacy programs.

For more than 50 years, the Global Ties Network has been America’s leading advocate for citizen diplomacy and international exchanges. You are a part of that movement. Your financial support and commitment to citizen diplomacy helps keep our Network strong.

As you may know, 2018 has been an extraordinarily tough year on our Network. Delays in federal funding have caused an unprecedented level of hardship for our members, impacting their ability to make payroll, keep employees, pay rent, and ensure overall operations. In addition, a growing cross-section of the public – in the U.S. and abroad – has come to view global engagement with distrust. I need your help to change that.

To ensure that our Network can thrive and grow, we must create economic opportunities for our members by driving more resources and international visitors to their communities; raise the profile of international exchanges as a cost-effective public diplomacy tool that benefits U.S. security, policy, and business interests; and empower the next generation of thought leaders to drive change forward.

Following are a series of opportunities we believe benefit both American and international citizens, and the communities that host them. You can support these initiatives by making a financial contribution:

  • Emerging Leaders: equip future leaders with the skills they need to become global change makers;
  • Meet America: help international university students and faculty grow their careers, global networks, and understanding of American culture;
  • Strategic Dialogue: educate U.S. and international policymakers, thought leaders, and professionals about the vital role of exchanges on U.S. foreign policy, security, and commercial interests;
  • World Expo 2020: help your community be the face of America for millions of visitors to the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai.

I hope that you will consider donating to Global Ties today to help strengthen our Network; showcase the best of America; and engage the next generation of exchange leaders. Your support makes a world of difference. Let's create a more peaceful, prosperous world together.

Katherine Brown, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Global Ties

About the Global Ties Foundation
The Global Ties Foundation is the charitable arm of Global Ties U.S., and shares the same vision—a peaceful, prosperous world where individuals build enduring relationships through international exchange. If you share this vision too, please contribute today. Donations made to Global Ties are tax deductible as allowed by U.S. law.


Emerging Leaders Initiative

Today’s young leaders are tomorrow’s change makers.  The Emerging Leaders Initiative provides young leaders in public diplomacy and international exchange with professional development opportunities to open doors to lasting relationships that will help tackle our biggest global challenges and shape the future of our world.

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Meet America Program

Preparing international students for the global job market.  Meet America provides participants with targeted career development activities that are tailored to their career interests. The program helps students build their professional profiles and make connections with the leaders and communities of their field.



Strategic Dialogue Series

Connecting policymakers and exchange professionals.  The Strategic Dialogue brings together leaders from the public, private, civil society and academic sectors to explore current affairs through the lens of public diplomacy and international exchange.