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  • Writer's pictureAbby Fowler

Takeaways from the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting

In early March, members of our team attended the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting in Washington, D.C. to participate in the premier gathering of international exchange professionals and supporters from across the nation.  

The conference kicked off with Advocacy Day, where we teamed up with Iowa International Center to ask our representatives in the House and Senate to support international exchange programs. The following two and a half days were spent connecting with, learning from, and sharing ideas with members of our network from around the country and world. 

Here’s what we took away from the event: 

“Every [breakout] session I attended was valuable and engaging and I have returned to eastern Iowa with tips, tricks, tools, resources, and new or strengthened relationships that will further the mission of citizen diplomacy and our teams’ effectiveness here at Global Ties Iowa.” - Amy Alice Chastain, Executive Director 

Amy Alice Chastain speaks on the panel of a breakout session.

“It was truly enlightening to witness the breadth and depth of the citizen diplomacy communities across the United States. The unwavering passion demonstrated by volunteers, board members, Department of State officials and citizens in effecting positive change and fostering connections with the global community is unparalleled in my extensive experience.” - Bala Subramaniam, Board Vice President 

Bala Subramaniam speaks at one of the opening plenaries.

“The National Meeting was a great reminder that, as implementers of the International Visitor Leadership Program, we are doing something truly amazing and important that directly contributes to a more peaceful and prosperous world. I came away reinvigorated to bring all the new things I learned back to eastern Iowa.” - Abby Fowler, Communications Coordinator 

Abby Fowler presents an IVLP Impact Award during the conference.

Additionally, all our team members got some time in the spotlight, with Bala and Abby both speaking during the morning plenaries and Amy Alice being a panelist in a breakout session.  

We are grateful to have participated in this conference and are proud to represent eastern Iowa in our greater national network! 


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