National and International Events

International Women’s Day – March 8


To see ways to celebrate, click the link(s) below….

Join the “Black Book”

The ‘Black Book’ is a private resource for accelerating searching and contacting of talented women by potential employers. By being in our ‘Black Book’ does not imply you’re dissatisfied in your current role, it simply means that you’re potentially open to knowing about targeted relevant opportunities. And remember, not all roles are advertised!

To participate, select the ‘Black Book’ option upon registration where you’ll be asked for additional information about your career strengths and interests.

There’s no cost for participation. The ‘Black Book’ is comprised of ‘women of high talent’ globally.

Register here today!

Please join the U.S. Department of State
for a conference call to discuss:

March Events Surrounding the UN Commission on the Status of Women

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell and the White House Council of Women and Girls will provide an update on events in March, including the International Women of Courage Awards (IWOC) and the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women.
Conference Call Information:
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. (est)
 RSVP to the following to receive call in information:
Conference ID #388318
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*This call is off-the-record and not for press purposes*
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520


Media Note:
Ambassador Russell Announces New Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell joined representatives from Kiva and the Inter-American Development Bank today to launch the Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund at Kiva’s headquarters in San Francisco.

The Fund is a new initiative that will help expand access to finance for women in 83 countries. When lenders respond to a woman entrepreneur’s request for a loan through Kiva’s online platform, their contributions will be matched dollar for dollar by the Fund, to which donors are able to contribute at a minimum of $250,000.

As part of the Fund, the Department will support data collection and analysis to measure how effective the initiative is in expanding women’s access to finance. The data will help illustrate the financial needs and activity of women entrepreneurs around the world by measuring several indicators, including the size of loans women are taking on, in which industry, and for what purpose.

This new initiative responds to the steep challenges facing many women entrepreneurs looking to access capital. According to the International Finance Corporation, as many as 70 percent of women-owned small and medium enterprises in developing economies are unserved or underserved by financial institutions, contributing to a global credit gap of $260 to $320 billion for women alone.
For more information on the Fund, please contact
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U.S. Department of State Presents
The 2nd Annual
American Women for International Understanding:
 Career Opportunities for International Relations Symposium


     Passing the Baton
  • Learn about international careers
  • Engage with women leaders
  • Network with potential employers
MARCH 23, 2016
8:30 am to 3:30 pm
U.S. Department of State
Harry S. Truman Building
George C. Marshall Conference Center
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC
For more information about AWIU visit 

Visit U.S Department of State at 

 and follow on Twitter @DosCareers and hashtag:
I am diplomacy.  I am America.


The applications for the 2016-2017 Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are now available Boren Awards, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate (up to $20,000) and graduate students (up to $30,000) to study in Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East, where they can add important international and language components to their educations.

Through the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) funding is available for Boren Scholars and Fellows to study one of the following languages domestically, prior to commencing their overseas Boren-funded programs.


·         Akan/Twi

·         French (requires intermediate-high or above proficiency)

·         Swahili

·         Portuguese

·         Wolof

·         Zulu


In addition, AFLI overseas programs are available for intensive language and cultural study during fall 2016 in the following countries.


·         Senegal (French)

·         Mozambique (Portuguese)

·         Tanzania (Swahili)

To learn more about the Boren Awards and AFLI, to register for one of our upcoming webinars, and to access the on-line application, please visit We have webinars that focus on AFLI scheduled for November 10 and January 7. You can also contact the Boren Awards staff at or 1-800-618-NSEP with questions.
You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide in helping us get the word out to students and faculty at your host institution!

Please join the State Department Office of Public
Engagement for a stakeholder conference call with:
Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues
Catherine Russell
USAID Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s
Empowerment Susan Markham
As part of the 16 Days of Activism, you are invited to join this preview of the DOS and USAID reports on the implementation of the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. 
Conference Call Information:
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm (EST)
RSVP to the following to receive call in information:
Conference ID #374761
Online Resources:
*This call is off-the-record and not for press purposes*
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From Local to Global: Why Diplomacy Matters
October 26, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, against a backdrop of Independence Hall, delivers a speech before an audience of several hundred assembled on September 2, 2015, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
If “all politics are local,” as the oft-quoted former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill once noted, current world events are demonstrating just how local diplomacy is as well. The fact is, this has never been truer than in today’s age of global interconnectedness and interdependency. Local politics, economies, and communities are having a global impact far beyond city, county, and state limits, directly influencing the lives of millions of people on the other side of the globe. And what we aim to achieve abroad through U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy has a direct impact on the lives of Americans here at home, as the world continues to become more accessible and connected at the touch of a smart phone.
That’s a point the country’s lead diplomat, John Kerry, drove home in his first domestic public speech as Secretary of State when he addressed a crowd gathered at the University of Virginia. Kerry said,”In today’s global world, there is no longer anything foreign about foreign policy. More than ever before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward; they also create a current right here in America. How we conduct our foreign policy matters more than ever before to our everyday lives.”
And that is the driving force behind the “Why Diplomacy Matters” initiative. The State Department, together with the Meridian International Center and the Johns Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute, is delving into the question of why diplomacy matters to Americans in the 21st century and what it will look like in the next 100 years. Through a series of panel discussions and a study, we will produce a report that speaks to the enduring legacy and importance of diplomacy to the everyday lives of the American people.
We share the belief that it is critical for Americans to understand that we live in an interdependent world, how that interdependency affects them directly, and what value diplomacy can bring to jobs, education, entrepreneurship, travel, tourism, health, and robust trade and investment, right here in America.
Explaining why diplomacy matters to American citizens and helping them understand the purpose, practice and day-to-day impacts of our statecraft empowers Americans as the ultimate arbiters of foreign policy. The better educated Americans are about diplomacy, the more empowered our leaders are to engage on the world stage to find sound solutions that create a more peaceful, prosperous world and a stronger, more prosperous America. We are committed to ensuring a cross-section of American society.  Educators, diaspora communities, state and local elected officials, the business community, and others are an integral part of the ongoing conversation of how the United States can and should engage in the world to benefit our citizens here at home.
Opinion polls have been conducted in recent years that capture the views of some Americans who believe that the United States should be less engaged internationally, and that foreign policy does not create the kind of dividends that necessarily are worth the investment. That narrative is misguided, and countering it is at the heart of this initiative. While the United States cannot solve every global challenge, our engagement is essential in many circumstances. That is why we must engage on the global stage, an argument I believe most Americans intuitively understand.
Ultimately, diplomacy is a two-way dialogue. The contributions and collaborations of the American public are critical as we grapple with some of the toughest issues that challenge our peace, prosperity, and security. The State Department is confronted routinely with a host of thorny issues that ultimately shape our world and the communities in which we live. In the past year alone, the international community faced numerous shared challenges; the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa and the growing global threat posed by ISIL, to which the United States led fast-paced, global responses. President Obama also laid the groundwork toward charting a new course in our diplomatic relations with Cuba while Secretary Kerry was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the historic U.S.-China climate change agreement.
The future is clear. From turning the lights on in the morning, to driving a car to work, taking light rail or flying around the country, everything we do has an international dimension. Locally elected officials at the mayoral and gubernatorial levels have led the way in grasping the importance of this concept. They are collaborating with their international counterparts to solve the daunting issues facing their constituents. In particular, local elected officials understand that local buy-in is a crucial element to tackling climate change on a larger scale. Mayors are engaging on climate change through organizations such as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
Just last month, I witnessed the power local communities can lend to forging global solutions when I participated in the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit, hosted by the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Eric Garcetti. Under the U.S.-China Climate Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Initiative launched by President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, cities, NGOs, and businesses from the United States and China convened for a two-day meeting to highlight local government efforts to implement the countries’ ambitious climate change agendas. One major outcome of the meeting was the release of the first-ever U.S.-China Climate Leaders Declaration, which included ambitious climate commitments from two dozen U.S. and Chinese cities. Notably, 11 Chinese cities and provinces committed to peak their CO2 emissions ahead of the national target of around 2030. Another outcome was the formation of a new partnership between 20 cities in China and California aimed at strengthening their climate action planning and connecting their respective clean-tech industries.
The Los Angeles meeting underscored the importance of ambitious local action by cities, states, and provinces in the global fight against climate change. And in doing so, it fostered significant momentum toward a positive outcome at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) later this year in Paris, where countries will gather to reach a new international agreement to address climate change in the post-2020 era.
In cities around the world, mayors and other municipal leaders are also stepping up to build community resilience to the global threats and challenges caused by terrorism and violent extremism. Recognizing that local government authorities are uniquely positioned to safeguard their citizens from polarization and radicalization through partnerships with local communities, the Strong Cities Network (SCN) was launched last month at the United Nations. SCN is the first global network established to strengthen collaboration among cities and other sub-national entities working to develop innovative, inclusive, human rights based, and community-centric strategies and practices to prevent radicalization to violence at the community level.
As we engage at the local level to address these formidable problems, the world flattens, the horizon widens and our lives become much more global. The United States is uniquely positioned to prosper in this new environment because of our decentralized form of government, our entrepreneurial bent, and our ability to adapt and innovate.
While the global challenges of the future will not diminish, their impact on local communities will only increase. Americans need to continuously take stock of that reality and embrace it to ensure we prosper in the new global workspace and marketplace of ideas. The United States, along with like-minded NGO actors, will continue to connect the world of diplomacy to town halls across America. We will work with local elected officials, citizen diplomats, the business community, and others to take the “foreign” out of “foreign policy” and give our nation a more prosperous and secure footing in the global world of the 21st century.
About the Author:  David Duckenfield serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Public Affairs.
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on DipNote, the State Department’s official blog. It was authored by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a U.S. Science Envoy for the State Department and White House Office of Science and Technology Program and serves as the first Envoy for the Ocean
The ocean has provided people with a broad array of benefits for millennia. It has been the grocery store, pharmacy, highway, playground, and source of inspiration to people across the globe.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Today, more and more coastal nations look to the ocean as a new source of revenue, pushing to develop the ‘Blue Economy.’ As people’s use of the ocean has escalated, so too have our impact and our knowledge. Through time, people have learned the ocean is not inexhaustible, nor endlessly resilient. Through trial and error and scientific knowledge, we have figured out that it is possible to use the ocean without using it up.  However, in many places around the world, this knowledge and these lessons are not known or are not being used to inform policy and management decisions.
To help address this disconnect between knowledge and practice, and reflecting Secretary Kerry’s deep, long-standing commitment to the ocean and to science, the State Department has named the first U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean. I have the pleasure of serving in this capacity.

As a marine biologist and environmental scientist with experience in the worlds of academia, government, and civil society, I bring diverse perspectives to the Science Envoy role. As a private citizen, I am thrilled to be working with colleagues at the State Department to build scientific bridges with developing nations and exchange scientific knowledge and practical experience about approaches that will strengthen scientific capacity and deliver useful knowledge to improve decision-making.
For my first trip as the Science Envoy for the Ocean we reeled in a big one, as my itinerary took me to South Africa, Mauritius, and Seychelles. During my visit we focused on topics ranging from fisheries and aquaculture, to climate change and ocean acidification, marine protected areas, scientific capacity and education. I was energized by meetings with young scientists and the receptivity to knowledge exchanges in each of these countries. In subsequent blogs, I plan to share some highlights of each trip.
Stay tuned!
Also of interest:
  • Secretary Kerry’s remarks: Opening Session of the Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum
  • Fact sheet: Commitments at the Secretary’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum
  • DipNote post: Investing in Climate Change and Clean Energy Solutions 
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On Thursday, October 15, Secretary Kerry will visit the University of Indiana to deliver remarks on why American leadership abroad remains vital and outline U.S. foreign policy in a changing world.

Secretary Kerry will then attend a luncheon at the School of Global and International Studies, which marks the opening of the new building housing the school at IU.
Welcoming Secretary Kerry to the University will be IU President Michael A. McRobbie, IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel and Ambassador Lee Feinstein, founding dean of the School of Global and International Studies.
The speech and the luncheon will be streamed live on and Follow @StateDeptLive and @IUBloomington during the event for updates on Twitter.





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The 2016 Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) National Conference Jackson, Mississippi– February 17 – 19, 2016


Call for Proposals


Moving Beyond Problem Identification to Solutions: A Clarion Call for Collective Action

The core of what we do as public administrators is driven by a public policy making process that begins with problem identification. Funding mechanisms have also been driven by problem identification.  As a result, a deficit-based model for addressing community problems has become the modus operandi. The larger the identified deficit, the more money allocated to address the problem.  The importance of problem identification as a mechanism for allocating both human and financial resources is not up for debate.  However, we have been stuck in deficit based thinking about communities, particularly communities of color. Deficit based thinking and approaches often emphasizes failure, helplessness, and low expectations for the families and communities. Additionally, deficit-based approaches often do not reflect social determinants that impact how people grow, live and work in communities.  A very wise elder once said “people don’t want you to tell them they are in the ditch—they already know that. What they want to hear about is how you are going to help them get out of the ditch.”

The 2016 COMPA theme is premised on asset-based thinking and utilizes a strength-based approach.  Asset-based thinking challenges our tendency to be preoccupied with problem identification and forces us to focus our attention finding solutions.  A strength-based approach intentionally seeks out what works as opposed to what isn’t working. The goal of the 2016 COMPA conference is to accentuate the symbiotic relationship between academics, practitioners, students and communities that is necessary for sustainable collective action in solving many pressing issues in marginalized communities.

Submission of Paper and Panel Proposals

(See Publications page for submission details)

The conference program committee welcomes proposals for high-quality conceptual papers, qualitative and quantitative empirical research papers, and policy- and practice-oriented papers. In addition to individual paper proposals, the committee encourages the submission of complete panels consisting of no more than three papers. Panel submissions should bring together complementary papers that address similar research questions or topics. Panel proposals should provide information on the overall theme of the panel and indicate how each of the proposed papers connects to the panel’s theme.

Proposals from individuals at all stages of their careers are welcome. Proposals and poster presentations by graduate students are particularly encouraged and will be evaluated separately by a young scholars’ program committee.

The deadline for submission of proposals is October 23, 2015. Proposals will be evaluated by the conference program committee and proposers will be notified of the committee’s decisions via email by November 13, 2015. Email your proposals to Dr. Patricia Robertson, Southern University New Orleans (SUNO), and Dr. Gloria Billingsley, Jackson State University,  For young scholars, send your proposals to Dr. Gina Scutelnicu, Pace University,

Registration Fees

Early registration is $250.00 on or before January 15, 2016.  Late registration, after January 15, 2016, is $300.00.  Student registration is $150.00.  The website address is

Conference Venue: The plenaries and panels of the conference will be held at Hilton Garden Inn, (formerly the King Edwards Hotel) located 235 Downtown Jackson located 235 West Capitol Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39201.   We have limited block of rooms at the rate of $119 per night for single occupancy and $129 for double occupancy.  Both room rates include breakfast.


In partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Aid and Development (USAID), the International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) and others, the State Department

hosted a launch event on October 9 to formally kick-off the start of the 2015 Global Diaspora Week (GDW).

GDW highlights diaspora communities and their contributions to global development, creating awareness and collaboration among those working with diaspora communities. This year, GDW is expected to feature 85 events from 20 countries around the world.

“… The 21st century demands a more inclusive foreign policy, and diaspora communities are often the first people to know about an issue and bring it to the attention of people in positions of power.,” said Secretary Kerry, in his keynote address during the GDW launch event. “They are often the first to debate an issue or to put out options; they are the first to have an impact on the ground – the most direct and the fastest.”

In his remarks, Secretary Kerry highlighted several situations, showcasing  examples of where diaspora communities have made impacts through the unique understanding they bring as cultural ambassadors.

  • “After Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, leaders from the Asia Pacific diaspora worked together to support the relief efforts. The U.S.-Philippines Society helped organize a concert to raise funds for relief, and the Vietnamese American community gave generously to the cause.”
  • “After the devastating earthquake in Nepal just this spring, Nepali American leaders in business and philanthropy launched campaigns on social media and raised tens of thousands of dollars for clothing, medical equipment, food, tents and other emergency supplies.”

  • “After the outbreak of Ebola, the Sierra Leone, Liberian, and Guinean diaspora community immediately rallied to turn the tide against the disease by sending urgently needed medical supplies, food, and money, and often by communicating to people directly to institute best practices and avoid spreading the disease.”
  • “Diaspora communities are also helping to build shared prosperity and empower women entrepreneurs. The U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council helps to promote small business development in Pakistan.”
  • Doctors from the Syrian American Medical Society have lent their time and talent to support clinics in the Za’atari camp in Jordan, which I visited during my first year as Secretary. And they are providing counseling and social services for women and children wherever possible in Syria.

“So in closing, let me be pretty direct: Immigrants built America. And immigrants continue to make America what it is today,” Secretary Kerry said. “It is precisely the right to be different – in background, race, culture, and tongue – that brings the American people together and makes us one.”

*Additional background information on 2015 Global Diaspora Week 

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On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The theme for this year’s celebration is The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.
Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated and healthy life during their critical formative years. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads and political leaders.

Over the last 15 years, the global community has made significant progress in improving the lives of girls during early childhood. In 2015, girls in the first decade of life are more likely to enroll in primary school, receive key vaccinations and are less likely to suffer from health and nutrition problems than were previous generations.
As the global community launches the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for implementation over the next 15 years, it is a good time to recognize the achievements made in supporting young girls, while at the same time aspiring to support the current and upcoming generation of adolescent girls, to truly fulfill their potential as key actors in achieving a sustainable and equitable world.
Additional Information:
  • #62MillionGirls – social media campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to highlight the importance of letting girls learn.
  • HerCampus interview – First Lady Michelle Obama talks education, equality and girl power.



Diplomacy in Action Banner
Friends –
Please join us for an off-the-record conference call with the U.S. Department of State and the White House to discuss President Obama’s upcoming trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). On the call, senior Administration officials will highlight and discuss key issues that will be on the agenda when the President travels to New York to attend the UNGA in the coming days.
WHO: Senior Obama Administration officials
WHAT: Pre-UNGA conference call
WHEN: Friday, September 25, at 12:30 PM
Please note that this conversation is off the record and not for press purposes.
We look forward to your participation on the call.  If you have any questions, please email us at
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AGOA Teleconference
Join the Department of State email list:


Assistant Secretary Linda Thomas-Greenfield  and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Florizelle Liser will discuss the recent AGOA Forum in Gabon and next steps.

Friday, September 11, 2015

3:00-4:00 EDT

RSVP Via Web or Phone:

Access Code # 368297
Please Dial in 10 minutes prior to start time.
**Please note that this conference call is off-the-record and not for press purposes

Kenya’s future innovators

Horn Program staff members travel to Kenya to support young entrepreneurs

UD Horn Kenya Visit

1:24 p.m., Aug. 17, 2015–Following in the wake of President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Kenya for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), Dan Freeman and Julie Frieswyk from the University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship visited Kenya where they work in partnership with Wilmington-based StartupAfrica to provide educational opportunities and encourage youth entrepreneurship there and in other East African nations.

Erastus Mong’are, executive director of StartupAfrica, hosted program director Freeman and program coordinator Frieswyk in their travels to four counties throughout Kenya to visit students who participated in the Horn Program’s Diamond Challenge for High School Entrepreneurs.

There they learned about the students’ exciting projects in areas like energy, security, agriculture and marketing, and saw firsthand how these projects are producing positive tangible benefits in their lives and communities.

Read More…Here