GlobalPittsburgh's Gail Shrott and Nadya Kessler recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to tell the Pittsburgh story at the national meeting of Global Ties U.S., the national citizen diplomacy organization of which GlobalPittsburgh is a charter member.
Global Ties U.S., formerly the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), and its member organizations have served as private sector partners to the U.S. Department of State's prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). World leaders, ranging from former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown to Mexico's last president Felipe Calderón, developed close ties to the United States through their experience as IVLP participants.
During the meeting, which ran from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, Shrott and Kessler, who is GlobalPittsburgh's Assistant Director of Operations and CONNECT program, met with program officers who choose where to send visiting IVLP delegations from around the world. In the past year, GlobalPittsburgh design and implemented 34 programs for 262 international leaders, including 26 itineraries designed for 171 distinguished leaders through the IVLP program.
They also attended events at foreign Embassies and interacted with members of the U.S. Congress to emphasize the value of international exchange programs carried out by Global Ties U.S. member organizations.
With an impressive alumni roster of more than 350 current and former heads of state worldwide, the IVLP and members of the Global Ties network have played a role in shaping U.S. international relations for decades. GlobalPittsburgh changed its public identity from the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors in 2009.