Thursday, April 28, 2016

Win two Delta tickets to Europe at GlobalPittsburgh International Barbecue on June 25!

GlobalPittsburgh will host its second annual International Barbecue on June 25 at Bayardstown Social Club. We are keeping the admission minimal (only $5 for members and $7 for non-members until May 31) to encourage more people to come celebrate the diverse cultures in the Pittsburgh region. At the event, we will be selling chances to win 2 round-trip airline tickets to any destination served by Delta in Europe!

Attendees will be able to choose from a wide selection of grilled foods from different cultures and imported beer. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Pandemic, there will also be a photo booth and activities for adults and children.

Gail Shrott, Director of International Leaders Program, GlobalPittsburgh,
Bill Hennessey (winner of 2 Delta tickets),
and John Hindman, GlobalPittsburgh's Chairman of the Board at our International Barbecue last year


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pittsburgh Universities Shine at EducationUSA Leadership Institute

GlobalPittsburgh was chosen from among a very competitive field of international organizations and universities to hold one of three EducationUSA Leadership Institutes in early March this year. For ten days, officials from seven countries joined Pittsburgh international educators in considering ways to increase global awareness and international study opportunities for their students and faculties. 

The fourteen officials represented universities and government ministries in Burma, Egypt, Estonia, Nepal, Panama, The Philippines and Turkey. Monte Bohna, GlobalPittsburgh’s coordinator for its higher education initiative Study Pittsburgh, joined with Jeffrey Whitehead, Director of Study Abroad at the University of Pittsburgh, to design a program which drew on the talent and resources of a wide cross-section of Pittsburgh-area institutions of higher learning, including Chatham University, Duquesne University, La Roche College and Robert Morris University.  World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, study-abroad organizations CAPA: The Global Education Network and Athena Study Abroad (recently relocated to Pittsburgh), Avonworth School District, Winchester Thurston School, and The Ellis School also participated in the institute program.

The Leadership Institute is an initiative of EducationUSA, a section of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs assisting American universities to internationalize their campuses and promote U.S. higher education around the world.  GlobalPittsburgh’s participation marks the Leadership Institute’s third year; the two previous rounds, on a variety of topics related to international education, were each organized by universities and other academic institutions in cities across the United States, including Denver, CO, Charlotte, NC, St. Louis, MO, and Champaign, IL.  This year, GlobalPittsburgh was joined by Portland State University in Portland, OR and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH to organize the most recent round.

While EducationUSA provides direction, oversight and financial support, the Leadership Institute program is administered on its behalf by the Institute of International Education, a non-profit educational organization which since its founding in 1919 has long acted as a partner with the Department of State in a variety of initiatives including the Fulbright exchange program.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Nominate Immigrant Entrepreneur for an Award!

GlobalPittsburgh will host an Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration and Award Ceremony at the Rivers Club on December 14, 2016.

GlobalPittsburgh is currently accepting nominations for entrepreneurs and professionals who were born outside of the U.S. whose entrepreneurial efforts have benefitted our region. Nominees should reside in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, or Westmoreland Counties. Some of the anticipated categories for awards will include: Technology, Professional Services, and the Arts.

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration will take place on the evening of Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at the Rivers Club. Mayor William Peduto has been invited to speak at the event. "I'd like to thank GlobalPittsburgh for creating this opportunity to celebrate and recognize immigrants as valuable contributors to the economic and cultural landscape of our city. Our history is rooted in the contributions of immigrants and our future is based on the innovation of what the next generation of immigrants will bring,” said Mayor William Peduto. This new annual event will showcase the wide range of enterprises and services in the Pittsburgh region provided by immigrant entrepreneurs.

“We are excited to recognize the achievements of some of the many entrepreneurs who have enriched our region with their talents and tenacity,” said John W. Hindman, GlobalPittsburgh Board Chairman. “We are a region that was built on the hard work and innovation of immigrants and that continues to this day thanks to newer generations of immigrant entrepreneurs.”

Since 1959, GlobalPittsburgh (founded as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors) has been developing a local network of resources and creating for the region a pool of valuable contacts worldwide through its work with federally-funded international professional exchanges. GlobalPittsburgh has a network of over 500 members, volunteers, and citizen diplomats who ensure that visiting leaders’ and students’ feel welcome in the Greater Pittsburgh community. For more information about GlobalPittsburgh programs, please visit, call 412.392.4513, or send an email to

To submit your nomination, please visit To learn more about registering to attend the Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration, please contact Nadya Kessler at or call 412.392.4513. 

Tribute to Barbara Platt Gumbiner

By Gail Shrott, Director, International Leaders Program, GlobalPittsburgh

Barbara Gumbiner
On March 31, GlobalPittsburgh lost a true friend and former Executive Director, Barbara Platt Gumbiner. Although many of our current hosts and members did not have the opportunity to meet  her, through her work for the organization between 1978 and 1989 and her unfailing belief in the power of what can be accomplished through citizen diplomacy, she was a long-time supporter of our organization and our national network.   

I arrived at the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors as Program Coordinator shortly after Barbara had left the organization to work in Washington, DC, for the Institute of International Education. The first time I met her, she shared with me the pride that she felt for having been able to work at our organization with such an amazing network of volunteers who forged lasting connections to people from around the world every day. Barbara instilled in me the importance of our organization’s legacy; all of the individuals whose time and energy had made a profound difference in connecting Pittsburgh to other parts of the world. Barbara went on to work for what was the National Council for International Visitors  (now Global Ties U.S.) until her retirement in 2002, always retaining a pride in Pittsburgh and unfailing belief in the power of international exchanges. For more than a decade, she would volunteer at the national meeting for what is now Global Ties that she could warmly greet her many friends in the network. I believe that Barbara’s spirit will live on in every volunteer taking the time to meet a young international leader  or group for a professional meeting and in every host family sharing a lively dinner conversation over a hospitality dinner.  

"How I have made connections through the IVLP and GlobalPittsburgh"

Gulin Bulbuloglu and Monika Wilcox, 2016
By Gulin Bulbuloglu, GlobalPittsburgh volunteer from Turkey

I met Monika Wilcox, a Program Officer for the national program agency FHI 360 in 2009 when I was a participant from Turkey in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in Washington, D.C. She accompanied us as our Program Officer throughout a 2 week long exchange for young leaders. The main theme of our project was the importance of giving back to the community in which we lived.

One year after the completion of our program, Monika had the opportunity to visit me in Istanbul, Turkey, where I was attending university. We had a chance to catch up, and talk about how the IVLP impacted our lives.

Nearly 7 years after my IVLP experience, I moved to Pittsburgh, and started to look for an opportunity to give back to the new community in which I was living. While looking for an organization at which I could volunteer, I discovered GlobalPittsburgh. Its mission was something I strongly believed in: creating international connections within the community and beyond to other parts of the world.

Shortly after I started volunteering at GlobalPittsburgh in January 2016, I found out that Monika Wilcox, now Program Manager, International Cultural and Youth Programs, Global Connections, FHI 360, was going to visit Pittsburgh to attend the March 3, 2016, closing session of a project for an IVLP group of Peruvian environmentalists. The world was small after all! Gail Shrott, GlobalPittsburgh’s Director of the International Leaders Program, told Monika that she had a surprise for her at breakfast before her closing session. I was the surprise! Monika was astonished when she saw me at the lobby of her hotel. We sat down and started to catch up from where we left off 6 years ago. We have remained in contact and I expect that our paths will cross again.

On May 3, 2016, a gift to GlobalPittsburgh will go a little further!

The Pittsburgh Foundation will host the seventh Day of Giving on My 3, 2016.
Please go to this website between 8 am and midnight to make a donation.  If you search by categories on the right column, you will find the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors/GlobalPittsburgh as one of the four organizations listed under the category International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security. Consider this an opportunity to honor the legacy of our organization and the many volunteers who have contributed their time and  expertise or who have opened their homes and their hearts to visitors form around the world.

Please consider making a tax deductible donation and supporting GlobalPittsburgh on the Day of Giving.

Participants in “Disability Issues in the U.S.” program (July 17-21, 2015) .
Their visit coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which banned discrimination based on disability in employment, government services and public accommodations.


West Virginia University and GlobalPittsburgh

By George Lies, Grants Administrator, 
Office of International Programs 304-293-7240

In 2010, GlobalPittsburgh extended its programming area beyond western Pennsylvania into the Morgantown, West Virginia area. Our organization’s continual collaboration with West Virginia University’s Office of International Programs has been key to the success of our programming in Morgantown on such topics as energy, shale gas development, higher education, and American culture.

“In less than four months last year, WVU opened gateways to top level officials in 32 countries,” said George M. Lies, of WVU’s International Grants and Development Section. “For about six years, Global Pittsburgh and WVU have worked closely to address critical issues such as climate change and clean energy, as well as U.S. energy security.”

The strength of West Virginia University’s energy resources has been favorably evaluated by numerous participants in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. George Lies, Strategic Planning Grant Administrator, and Hank Oliver, Communications Coordinator, of WVU’s Office of International Programs have been our “go to” contacts for programming.  Our most requested resource in Morgantown is the National Research Center for Coal and Energy, led by Director Dr. Richard Bajura.

The joint hosting of about 40 international professionals in delegations, June through October of 2015, marked the growing collaboration between GlobalPittsburgh and WVU’s International Programs, and the NRCCE. Other units involved have been National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium Facility, Water Research Institute, and experts in energy research and policy.

A dozen of multi-country participants involved in a round table on U.S. Energy Policy and Security enjoyed the sunny day in front of the Mountainlair, Morgantown, WV, after an engaging discourse on the campus of West Virginia University. Photo by Tracy Novak.