April 02, 2024

Letter from the CEO April 2024

Dear Friends of Utah Global Diplomacy,

ICYM: March was a busy month for the Utah Global Diplomacy team.

We began the month by attending the Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, where the team participated in an Advocacy Day on the Hill. We met with members of Congress to educate them on the impact of public diplomacy, like our international exchange programs. We then attended regional briefings presented by the U.S. Department of State, participated in innovative strategy training to enhance our nonprofit management systems, and learned about emerging trends in citizen diplomacy and international relations. The National Meeting helped the Utah Global Diplomacy team foster partnerships, generate new ideas, and create impactful initiatives that help us build global connections in Utah, one handshake at a time. 

Utah Global Diplomacy

Immediately upon returning, we welcomed eleven Young Leaders of the American Initiative Fellows to Utah. These fellows are partnering with local Utah businesses to scale up their skills, knowledge, and business models.

Hosting the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) greatly benefits the host organizations, the broader community, and our organization. By welcoming YLAI fellows, we gain access to a pool of talented young entrepreneurs and leaders from across the Americas, learning about innovative ideas and seeing a diverse set of skills. Overall, hosting the YLAI program not only enriches the host organization but also promotes mutual learning, collaboration, and economic development in our state.

YLAI Utah Global Diplomacy

Towards the end of March, we welcomed twenty-four high school students from Honduras, El Salvador, and Belize to Utah. The students stayed with host families and engaged in daily activities where they honed their leadership skills while learning about climate change. We gave a tearful goodbye to the group on Sunday as they left to finish their program in Washington, D.C.

Youth Ambassadors Utah Global DiplomacyYouth Ambassadors Utah Global Diplomacy2Youth Ambassadors Utah Global Diplomacy3

Finally, throughout the month, we have continued to host our Citizen Diplomacy Certification, where twenty young adults build their professional skills and connect to career opportunities. In March, the cohort learned about opportunities with the Peace Corps, state policy initiatives on climate change and environmental impact, and the effect of economic geopolitics in Utah. In addition to learning about these global topics, the cohort developed their networking skills, sharpened their written communication skills, learned best practices in managing a personal budget, and sat down with U.S. Department of State representatives to explore career opportunities.

Citizen Diplomacy Certification Utah Global Diplomacy 2

It was definitely a busy month! As a nonprofit that works in people-to-people connections, I am genuinely grateful for the support of those who share their time, talents, and knowledge with our programs. I appreciate your support in building global connections in Utah, one handshake at a time! 

Felecia Maxfield-Barrett
President & CEO
Utah Global Diplomacy