This past year the San Diego Diplomacy Council hosted 862 emerging and current leaders to San Diego from 136 countries on professional, educational and cultural exchanges. During their visits they met with 512 local students and 1,000 business and community leaders. We have coordinated 33,764 professional interactions, 50 events and 600 dinner hospitality within the last year between our visiting leaders and San Diego city residents.
In addition to the International Visitor Leadership Program, conferences, fellowships, training programs, and other public and private events, we organized a sports diplomacy exchange program to Vietnam and Laos for at-risk youth in San Diego, a music exchange program to Kuwait and facilitated 15 reciprocal trips overseas for our local fellowship hosts.
Programs administered by our organization contribute approximately $3M to the San Diego area economy annually through the use of local hotels, transportation companies, and other vendors. Our Global Ties U.S network generated $80.7 million for U.S. communities from exchange programs.
This past year, from our local network of volunteer partners and meeting hosts, we coordinated over 33,764 professional interactions between our visiting leaders and San Diego city residents each year. Through these professional exchange programs:U.S. Global Perception:
- We equip emerging leaders to solve increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world.
- We prepared young international professionals and entrepreneurs to be competitive in the global workforce
- We enhance our national interests overseas by building better relationships with world leaders. 97% of IVLP alumni say exchanges build trust and relationships
- We promote cross-cultural engagement and challenge negative perceptions of United States overseas. 98% of IVLP alumni say they communicate more accurate information about the U.S. to people in their home countries because of the exchange
Empowering our visitors to change the world
The reverberating impact of Nisha Ayub’s visit, one of the fifteen 2016 Secretary of State International Women of Courage, had far-reaching implications for social change in Malaysia. Nisha’s time in our community was used to leverage media and communities and to influence government, societies, and individuals in an effort to improve LGBTQ rights around the world. Nisha’s social justice efforts as well as San Diego’s partnership has been recognized by a prominent Malaysian news outlet, “The Star”. We have also received news from the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia that our stance of solidarity is putting pressure on the Malaysian government to reform their discriminatory policies.Today, San Diego Pride helps fund Nisha’s SEED Foundation with a four-year grant. This grant has allowed SEED to continue to operate their Drop In Center for the community, where they are able to receive information, support, care, and offer a safe space. Nisha stated, “San Diego Pride has given the community here in Malaysia a sense of belonging. [We] are truly grateful and humbled to have an ally [in] San Diego Pride.”