This interactive virtual session provided international relations students, interns, and foreign affairs professionals an in-depth understanding of the role of exchange programs in global power dynamics and strategic power and offer networking opportunities with foreign affairs related organizations.

A global threat or crisis can be addressed through diplomacy, military intervention, or communication between cities and people. Based on current appropriations, the United States spends nearly 500 times as much on the military as it does on broadcasting and exchange programs. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen sent a letter to Congressional leadership in February 2020 urging the full funding of the International Affairs budget. He included a handwritten inscription that read “the more we cut the International Affairs Budget, the higher the risk for longer and deadlier military operations.”

During this pandemic, we have seen a greater need for cooperation among governments and institutions. That comprehensive, cooperative response utilizes the full range of tools at the government’s disposal and is sometimes called Smart Power or Strategic Power.

The U.S. Department of State has numerous international exchange programs that help achieve U.S. foreign policy goals. Its premier professional exchange, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), celebrates its 80th year in 2020. Members of this panel will discuss the benefits of using hard and soft power in tandem to create an integrated strategy. Panelists will focus on the impact of exchange programs to enhance our public diplomacy efforts on complex global issues. Giles Scott Smith, author and educator will focus on the historic impact of the IVLP as an effective tool to build the strategic alliances that can enhance contextual intelligence. Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, Vice Provost for Global Affairs at the University of North Carolina will share her thoughts on the ability of the U.S. government to use IVLP and other exchange programs to ensure that our key partners have an in-depth understanding of the United States. Colonel Chris Wade will discuss how exchanges can build relationships that foster the necessary connections to ensure effective military collaboration on the global stage.

Giles Scott-Smith
Giles Scott-Smith

Author and researcher involved in a broad exploration of the multiple forms of diplomacy in international history, including the ‘Transnational Transatlantic’ – tracking and explaining the governmental and non-governmental linkages that have bound North America and Europe through the 20th century. Scott-Smith holds the Roosevelt Chair in New Diplomatic History at Leiden University, The Netherlands, and is the academic director of the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies in Middelburg, The Netherlands. In 2017 he became the founding editor of the new journal  Diplomatica: A Journal of Diplomacy and Society  together with Ken Weisbrode. 


Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

Vice Provost for Global Affairs and Chief Global Officer at the University of North Carolina and former U.S. Ambassador to Panama and deputy ambassador in London. As a former policy maker with broad public diplomacy experience, she still remembers working in the Netherlands with mayors of cities who had vivid memories of American troops saving the Dutch in WWII. The U.S. soft power ensured that the default answer to every request from the U.S. Embassy was “yes, let me see how I can get to yes on that.” She successfully used the IVLP to keep those relationships fresh and soft power to continue building long term relationships but also solve short-term, front-burner foreign policy challenges, like honoring extradition treaties. Ambassador Stephenson understands the role that exchanges play in advancing foreign policy objectives and the role they play in building critical relationships.

Colonel Chris Wade
Erick Boone

Colonel Chris A. Wade (United States Army) is the U.S. Cyber Command Liaison Officer to USNORTHCOM and Director of the Cyberspace Operations Integrated Planning Element supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and USNORTHCOM at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He leads a team of subject matter experts working to integrate cyberspace capabilities into the operations of the military command.

A cyber specialist, COL Wade’s military career spans three decades.  He served in infantry and artillery positions in the United States and Korea, and served in three combat rotations: Fallujah, Iraq (2003) as a Field Artillery Battery Commander, in Mosul, Iraq (2008) as an Information Operations Officer, and in Baghdad, Iraq (2011) as a Cyber Operations Planner.  In 2015, COL Wade transferred to Cyber Operations; recent leadership positions include the Director of the Office of the Chief of Cyber (Fort Gordon, GA) and Director of Task Force Cyber Strong (The Pentagon).

COL Wade is a graduate of Georgetown College (BA), the Naval Postgraduate School (MS), and the U.S. Army War College (MSS).  His awards include the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Senior Parachutist Badge.


Erick Boone

Erick BoonePassion for international affairs and public service led him to the School of Communications at Howard University. While at Howard, Erick volunteered in the International Affairs Center, helped found the United Nations Association, and presented research as a member of the Annenberg Honors Program. In 2018, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Communications. After graduation, Erick worked as a program assistant for the Young African Leadership Initiative, then traveled to France to teach English and American History through the Teaching Assistant Program In France (TAPIF). He later worked as a virtual intern for the Department of State and as a policy fellow for the U.S. Helsinki Commission, where he focused on human rights issues. Erick is a 2020 recipient of the Thomas R. Pickering fellowship and is pursuing a Master’s Degree at Harvard Kennedy School before starting his career as a diplomat.

Networking opportunities for breakout rooms at the end

Young Professionals in International Education

Tiana A. Spruill, Membership & Development Officer and Kelsey Prima, yPIE DC Board Chair

Peace Corps

Christopher Cardona, Senior Virtual Recruiter

Women's Foreign Policy Group

Kim Kahnhauser Freeman, Executive Director

Careers in State

Yolonda Kerney, Diplomat in Residence, Howard University, Washington DC

Public Diplomacy Council

Olivia Chavez, PDC Graduate Fellow and Sherry Lee Mueller, Ph.D, PDC President

Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship
Application Deadline:
October 14, 2020

Patricia H. Scroggs, Director, Charles B Rangel International Affairs Fellowship

Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship
Application Deadline:
November 1, 2020

Maria Elena Vivas-House, Director of the Payne Fellowship Program

Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship
Application Deadline:
October 21, 2020

Lily López-McGee, Ph.D. Director, Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Program

Presidential Management Fellowship
Application Timeline:
September 30, 2020 - October 14, 2020

Becca Wadness and Brandon Jacobsen, Center for Leadership Development, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Fellowship Opportunities

Lia Miller, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State

Fellowship Opportunities

Christina Tilghman, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State

For 80 years, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) has brought hundreds of thousands of professionals to the United States to cultivate relationships with their American counterparts and address strategic foreign policy objectives. Throughout 2020, the #FacesOfExchange initiative is showcasing 80 of the program’s 225,000 accomplished alumni, their lives and leadership, and the continued impact of U.S. exchange programs on the global community,


DOS Careers

U.S. Department of State employees, with their skills, character and commitment to public service, are the backbone of America’s diplomacy.

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IVLP 80th