Global Citizen Diplomacy

Presentation of the Higher Education Task Force
Delivered November 17, 2010

Remarks by NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene Johnson on the Unique Role of Higher Education, at U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy

"A couple of years ago there was a wonderful bumper sticker making the rounds. It said: 'I love my country, but I think we should start seeing other people.'

This is really the essence of global citizen diplomacy, isn't it – person-to-person experiences of learning, dialogue, and service that help us to see others, understand issues, and live in the world in a different way. As a cumulative force, these experiences are transformative on a much larger scale, making our country – and our global community – more capacitated to solve great challenges, and more compassionate and tolerant in our dealings with one other. The French writer Marcel Proust put it this way: 'The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.'

The programs we are honoring here this week have a lot to teach us about how to see with new eyes, and about what is possible when that happens. I'm delighted to be here today to talk to you about the ten programs the summit higher education task force selected for special highlighting. They represent a remarkably innovative and impactful agenda for global citizen diplomacy that reaches deeply into the unique assets that higher education has to offer…"

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About the U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy

The U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy, hosted by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy in partnership with the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC, November 16 – 19, 2010, is aimed at bolstering Americans' engagement in international activities and issues.

NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene Johnson co-chaired the Summit's Higher Education Task Force with John Halder, former president and executive director of Community Colleges for International Development. The Higher Education Task Force selected ten programs at U.S. colleges and universities that serve as outstanding examples of how to engage many more Americans in citizen diplomacy and address the major global challenges of the 21st century.

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