International Visitor’s Program

WACST supports the mission of Global Ties and the Department of State’s International Visitors Program.

The World Affairs Council of South Texas implements the US Department of State’s International Visitor Program (IVLP) for the triangle in south Texas defined by Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Brownsville.

The Office of International Visitors is responsible for implementing the IVLP. Launched in 1940, IVLP seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. Each year nearly 5,000 International Visitors come to the U.S. on the IVLP. More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including over 335 current or former chiefs of State or heads of government.

The International Visitor Leadership Program is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States

We are a part of the Global Ties US network. Since 1961, the Global Ties Network has worked with the US Department of State to administer the IVLP. helping to tackle some of our biggest global challenges by fostering relationships through a variety of international exchange program. primary the IVLP program, helping to tackle some of our biggest global challenges by fostering relationships through international exchange programs. Global Ties helps local councils in their programming for the IVLP and other exchange programs, and administers the DOS grants to councils like us to support their work.

2019 Local Programs


Towards a More Safe and Secure World - Cooperative Efforts in Combating Transnational Crime, a multi-regional project for six participants, in McAllen, April 24-27

Transnational crime poses a threat to national and international security with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability. Not only are criminal networks expanding, they are diversifying their activities, resulting in the convergence of threats with destabilizing results. In support of U.S. efforts to counter transnational crime, terrorism, and violent extremism, this project is part of the larger “Towards a More Safe and Secure World” initiative designed to promote global cooperation in the war against transnational crime. It will examine how the U.S. government at all levels, often in cooperation with private-sector institutions such as faith-based organizations and NGOs, works to secure its borders and combat illicit trafficking of drugs, arms, and persons. Participants will examine the broad range of policies; operational strategies; and federal, state, and local government and private-sector institutions working to combat transnational crime and guarantee the integrity of cross-border commerce and travel. Participants will explore cooperative international efforts to combat cross-border criminal activity, in addition to the services provided domestically and internationally to assist victims of transnational crimes. Other topics to be addressed include smuggling, money laundering, and the nexus between transnational crime and terrorism.

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U.S. LNG Export Sector a Project for Germany, March 27-30, in Corpus Christi and Houston, a Project for seven from Germany

• The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring an International Visitor Leadership Program project entitled “U.S. LNG Sector,” for Germany, to be administered by Meridian International Center and conducted from March 24 to 30, 2019

• The Office of International Visitors seeks to provide a broad and balanced range of perspectives in the International Visitor Leadership Program. To this end, programs include a variety of appointments with individuals and representatives of organizations whose opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government

The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• The purpose of the project is to provide the participants with an understanding of the U.S. “shale gas revolution,” which has enabled the creation of a new U.S. LNG export sector. The long-term goal of the program is to create a better understanding of the beneficial role that LNG can play in Germany in order to facilitate better access to the German market for U.S. LNG

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Disaster Preparation & Emergency Management, March 23-27, a Project for eight from South America

The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Examine best practices in emergency preparedness, management, planning, and coordination among federal, state, and local government and the private sector

• Investigate how various stakeholders anticipate and develop contingency plans for natural disasters, pandemics, technological hazards, and/or terrorism threats

• Analyze the recruitment, training, leadership development, and funding for paid professionals and volunteer‑based Emergency Management Service (EMS) personnel

• Explore public‑private partnerships and programs that help communities heal from the trauma of disasters by offering leadership, restoring hope, and strengthening recovery plans

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2018 Local Programs


Environmental Protection Issues, November 14-18
A Project for four from Thailand

The Department of State outlined the following specific description and objectives for the project

• Examine state and federal environmental protection laws;

• Examine fisheries industry, including sustainable fisheries;

• Explore marine biology, biodiversity, and ecology conservation programs; and,

• Explore the role of NGOs (science, tools, and volunteers) in clean oceans and education efforts.

• Strategies for regional economic development.

Presentation files:
Ambient Air Monitoring
GeoTAM TAMIS
Current TCEQ Monitors in Corpus Christi

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Transparent Cross Border Commerce, October 11-16
A Project for Haiti and Dominican Republic, A group is sixteen, in Laredo
The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Strengthen understanding of transparent mechanisms and regulations that promote economic cooperation and commercial data exchange;

• Examine U.S. border commerce processes and mechanisms that expedite foreign exports while maintaining effective border security controls;

• Examine state and local international trade and export promotion initiatives, and related innovative strategies for regional economic development.
Sustainable Ecotourism, July
• To observe operations of sustainable tourism activities in the United States, including the roles and responsibilities of local governments, land planning and zoning bodies, natural resource management agencies, private sector tourism operators, and industry associations;

• To share awareness of best practices in sustainable tourism among U.S. and Indonesian participants, and develop networks for continuing collaboration to develop this sector; and

• To identify and understand models for deriving local economic benefit of natural resources from ecotourism while protecting sensitive ecosystems.
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Combating International and Domestic Human Trafficking, June
Human trafficking endangers public health, fuels violence and organized crime, and destroys the social fabric of communities. This project will examine best practices in combating the global problem of trafficking in persons, focusing on both slave labor and the sex trade. Participants will examine the U.S. prosecution and sentencing of traffickers as well as initiatives to protect, assist, and facilitate social reintegration of victims of trafficking. The participants will meet with local, state, and federal government agencies, law enforcement, educators, NGOs, faith based organizations, and advocacy groups to understand how the U.S. public and private sectors are working to end trafficking, both domestically and internationally.
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Combating Trafficking in Persons II, May
• Examine U.S. local, national, and international efforts to combat trafficking in persons;

• Explore innovative law enforcement strategies for preventing, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking crimes;

• Explore U.S. policy initiatives to protect, assist and provide social and economic reintegration services for trafficking victims; and

• Discuss awareness and education efforts and international cooperation in combating trafficking in persons.
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Volunteerism and Civic Action, April
• Examine the impact of volunteerism in U.S. communities and how volunteers are inspired to help foster a culture of service, civic involvement, and responsibility;

• Demonstrate best practices in volunteer recruitment, retention and management;

• Encourage mutual sharing of information to further voluntary initiatives among international NGOs; and

• Provide participants opportunities to experience volunteer opportunities alongside American citizens of all ages and backgrounds.
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Vocational Education in the United States, March
Ministry of Education officials and vocational institution administrators will explore the community college system in the United States. They will examine efforts to connect employers to institutions and multi cultural and international programs to address globalization.
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Air Quality, December 1-5
A Project for six from Spain.

The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project in Corpus Christi.

• Local level efforts for air quality mitigation

• Current methods of measuring and monitoring air quality

• Innovation in industrial and commercial air pollution management

From Don Marek:

Here are the slides I presented as PDF files. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Dr. Saritha Karnae at Wilkes University. She has done much PM and ozone research for the Corpus Christi are over the last few years.
Corpus Christi Port Presentation
Ambient Air Monitoring at TAMUK
Rider 7 State & Local Air Quality Program

Web Link: https://www.wilkes.edu/campus-directory/saritha.karnae.aspx

TCEQ Air Monitoring Sites: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/sites

Here is a link to a company I visited last month that does PAMS (Photochemical Assessment Monitoring Sites) for the state of Texas and other clients. You will find a mix of government and their technical publications that may be of interest to you.  https://orsat.com/

Status of Corpus Christi Air Monitors

 
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2017 Local Programs


December 4 to 7, 2016, Improving the Management of Municipal Solid Waste
A project for nine visitors from Indonesia. The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Explore cost effective, innovative, and alternative solutions for low income communities to manage waste disposal, reduce air pollution, and implement recycling programs;

• Increase capability in planning and improving low cost/low capital investment municipal solid waste (MSW) management systems with the use of available and proven waste converting technology into power and/or reducing volume of waste through sorting, composting, and recycling;

• Discuss programs designed to sensitize industries, community leaders and individual citizens of the need to protect the environment;

• Provide an overview of successful public and private sector efforts, policies and techniques to address key MSW issues at the national, local and grassroots levels in the United States;

• Explore best practices for MSW power conversion technology;

• Explore possibilities for synergy between education/research institutions and municipal governments; and

• Network to facilitate MSW conversion technology
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January 10 to 13, 2017, A project for a single person from Japan
Bio, Chief Official, Coastal Administration and Disaster Management Division, Ports and Harbors Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). For the Texas segment, the Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Illustrate U.S. environmental policies and efforts to combat global warming in the government and private sector;

• Explore the effects of global warming measures implemented in ports and harbors;

• Discover environmental subsidies, tax incentives, and consensus building among stakeholders;

• Identify subsidy schemes, tax incentives, and consensus building among environmental stakeholders; an.

• Understand the U.S. approach to international climate treaty negotiations
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March 22 to March 25, 2017, Promoting Bilateral Trade and Investment: Greater Port Efficiency
A Project for a single person from South Africa. Bio, Board of Directors, Adams College Education Trust, Deputy Chairman, Board of Directors, Dube Tradeport Board of Directors, eThekwini Maritime Cluster. The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Examine world class infrastructure at U.S. ports.

• Underline public-private business models in port management in the U.S. and communication channels across stakeholders.

• Highlight the impact of technology on business models for ports in the U.S.

• Examine the benefits of cooperation with U.S. port authorities and institutions in expanding South Africa’s footprint in global maritime markets.
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June 14-18, 2017, OUR PLANET – PRESERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF OUR OCEANS
A regional project, with eight visitors. The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Examine U.S. efforts to address coastal and marine management issues, particularly marine debris, pollution and sustainable fishing;

• Provide opportunities to interact with U.S. professionals at federal, state and local levels engaged in developing public policy frameworks for coastal zone management and climate change adaptation and mitigation;

• Share institutional and technical strategies to integrate local level projects with regional and international marine protection and clean-up efforts; and

• Discuss efforts to promote sustainable fisheries and livelihoods by reporting and eliminating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.
October 4-8, 2017, Energy Security: Fostering Clean, Productive, and Interconnected Economies
a regional program for eight from Europe. The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Provide an overview of U.S. energy policy formulation and implementation;

• Review federal and state regulatory frameworks and methods for monitoring energy compliance with regard to pricing, taxation, licensing, and environmental regulation;

• Examine alternative energy sources, routes, and supply, and integrating electrical grids;

• Explore financing strategies for energy projects, including infrastructure;

• Discuss strategies for ensuring energy security;

• Examine effective national and cross-border, regional energy supply, and security endeavors; and

• Highlight the importance of energy in economic development.
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November 14-18, 2017 Disaster Management, Kazakhstan, a project for eight visitors

The Department of State has outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

• Examine best practices in emergency preparedness management, planning and coordination among federal, state and local government and the private sector;

• Investigate how various stakeholders anticipate and develop contingency plans for natural disasters, pandemics, technological hazards, acts of terrorism and biological threats;

• Examine recruitment, training, leadership development and funding for professional and volunteer Emergency Management Services (EMS) around the country; and

• Explore public-private partnerships and programs that help communities heal from the trauma of disasters and develop leadership, restore hope, and strengthen the chances of a successful recovery.

Corpus Christi Additional Goals
1) City and County-Level Emergency Preparedness, Legislation, and Programs

2) Emergency Plans for the Oil and Gas Industries

3) Evacuation Support and Refugee Assistance

4) Hospital Emergency Management
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