We are finishing with our visit of Manchester, New Hampshire, where the motto is "Live free or die". Since 1889, New Hampshire has paid its 400 State Representatives and 24 State Senators an annual pay of $100 per year! It is the lowest state legislature pay in the U.S., while the second-lowest annual pay is in Texas at $7,200 per year. New Hampshire's state legislature is also the largest in the U.S., while the second-largest state legislature is Pennsylvania’s, with 253 seats. It is all about helping and contributing to the community out here! It really makes you think about the system of governance, where everything is done by the people for the people.
We finally had a chance to experience the long awaited "Home Hospitality dinner" and I am forever grateful to Dr. Andrew Smith, Director of UNH Survey Center and his family for hosting us at their pleasant home and showing us, what New Hampshire is really about. In addition to excellent cuisine, we also had an opportunity for some deep political and philosophical conversations. A truly one of a kind experience.
Our program, that was organized by our local host World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, continued with a visit to New Hampshire Cyber Integration Center at the Department of Information Technology, where we learned about the profound significance of NHCIC in enhancing the cybersecurity posture of the state, its essential role in monitoring cybersecurity threats, promoting real-time information sharing, facilitating threat analysis and how the NHCIC fosters collaborative efforts between executive branch agencies and departments with the goal of bolstering the state's ability to respond effectively to cyberattacks. The Commissioner's team has incredible expertise from previous employments in U.S. Army and U.S. intelligence community which they enthusiastically shared with us!
We also visited Manchester Community College, where we discussed their use of technology in the classrooms and NH Cybersecurity Symposium. It was an excellent opportunity to get an in depth view of how the educational system works at this college and its benefits. We also had a demonstration of the metaverse and could see from first hand experience the changes that it will bring to education system. What a time to be alive!
Our program in NH concluded with a State House Tour, where we learned about the history and politics of the state. NH State House is one of the oldest state capitol buildings in the U.S. in which both houses of the legislature meet in their original chambers and it still currently houses the Governor and Executive Council!
Our visit to NH was short, but sweet and NH is definetly one of the places that I would move to, if I was considering living in the U.S.!
We will soon travel to Boston, Massachusetts, which is our final destination in this amazing IVLP program, that I am very honored to be part of.