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  • Tuesday, June 06, 2023 2:51 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Gordon Humphrey, a former U.S. Senator, has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Global Leadership Award by the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire. This prestigious award, established in 2014 to mark the Council's 60th anniversary, acknowledges individuals or organizations based in New Hampshire that have made significant contributions to global understanding, engagement, and connections for the local community. Senator Humphrey will be honored with the award during the Global Forum on June 13th, hosted by the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire. More details about the event can be found at

    During his tenure in the Senate, Humphrey played a vital role in shaping U.S. policy on international matters by serving on committees focused on foreign relations, armed services, and Afghanistan. However, his recent work in promoting public diplomacy has the potential to shape the future of U.S. relations with the rest of the world. At a time when both political parties are prioritizing engagement with China, both economically and militarily, voices like Senator Humphrey's advocating for the crucial role of diplomatic efforts in advancing global progress are significant.

    In a recent co-authored Wall Street Journal article with Senator Joseph Lieberman, Humphrey emphasized the importance of advocacy in persuading foreign audiences and highlighted that the United States must utilize every tool of national power to prevail in competition against authoritarian governments. He lamented the decline of advocacy as a powerful and cost-effective weapon over the past two decades, emphasizing the need to marshal truth and facts to sway international opinion.

    Over the past several months, Senator Humphrey has diligently worked behind the scenes on various issues related to U.S. diplomatic efforts. He has raised awareness about the challenges faced by the Office of Public Diplomacy, which has operated without a Senate-confirmed Undersecretary for more than five years. Additionally, Humphrey has aided Russian men seeking asylum due to Russia's brutal war in Ukraine, shedding light on critical issues and benefiting U.S. global interests.

    Tim Horgan, the executive director of the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire, expressed his admiration for Senator Humphrey's accomplishments in international affairs, highlighting the ability of individuals to make positive changes in the world. Horgan emphasized the Council's honor in raising awareness of these important issues and recognizing Senator Humphrey's exceptional work.

    For more information on how to participate in the celebration of New Hampshire's global connections and the impact of the world on local lives, please visit

  • Friday, May 05, 2023 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    On this week’s IVLP Alumni Spotlight, we would like to share reflections from one of our 2022 alumni, Dana Zubari. Dana participated in a July 2022 in-person IVLP on the topic of “U.S. Social Media Engagement”. She is a social media influencer from Bahrain and she holds many diverse professional roles. Zubari is the co-founder of two businesses: Tru Active, a sportswear brand; and Lettuce Run, an all women’s running group, and co-captain of Cycling Bees. She is dedicated to creating spaces where Bahraini women are able to participate in various sports and prioritize their personal health and well-being.

    Dana shares how much she enjoyed her IVLP experience, specifically emphasizing her time spent here in New Hampshire. She highlighted how much she enjoyed the diverse meetings with NH counterparts to share best practices. The meeting that she benefited from the most was a last minute-add on meeting with Social HQ. Social HQ is an innovative marketing team that focuses their energies on multiple social media platforms. Visitors were able to discuss which marketing tools may work best within their organizations and country, while the Social HQ team could also share their findings for organizations here in NH. It was truly a brainstorming session for the social media influencers and the marketing team to collaborate.

    Photo above: Meeting with The Social HQ

    Another meeting that Dana speaks highly of was the opportunity to meet with the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism. She was so intrigued by how NH markets tourism to individuals from out of state, and how they create useful tools to make traveling easier for tourists. Although this meeting did not align directly to her specific line of work, she shared the skills learned with Bahrain’s Ministry of Tourism department so that they can also utilize different approaches in their marketing strategies.

    Photo above: Meeting with NH Division of Travel and Tourism

    Dana beams with gratitude for her IVLP journey and expresses how much she loved her time here in NH. “Overall, my experience was really pleasant. Really, the people were extremely welcoming and very kind. I absolutely loved visiting New Hampshire. I definitely want to come back socially. Maybe to go skiing with my family!” Thank you so much, Dana, for your kind words and feedback. We are so grateful to have met you, and we cannot wait to see how you continue to make impactful changes both in Bahrain and internationally! We also hope to see you again in future travels to New Hampshire!

    To learn more about Dana and her work, please explore the resources below!

    A True Athletic Life, Interview with Dana Zubari

    Tru Active Website
    Lettuce Run Instagram Page
    Cycling Bees Instagram Page

    Follow Dana's Journey on Instagram 

    Photo above: Meeting with Spring Ledge Farm

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    Santosh Thakur participated in an October 2019 in-person IVLP focused on “Pluralism in U.S. Society”. He is from India, and he currently serves as the Deputy Editor #journalist for the Navbharat newspaper. In this role, he covers the ministries for External Affairs, Home Affairs, Petroleum, Telecommunication, Tourism, and Urban Development. Additionally, Mr. Kumar writes on international relations regarding Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United States.

    Santosh shares his opinion that all youth around the world should receive the opportunity to visit the United States under the IVLP program. It is an eye-opening experience to truly see how the world is progressing, and also a chance to further support one’s personal self-growth at the same time. 

    During his time in NH, Santosh and other IVLP participants had the opportunity to volunteer with Families in Transition / New Horizons, partake in a community-focused Citizen Exchange Circle, meet with the International Institute of New England, as well as B.R.I.N.G.I.T. (Bringing Refugees, Immigrants, and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow) after-school program, the Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL), the Manchester Police Department and NH State Police. 

    Photo above: Meeting with Manchester Athletic Police League (MPAL)

    Photo above: Meeting with B.R.I.N.G.I.T. Afterschool Program 

    Thank you, Santosh, for sharing your personal IVLP story! We look forward to future collaborations with you!

    If you'd like to learn more about Santosh or connect virtually, please follow the link that Santosh has shared with us below. 

    Santosh works to fight for the rights of India's Freedom of the Press

  • Thursday, April 06, 2023 3:22 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    Recently, the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire hosted a discussion entitled “Taking African Agency Seriously.” I know this is not where you expected me to start, but bear with me. In that conversation, Dr. Taiwo, a professor from Cornell University, mentioned that the way the global community approaches aid to the many countries in Africa actually disempowers communities and does not support their own decision-making. This got me thinking about other ways that we talk about what is going on in the world that ignores how decisions are made.

    So, how does this all relate to the idea that Putin may be a puppet of the west? It all starts with how many people, including Putin himself, have talked about the invasion of Ukraine. The story goes that Russia was forced to invade Ukraine because of Western actions, specifically NATO’s expansion. Regardless of if you accept this perspective, let us take the claim at face value. If Russia had no choice, that tells us that NATO is in control of Russia, and therefore Putin. He apparently has no control over when and why his country goes to war. He cannot utilize his and his country’s agency in making decisions, because the United States and its allies are all powerful and can dictate his moves.

    This line of thinking holds true for ending the war. Many of these same people blame the West for prolonging the war through their support of Ukraine. Untold thousands of lives could be saved if NATO and others would just step back. Again, this takes any power that Putin has and entirely shifts it to the West.

    These discussions also minimize the agency of the most important actor in this war, Ukraine. NATO is not providing this support to Ukraine in spite of what the Ukrainian government wants, rather in support of the many requests they have made for help. Ukraine does not want to be dominated by Russia, as shown time and again since before the fall of the Soviet Union. They want to expel the Russian occupiers of their lands and have the ability to make decisions for their own future.

    Therefore, if we are to look at this clearly, if Russia and its supporters want to claim that NATO caused this war to occur, we must also accept that Putin is simply a puppet of the West. I cannot imagine this is a claim that the Russian president would accept, meaning that the decision to go to war lies solely with him and his military. Everyone, especially leaders of large countries, has agency in this world. It may be constrained by the realities of the world, but in the end, everyone has a choice and it was Putin’s choice to initiate this devastating and illegal invasion.

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023 1:36 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    The relationship between the United States and Brazil has historically been characterized by periods of cooperation and tension, with issues ranging from trade, to democracy, and human rights. In the 20th century, the United States supported the military dictatorship in Brazil, but after the fall of this regime, the United States worked with Brazil as the country transitioned to democracy. In recent years, climate change and environmental concerns have emerged as key areas of focus for both countries. With the election of President Joe Biden in the United States and the return of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, the two countries face new opportunities and challenges that will shape the future of their relationship for years to come.

    The official position of the US State Department is that the United States and Brazil enjoy a strategic partnership based on shared democratic values and economic interests. The two countries have strong trade and investment ties, with Brazil being the ninth-largest trading partner of the United States, and the U.S. being the second-largest trading partner of Brazil. In 2019, the United States made an agreement to suspend Brazil’s designation as a developing country in the World Trade Organization, citing concerns about its trade practices, but also simultaneously backed Brazil for a chance to join OECD. The State Department also notes that the United States supports Brazil’s economic reform efforts and recognizes its role as a regional leader. However, recent events have strained the relationship between the two countries. The presidency of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, marked by controversial statements and policies, was met with criticism from the United States and other countries.  Additionally, the Bolsonaro administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the environment, specifically the increase in deforestation of the Amazon, were other major points of contention between Brazil and the international community.

    The return of Lula da Silva to the presidency in Brazil presents a new dynamic in US-Brazil relations. Lula, who served as president from 2003 to 2010, is a popular figure in Brazil and has a track record of promoting social welfare policies and environmental protection. After Lula met with Biden in Washington, D.C., they released a Joint Statement making it known that the United States plans to work with Brazil on shared priorities such as climate change and democracy. Lula has also spoken about the need to strengthen Brazil’s democratic institutions and promote social justice, which could align with the Biden administration’s priorities.

    Climate change in particular will be a topic of focus in the US-Brazil relationship in the coming years. The protection of the Amazon rainforest, which is crucial to global climate stability and biodiversity, has been a source of tension between the two countries. The Bolsonaro administration’s policies were criticized by Biden during his presidential campaign, French President Emmanuel Macron, and the NGO Greenpeace, for contributing to deforestation and environmental degradation in the Amazon. When tensions were at a high point Germany and Norway suspended funding for projects to curb deforestation in Brazil. In April 2021, President Biden hosted a virtual climate summit in which he called on countries to work together to address climate change. Breaking from his earlier hardline positions, Bolsonaro agreed during the Climate Leaders Summit to end deforestation by 2030 and committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. This was an important step for Brazil in relation to climate change prevention, but the promises made by Bolsonaro must be kept by the Lula administration.

    In an article for Reuters, Natalie Unterstell, President of Talanoa Institute and also coordinator of the Brazilian Climate & Development initiative, and Karen Marie Oseland, a Climate Policy Associate at Climate Advisers, argue that the private sector will play a critical role in addressing environmental challenges in Brazil. Unterstell and Oseland note that companies such as Nestle and Unilever have made commitments to reduce deforestation in their supply chains, but that more needs to be done. They argue that the Biden administration and the Lula administration could encourage more private-sector action by providing incentives and promoting transparency. However, they note that there are also risks associated with relying on the private sector, such as the potential for companies to attempt to make token environmental gestures to hide their environmentally unsustainable practices. There is also the possibility that companies may prioritize their bottom line over environmental protection, unless there are clear consequences in the forms of fines or lawsuits.

    Overall, the election of Lula da Silva presents the United States with a great opportunity to cooperate with Brazil on climate change and make meaningful contributions to the preservation of the Amazon. When the United States and Brazil are aligned in climate policy, it means that the world can expect more substantial action. Brazil plays an important role in the world as a protector of the Amazon, and must carefully balance economic interests with those of the environment. Through cooperation and active dialogue, the United States and Brazil have the unique opportunity to ensure that there will be a future that preserves the Amazon and combats factors contributing to climate change. The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire encourages active participation in discussions about the environment and the role that the United States should play in collaborating with other countries on this matter.

    - Ben Duffy-Howard, WACNH Intern

  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023 7:34 AM | Anonymous

    Lilian Namagembe participated in a 2019 in-person IVLP on the topic of “Mental and Physical Disabilities” She is from Uganda, and at the time of her IVLP she was a journalist for the Daily Monitor.

    During her time in NH, she is grateful for the professional resources that she and her IVLP colleagues were able to meet with and exchange ideas. Two of these resources include the UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc. and the Rhythm Tree. Namagembe was amazed by the innovative ways that both organizations run to support individuals that have a diverse range of physical and/or mental disabilities. She hopes to bring many of these initiatives back to Uganda so that individuals in her country will also have access to these opportunities to have a more fulfilled, supportive lifestyle.

    Lilian is a journalist by profession, however, her IVLP experience was so impactful that she changed her professional career path after returning home to dedicate her work in communications to support international humanitarian organizations. She is currently the Communications Officer at Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Uganda. Lilian has also created her own organization, Charity Productions Ltd, in Uganda where she is able to offer services to organizations to help raise funds to donate to charities.  Many of these charities are in place to support individuals needing medical financial assistance. She is actively working to help raise funds for charities throughout Uganda. Lilian tirelessly advocates that all voices are heard and respected in her community, regardless of physical or mental ability.

    Another initiative that Lilian has started is a registered club, Stop Tetanus Investment club. This is a support group for people affected and infected with Tetanus to pool funds and use them to create awareness against the lethal disease. 

    IVLP has opened Lilian’s eyes to see that she truly can make a positive difference in her community. One individual, a small group of people, or a large organization can all create positive change that will have a lasting impact for the communities they serve. Lilian expresses how much her IVLP experience has changed her to focus on how she can contribute to initiatives to help her community. Lilian is so grateful for this opportunity, and she is excited to continue to lead the way in making positive change.

    A few additional documents from Lilian’s awareness campaigns and crowdfunding:

    Report on 9 Year Old Suffering from Tetanus in Uganda - Lilian's nephew

    Crowdfunding Campaign for Lilian's Nephew

    "Tetanus is a cruel killer""

    Thank you so much, Lilian for taking the time to reconnect with us here at WACNH and for all you do to support all people's rights to be met! 

  • Monday, February 27, 2023 3:59 PM | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to have recently been able to re-connect with Eman Borg, an IVLP alumnus from one of our 2020 virtual programs. Eman has since had the opportunity to participate in an in-person IVLP on the topic of “Current U.S. Social, Political, and Economic Issues for Young European Leaders III”. Although we did not have the opportunity to host Eman here in NH during his time in the U.S., we were eager to check in after he returned home to hear about his IVLP experience and how in-person may have differed in comparison to his virtual experience.

    Eman expresses how he has always wanted to participate in an in-person IVLP, and that he was so grateful for the opportunity to travel in the United States for 3 weeks as a second time IVLP participant. Although he found meaning in his virtual IVLP, the in-person opportunity has truly made a lasting impact on Eman’s personal and professional life. The ability to converse with professional counterparts from different communities and countries in person was an extremely meaningful opportunity for Borg. Networking and building new connections cannot always be replicated exactly the same in a virtual environment.

    He is looking forward to taking his newly gained knowledge, skillsets, and professional relations with him as he implements new and improved initiatives in his small island of Malta. We are so happy to hear that Eman’s in-person IVLP has made such a positive impact on his life. We cannot wait to see all of the great work Eman continues to dedicate his time towards in Malta!

    Thank you so much, Eman! We appreciate you for taking the time to virtually meet with us and for all that you do as an activist in Malta. 

    A few photos that Eman would like to share from his travels:

    Picture above: IVLP delegation at Capitol Hill

    Picture above: Eman at State Department

    If anyone would like to learn more about Eman and his virtual IVLP experience, please refer back to his first interview post here

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2023 1:36 PM | Tim Horgan (Administrator)

    The current conflict in Ukraine is longstanding and holds great importance for the future of American national security policy in Europe. Although the beginnings of this conflict can be traced back to 2014, and the protests against former Ukrainian President Yanukovych, this most recent stage of escalation, which began just over a year ago, is much more deadly. A disputed referendum and Russian invasion in Crimea led to escalating tensions between Russians and Ukrainians throughout the country. This caused two more independence referendums, led by pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk, eventually causing the breakout of a low level war in the region over the years.

    Attempting to find a way to prevent further violence, the French and German governments joined both the Russian and Ukrainian governments in Minsk, Belarus to negotiate the Minsk agreement. However, the effort to reach a diplomatic solution was largely unsuccessful. The years following the failed negotiations featured a military build-up by NATO in Eastern Europe and economic sanctions against Russia. The Russians responded by holding their largest military exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union, showing that both sides were willing to ratchet up tensions.

    Before the current phase of this conflict, Russia’s foreign ministry called on the United States and NATO to limit their involvement with Ukraine, which the United States rejected. The United States asserted that all countries have the right to determine their own foreign policy, but that NATO membership was not currently on the table for Ukraine. Attempts to negotiate peace eventually failed, and on the 24th of February 2022, Vladimir Putin announced the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine.

    Now that the conflict has escalated to open warfare, the United States, and their Western Allies, have taken an active role in supporting the Ukrainians in their fight against this illegal invasion. The Biden administration sent $40 billion in aid to Ukraine for 2022 and has requested an additional $37.7 billion for 2023. More than half of this aid has been dedicated to defense specifically, representing 5.6% of total US defense spending. Timothy Ash, Associate Fellow at Chatham House, a proponent of continued US intervention in Ukraine, wrote in an article for the Center for European Policy Analysis claiming that “Ukraine is no Vietnam or Afghanistan for the US, but it is exactly that for Russia.” The idea is that as long as Russia is mired in fighting this war, it is a strategic win for the US. Further, he claims that helping Ukraine beat Russia sends a message to China that the US, and its allies, are strong and determined when challenged on issues of core importance. This message, in his view, should act as a deterrent for China to invade Taiwan. Furthermore, others who agree with Ash’s sentiment also believe that US intervention in Ukraine is important as a way to help put an end to, or at least contain, Putin’s aggression. Following this line of thought, by stopping Putin’s war, the United States demonstrates its commitment to uphold democratic values in Ukraine and their right to determine its own foreign policy.

    However, there is currently a debate between scholars as to whether this intervention is worth the financial costs. The war in Afghanistan cost $23 billion per year in its first two years. In 2011, at the height of the surge, the war cost $107 billion. The Iraq War cost $54.4 billion and $91.5 billion in its first two years, respectively. Those who believe that US intervention is not worth the costs claim that China is the true threat to the US-led international order and that Russia is more of a well-armed rogue state that wishes to disrupt rather than lead, unlike China. They also believe that extended conflict with Russia pushes that country further into the arms of the China and that it will make it increasingly hard for Europe to find a path to lasting peace and stability. In an article written for The New Republic, Trita Parsi of the Quincy Institute argues that if this war continues on too long “Europe may find itself in a state of constant, low-intensity war that cements enmity beyond generations.” His focus and that of those who agree with him, keys in on the costs of the war that are less easy to calculate with numbers and statistics. This argument emphasizes the importance of not prolonging the conflict, hoping to ensure a more durable peace when the conflict comes to an end.

    As the war continues to rage in the eastern part of Ukraine, and the country faces sustained missile and drone attacks daily, the Western Allies fail to send clear and coordinated messages about their intentions to support or not support Ukraine in their war efforts. Robust debates, centered on facts, allow the populations of these countries to have a say in how their governments respond to the ongoing crisis. The World Affairs Council of New Hampshire invites everyone to engage in these ongoing conversations and utilize its programs to understand both sides of the discussion.

    - Benjamin Duffy-Howard, WACNH Intern
  • Friday, January 13, 2023 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    Mamuka Saparidze participated in a virtual 2021 IVLP focused on “Youth and Civil Engagement”. He is from Georgia and his current work includes coordinating two educational projects funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. These two programs are Soniashnyk and English for Adults Course. He is also the founder of a new educational project, 'Internet Awesome Kid', which provides online and on-site training opportunities on Media and News Literacy and Cybersecurity.
    *More context for each project has been provided below.

    We are so grateful to Mamuka for sharing his reflections as an IVLP participant in our virtual programming here in New Hampshire! We are glad to hear that he enjoyed his professional meetings to meet with New Hampshire organizations that focused on on youth political action and promoting volunteerism. We continue to be humbled by the opportunity to connect such diverse international up-and-coming leaders to a global professional network.  We look forward to following Mamuka’s journey as he continues to make impactful changes in his home country.

    Thank you so much, Mamuka!

    Please read more about Mamuka’s work below:

    1. Soniashnyk - U.S. Embassy Public Diplomacy Section funded project that united displaced Ukrainian youth currently living in three Georgian cities around non-formal educational clubs. We provide free English, STEM, Media Literacy and Girls' Empowerment club meetings which contribute to empowering Ukrainian youth and contribute to their smooth integration in local Georgian communities. 

    2. English for Adults Course -  Innovative language course funded by the U.S. Embassy that engages adult learners from five Georgian cities. The program offers the opportunity to learn English through virtual reality and 3D oculus glasses. Innovative approach to language learning is fun and productive at the same time.

    3. 'Internet Awesome Kid' ProjectSaparidze collaborates with public school teachers, school students, and undergraduate students. This new study module increases media consumer’s critical thinking skills which helps them to become savvy news consumers. 

  • Monday, January 09, 2023 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    Happy New Year, everyone! We are looking forward to a great year of diverse IVLP programming, right here in NH over the next twelve months.

    For individuals who do not know much about the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), there are two main aspects. First, WACNH works to provide a diverse array of professional meetings for international visitors with their professional counterparts while in the state. The second goal of IVLP is to provide the chance to give real insights into what the average American is really like.

    One of the most exciting ways we approach this opportunity is through home hospitality. These informal dinners are prime opportunities that allow visitors and NH community members to meet and learn from each other. Through informal conversations, visitors and hosts have the chance to share about their culture, stories, and lives in a unique way. This is, undoubtedly, the favorite part of the trip for all our visitors!

    Before we dive in further, we would like to ask a few leading questions:

    Do you enjoy having opportunities to meet and connect with individuals from different countries?

    Would you like to provide opportunities for yourself, family, and/or friends to become involved in volunteering in the local community?

    Do you love to cook? Or, do you love to eat?

    *If you have answered yes to even just one of these questions, then we would love to chat with you about  getting involved!

    You don't have to take our word for it. Below is a short video we did with a home host, Howard Brodsky, where he talks about why he and his wife enjoy hosting these amazing people in their home. Thank you so much to Howard and Joan for opening their hearts to our visiting groups!

    Many people have asked us about what it takes to host a group, as many assume that only those with large homes in the Manchester area can participate. However, we are looking to show our visitors what everyday New Hampshire looks like, and welcome everyone to enjoy the benefits of this program. Whether you live in an apartment, a duplex, condo, or single family home, we want you to this host. Transportation can be provided for the visitors and groups range in size. The most important thing is not the space, or the food, but the welcoming and engaging conversation. We are eager to continue to expand our NH community host list to reflect the diversity of individuals within our state. We hope to hear from you soon!

    If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to reach out to our International Visitor Program Director, Anise Jasman-Sayers, at to learn more! Please also refer to our FAQ page here to learn more.

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