A recent opinion article in The Hill argues that exchange programs are “one of America’s most effective soft power tools” and “produce a tremendous return on investment”.
The piece, authored by Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Edward Gabriel, former ambassador to Morocco, and Marisa Lino, former Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, reflects the findings of their report entitled, “Public Diplomacy and the Advancement of U.S. Foreign Policy”.
The article, “The Soft but Unmatched Power of US Foreign Exchange Programs”, can be found here: https://thehill.com/opinion/international/540262-the-soft-but-unmatched-power-of-us-foreign-exchange-programs?rl=1
The article includes two catchy quotes:
From former Secretary of Defense James Mattis:
“If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.”
From Ambassador Frank G. Wisner (U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines, and India):
“Exchanges represent the best way to communicate American values, something with which China and Russia cannot compete.”
Michael McCarry served for 21 years as Executive Director of the Alliance for International Exchange, an association of U.S. exchange sponsors. Earlier, as a USIA Foreign Service Officer, he served overseas in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Beijing, and in Washington as staff director of the Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to Cenet, a Missouri-based exchange sponsor, and as a trustee of the EF Foundation.