The work of the State Department benefits the American people by advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing services, and reaffirming our country’s exceptional role in the world. These wide reaching benefits are evident in its direct impacts to the “Grand Canyon” state of Arizona.
The State Department’s impact on the 48th U.S. state is wide, ranging from educational and professional exchanges, to economic and military partnerships. One example is Arizona State University’s participation in the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, a flagship initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitor Leadership Program. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is a leading contributor and collaborator for the Murrow program.
Under this program, each year, journalists from around the world are brought to the United States to explore freedom of expression. Participants are emerging professionals in print, broadcast, and digital media who examine the rights and responsibilities of a free press in a democracy while observing the operational practices, standards, and institutions of the media. Murrow program participants take part in academic seminars and field activities with faculty and students at schools like the Walter Cronkite School, then visit small to mid-sized American cities to gain an understanding of media coverage in state politics and government.
In a different type of exchange, the Department of State facilitates the Arizona National Guard State Partnership Program with Kazakhstan, founded in 1993. Arizona's soldiers and airmen travel several times a year to share ideas and best practices with their Kazakhstani counterparts. Such trips allow Arizona's National Guard leaders to see the partnership’s effectiveness, observe both the troops of Arizona and Kazakhstan in the field, and observe the American soldiers' participation in Exercise Steppe Eagle, a key feature of the partnership, hosted by Kazakhstan every year. Over the last 20 years, Arizona and Kazakhstan have regularly exchanged personnel in an effort to foster cooperative, mutually beneficial defense relationships, both personal and professional. Such opportunities allow military counterparts to exchange ideas and improve interoperability, thereby making both armed forces better than they were before.
Finally, the State Department serves as a convening force, bringing together stakeholders in a variety of disciplines to bring about benefits for the people of Arizona. In April 2017, the Bureau of Public Affairs’ New York Foreign Press Center hosted a press briefing for business and state government officials from the Tucson and Southern Arizona region to discuss regional economic development in the Southwest, job creation, domestic and international investment, as well as ways to attract new business. Representatives from Sun Corridor, Pima County, and Start Up Tucson answered questions from the foreign press about their economic ecosystems, defense partnerships, solar energy enterprises, trade agreements, reliance on the H1B program, and more. These kinds of briefings bring more understanding of and interest in Arizona’s economy to the benefit of Arizonans and foreign investors, alike.
From Phoenix to Tucson, and from the military training ground in Kazakhstan to the journalists’ classroom in Tempe, the State Department continues to have a positive impact on Arizona, bridging gaps and fostering positive relationships that will bear dividends for years to come.
Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State.
Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.
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