From Lawrence to Liberal: The State Department's Impact on Kansas

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#State4States: The Department of State has direct impact on the state of Kansas

From Lawrence to Liberal: The State Department's Impact on Kansas

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. The State Department benefits the the “Sunflower State” of Kansas through military training, educational programs, and environmental partnerships. 

First, the State Department’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program funds education and training for international military students at the Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. These training programs provide foreign military counterparts exposure to the culture and history of both the United States and the state of Kansas, while also supporting the local economy. The IMET program continues to be a key component of U.S. security assistance, promoting regional stability and defense capabilities through professional military training and specialized instruction. 

Secondly, the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships has significant impact in Kansas through a variety of programs. The University of Kansas is a partner in the Diplomacy Lab network, a public-private partnership that enables the State Department to “course-source” research and innovation related to foreign policy challenges. Partner schools like the University of Kansas conduct research around Department-selected topics including democracy and human rights, counterterrorism, nonproliferation, global health, and energy security. Over the course of a semester, professors guide students in developing a final work product that accomplishes the goals outlined by the Department. Diplomacy Lab underscores the Department’s commitment to engage with the American people in the work of the State Department, and the need to broaden the Department’s research base in response to increasingly complex and evolving global challenges. 

The University of Kansas is also a founding partner in the Veterans Innovation Fellowship (VIP), program managed by the Office of Global Partnerships and the Bureau of Human Resources. VIP offers U.S. citizen veterans of the American armed forces a one-year paid fellowship to gain experience by working in a U.S. government international affairs agency. The fellowship supports veterans’ transitions to diplomacy and development careers, and gives U.S. government agencies the benefit of having veterans with a wide-range of experiences and expertise providing their perspectives. 

The State Department impacts Kansas on environmental issues through EcoPartnerships. EcoPartnerships between the United States and China harness the energy and ingenuity in both countries to conduct innovative projects. There are 38 current and graduated EcoPartnerships involving approximately 15 provinces and municipalities in China and 20 states in the U.S., including Kansas. The graduated U.S.-China EcoPartnership between the City of Wichita and the Chinese City of Wuxi fostered the exchange of best practices on clean air and clean water on a municipal and industrial level. This EcoPartnership represented an opportunity to demonstrate new models for comprehensive, eco-friendly, and cost-effective ways to promote sustainable development. 

Finally, the U.S. government is organizing an event in Kansas this March in preparation for the June Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in The Hague, Netherlands. The “Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit Heartland” event will be held in Overland Park, Kansas from March 18-19, and will showcase inspiring entrepreneurship and innovation in America’s Heartland. The event will also bring together a network of public and private partners from a number of states focused on developing agricultural, energy, health, and connectivity technologies. For more information on GES, visit https://www.ges2019nl.nl/

The State Department’s work with Kansas institutions in the defense, education, and environmental spheres has wide-ranging benefits for the American people. From Lawrence to Liberal, the State Department impacts Kansas communities and Kansans, in return, impact communities around the globe. 

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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