On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Keystone State” of Pennsylvania through cultural exchanges, defense cooperation, and public-private partnerships.
First, the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra received a grant from the State Department to visit Mongolia in June 2017, the first visit of a major U.S. orchestra to the country. The Pennsylvania-based Orchestra’s delegation included 18 musicians and nine staff who held performances and master classes for a range of audiences around Ulaanbaatar. Not only did this positively benefit Mongolia’s artistic community, but also gave the Philadelphia Orchestra members an impactful experience, broadening perspectives and building our people-to-people relationships.
Secondly, the State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs has a positive impact on Pennsylvanians, from supporting soccer programs to connecting the National Guard with counterparts in Lithuania. Spirit of Soccer, based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is a U.K. and U.S. registered nonprofit that uses soccer skills clinics and tournaments to educate children about the dangers posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war in conflict and post-conflict regions. In Fiscal Year 2017, Spirit of Soccer received funding from the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement to implement these risk education clinics worldwide.
The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs also maintains programs that benefit Pennsylvanians in the more traditional defense sphere. The State Department’s International Military Education and Training program funds the education and training of international military students at U.S. military institutions including the Army War College located at Carlisle Barracks. This training program provides foreign students exposure to the culture and history of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, while also supporting the local economy. Furthermore, the State Department facilitates the Pennsylvania National Guard’s State Partnership Program with Lithuania. The State Partnership Program links a state’s National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. Through this SPP, the Pennsylvania National Guard has enjoyed a close relationship with the Lithuanian Armed Forces since 1993, conducting military-to-military engagements such as training, exercises, and exchanges in support of defense security goals. The SPP has become a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating collaboration across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level.
Finally, as part of the Diplomacy Lab network, the State Department has partnered with Gettysburg College and the University of Pittsburgh. Led by the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships, Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership that enables the State Department to “course-source” research and innovation related to foreign policy challenges. Partner schools like Gettysburg College and the University of Pittsburgh conduct research around Department-selected topics, and 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.
From Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, the State Department positively impacts Pennsylvanians through a variety of programs, bolstering our cooperation and expanding our people-to-people ties at every level.
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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