From Woonsocket to Westerly: The State Department's Impact on Rhode Island

3 minutes read time
Coast line, with the words "State4States" and "Rhode Island"
#State4States: The Department of State has direct impact on the state of Rhode Island

From Woonsocket to Westerly: The State Department's Impact on Rhode Island

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 “Ocean State” of Rhode Island through job creation, exchange programs, and investment in scientific research.

First, the State Department, in partnership with agencies across the federal government, creates jobs for Rhode Island workers by opening markets and eliminating trade barriers overseas, as well as by attracting foreign direct investment to the United States. In 2018, Rhode Island exported $2.4 billion in goods, and as of 2016, Rhode Island goods exports supported approximately 9,977 jobs. Foreign direct investment into Rhode Island supported an additional 26,500 jobs in 2016.

Secondly, the State Department benefits Rhode Islanders through international exchange programs, including the Fulbright program. The Fulbright Program fosters bilateral relationships and promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. More than 390,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program since its inception more than 72 years ago, and the Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 41 Scholars, Students, and Teachers from Rhode Island were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and 18 international students received a Fulbright grant to study in the Ocean State. Outside of the Fulbright program, over 5,478 international higher education students studied in Rhode Island in 2016/2017. These exchanges build our people-to-people relationships between the international community and the people of Rhode Island.

Finally, the State Department supports international joint research projects with Rhode Island universities that are beneficial to the United States and our partner countries. Researchers from Brown University and the University of Rhode Island recently received grants from the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). These joint research projects with Israeli scientists allow both countries to conduct world-class research in a wide range of basic and applied fields. Supported by the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, this collaborative research with Israel advances our shared scientific priorities and strengthens our bilateral relationships.

From Woonsocket to Westerly, the State Department positively impacts Rhode Islanders through economic investment and job creation, academic exchange programs, and research funding, thereby strengthening our own economic and academic capabilities and bolstering our relationships.

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.

For more information:

Read other DipNote blogs in the #State4States series