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 “Old Dominion” – the Commonwealth of Virginia – through exchanges, law enforcement cooperation, and educational research.
First, the State Department positively impacts Virginia through exciting exchange partnerships, including through the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is a public-private sector collaboration that supports new higher education partnerships between the United States and countries throughout the Americas. As part of this program, Northern Virginia Community College and Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Acre in Brazil created a program to address the lack of financial resources for students to pursue international opportunities. George Mason University and Tec de Monterrey, Mexico, launched a collaborate initiative that will have three core components: faculty exchange, globally-networked learning, and student exchange. And, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and Universidad Catolica de Argentina, Argentina, have addressed accessibility in study abroad, including STEM courses for international students, service learning, and faculty/researcher exchange, all of which aim to promote science and innovation collaboration among the partnering institutions. The Innovation Fund fuels new higher education partnerships, increases academic exchanges, provides critical access training programs, and builds bridges of opportunities.
Second, the State Department facilitates law enforcement cooperation. The Bureau of International Narcotic and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has partnered with the Virginia State Police since 2016. In 2018, the Virginia State Police traveled to Thailand and provided the Royal Thai Police Forensic Science officers with fire investigations training. In 2019, INL and the Virginia State Police began working with the Buenos Aires and Santa Fe Provincial police in Argentina to develop a training program designed to strengthen law enforcement capacities to investigate complex crimes and increase public security. INL has also partnered with the Virginia Department of Corrections since 2017. In 2018, Virginia Department of Corrections instructors traveled to Morocco to conduct Disturbance Control and Crisis Management Training for officials from Morocco’s prison service. Additionally, the Virginia Department of Corrections contributed to leadership development training for Colombia’s National Institute of Penitentiaries and Jails. Finally, INL partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, based in Alexandria, to provide study tours and training in order to strengthen Mexican law enforcement partnerships with Women’s Justice Centers. INL’s partnerships with Virginia law enforcement agencies have far-reaching and significant benefits for Virginia’s officers, who gain new perspectives and ideas, and for their counterparts around the world, who gain new tools and resources.
Finally, as part of the Diplomacy Lab network, the State Department has partnered with the College of William and Mary, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech. 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 these Virginia universities 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 Arlington to Roanoke, the State Department benefits Virginians through exchanges, law enforcement cooperation, and educational research. These programs have a positive impact on Virginians, on their counterparts in countries around the world, and on the development of our foreign policy.
Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State.
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