About the Author: Stacey Somsichack serves in the Bureau of Human Resources.
My name is Stacey Somsichack, and I am a first generation Laotian-American, born and raised in Connecticut. I studied Sociology at the University of Connecticut and was actively involved with the Asian American Cultural Center, focusing on Asian American issues and experiences. I have a strong interest in the Southeast Asian-American migration experience.
My family became refugees in Thailand in 1976 during the Secret War in Laos. My grandfather often told stories about the time when he left Laos. At the time, he heard of the forced re-education camps and feared for the safety of his family, so my grandfather suddenly left his village without notice. He crossed the Mekong River to refugee camps in Thailand, by night, to avoid border police. My grandfather later sent word back to his family on the other side of the river, and arranged for their journey to the Thai camps.… more »
About the Author: Alberto Rodriguez serves as Spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides met yesterday with outstanding alumni of U.S.-sponsored academic exchange programs in Islamabad, Pakistan. At the event, hosted by the U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan, Deputy Secretary Nides spoke with alumni of Fulbright programs and the Community College Initiative.
The alumni recounted their positive experiences in the United States and also gave their opinions about the overall U.S.-Pakistani relationship. They shared ideas on how Americans and Pakistanis can deepen mutual understanding, agreeing that more needed to be done on both sides.
“To see so many impressive Pakistani… more »
About the Author: Paul Weisenfeld serves as the Assistant to the Administrator in the Bureau for Food Security at USAID.
Every day, two billion people in the world do not consume enough nutrients to live healthy, productive lives. As the head of the Bureau for Food Security at USAID, the magnitude of this number — two billion — is why I am so serious about my work. As a father, another number resonates with me: 200 million. That is the number of kids who suffer from chronic undernutrition worldwide. This is a serious issue that contributes to chronic hunger, poverty, and susceptibility to disease.
That’s where my work — and that of my colleagues from across the U.S. government, private sector, civil society, and host-country governments — comes in. Building on decades of support for development programs, the United States is strengthening partnerships and integrating its global… more »
About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote’s Managing Editor.
Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Tanzania, the third visit of a tripthat also includes stops in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Zambia, and Ethiopia. During her travel to the U.A.E., Secretary Clinton participated in a meeting of the Libya Contact Group, where she said:
“…Our coalition remains united and committed.… more »
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at the University Teaching Hospital Paediatric Centre of Excellence in Lusaka, Zambia, on June 11, 2011. Secretary Clinton highlighted her visit to the hospital with Zambian President Rupiah Banda on June 10 and discussed how the facility is one of many ways that the U.S.-Zambia partnership is working to improve the health of people across the country.
Secretary Clinton said, “The president and I met with very impressive doctors, medical staff, support staff. We saw firsthand the program that helps survivors of gender-based violence and the community approach that is being taken to that problem. And the president and I had the honor of meeting a young mother and her child who have benefited from the work… more »
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke with participants in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) in Lusaka, Zambia, on June 10, 2011. Zambia has just completed hosting a follow-on conference to the 2010 (AWEP) that took place in conjunction with the 2010 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum.
AWEP was established in 2010 under the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). The women of the 2010 AWEP visitors program were accomplished entrepreneurs and leaders of small and medium-sized businesses in Africa. AWEP aims to empower African women entrepreneurs to become part of… more »
About the Author: Martina Strong is a Foreign Service Officer. Martina recently arrived to U.S. Embassy Warsaw after serving 18 months as Foreign Policy Advisor for the U.S. military in Basrah, Iraq.
My family escaped from Czechoslovakia in 1982. Our nine-month journey to America began as a summer vacation in then-Yugoslavia and took us first to a desolate refugee camp on the outskirts of Belgrade before finally bringing us to our new home — Fort Worth, Texas. Like many before us who escaped the harsh communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe, we came to America seeking the freedom from persecution and opportunities that were denied to those outside the communist “nomenklatura.”
For a 14-year-old Czechoslovak girl who spoke no English, this new home was a bewildering mystery, both exciting and scary. Making sense of this new world, the language, culture, and people was a tall order. But my family and I were ready for the challenge. We worked, studied English, and saved.
Those initial years were marked by key milestones: buying our… more »
About the Author: Dara Yin serves at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia.
My father was a Foreign Service National driver working at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 1973-75 during the country’s civil war that eventually led to atrocities and genocide. My father often told me about taking Foreign Service Officers across the city to do their work. In 1975, as the Khmer Rouge tightened the noose around the capital, it was obvious they were going to win the war. After rockets and mortars started landing in the city, the Ambassador decided to evacuate all staff and family. I was born amidst one such attack, which my mom credits for my ability to sleep through anything.
When the time came, the evacuation helicopters had to do rolling landings and takeoffs to avoid being easy targets. Our helicopter was rolling rapidly and my mother, with four children, had to toss her two-month old baby (me) to the crew chief before climbing aboard.… more »
About the Author: Ambassador Eric Goosby serves as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.
Today, I was proud to participate in an historic moment in the global HIV response. Standing with former President Bill Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and many others, we joined forces toward an ambitious, yet achievable, goal — ending pediatric AIDS and keeping mothers alive around the globe.
In the United States and Europe, pediatric AIDS is now an artifact of history. Yet, in many countries, nearly one baby is born with HIV every minute, despite us having the know-how to prevent it.
Ensuring that all babies are born HIV-free must be a global priority, and not left to a lottery of geography. Children everywhere deserve a healthy start in life. And they deserve a mother, not just to help bring them into the world, but to help raise them and care for them.
As we have learned from 30 years of struggle, extraordinary things happen… more »
About the Author: Brian Asmus serves as Political, Economic, and Public Diplomacy Officer at U.S. Embassy Port Moresby.
U.S. Ambassador Teddy Taylor presided over the closing celebration ceremony for the Efate Ring and Santo East Coast roads in Vanuatu on April 12, 2011. Prime Minister Sato Kilman, Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini, Minister of Finance Moana Carcasses, New Zealand High Commissioner Bill Dobbie, Australian High Commissioner Jeff Roach, and Frances Reid and Chris Cookson from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) attended. The five-year, US$65.69 million project included US$9 million in funding from New Zealand.
Looking back over the history of the project, which started under my predecessor Kim Strollo, I was amazed that, despite two years of extreme weather and earthquakes, Vanuatu had not only met but also exceeded the ambitious timelines set under the MCC Compact.… more »
About the Author: J. Alexander Thier serves as Assistant to the USAID Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs.
In the last decade, Afghanistan has made some dramatic development achievements. Access to basic health services has rocketed from nine percent to 64 percent. Under the Taliban, only 900,000 boys and almost no girls were enrolled in schools, while today, more than seven million children are enrolled in schools, 35 percent of whom are girls. Afghanistan has averaged 10 percent per year economic growth, is using a single, stable currency, and government revenues have grown to $1.65 billion, with a 400 percent increase in customs revenues since 2006 alone. With gross domestic product (GDP) per capita doubling since 2002, some five million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty. In 2002, Afghan government institutions were barely functional. Most ministries did not have telecommunications, electricity, or even basic office supplies like pens or paper. Today, several ministries,… more »
#SecClinton travels to #UAE, #Zambia, #Tanzania and #Ethiopia: http://t.co/5G87jXC #AGOA #Libya