Celebrating Partnerships Around the World

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco J. Sanchez introduces President Barack Obamas video message at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 11, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Kris M. Balderston serves as the Special Representative for Global Partnerships within the Office of the Secretary of State.

We can achieve more together than we can alone.

That simple statement underscored the premise of the first Global Partnerships Week, which we marked December 9-15, 2012. I saw the power of partnerships firsthand in Dubai, where I participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and our Partners for a New Beginning initiative, while our embassies and missions around the world, from Japan to Brazil, spotlighted the value of partnering with the private sector.

Through educational and media events, competitions, and challenges, we’ve seen the State Department recognize the importance of collaborating with the private sector. In Honduras, for example, the Embassy launched a partnership with a local telecommunications company to provide Internet, cable, and phone access at youth outreach centers. In Haiti, Ambassador Pamela White hosted a reception for businesses… more »

It Starts With One: Alumni, Youth Empowerment, and a Vision for a Better Future

Regional Alumni Enrichment Workshop on Youth Empowerment and Citizen Security in Costa Rica [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Jeff Weinshenker serves as a Public Diplomacy Officer in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

It all starts with one. One idea. One individual. One community. And one vision for a better future.

It starts with Juan Pablo in Bolivia teaching at-risk youth how to express themselves through sports and culture, developing their own identity so others won’t define it for them.

It starts with Martha in Costa Rica or Yelitza in Panama, who found ways to reach the “unreachable” — gang members, drug users, and school dropouts in whom others had given up hope.

Sometimes it begins with an idea — teaching robotics to 10-year-olds in a drug-ravaged community in Costa Rica. Piece by piece, with the support of dedicated adults, these boys and girls learn to construct something bigger — engines, cars, complex systems — and along the way, they rebuild themselves and their neighborhoods.

These moments of inspiration exist across… more »

Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Travels to Central America

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 25, 2012


Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson will travel to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras June 26-29. Assistant Secretary Jacobson will meet with leaders from all sectors of Central American society to advance our regional partnership for a more secure and prosperous Central America.

In El Salvador, the Assistant Secretary will award scholarships to Salvadoran students for study in the United States, and will participate in an equipment donation ceremony for Salvadoran security and law enforcement. In El Salvador and Guatemala, she will meet with government, civil society, private sector leaders, and media opinion-makers to discuss citizen security. Also in Guatemala, she will meet with student participants in the English Access Microscholarship Program and will attend the closing ceremony of Beyond the Horizon, a U.S.-sponsored joint humanitarian assistance exercise in the city of Cobán.

In Honduras, the Assistant Secretary will participate in a meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA) Heads of State and Government. In May 2012, the United States and SICA signed a Memorandum of Understanding granting the United States observer status in that organization. Assistant Secretary Jacobson will reiterate our strong commitment to a regional security partnership and will highlight our integrated approach to cooperation through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. She will also meet with Honduran officials and civil society representatives.

World Summit Celebrates People of African Descent in the Americas
Participants pose for a photo at the first World Summit of African Descendants in La Ceiba, Honduras, August 2011. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Zakiya Carr-Johnson serves as Senior Advisor to the Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

A warm “Buiti achuluruni” was the Garifuna welcome for the more than 1,000 participants who traveled to La Ceiba, Honduras, to attend the first World Summit of African Descendants. The World Summit of African Descendants: Integral and Sustainable Development with Identity was organized by Organizacion de Desarrollo Etnico Comunitario and the International Civil Society Committee to commemorate the United Nations (UN) and Organization of American States (OAS) International Year for People of African Descent.

Summit participants included civil society, government, and international organizations from more than 30 countries. I headed the Department of State’s delegation. The U.S. delegation also included several staff from the Bureau of… more »