Creating international connections.
Cultivating local innovation.
Activating global potential.
February 2021
Expand Your World Today
In This Issue...
  • Quote of the Month
  • Sharing a Global Perspective
  • Two Minutes with... Board Member Nivine B. Woods
  • Welcome IVCLA Intern
  • Deadlines Approaching for World Expo in Dubai
  • Community Events
  • Stay Informed on COVID-19
  • Upcoming International Virtual Programs
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Quote of the Month:

"I find that our countries have a common problem in the lack of inclusion of youth in leadership roles in social movements. Youth must understand that they are their own leaders, and they have to understand their history so as to not lose the rights previous generations achieved."

~ Fernanda de Alcantara Pestana, a visitor from Brazil on a 2016 program about Social Inclusion in the US
Sharing a Global Perspective
Although we are not able to welcome our international visitors to the L.A. area during this unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic, we are looking forward to welcoming more remarkable visitors from around the world as soon as it is safe. In the meantime, IVCLA has reached out to our international alumni to share their stories and insights with you.
Twenty-two filmmakers from around the world are pooling their talents to develop SANATIONE, an episodic film project to capture today's COVID-19 world and what our world will need to heal. Three of the filmmakers are IVCLA International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni. SANATIONE was born under the leadership of International Youth Media Summit's co-founder Evelyn Seubert, who teaches at Cleveland Charter High School’s Global Media Studies Magnet. Evelyn is a frequent resource for our IVLP participants. Last January she hosted a group of filmmakers from India on the program Film as Medium of Social Change. Rukshana Tabassum, a freelance writer and director, stayed in touch with Evelyn following that program and was happy to participate in the SANATIONE project.

This month’s SANATIONE episode is Rukshana’s short film entitled Note to Self.
We hope you will enjoy it!
Two Minutes with... Board Member Nivine B. Woods
We are pleased to provide the eighth in our series of interviews with the IVCLA Board of Directors. In the coming months we look forward to providing candid conversations with each Director. This month we talk with Nivine B. Woods, Global Director of Surgical Marketing at Johnson & Johnson.
IVCLA: What do you find most compelling about IVCLA’s mission and work?

NBW: Having been a foreign exchange student at 16 years old myself, I can certainly identify with IVCLA’s mission… I know firsthand the power of those meaningful and lasting connections that have shaped my life in so many ways. Today more than ever before, we live in an interconnected world and it’s that citizen diplomacy that builds global fluency, opportunities and impact.

IVCLA: Our programs directly address some of the world’s most pressing issues: countering government disinformation, creating sustainable communities, promoting tolerance through the arts, empowering women in leadership, controlling infectious diseases, eliminating human trafficking, and alleviating chronic poverty and hunger, to name just a few. What global issue is most important to you for IVCLA to develop deeper ties between L.A. and the rest of the world?

NBW: These are all important issues to me. Having grown up in Egypt and experiencing religious intolerance, I would add “supporting efforts worldwide to allow freedom of speech, the free expression of ideas without censorship or retribution”

IVCLA: If you were hosting an international visitor for a day in Los Angeles, what would you want them to see and do?

NBW: I would probably invite them to my home in Orange County where they can experience authentic cuisine, live music, mountain views and oranges off the trees.

IVCLA: Describe one of your most rewarding experiences while traveling in another country.

NBW: The friendships made are by far my richest and most rewarding experiences. Long conversations and meals at my friends’ homes in Madrid, Yokohama, Amman, Paris and Sao Paolo.
IVCLA: What is one (or more) of your most treasured objects/memories that you acquired while visiting another country?

NBW: My most treasured memories include witnessing sunrise at Mt. Sinai, camel safaris & sand duning in Dubai, scuba diving in the Maldives, enjoying coca tea in Machu Pichu, and watching the sunset along the Seine.

Among my most treasured objects, I would have to cite the string instruments, crosses and art that my husband and I collect, and the monogrammed calligraphy brushes that I have yet to try.
IVCLA: What country/culture would you like to explore one day, and why is it on your “bucket list”?

NBW: I have been blessed with a career that has taken me to well over 100 countries. It’s been a blast, but I’m always saying that one day I’ll come back for vacation. On my bucket list is a trip back to the Seychelles, where my husband and I went for our honeymoon in 2001!

IVCLA: Where are you planning to travel internationally next and what do you hope to discover/experience?

NBW: Probably a business trip to Europe - Switzerland!

IVCLA: If there was only one thing you’d like residents of other countries to know about Americans and the U.S., what would it be?

NBW: I love this country: It’s diverse, beautiful and full of opportunity.

Average Americans in their natural state are the best ambassadors a country can have.

– William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, authors of The Ugly American
Welcome IVCLA Intern
IVCLA is pleased to welcome Vaughn Nahapetian, a junior at St. Francis High School in La Canada as our virtual intern. Vaughn is 16 years old and he told us he is super passionate about international politics and foreign policy.

He shared, “As an intern, I am looking forward to working with IVCLA to help develop programs that help spread cooperation, intellectual exchange, and mutual trust amongst participating groups and people. My interest in IVCLA's programs stems from a desire to help develop my exposure to the world, as I would like to pursue a career in the Department of State, United Nations, or the Foreign Service.

Growing up as the son of two immigrants, I understand the importance of providing educational and social support and dialogue for not only people in my community, but also those overseas. Through the various programs put into place by IVCLA I would like to learn and develop my skills in international and domestic communications and citizen diplomacy."
Deadlines Approaching for World Expo in Dubai!

You still have time to be part of an exciting global event! Taking place October 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022, the World Expo will welcome 192 participating countries and approximately 25 million visitors from across the globe.


IVCLA and Global Ties U.S. are seeking Youth Ambassadors to serve as guides and cultural ambassadors for the USA Pavilion at the Expo in Dubai! Youth Ambassadors will be the human connection to the U.S. and its territories, reflecting its geographic and cultural diversity. Youth Ambassadors must be energetic, friendly, and people-oriented, as they will serve as the "Faces of America" to millions of Expo visitors.

To apply, you must be a U.S. citizen between 18-29 (as of August 1, 2021). Youth Ambassadors’ expenses (travel, lodging, per diem) are covered. Language abilities are an asset, but not required in order to apply.

Applications will close February 26, 2021!

Ready to apply? The application portal is open! Apply here.

Want more information? Check-out the USA Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai, or GlobalTies U.S. websites or contact Janet Elliott at with any questions.

Want a closer look? Explore the USA Pavilion here.

Share your talent as a cultural performers for the USA Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai! IVCLA will be nominating cultural performers to showcase American cultural diversity and innovation across disciplines including but not limited to music, dance, theater, literature, film, cuisine, and sport, as well as subject-matter experts/speaking engagements on innovation, technology, space and other creative/innovative platforms of expression or entertainment! Performers’ expenses (travel, lodging, meals) are covered.

Applications will remain open through March 15, 2021!

If you or someone you know would be interested in this opportunity, please contact Janet Elliott at for more details.

Want a closer look? Explore the U.S. Pavilion here.
Community Events
Honorary Consul General of Senegal Mame Toucouleur Mbaye invites you to attend the 5th Annual International Women-In-Diplomacy Day event. Celebrate the resilience and ingenuity of women in diplomacy with women across the nation in a virtual symposium on International Women's Day!

When: March 8, 2021
10:00-11:30am PST/1:00-2:30pm EST

RSVP by February 26th To Mame Mbaye
The World Trade Week Education committee invites Southern California High School Junior and Seniors, Undergrad college and university students to participate in the 2021 Global Trade Showcase Competition by submitting a short video submission [TikTok or other media] to address the following prompts:

  • Undergrad Students: Research an international career/job you may like to pursue via the WTW Global Trade Career Guide and other resources to create a video of a typical day in that job.

  • High School Students: Select your favorite product and research how the product is made, with special emphasis on where the components come from and how the product reaches the consumer market. Examples – Lucky Jeans, Nike shoes, etc.

Submit your video by February 26, 2021
The World Trade Week committee offers scholarships to aspiring students in international trade fields. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding graduating high school seniors entering an accredited college or university with the goal of a career in international trade, as well as college students pursuing international degrees. By fostering international trade education and international business development, the committee hopes to develop a network of international trade professionals willing to provide mentoring to future students interested in international business.

Applications are open for High School and College/University students! Click here for more details. The deadline is Friday, March 5, 2021.
Stay Informed on COVID-19
The IVCLA staff and board send good thoughts to all our members and friends. Although our work creating people-to-people connections isn’t possible right now, we look forward to hosting more international visitors as soon as it’s safe. We can all do our part to lend moral support to others, not only in Los Angeles, but around the world. This unprecedented global crisis can only be solved by coming together to share all of our knowledge, expertise, and goodwill. We are stronger together!      
An informative, infographic global report of the COVID-19 data is HERE

Check out the volunteer opportunities in Los Angeles HERE

Free COVID-19 Testing Available for Eligible Angelenos HERE

LA County COVID-19 Vaccine Information HERE
Upcoming International Virtual Programs
The following virtual programs have been arranged by the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles in partnership with the U.S. Department of State

Feb 10: IVLP Gold Star: Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the ADA
South Korea
Feb 16: Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists - Media Responsibility in an Age of Disinformation 
Brunei, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tonga
In-person IVLP has been postponed until June 2021, and our other exchange programs have been postponed until further notice. We look forward to welcoming more remarkable visitors from around the world as soon as it is safe. In the meantime, as the entire world struggles through this crisis together, IVCLA is reaching out to international alumni and we welcome suggestions to highlight in our newsletter. If you would like to recommend a visitor you have stayed in touch with, please contact Janet Elliott at