Expand Your World Today!

January 2023

Facebook  Instagram  Linkedin

Creating international connections

Cultivating local innovation

Activating global potential

It has been a process – but as the New Year begins, we are thrilled to announce we are now officially International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles!

Last year was a busy year for us, while finalizing all the details for our name change, we also navigated the return of in-person programming and events. We were excited to have in-person programming begin again last April, and in 2022 we hosted 486 visitors from 126 different countries. We look forward to 2023 with more in-person programming, interesting events and working closely with all of our resources, members, friends and colleagues. We wish you a new year filled with health and happiness!

We would also like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the supporters who contributed to our 2022 year-end giving campaign. It is only with the support of the L.A. community that we are able to continue creating dynamic exchange programs to increase international understanding and cooperation between Los Angeles and the world.

Thank to our 2022 year-end giving campaign donors:

Bank of Whittier

Sandra J. Anderson

Robert Banks

John & Ginger Barnard

Robert Goldstein & Amy Bernstein

James Bukowski

Condessa M. Curley

Lanie Denslow

Michael Harrison

Marie-Noelle Herve-Bart

Jonathan Kaji

Hassan Kheradmandan

Laura King & Charles Nagurka

James & Sandra Kohn

Mable Kong

Karen & Jack Lachter

Monica & Robert Latta

Tommy & Gwendolyn McMullins

Sherry Meuller (in honor of Alan and Joanne Kumamoto)

Mary-Anna Noveck

Linda & Ed Rice

John & Nancy Richardson

Maggie Sabbag

Gregory Scott

Yael Swerdlow

Mary Walden


Impact Report

Become a Member


In this Issue...

  • Quote of the Month
  • Photo of the Month
  • Citizen & Public Diplomacy in Los Angeles
  • Sharing a Global Perspective
  • Are you a U.S. Citizen Exchange Alumni?
  • International Opportunities
  • Stay Informed on COVID-19
  • Upcoming International Programs

Click the button below to check out our past newsletters:

Past Newsletters

Follow our link and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to ICDLA!

Quote of the Month

“What I will remember most about Los Angeles is the hospitality and warm welcome that was given without reserve."

A Visitor from Guinea in June 2022, for the project 'Disability Rights'

Photo of the Month

Our visitors from Cambodia taking the place of news anchors at the USC Annenberg Media Center

Citizen & Public Diplomacy in Los Angeles

ICDLA Welcomes L.A.’s New Mayor

We welcome the New Year with hope and a sense of purpose to reaffirm our goals. We are also honored to welcome the new Mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, who we celebrate as the first women and second Black mayor of Los Angeles. During her inaugural address she shared how her father taught her to be a critical thinker and to understand the historical context of national and international events. She said their daily conversations led her to a lifetime commitment to do whatever she could to change the world.

During Mayor Bass’s time as a U.S. Congresswoman she recognized the importance of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Whenever possible she or her staff would take time to meet IVLP participants, because she knew engaging with them made a difference for the world, the U.S. and her District.

International outreach and collaboration are critical to the cultural, economic and societal growth for all of Greater Los Angeles. We are lucky to have amazing professional resources throughout the region, which make it possible for our international participants to engage with local experts on important global topics. Equally vital are our relationships with the City and County of Los Angeles. Indeed, the support and participation of the City and the County is essential to the continuation of ICDLA’s citizen diplomacy work, which shares common goals with several City and County offices.

The Mayor’s Office of International Affairs

The Office of International Affairs was established by Mayor Eric Garcetti to connect the world to L.A. and L.A. to the world. In 2017 he appointed Ambassador Nina Hachigian (ret) to head the office as L.A.’s first Deputy Mayor of International Affairs - the first such deputy mayor in the U.S. This past October she left the office to become the U.S. Department of State’s first Special Representative for SubNational Diplomacy, where she leads the engagement of mayors, governors and other local officials in the U.S. and around the world.

We are pleased to welcome L.A.’s new Deputy Mayor of International Affairs, Erin Bromaghim – who we can still boast is the only one in the U.S. Erin previously served in the Office of International Affairs as the Director of Olympic & Paralympic Development, and the Conrad Hilton Foundation Fellow for the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Office’s Director of International Relations, Policy & Protocol is Zachia Nazarzai, who we are proud to have serving on the ICDLA Board. ICDLA appreciates our collaboration with Zachia and Erin and the common goals we share to build global engagement.

In November Erin served as a panelist for the online forum Foreign Policy and the People: Connecting Subnational & Public Diplomacy coordinated by ICDLA’s national partner organization Global Ties U.S. Subnational is the term that describes the process of cities, counties or states developing their own diplomatic relationships around the world. With Los Angeles as a leader in subnational diplomacy, Erin and her team have assisted the Mayor with global collaboration on such issues as Covid response, climate change, migration, and the promotion of inclusiveness. Ultimately, subnational diplomacy can reinforce connections between the citizens of different countries to create a global community of shared interests.

The Los Angeles County Office of Protocol

The County of Los Angeles is the most populated county in the U.S. The five elected supervisors have the unique function of serving as the executive and legislative heads of this large complex government. We are honored to have Lourdes Saab, Chief of Protocol for the County of L.A., as a Director on the ICDLA Board. Previously, Lourdes served as Chief of Protocol for the City of L.A. and in the office of several former L.A. mayors.

The Office of Protocol reports to the Board of Supervisors and is responsible for ensuring correct protocol for foreign dignitaries who visit the County. They also serve as the County’s liaison to the Los Angeles Consular Corps in order to build strong working relationships with the international diplomatic representatives. The Los Angeles Consular Corps is the second largest Consular Corps in the U.S. and third largest in the world. In addition, the Office of Protocol promotes international business, tourism and cultural exchanges which builds understanding and cultural awareness throughout the County. 


The newest international organization in the region is GlobalLA, which was established by Mayor Garcetti in 2021. It is now a growing non-profit public-private partnership and a Community Partners project. ICDLA is proud to be a GlobalLA Partner Organization. Debbie Adler became GlobalLA’s first CEO last April. She leads their mission to attract international businesses, entrepreneurs, students, and nonprofits to fortify Greater L.A.’s communities, create jobs, and contribute to a resilient economy. In addition to the City of L.A. it is supported by L.A. area businesses, civic leaders, and economic development organizations.

ICDLA values our important relationships with these dynamic individuals and organizations. We look forward to our continued collaborations as we carry on our mission to create international understanding and cooperation between Greater Los Angeles and the rest of the world - this year and for many years to come.

Sharing a Global Perspective

A Thousand Splendid Suns Performance


Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini

Music by Sheila Silver; Libretto by Stephen Kitsakos

Directed by Roya Sadat


Afghan Filmmaker and International Women of Courage Award Alum, Roya Sadat, is directing a new opera, A Thousand Splendid Suns, set for a world premiere at the Seattle Opera on February 25, 2023. ICDLA had the honor of hosting Roya for a panel discussion with three of her fellow IWOC alumni at our International Women of Courage (IWOC) Alumni Luncheon in May of 2022. At the luncheon, our members, friends and colleagues had the pleasure of speaking to her about her incredible work. With this most recent endeavor, Roya brings her internationally acclaimed directorial expertise, from films such as, A Letter to the President (2017), Playing the Taar (2008) and Three Dots (2003), to the stage. Read a summary of the opera below.

Beauty. Sacrifice. Resilience. Seattle Opera World Premiere. Set against Afghanistan’s volatile history, this new opera tells the breathtaking story of Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women. Brought together under the brutal Taliban rule, the bond between Laila and Mariam leads to unthinkable sacrifices and ultimately, one family’s survival. Based on Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel, this story has captured the hearts of millions including American composer Sheila Silver and librettist Stephen Kitsakos who adapted the novel for the opera stage. Directing the production is Afghan filmmaker Roya Sadat, whose trailblazing work as one of Afghanistan’s first female film directors has garnered more than 20 international film awards, including the 2021 Kim Dae-jung Nobel Peace Film Award and the 2018 International Women of Courage Award presented by the United States Department of State.


“The locations in this novel are near to my heart; I grew up in Herat and live in the Kabul neighborhood where the protagonists, Mariam and Laila, lives intersect. Afghanistan’s women have shown strength and resilience in the face of war and an ever-changing political environment. There has never been a more important time for this story to be taking the stage and shared with American audiences." (Roya Sadat)


Read more about the performance and Roya’s outlook as a director HERE.

Click HERE for a behind the scenes look with A Thousand Splendid Suns creative team.

February 25 & 26, 2023

March 3, 5, 8 & 11, 2023

Get Tickets

Women Entrepreneurs Building Bridges and Taking Care of Business in Madrid, Spain

By Diane Mitchell Henry

Over the years, bridge building has been a resounding theme communicated worldwide through many formats, such as legislation, policies, meetings, celebrations, collaborations, and more, for people to come together peacefully. Women's leadership is recognized as the fastest-growing group for fostering bridge building. For this writing, the suggested definition for bridge building describes the coming together to develop social and business relationships through conversation and networking. The intention is to establish equitable diplomacy, cultural exchange, understanding, respect, and resources that mutually benefit the greater good.

Reflections of 2022 marked the calendar for a collection of occasions, programs and projects mirrored memorable events impacting the year's record. Curating the production of Global Bridges: A Conversation and Networking Forum for Women Entrepreneurs commemorating International Women Entrepreneurship Day represented one of my most memorable events in 2022. The event hosted by Pooja Chandra Pama, CEO, and President of ACE Health Foundation and Premium ACE Foods based in greater Washington, D.C., was held on November 11, 2022, in Madrid, Spain, at the Four Seasons Hotel Madrid. Thirty women entrepreneurs from Madrid and surrounding areas of Spain enthusiastically took a seat at the table to share their stories, contribute business financial information, and offer solutions for how women entrepreneurs can develop substantive relationships through networking.

The distinguished U.S. Ambassador Ruth A. Davis (ret.), the Co-Founder of International Women Entrepreneurial Challenges (IWEC), shared remarks giving credence to acknowledging and encouraging women entrepreneurs' accomplishments. As a career diplomat holding notable titles as the "first," her business savvy played a significant role in bridge-building worldwide. Pooja Chandra Pama, a seasoned entrepreneur, emphasized the importance of partnering with other entities to provide funding and resources through bridge-building collaborations. Pooja stands on the mantra that "With great privilege comes great responsibility." ACE Health Foundation partners with the U.S. Department of State, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, and the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).   

The industries represented by the women entrepreneurs who sat at the table included finance, agriculture import and export, manufacturing, real estate, technology, and health. Goldman Sachs of Madrid representatives provided insightful investment information for women investors and startup businesses. Collaborative investing is another tool used for bridge-building. Building together reaps a more significant impact and outcome.

The Forum was an exciting opportunity to witness women entrepreneurs networking and building relationships to solidify the foundation bridge building. We are grateful for the sponsoring relationships of the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs, Public Policy Diplomacy Council of America, DACOR House, International Women Entrepreneurial Challenges, ACE Health Foundation, Premium ACE Foods, Goldman Sachs, and the Global Bridges Team members: Alicia M. Henry, Dr. Brenda Manual, Kim Dixon, and Diane Mitchell Henry.

In 2023 let's be free and build bridges for everyone to see.

Diane Mitchell Henry is a freelance writer and Social Entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, CA.

Are you a U.S. Citizen Exchange Alumni?

Did You Participate in a U.S. Government-sponsored Exchange Program?


The Office of Alumni Affairs at the U.S. Department of State is developing new opportunities for U.S. citizens who participated in U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. ICDLA is assisting by reaching out to our Greater Los Angeles alumni. If you are a past participant in a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program contact Ellie Alberg, [email protected].

The exchange programs include, but are not limited to, these offered by the ECA Bureau. Returned Peace Corps volunteers and Boren Fellows are also qualified alumni. Whether you participated long ago or you recently completed your exchange program, we will keep you informed of opportunities such as events, programs and grants.

International Opportunities

Applications open for the 18th International Youth Media Summit in 2023

A new generation of filmmakers, storytellers and digital creators from around the globe will come together to explore the future of youth and media at the 18th Summit in La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA from July 24 to August 6, 2023. During this 14-day event they will discover how their generation can shine the light on the most urgent global issues and advance boldly toward powerful solutions. 

International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) will select 100 of the brightest minds in filmmaking and youth diplomacy to discuss the issues and explore youth-focused media production and consumption. These delegates will live and work at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, IYMS's host organization.

Applications due by January 28th, 2023

Apply Now!

Stay Informed on COVID-19

As the world moves towards less stringent pandemic restrictions and more normal lifestyles, the information below remains valuable for tracking global problem areas. Being prudent and remembering COVID is still with us continues to be crucial in helping to prevent new variants from emerging. It is important to continue sharing knowledge, expertise, and goodwill throughout the world. We are stronger together!      

An informative, infographic global report of the COVID-19 data is HERE

Upcoming International Programs

The following are international guests of the U.S. government whose

professional appointments in Los Angeles will be arranged by

International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles


Jan 26 - Feb 1: Women in STEAM Entrepreneurship


Jan 26 - Feb 1: Reporting on Foreign Policy

Republic of Turkiye

ICDLA knows it is important to maintain our connections with our international visitors beyond their programs. As such, ICDLA continues to reach out to our international alumni. If you are an Alumni who would like to share your thoughts about your L.A. experience, or if you are an ICDLA member or resource who has stayed in touch with alumni and would like to share your experience, please contact Eleanor Alberg at [email protected].

Editor: Eleanor Alberg

Communications & Events Coordinator

Share your comments with me at [email protected]!

International Citizen Diplomacy

of Los Angeles


[email protected]


Connect with us!

Facebook  Instagram  Linkedin

© International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles. A non-profit, non-partisan organization. Partial funding provided by the United States Department of State, the County of Los Angeles, and the City of Los Angeles. | Privacy Policy