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November 2023


Expand Your World Today

In this Issue...

  • Quote of the Month
  • Photo of the Month
  • 33rd Annual Fulbright Luncheon
  • Open World Delegates Visit Los Angeles
  • Sharing a Global Perspective
  • ICDLA Alumni Insights
  • Upcoming International Programs
  • International Opportunities

Click the button below to check out our past newsletters:

Past Newsletters

Quote of the Month

“The people here are very cheerful and welcoming. It was a beautiful experience to learn about the diverse backgrounds of people living here. The people here are often living in a to-go concept as they are running from one place to another. People here are filled with knowledge for a better version of myself each day.”

~A visitor from Nepal in September 2023, for the IVLP 'Women Leaders - Promoting Peace and Security', a project for Indo-Pacific & Central Asia

Photo of the Month

The CAMCA Fellows from Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, and Afghanistan explored the iconic Venice beach while visiting L.A. as part of the Open World program 'Accountable Governance'.

33rd Annual Fulbright Luncheon

For the 33rd year Dr. Amarjit Marwah, ICDLA Advisory Board Member, opened the doors of his beautiful home in Malibu for the ICDLA Annual Fulbright Luncheon. As a former Fulbright student, Dr. Marwah has hosted this luncheon year after year, fostering lasting connections for international Fulbright students from diverse cultures.

We want to thank everyone who shared this amazing day with us, including Fulbright students, ICDLA members, friends, and Erin Leonard from the Institute of International Education.

This year at the Fulbright Luncheon, our members not only had the chance to reconnect with one another, but they also had the wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with international Fulbright students. These students, hailing from different corners of the world, found themselves in a space where they could not only build bonds but also forge new lasting friendships.

Fulbright students with ICDLA Members.

Open World Delegates Visit Los Angeles

Accountable Governance and Unforgettable Memories

Open World delegates from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia with Karen Byrnes and Jean-Baptiste Pochon, members of ICDLA, and their friend.

Last month ICDLA welcomed six emerging leaders from Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia to Los Angeles! As participants of the Open World/Silk Road Studies Program, these visitors had the unique opportunity of staying in an American home during their four-day stay in L.A. ICDLA members had the chance to show fellows a glimpse of life as an Angeleno while they learned about their culture!

We sincerely thank all of our home hosts who welcomed the participants from Central Asia and the Caucasus into their homes during their time in Los Angeles. We are grateful to Karen Byrnes and Jean-Baptiste Pochon, John and Nancy Richardson, Laura King and Charles Nagurka, Jerald Medway, and Janet Elliott for their kindness and hospitality. Without them, this program wouldn't have been possible. Staying with our members, sharing cultural experiences, and participating in local activities create lasting memories for our visitors. Hosts' warm welcome made a real difference, and we look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.

John and Nancy Richardson with Sophie Berishvili, their guest from Georgia.

The delegates visited Los Angeles as part of the CAMCA Fellowship and Open World program 'Accountable Governance'. This comprehensive program offers fellows invaluable insights into both the U.S. public and private sectors.

Jerald Medway with Altan-Ulzii Chuluu, his guest from Mongolia.

During their time in L.A. ICDLA arranged professional meetings with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), and the Center for Civic Education. These interactions, along with professional development and networking opportunities, provided the fellows with a deeper understanding of governance in the United States.

In addition to these enriching professional meetings, delegates had the chance to experience L.A.'s vibrant culture. They explored iconic landmarks like Hollywood, Grand Central Market, Getty Center, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica. ICDLA is excited to continue fostering international understanding and creating more opportunities for cultural exchange in the future.

Sharing a Global Perspective

Exploring the Cosmos: IVLP Visitors at NASA's JPL

IVLP visitors from Singapore at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Our recent IVLP visitors from Singapore embarked on an incredible journey as part of the IVLP Program 'Responsible Commercial Space Development in the U.S.'. ICDLA facilitated a one-of-a-kind experience for them to explore NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

JPL is a world leader in robotic space exploration, pushing the boundaries of our understanding of the solar system and beyond. Managed by Caltech, it's NASA's sole federally-funded research and development center. As a lucky stroke of timing visitors were present on the launch day of the Psyche mission. This mission is a journey to a unique metal-rich asteroid orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, unveiling secrets about our solar system's formation. Our international visitors also witnessed the ongoing construction of the Europa Clipper, a NASA mission to explore Jupiter's moon, Europa, for signs of life.

To top it off, our IVLPs saw the first TV image of Mars captured by Mariner 4 in 1965, a historic moment in space exploration. Their journey into the cosmos at JPL reflects the power of international collaboration and the limitless possibilities of space exploration.

Building Bridges Through Personal Connections

Jonathan Kaji, ICDLA Board Member

In the world of citizen diplomacy, sometimes the most profound impacts come from unexpected encounters. Jonathan Kaji, ICDLA Board Member and Councilman for the City of Torrance, recently traveled to Japan as part of the Torrance delegation celebrating the Torrance/Kashiwa Sister Cities 50th Anniversary. He shared a special example of how personal connections can leave a lasting mark.

This past July Jonathan arranged a luncheon for ICDLA’s IVLP group from Japan (read more). One of the participants was Shintaro Yamaguchi, a journalist with the Nishi Nippon Shimbun (Western Japan Newspaper). Over a century ago Jonathan's paternal grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Fukuoka in western Japan, making this connection particularly meaningful.

After their lunch, Jonathan arranged a private tour of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), which Jonathan’s father, Bruce Kaji, established in 1985. The group found the museum engaging and enlightening. Shintaro was particularly interested in Bruce’s distinguished history in Los Angeles. Bruce was incarcerated during WWII in the Manzanar concentration camp and following his release he had the lifelong mission to combat racism through education and building awareness.

While in Japan Jonathan learned from Shintaro about the article on his father’s leadership in L.A. and JANM’s significance, which was published in the Nishi Nippon Shimbun. As Jonathan said, you just never know what impact our personal contacts may have on our visitors! This sentiment captures the essence of international exchange programs like IVLP, supporting our belief that building international understanding through personal connections is a powerful force for positive change.

Article in Nishi Nippon Shimbun (Western Japan Newspaper)

Translated version of the article from Nishi Nippon Shimbun: In the United States, where social divisions over race, religion, ethnicity, and gender are growing stronger, there is a museum in Los Angeles that confronts past discrimination. Japanese American National Museum weaves together the negative history of the 120,000 Japanese American immigrants and their descendants who were incarcerated during World War II. One of the founders of the museum is Bruce Kaji (who died in 2017 at the age of 91), a second-generation Japanese American with roots in Kyushu. He believed that racism could be overcome through education and awareness-raising. I followed his trajectory. (In Los Angeles, Shintaro Yamaguchi) Read more

ICDLA Alumni Insights

Fostering Global Connections: IVLP Participant's Journey in L.A.

ICDLA is happy to share the enlightening experiences of our international visitors, and today, we want to showcase the insights from Aisha Ali, Founder, and Executive Director of "I Profile Foundation" from Uganda. Aisha participated in the IVLP 'Women and Entrepreneurship', a journey that left a lasting mark on her personal and professional life. As part of the program, Aisha and her colleagues visited Los Angeles, where ICDLA arranged their professional meetings. Aisha shared her feedback about one of them, “The engagement with the Pacific Coast Regional (PCR) Small Business Development Corporation gave us an overview of PCR’s resources and tools for underserved small businesses and communities. I was in awe of their well-curated programs and opportunities extended to women entrepreneurs.”

The insights gained during the program have already made a tangible impact on Aisha's community. She also told us, Watts Labor Community, will be guiding us on proposal writing and fundraising best practices as well as exploring a speaking engagement with women entrepreneurs in the agricultural space that I work with through the AWE program. Through UCLA, I have maximized the free online resources shared with us to benefit the community of entrepreneurs I work with.”

She remarked, "With the collaborations made, potential partnerships could be formed that could possibly facilitate trade access."

Aisha Ali emphasized how her participation in the IVLP program has influenced her professional path and goals. She noted, "Through the various visits I made connections and partnerships that strengthened my social capital, and through that, follow-up conversations with some leaders have influenced best practice sharing and extended mentorship opportunities.

Aisha Ali's IVLP journey highlights the significant impact of international exchange programs on both individuals and communities. These cultural exchanges foster global harmony and bring together individuals who are eager to learn from one another. We extend our gratitude to Aisha for sharing her inspiring journey with us and we are looking forward to witnessing her future endeavors.

Upcoming International Programs

The following are international guests of the U.S. government and other diplomatic organizations whose professional appointments in Los Angeles will be arranged by

International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles


Nov 1 - 4: Preserving Cultural Heritage and Combating Trafficking of Conflict Antiquities

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates

Nov 5 - 11: Hidden No More: Empowering Women Leaders in STEM

Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Fiji, France, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tunisia, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Nov 7 - 11: U.S. Economic and Trade Policy

Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela

Nov 14 - 18: NGO Management

Algeria, Armenia, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Egypt, Estonia, France, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Poland, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovak Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Nov 19 - 25: LGBTQI+ Policies and

Implementation in the U.S.


Nov 19 - 25: Global Economic Cooperation

Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, India, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Türkiye, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda

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 Kristina Yucel at kyucel@icdla.org.

International Opportunities

Journey to Panama

Our colleagues from the San Diego Diplomacy Council invite you and your guest(s) to join their exclusive delegation to Panama.

The specially designed program will explore Panama's rich cultural heritage and go beyond tourist corridors by engaging with local scholars, officials, industry experts, activists, and artists offering in-depth commentary on the Panamanian political system, international relations, economics, history, environmental justice, and religion.

For additional details on the daily itinerary, please see the program brochure.

What's included:

  • Accommodation, as selected;
  • Daily ground transportation;
  • Walking tours;
  • Select elevated group meals and authentic dining experiences;
  • Full tours with local guides and specialists;
  • Private lecture series with local experts and influencers;
  • Admission to all venues throughout the program;
  • Travel tips and guidance.
Learn More

International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles depends on its members and friends to help support its programs. If you are not an ICDLA Citizen Diplomat, please review our membership benefits here and consider joining. We need your support now more than ever! Please make a contribution today.


Editor: Kristina Yucel

Communications & Events Coordinator

Share your comments with me at kyucel@icdla.org

International Citizen Diplomacy

of Los Angeles




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