What's new this month?
April 2021
The NAF Centenary: The 1930s
Building an organization in the Age of Ocean Liners, Letters, and a Global Depression
With the NAF’s Centenary Year well underway and this column in the monthly NAF Newsletter becoming somewhat of a regular fixture, let’s focus on the 1930s.

Both in the United States and the Netherlands, the decade followed the period of peacetime and large-scale change of the Roaring Twenties. As we all know the period started with the Great Depression and ended with the onset of the Second World War.
During this decade travel time between the two countries had improved, but still was by no means fast. Ocean liners had reduced unpredictable weeks needed in the days of sailing ships to a fairly reliable number of days steaming across the Big Pond. Still, air travel, crossing the Ocean of the Sky in a matter of a day or even a number of hours still was a distant dream.

Meet our New Development Director
The NAF is pleased to welcome Laura Zylstra as Director of Development. Laura comes to the NAF with more than 25 years of national and international leadership in resource development for organizations including the League of Women Voters and Habitat for Humanity International and is actively involved in professional associations that support the nonprofit industry. Laura will focus on engaging the NAF's network of supporters and expand partnerships with foundations, businesses, and individuals. 

"I'm inspired by the impact of the NAF, especially the scholarship program and the incredible talent of the graduate students," Laura said. " It's an exciting time to be part of the NAF. I'm eager to put my fundraising experience to work in this new role."

Laura was born and raised in West Michigan and attended Hope College before graduating from Grand Valley State University. She lives on a boat in Washington DC with her husband (a Hope College alum), Todd Garth. She can be reached at lzylstra@thenaf.org.
The NAF Creates Advisory Committee
In 2021, the NAF established an Advisory Committee capturing the broad spectrum of NAF’s constituencies and consisting of representatives from students, interns, alumni, chapters, and various program initiatives. The purpose is to give a voice to our younger members in the continuing development of our strategic vision. This allows the next generation to have a stake in the NAF’s future, nurture talent for future leadership positions and increase membership engagement.

The committee had its first meeting on February 18. The committee will provide recommendations to the board and executive committee, in particular where it comes to long-term planning and new initiatives. It will also serve as a platform for interaction and coordination between our different chapter committees. The committee currently has 15 members, based in the US and the Netherlands, and includes representatives of most of the NAF’s chapters, committees, and programs. The committee’s chair and secretary are Stan Veuger (DC chapter) and Khadija El Ayoubi (Netherlands chapter), both from Breda. 
Khadija El Ayoubi is the Secretary and Director of Legal with Amsterdam Trade Bank with more than 12 years of experience in corporate, financial and commercial law.

Stan Veuger is a resident scholar in economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and a visiting lecturer of economics at Harvard University.
Ways to Give
Become a corporate sponsor for NAF100 events 
Sponsors are an essential part of NAF events. Becoming a corporate sponsor provides your company with unique exposure to the NAF community and network while allowing the NAF to continue to provide high-quality educational and cultural programming. There are many opportunities and ways to sponsor an event with the NAF, ranging from in-kind donations to financial contributions.

We have sponsorship opportunities available for many different events –including webinars and virtual classes, NAF Live TV, and our three biggest fundraising events: the Washington DC Awards Dinner, Netherland’s Gala, and the NAF Ball in NYC.

Please contact Laura Zylstra, Development Director, to learn more about the benefits of becoming a sponsor and getting your products or services out to the NAF global audience.
Student Reflections: Earth Day 2021
Managing Water Extremes
The NAF asked Shelly Arendt, 2020 NAF Fulbright Fellow in Water Management at the Technical University of Delft, to share her perspective on Earth Day.

Our global water supply totters in a precarious balance: too much and too little can have devastating effects. An abundance of water leads to flooding, landscape destabilization, and infrastructure damage. A shortage of water leads to drought, crop failure, and loss of human life. This dichotomy of extremes makes water resource management uniquely challenging. Civil engineers study ways to improve community resilience to both flooding and water scarcity in equal parts, but they are working in an ever-changing environment. As temperatures warm under climate change, the air can evaporate more water from the surface of the earth and can hold more moisture. This causes dry areas to become drier and rain events to become more intense, hence amplifying water supply extremes.
These impacts of climate change on the water cycle know no political boundaries. Hurricanes, forming off the west coast of Africa sweep across the Atlantic towards the Gulf of Mexico. Drought in upstream regions of transboundary rivers will affect all the ecosystems downstream. Managing water supply as isolated nations leaves human and ecological communities more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Earth Day 2021 symbolizes a time to consider global action towards urgent climate issues. In the face of more volatile storms and droughts, it is imperative that we foster international collaborations to develop solutions for water-related challenges. Only together can we address the most equitable and effective restoration plans for the earth’s habitat and water resources.
Shelby Ahrendt is a graduate student in Civil Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, studying rivers, sediment and flooding. She investigates how river morpho-dynamics, or the ways rivers change their shape, affects flood hazard. She is excited to engage with researchers in the Netherlands studying flood hazard and water management through a NAF Fulbright Fellowship.
NAF Essay Challenge
Calling all young people! The NAF is proud to present the NAF Essay Challenge. Sponsored by Dan Adams, one of the founding members of the Biotech industry, this challenge seeks to elevate the voices of a new generation of young thinkers and leaders in assessing the complex problems facing our world and to shine a light on creative solutions.

The topic of the challenge is “What global problem worries you the most and how would you propose it could be resolved”. The three winning essays will receive awards of $10,000, $5,000, or $2,500, respectively, and will be awarded at the NAF Ball during an all-expense-paid trip to NYC!

The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2021, and it's open to anyone from the US or the Netherlands between the age of 18 and 30. Do you know anyone who’d like to submit an essay? Help us spread the word!

In Case You Missed it
NAF Connection 2021

On Sunday, March 21, we held our annual NAF Connection, during which we invited our Fulbright Fellows and Dutch2USA interns to meet with each other and with the greater NAF community. The online event allowed for NAF students to present on their studies and internships in the fields of Medicine, History and Art, Engineering and Water Resilience.

“I am always so inspired by the work the students are doing, it brings back life changing memories. Each of these young professionals personify why the NAF and its continued mission to bridge culture and academics means so much now and for our collective futures. ”

Dr. Sjaña Holloway, NAF Alumni Committee
“Listening to this younger generation of Fulbright and Dutch2USA scholars makes me realize how impactful our work at the NAF is. These young professionals give me energy, and have a real impact bringing the two countries together – Bridging Worlds.”

Andy Bender, NAF Chair and Former NAF Fulbright Fellow
Happening in our Chapters
NAF Virtual Cooking Classes

Did you miss the first of our cooking class series last weekend? Not to worry, we still have limited tickets available this weekend and next! Jeff Keasberry, celebrated cookbook author and chef, will guide you to make up to 4 different dishes. Sign up for this easy, super fun interactive cooking experience and connect with other NAF supporters.

All classes start at 1 pm PST - 4 pm EDT

  1. April 3 - Lumpia - fried egg rolls with chicken/vegetable filling and dip sauce
  2. April 4 - Nasi Goreng - Indonesian Fried Rice  
  3. April 10 - Mie Ayam - Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup
  4. April 11 - Gado Gado - mixed vegetable salad with peanut sauce

Fee per class: Free for NAF members/$25 for non-NAF members.

Your contribution will go towards supporting the NAF’s exchange programs in education and culture.

DC Webinar: Dutch Letters of Marque and the Arrival of the First Enslaved Africans in Virginia

April 13, 2021, 12 pm-1 pm EDT

The first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619 on the White Lion, a privateer ship sailing under the aegis of Dutch letters of marque. This history and its consequences have received significant attention in recent years, particularly in the context of the New York Times’ 1619 Project. Speakers are Vincent Tucker, the President of the William Tucker 1624 Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of the greater public about the first Africans to arrive in Virginia, and Leendert van der Valk, a Dutch journalist and the author of “De eerste Afrikaanse Amerikanen werden verhandeld onder de Nederlandse vlag,” a recent article for NRC Handelsblad on the Dutch role in the events of 1619.

The event is moderated by Michael Douma, Assistant Research Professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and the Director of the Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics. He spent the 2009-2010 academic year at Leiden University as a NAF-Fulbright Scholar and has published widely on Dutch American history.
King's Day at Home
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Celebrate King's Day 2021 from the comfort of your home. Although we are not able to celebrate together, the spirit of the day is still alive and well throughout the NAF. So on the 27th wear your best orange outfit, enjoy the national anthem performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and take some time to make (and enjoy) a sweet treat, Orange Tompouce.

NAF Supported Events
Save The Date
Thursday, May 20, 2021
12:30 am CEST/8:30 pm EDT

NAF Live TV: Culture Edition is an online talk show hosted from studios in Amsterdam and New York, celebrating the NAF Cultural Exchange Program.

A great way to experience the importance of cultural exchange between the United States and The Netherlands and learn about the role the NAF has played in supporting artists, researchers, and students of culture in its widest sense.

Tune in to listen to interviews, short movies and live performances in celebration of the NAF’s centenary.
Your membership helps us to fulfill our mission to further strengthen the bonds between our two countries through the exchange in the arts, sciences, education, business, and public affairs.

JOIN TODAY to help support the many programs and activities of the NAF and connect to your local NAF chapter.

If you are a current member of the NAF and wish to renew your membership, please click here.

The Netherland-America Foundation