International Focus Projects 

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We are working on a number of different projects and ways to connect across cultures in the Triangle and beyond. Please reach out if you would like to be actively involved through our volunteer network and committees or just COME ENJOY!

Calendar of Virtual Exchange Programs


  • “Elections 2020: A Virtual Tour of the United States and the American Electoral Process”. A program implemented by the Department of State’s Foreign Press Centers in partnership with Meridian International Center.
  • “Sharing U.S. Best Practices in Development and Partnership in the Region” delegation from Thailand. International Visitor Leadership Program


  • “Women and Entrepreneurship” delegation from Kyrgyzstan. International Visitor Leadership Program

January-March 2021

Global Diplomacy Dialogue Series

 Global Diplomacy Dialogue Series (Spring -Fall 2020)

with International Exchange Program Alumni

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from Europe

Marco Büttner, Head of Political Department of RTL Television, Germany
Wojciech Cegielski, Foreign News Correspondent, Polish Radio, Poland

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from the Asia Pacific Region

Maggie Boyle, Editor/Senior Multimedia Journalist, Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, Fiji
Patrick Crewdson, Editor-in-Chief, Stuff, New Zealand

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from Africa

Yvonne Tshepang Mooka, Correspondent, BBC Africa, Botswana

Wycliffe Masinde Nangi, Radio Station Manager, Kenya

Kingsley D. Uranta, Assistant GM, Television, Nigeria

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Journalists from MENA Region

Ahmed El Jechtimi, Reuters Reporter, Morocco
Insaf Yahieoui Ben Zeineb, Journalist and Talk Show Host, Tunisia

*Alumni of Edward R. Murrow Program, IVLP 

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Social Entrepreneurs

Lucila Dotto, People Consultant, KPMG, London, UK; Argentina

Jeffsky Poincy, Development Policy Specialist, Haiti;
Candidate, Master of Public Policy and International Development, Duke University, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Liz Tracy, Researcher, doctoral student, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina

*Alumni of the Young Leaders of Americas Initiative (YLAI)

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Filmmakers from South Asia 

Anwar Chowdhury, Independent Documentary Filmmaker, Producer, Dhaka, Bangladesh

George Kolotov, Freelance Photographer, Kyrgyzstan, USA

Sunzu Bachaspatimayum, Independent filmmaker, Manipur, India

Uma Vangal Filmmaker, film professor, Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, India

*Alumni of IVLP

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Mediators from Belarus 

Arsen Dzhanashia, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of History and Philology
Mediator, Editor, Organization Committee of Minsk Mediation Fest, Mogilev, Belarus

Aksana Shulha, Head of the Department of Clinical and Consulting Psychology
Ph.D., Associate Professor, Mediator, Head of the Belarusian Leagues of Family Mediators, Belarusian State Pedagogical, University, Belarusian Leagues of Family Mediators, Minsk, Belarus

Frank Laney, Circuit Mediator, US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Raleigh, North Carolina

*Alumni of the Community Connections program

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue on Satire, Art and Freedom of Speech

Masoud NYOMWA, Chief Editorial Cartoonist, Illustrator, Painter, Animator, Radio/TV Producer/Presenter, Mwananchi Newspaper, Tanzania 

*Alumnus of the IVLP

Cullum Rogers, Cartoonist and Writer, Durham, North Carolina

Ernest Dollar, Executive Director, City of Raleigh Museum and Pope House Museum, Raleigh- Durham, North Carolina

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Alumni from Greece

Lina Ioannou, Scientific Associate, Office of the Deputy Minister for Higher Education

Alumni of the IVLP

Giorgos Christides, Reporter, Der Spiegel

*Alumnus of the IVLP

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Alumni from the Netherlands and Spain

Lurdes Vidal i Bertran, Director of the Arab & Mediterranean Department / CONNEKT Scientific Coordinator

Rob Geerds, Senior Policy Advisor for the Expertise Unit for Social Stability, Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment

*Alumni of the IVLP

  • Global Diplomacy Dialogue with Alumni from Costa Rica and Zimbabwe

Solomon Bobosibunu, Election Center (ERC), Zimbabwe

Manuel Vargas, Professor and Researcher at the State University of Costa Rica (UNED)

San Pedro, Costa Rica

*Alumni of the IVLP

E-Talk Series

E-Talks Series (Spring-Fall 2020)

  • Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina Poet Laureate

Poetry and Healing

  • Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw Jr., Pastor of First Baptist Church, Raleigh and Chairman of The Triangle Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee

Perspective on Current Civil Unrest

  • Burk Uzzle, Photographer

Photography Hoping to Create a Better World

  • Elaine F. Marshall, North Carolina Secretary of State

Liliana Palihovici, former MP and Deputy Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Moldova

The Longstanding Relationship Between North Carolina and the Republic of Moldova / Perspective on Women in Leadership

  • Jason Widen, Founding, Partner and CEO, Raleigh Founded -Previously HQ Raleigh

Strengthening Local Economies and Connecting Communities 

  • Pierce Freelon, Hip Hop/Soul/Electronic Musician

Music in the Heart of Cultural Transitions

  • Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs 

U.S. Department of State

Insight, Importance, Impact of Cultural and Educational Exchanges and Global Connections

Coffee With Emerging Leaders

Monthly Jan-Nov

Coffee with Emerging Leaders is an intimate monthly event for International Focus members to meet and connect with International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) delegates. Visitors will informally introduce themselves, share professional objectives, and speak about their experience in their homeland and the US. Typically, the event draws about ten to fifteen attendees, allowing for direct exchange with diplomatic visiotors.

Come mingle with international visitors, leverage your connections around the world and be an IF Ambassador!

Citizen of the World Awards 2020


International Focus’ Citizen of the World Award honors individuals who have made a considerable contribution to international relations in the Triangle. The black tie event will showcase the area’s global cuisine and restaurants with each course prepared by a different renowned local ethnic chef.


2020 Dates TBA