February 2009 GCIV's Monthly Newsletter
Georgia Council for International Visitors NEWSWIRE
In This Issue . . .

Who's Coming to Town?

February 11-14 - Macedonia
Five Government and NGO Representatives

Focus: Religious Life

February 12-17 - China
Three Government Officials and Academics

Focus: US Foreign Policy

February 18-22 - China
Four Journalists
Focus: Citizen Access to Information

March 3-7 - Near East Asia/North Africa
Fourteen Civil Society and Government Leaders
Focus: Human Rights

March 18-21 - Western Hemisphere
Eight Government and Civil Society Officials

Focus: Public Health

March 24-28 - Afghanistan and Pakistan
Ten Local Government Leaders

Focus: Community Conflict Resolution

Home Hospitality/Volunteer Opportunities

Sunday, February 15th - Three government officials and academics from China would like to experience home hospitality with GCIV hosts. They are participating in the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. They are available for home hospitality at 6:00 PM, and may be accompanied by an interpreter.

Wednesday, March 4th - Fourteen civil society and government officials would like to experience home hospitality with GCIV hosts. They are participating in the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. They are available for home hospitality at 6:30 PM, and will not be accompanied by interpreters. We'd like to divide this delegation into groups of two or three visitors per host.

Please note: Home hospitality opportunities are available to GCIV members only. Hosts are asked to provide transportation to and from the hotel on the evening of home hospitality. If you are interested in hosting visitors in your home for dinner on this date, please contact
Emily O'Harris at 404-832-5560 x 15.

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors
Community Voices, Morehouse School of Medicine
Georgia Department of Economic Development
Regency Suites Hotel

Ambassadors Circle
Enrique Flores and
Erika Monckeberg
Elizabeth and Jim Munson
Annie York and Raul F. Trujillo

Join our mailing list!
Save the Date!

GCIV Hosts European Commission Official

In January 2009 GCIV coordinated a professional exchange program through the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program for a European Commission official. Mr. Michael Hager is a member of European Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström's cabinet, and is responsible for issues such as regulation, communications strategy, and education policy. Mr. Hager traveled to Georgia in addition to Washington, DC, San Francisco , and Detroit. His professional program was crafted to allow an exchange of ideas with his counterparts in a variety of fields. While in Georgia, Mr. Hager spent time in both Atlanta and Macon, meeting with representatives of Wesleyan College, the Tubman African-American Museum, NewTown Macon, the Macon Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Macon City Council, and the Emory Vaccine Center. He also attended a GCIV dinner in honor of departing Swiss Consul General Ulrich Hunn, and enjoyed trips to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site and Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. Special thanks to GCIV's Central Georgia Representative Dick George for coordinating Mr. Hager's visit to Macon.

Great Decisions in 2009

There is still time to participate in the 2009 Great Decisions season! At GCIV the new year always ushers in the new Great Decisions season. We are working with a number of community organizations and neighborhoods to create and sustain discussion groups. You can find the list of discussion groups on the GCIV web site. Additionally, you have the opportunity to attend the GCIV Foreign Policy Lecture Series in Dunwoody, which began January 22nd. We hope that you will participate in the lecture series or a discussion group - it is a fantastic way to keep yourself informed of world affairs.

If you are interested in starting your own Great Decisions group, or joining an existing one, please contact Ashley Mastin at 404-832-5560 x 13. We are also looking for community support for the program - please let us know if you can offer meeting space, if you're willing to help moderate discussions, or if you know of any possible financial support for the program. The series this year offers an exciting array of topics, including:

  • US and Rising Powers
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Energy and the Global Economy
  • The Arctic Age
  • Egypt in the 21st Century
  • Universal Human Rights?
  • Global Food Supply
  • Cuba after Castro
We look forward to your participation in Great Decisions this year!

Travel Opportunity

If you have not already made May 2009 vacation plans, you might consider a one-week tour to Hungary and the Czech Republic sponsored by the Clayton State University Foundation. The Honorary Consulate of Hungary, Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic, and the Embassy of Hungary assisted in developing the customized program May 10-16, 2009. Click here to view the tentative itinerary. The total cost of the program is $3,400 (land and air, double occupancy), or $2,500 without airfare. Please contact John Parkerson as soon as possible - a $1,000 deposit is due by mid-February. The tour is open to all adults, whether or not acquainted with Clayton State University.

NCIV President Pens Op-Ed in Christian Science Monitor

NCIV President Sherry Mueller recently published an op-ed piece in the Christian Science Monitor entitled, "Public diplomacy begins with you." The piece discusses the need for all Americans to realize their roles as citizen diplomats as we attempt to revive our country's image in the world. Click here to read the full article.

Become a Citizen Diplomat Today!

GCIV's membership is critical to the success of our organization, as it serves as an important indicator of community support for the U.S. Department of State and other agencies that rely on us to arrange programs for hundreds of international visitors each year. Becoming a member is easy - just visit our membership page to download an application. You can now pay for your membership online using paypal!

GCIV Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 12th, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
IWA January Meeting

The International Womens Associates will hear a presentation from Ms. Gail Goodwin. She will tell myths and legends of the Miao, Hmong and Dong from southeast Asia and southwest China, and illustrate these stories with images stitched and woven onto textiles. Please contact Ashley Mastin at 404-832-5560 x 13 to receive an invitation.

Friday, February 20th, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
GCIV Global Lunch Forum: Citizen Access to Information in China

Join GCIV and four Chinese journalists and government officials for a lunchtime discussion about access to information in China. The Global Lunch Forum will be at the Regency Suites Hotel in Midtown, 975 West Peachtree Street. You can bring your own lunch at no cost, or order a boxed lunch in advance for $10. Registration is 12:00-12:10, and the Global Lunch Forum begins promptly at 12:10 PM. Space is limited, so you must make a reservation to attend. Contact Ashley Mastin at 404-832-5560 x 13 to RSVP.

Ongoing in February and March 2009
Great Decisions Lecture Series and Discussion Groups

It's that time of year again - GCIV's Great Decisions foreign policy discussion groups will start in January 2009. Increase your understanding of world affairs through this eight-week series based on a briefing book published annually by the nonpartisan Foreign Policy Association. Click here for a list of discussion groups and the annual topics - we will update it as more groups are confirmed. You can also find the lineup for two lecture series based on the Great Decisions topics in Dunwoody and in Carrollton. Contact Ashley Mastin at 404-832-5560 x 13 to find out more information, join an existing group, or to start your own discussion group.

Other Opportunities
Thursday, February 19th - 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM
Atlanta Council on International Relations Luncheon

Clyde C. Tuggle, Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Productivitiy at The Coca Cola Company will address the February ACIR Luncheon. Mr. Tuggle will cover the topic "Ten Reasons Why We Should Take Russia Seriously." The luncheon is at the Capital City Club, 7 Harris Street, NW. The cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. Contact Francesca Cesa Bianchi to RSVP.

Tuesday, March 24th, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Atlanta Committee on Teaching About the United Nations Conference, "Teaching Human Rights: Global to Local"

This conference, held at Atlanta's renowned Carter Center, is specially designed for interested educators, administrators and citizens at all levels to learn about the United Nations and special topics related to international affairs and human rights. Click here for registration info or contact Julia Farrigan at 770-775-6449 with any questions.

Tuesday, February 24th, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Galing Foundation Dinner Reception in Honor of Dr. Carolina Hernandez

You are invited to a dinner reception in honor of Dr. Carolina Hernandez, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of the Philippines and Chair of the UN Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. The dinner is at Canton House, 4825 Buford Highway in Chamblee. All proceeds will benefit partner schools, libraries, and children of Galing Foundation, Inc. Individual tickets are $30, a table of ten is $250. For reservations or more information contact Galing Foundation.

About GCIV
The mission of the Georgia Council for International Visitors is to promote international understanding through citizen diplomacy.

Our vision is that every Georgia citizen has the opportunity to become more globally engaged.

Georgia Council for International Visitors
100 Edgewood Avenue, Suite 1560
Atlanta, GA 30303