2015 ANNUAL REPORT 1
WAYFINDER A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
AT A GLANCE
BY THE NUMBERS
HIGHLIGHTS + ACHIEVEMENTS
2015 IN BRIEF
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT: CONGRESS-BUNDESTAG YOUTH EXCHANGE
AMERICANS NEED TO EXPERIENCE THE WORLD, TOO
ENTREPRENEURSHIP + INNOVATION
CULTURAL VISTAS ALUMNI NETWORK
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PHILANTHROPY 32 SUPPORT OUR MISSION
CULTURAL VISTAS 2015 ANNUAL REPORT
Dear Friends, Recent world events, whether terrorist attacks, mass migration, or attempts to forge new international agreements on trade or climate change, have deepened our belief that exchanges have a critical role to play in fostering better international understanding–perhaps now more than ever. In 2015, we launched a comprehensive strategic plan, Cultural Vistas Vision 2020, providing the roadmap for ambitious yet sustained organizational growth over the next five years that will significantly impact citizen diplomacy and cross-cultural awareness. You should know that one of our key goals is to grow our exchange participants to 10,000 per year, including tripling the participation rate of Americans going abroad, by the year 2020. As we turn to the future, however, it’s worth taking a quick look at the road we have traveled and where we are today. In the last five years, we have experienced nearly 50% growth in participants and 87% growth in revenue. We have significantly increased our program portfolio with new country destinations and program models. We have nearly doubled our staff size, opened a European office, and built reserves of approximately $9.3 million, which ensures we have a strong financial foundation to fulfill our mission now and in the future. This year continued to be a year of growth and development as we embarked on Vision 2020. We introduced a number of new initiatives focusing on important global issues such as environmental sustainability, civil society promotion, entrepreneurship, and leadership development.
We also made a number of significant investments in our future. Our new office in Washington, D.C. opened in lateMarch and has quickly proven to be an important element in our efforts to enhance the collaboration with our partners, participants and alumni. We have also established three new departments–philanthropy, alumni relations, and client relations–which are critical to building our relationships and supporting the long-term promotion of our mission to enrich minds, advance global skills, build careers, and connect lives through international exchange. All these steps have strategically positioned us to make a greater impact on the world around us through our work. Our team at Cultural Vistas believes passionately in the value of international exchange. For many of us, it has been the impact of our own overseas experiences that have led us to careers in this very field. These opportunities have changed our lives in ways we never could have predicted and continue to influence us every day. We are extremely privileged and grateful to work with a talented group of individuals and partners around the world who are committed to providing quality international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Our collective efforts empower thousands of people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society. We invite you to join us as we strive to fulfill this vision and work together to reach thousands more.
THIS PAGE: CULTURAL VISTAS EXECUTIVE TEAM (L TO R): ROBERT FENSTERMACHER, PRESIDENT + CEO; LINDA BOUGHTON, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT + CFO; ELIZABETH CHAULK, VP, PROFESSIONAL EXCHANGES; ANNA OBERLE-BRILL, VP, INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS + FELLOWSHIPS; DAN EWERT, VP, PROGRAM RESEARCH, PARTNERSHIPS + INNOVATION. PHOTO: SERGIO OCHOA. OPPOSITE PHOTO: MEGAN BRADFORD, 2015 CULTURAL VISTAS FELLOWSHIP IN INDIA. 3
A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
CULTURAL VISTAS AT A GLANCE Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. We develop international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Our programs empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society. We work with public and private funders such as the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, foreign governments, foundations, universities, and companies, ranging from multinationals to small businesses, to deliver exchange programs ranging across industries with global significance. Science and technology, entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship, civic engagement, and leadership development are among our core competencies.
50+ years of history FACILITATING PROFESSIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMS.
6,000 students, professionals, and emerging leaders FROM THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD SERVED ANNUALLY.
30+ unique programs INCLUDING INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS, PROFESSIONAL TRAINING, STUDY TOURS, WORKSHOPS, AND LANGUAGE IMMERSION PROGRAMS.
135+ countries REPRESENTED AMONG OUR EXCHANGE PROGRAMS EVERY YEAR.
4,500+ interns, trainees, and teachers ANNUALLY COME TO THE U.S. THROUGH OUR J-1 VISA SPONSORSHIP.
100,000+ alumni and counting INCLUDING PROMINENT LEADERS IN GOVERNMENTS, FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES, INTERNATIONAL MEDIA OUTLETS, TECH STARTUPS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH: ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH CULTURAL VISTAS PROMOTES COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION IS THROUGH A SERIES OF OPEN WORK SPACES IN ITS NEW WASHINGTON, D.C. OFFICE. CULTURAL VISTAS AT A GLANCE
BY THE NUMBERS In 2015, a record 5,945 individuals from 140 different countries, including the United States, participated in our professional exchange programs.
Exchange Programs in the United States
In 2015, 5,443 international students and professionals from 139 different countries participated in our exchange programs in the United States. TOP SENDING COUNTRIES
FEMALE 35% CANADA
AVERAGE PROGRAM LENGTH
NORTH + CENTRAL AMERICA
In 2015, 345 U.S. students and professionals participated in professional internship, language immersion, and fellowship programs in 28 countries around the world through Cultural Vistas. TOP DESTINATION COUNTRIES
Five Year Growth
The need for international exchange is increasing, and so Cultural Vistas is growing too. Since 2010, we have grown our programs by 49% and our revenue by 87%. We now have an annual budget over $16.5 million. In 2015, we established new departments–philanthropy, alumni relations, and client relations–which are critical to building relationships and expanding our reach. REVENUE GROWTH 5,945 3,981 2010
BY THE NUMBERS
CAMBODIA: 4% | SPAIN: 4% | ARGENTINA: 3%
SOUTH AMERICA: 3% | AFRICA: 2% | OCEANIA: 1%
CHINA: 5% | INDIA: 4% | FRANCE: 4%
Exchange Programs Outside the United States
On the Move in 2015
In March 2015, Cultural Vistas expanded its presence when it relocated its suburban Maryland office to a new, larger space in downtown Washington, D.C. This transition has allowed us to engage partners, hosts, participants, and alumni more often and more personally, supporting our continued efforts to grow and diversify our programs. Our nonprofit now has 90 staff and operations spanning locations in New York City, Berlin, and Washington, D.C.
HIGHLIGHTS + ACHIEVEMENTS Experiencing America: J-1 Intern and Trainee Exchanges In 2015, Cultural Vistas welcomed 4,627 students and professionals from 110 different countries to the United States to take part in internship and on-the-job training programs at over 900 host companies and organizations through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. 4627 INTERNS + TRAINEES
38.3% LED BY GERMANY FROM NORTH + CENTRAL AMERICA
33.9% LED BY CANADA + MEXICO FROM ASIA
21.9% LED BY CHINA, INDIA, + JAPAN
TOP FIELDS OF TRAINING
COMPUTER + INFORMATION SCIENCES
BUSINESS ADMIN + MANAGEMENT
20% 937 3%
BIOLOGICAL + BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
VISUAL + PERFORMING ARTS
⊳ C ultural Vistas J-1 participants joined other interns and trainees to volunteer at the New York City Marathon. Photo: Juliet Bravo. HIGHLIGHTS + ACHIEVEMENTS
ALWAYS CHOOSE ADVENTURE This photo was taken with my frost-covered cellphone propped against a rock to capture the final moments of my solo climb of the entire 14,149-foot Mount Shasta in a single day…But, why? Why even do this? I climbed that mountain because I wasn’t sure if I could. I firmly believe that we have the opportunity every day to make our life an adventure. It can be had both through little steps or big climbs, but remember that it all begins with a choice. Given the choice, always choose adventure. ▲ Eric Paul, a Canadian native, made the most out of his
time away from the office during his J-1 U.S. internship program in 2015.
The Inaugural Year of the Muskie Internship Program The ability to participate in a work experience is an increasingly important part of higher education. For 40 Fulbright Foreign Students from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia studying in the United States, the Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program allowed them to do just that. In 2015, Cultural Vistas organized the U.S. Department of State-funded Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program in its new format, providing 40 young leaders with professional development and internship opportunities with companies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sony Pictures, Sister Cities International, the United Nations, Newsweek, and the World Bank. Named after the late Senator from Maine and preeminent U.S. environmental leader, the original academic program was established by Congress in 1992 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union to ensure that countries in the region continued healthy economic and democratic growth.
I do want to reiterate again that the way that I perceive the relationship with the Muskie program is really of exchange, that it is mutually beneficial for both us as the host organization and also, itâ€™s our responsibility to the Muskie interns for it to be rewarding for them, because we know that we are getting the best and the brightest, of Tajikistan in this case, and we have to take advantage of that. â–˛ M egan Gavin, Ph.D. at DevTech, an international development consulting firm that hosted two Muskie interns in the summer of 2015. While 2015 marked the first year featuring the new internship-focused format, the Muskie program has established meaningful connections between Americans and nearly 5,000 emerging Eurasian leaders over the past two-plus decades.
While volunteering for the University of Oklahoma Institute for Quality Communities, I had a unique chance to travel to a town called Boley. It was once a prosperous historically all-black town that has now lost most of its population. I was really touched by the hospitality and open-mindedness of its lifelong residents. It also allowed me to see the United States from another side, facing the same problems as shrinking villages in my home country. â–˛ A nna Siprikova, a Moscow native and Fulbright scholar studying urban planning and development at the University of Oklahoma, who interned for the Project for Public Spaces in New York City as a Muskie intern.
HIGHLIGHTS + ACHIEVEMENTS
Willkommen in Moskau
The Alfa Fellowship Program experienced a new first welcoming four German citizens among its 2015-16 class. Following months of intensive Russian language training, these 16 emerging leaders, including nine American and three British citizens, began Moscow work assignments at Deloitte, The Associated Press, and National Geographic, among other prominent institutions. Highlighting the fellows’ time in Moscow were meetings with the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, the German Ambassador to Russia, Rüdiger von Fritsch, and the Australian Ambassador to Russia, Paul Myler.
In 2015, 23 experienced educators from 7 different countries, including 10 from the Philippines, began J-1 teacher exchange programs in seven U.S. states.
Two-Way Exchange Develops Young Engineers + Scientists As the U.S. representative of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience, Cultural Vistas has provided university students with paid, course-related training abroad, and employers with highly-skilled and motivated trainees for long or short term projects since 1950. In 2015, this unique, longstanding reciprocal exchange brought 59 international students to the United States and sent 44 Americans, predominantly budding engineers, to 24 different countries.
Milestone Met Cultural Vistas welcomed a record 218 Korea WEST (Work, English Study, Travel) scholars in four cohorts to the United States for internships and language study in 2015. Since the program’s inception in 2009, more than 1,000 South Korean students and recent graduates have advanced their professional pursuits with us and now proudly call themselves Cultural Vistas alumni.
HIGHLIGHTS + ACHIEVEMENTS
It is with the deepest gratitude that I donated to Cultural Vistas as I see their work as integral and life changing. I will be forever indebted to this wonderful organization, as they made dreams which I thought were unachievable, achievable. The dream of sharing my passion for teaching in a foreign country and fully emerging myself in a different culture. From this learning experience I’ve become a better person and a more effective data-driven teacher. I wish that everyone had the opportunity that I had. ▲ A lexandra Hanlon, a U.K. native currently teaching 4th grade at North Star Academy charter school in Newark, New Jersey, is one of more than 40 international educators currently participating in our Teach USA program, which provides visa sponsorship for full-time teaching positions in the United States lasting up to three years. ▼
Strengthening U.S.-Mexican Ties
Teaming Up to Increase Partnerships with Japan
Our relationship with our neighbors to the south was top of mind in 2015 as Cultural Vistas, together with Global Ties U.S., entered into a memorandum of understanding with the University of Guadalajara to expand exchanges for American and Mexican students. Later in the year, Cultural Vistas was named a designated sponsor for the Department of State’s U.S.-Mexico Internship Program, which will open possibilities for increased cooperation.
How do you improve student mobility between the United States and Japan? Build relationships. That is exactly what Cultural Vistas set out to do via its work with the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF) in 2015, bringing 65 seniorlevel higher education professionals together to advance strategic educational partnerships between the two nations as part of TeamUp, a USJBF project funded through a grant from the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo.
I have given a lot of thought to that internship and the impact it had on my life…the IAESTE experience and my engineering degree have been been mainstays of my career pursuits, which by the way still continues: Once an engineer, always an engineer.
Developing a New Generation of Transatlantic Leaders The 2015-16 class of Robert Bosch Foundation Fellows (pictured) consists of 15 emerging U.S. leaders from across the fields of education, law, government, economic policy, and urban planning, among others. Since the program’s inception in 1984, more than 500 Americans have been afforded this unique opportunity to grow professionally while becoming personally acquainted with Germany’s political, economic, and social situation.
▲ M ickey Glantz, an IAESTE alumnus from the summer of 1961 and today a leading climate researcher based at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
HIGHLIGHTS + ACHIEVEMENTS
SPECIAL EVENTS The U.S. Department of State's longest-running exchange program was in the spotlight in February as a capacity crowd came out to view Connecting Cultures, Impacting Lives, our documentary film chronicling the International Visitor Leadership Program which celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2015. The film profiled 13 emerging European leaders who visited the United States for a five-city, three-week project organized by our staff focused on advancing youth leadership.
âŠ˛ Watch the documentary at: culturalvistas.org/ivlp
D.C. Office Open House | May 2015
Berlin Gathering | July 2015
Cultural Vistas welcomed more than 175 guests to an open house and official unveiling of its new Washington, D.C. office at 1250 H Street NW. The 10,000 square-foot space now houses more than 40 staff and has greatly enhanced the connection and collaboration between area partners, participants, and alumni.
More than 70 members of our European alumni community and a cadre of our American participants interning and working across Germany came together to meet, mingle, and reflect on their international experience at our European office in Berlin. The outing was one of several bringing alumni and participants together during the summer months.
Sharing the Impact of Professional Fellowships | July 2015
Celebrating J Day | August 2015
Alfa and Bosch Fellowship alumni joined members of our Edmund S. Muskie Internship Program in leading a Washington, D.C. panel on the impact of professional fellowships in July for an interested audience of prospective applicants. As one of our Muskie alumni put it, exchanges are “an enormous opportunity to reinvent yourself, personally and professionally.”
Few American pastimes are as rewarding as volunteering. That’s what 12 of our J-1 interns and trainees found by teaming up with staff to support clean-up efforts in New York’s Riverside Park on J Day, a nationwide celebration of the value of international exchange.
Day at the Bay | September 2015
Think Global, Startup Local | November 2015
Twenty-six interns and trainees hailing from Austria, China, France, Japan, Korea, Philippines, and Russia joined Cultural Vistas for a ‘Day at the Bay’ in St. Michaels, Maryland, which included a boat tour on the Chesapeake Bay to learn about the local environment followed by the chance to enjoy a local delicacy: steamed blue crabs.
The impact of international exchange on Berlin’s startup scene was the focus of a panel discussion featuring Berlin startup CEOs hosted by the European office of Cultural Vistas, together with CIEE and the JFK Atlantic Forum. As former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Kornblum offered during his opening remarks, “I have never seen such direct benefit [on foreign policy] as I have seen from exchange programs.”
As I reflect on my Bosch experience in Germany ten years ago, I’m in awe and incredibly grateful for that continuing investment into my personal and professional growth. Therefore, I feel that I have an obligation and duty to invest into the work and people of Cultural Vistas.
Migration Panel Discussion | September 2015 Transatlantic partnerships will be crucial in solving today’s migration challenges. That was the consensus at our Washington, D.C. panel discussion on migration, which included opening remarks from Bosch Fellowship alumna Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State: Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
▲ C ordell Carter, II, the Chief Executive Officer at Tech Town Foundation and a 2016 White House Champion of Change for Computer Science Education recipient, took part in the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program in 2007.
PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT CONGRESS-BUNDESTAG YOUTH EXCHANGE
CBYX has been foundational in my personal and professional life. I was a part of the 19941995 program and was fortunate to have lived with a family in the most beautiful town on the Mosel in the area of Trier. I still visit my family there nearly every year, talk with them weekly, and consider them to be one of the closest relationships I have. I started an import company 15 years ago that now employs three. I would have never done this without my year in Germany. An indispensable program. â–˛ R ich Erickson, CBYX alumnus 1994-95
I could think of no better way to foster such trust, to enhance such mutual understanding for the long-term than through exchange programs such as CBYX. â–˛ G erman Ambassador to the United States Peter Wittig
Inaugurated in 1983 by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag, the CongressBundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) was created to strengthen ties between Germany and the United States through citizen diplomacy. Through the CBYX for Young Professionals component, 150 young Germans and Americans annually have the opportunity to live, study, and intern in each other’s country, helping prepare them for success in an increasingly global world and greatly strengthening the ties between our two countries. CBYX alumni have become leaders in politics as members of the German Bundestag and staffers in Congress, diplomats in the German Foreign Office and the U.S. State Department, and managers in business at German and American companies, helping expand business ties and job growth. Threatened with a significant funding reduction in 2015, CBYX received strong support from alumni and leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, helping avert the potential cuts. A grassroots alumni effort gathered over 20,500 signatures in support of the program, firmly demonstrating the program’s impact on them. German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared her support for CBYX in a meeting with President Obama. Moreover, five former U.S. Ambassadors to Germany stated in an op-ed piece that “Germany is now the most important strategic partner of the United States” and “an ally on which the United States will increasingly depend.” As such, the participants in CBYX “are tomorrow’s leaders and the investment in their future must be our highest priority.” Speaking on the House floor, Congressman Glenn Thompson, co-chair of the German-American Caucus in Congress, stated that CBYX allows participants to “develop a better understanding of foreign cultures and expand their knowledge and leadership potential exponentially.” The transatlantic alliance between Germany and the United States–on issues related to migration, trade and investment, financial market stability, international security and countering terrorism, the environment and sustainability, and many others–contributes greatly to our respective societies, but also to the world community.
Therefore, the CBYX mission to maintain and improve the transatlantic relationship though people-to-people exchange continues to be relevant today, now more than ever. An Investment in Tomorrow’s Leaders »»
Funded by both the U.S. and German governments, CBYX annually supports the 1-to-1 exchange of 700 young Germans and Americans.
23,000+ high school students and young professionals from both countries have participated since the program’s inception.
Amplifying Exchange’s Impact 4,100 miles away? No problem. The inaugural virtual exchange pilot project of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals saw 10 German and American CBYX participants examine and share perspectives on relevant issues in their respective societies, including civic participation, diversity, and integration. On the Hill In January, the five German participants who interned on Capitol Hill through CBYX’s Congressional Internship Program met and discussed their U.S. experiences with Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA), who serves as co-chair of the German-American Caucus in the House of Representatives. The group included: Lisa Bonengel
Rep. Steve Chabot [OH-1]
Senator Joe Manchin III [WV]
Rep. Richard Hanna [NY-22]
Rep. Tom Cole [OK-4]
Rep. John Shimkus [IL-15]
⊳ L isette Rossmann, CBYX 2015-2016 Photo: Fabienne Riccoboni, CBYX 2015-2016
CONGRESS-BUNDESTAG YOUTH EXCHANGE (CBYX)
IN FOCUS AMERICANS NEED TO EXPERIENCE THE WORLD FIRSTHAND, TOO
Itâ€™s amazing how quickly travel turns a group of strangers into family. They arrived as strangers and left as lifelong friends. Abukar Adan, Megan Bradford, Haley Carroll, and Mary Nguyen each received full funding to intern in Bangalore this past summer as part of the third cohort of the Cultural Vistas Fellowship, which was recently cited among GoAbroad's most innovative new internship programs. Since 2013, this initiative, which is funded directly by organizational revenue, has provided more than 40 students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to go abroad with the chance to take part in their first international experiences. Photo: Megan Bradford âŠ˛
More than 90 percent of U.S. students graduate without an international experience. That means fewer than 10 percent of young Americans have the opportunity to experience life outside the United States, to learn about our country's place in our interdependent world, and to develop many of the competencies only achieved through sustained immersion in a foreign country–language learning, interdisciplinary problem solving, empathy, and respect for cultural attitudes and ideas, to name a few.
“Although the traveling road may seem rough, plain, and ordinary, when you step back and view the whole picture, you can truly see how beautiful it is. How beautiful the experience is, and how much it is shaping you,” said Kang.
This is why as part of our new five-year strategic plan, Cultural Vistas has pledged to work towards reversing that statistic by tripling the participation rate of Americans across its portfolio of professional programs by 2020. We have begun to deliver on our commitment by expanding our portfolio of programs for Americans in 2015 to include customized internship programs in Brazil, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and an urban arts exchange in India to be administered in 2016. For us, however, it is not just a numbers game. Our focus remains on delivering high-quality, relevant, and affordable opportunities to deepen their cultural fluency, so they can compete and succeed in today's workplace. Here’s how we are delivering on that commitment In 2015, a record 345 Americans took part in our internship, study tour, language immersion, and professional fellowship programs in 28 countries across Asia, Europe, and South America. More than 87% of these individuals received paid internship positions, received full or partial funding, or were awarded scholarships or stipends for language classes from Cultural Vistas to make their experiences possible. Because the number one obstacle to pursuing overseas learning opportunities is the expense, we’ve provided nearly 200 American students with more than $215,000 in scholarship support to pursue low or unpaid internships since 2011. In 2015, Lilly Kang, who interned for bab.la, a language services company in Hamburg, Germany, was among our 34 Cultural Vistas Scholarship recipients.
AMERICANS NEED TO EXPERIENCE THE WORLD FIRSTHAND, TOO
STEM Learning and Understanding New Career Horizons
Nicole Johnson, a psychology major and aspiring doctor, was among the 16 students and four faculty members representing both Spelman and Morehouse College who traveled to Berlin and Munich for two weeks at the end of their spring semesters to learn about the global nature of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Now in its fourth year, the STEM LAUNCH study tour, funded by the Halle Foundation, has inspired more than 60 students from Georgia-based historically black colleges and universities to add an international component to their educational and career paths.
I appreciate everything Cultural Vistas and the Halle Foundation is doing to help college students, but more importantly African American students who might otherwise never had the chance. With this experience, I hope to take time this summer and learn more German so that I can not only return to Germany, but even think about pursuing a professional degree or attending medical school abroad. ▲ N icole Johnson, 2015 STEM LAUNCH alumna and Spelman College, Class of 2017.
Dan Ewert VP FOR PROGRAM RESEARCH, PARTNERSHIPS, AND INNOVATION, CULTURAL VISTAS
In an era in which “all politics is local,” there is perhaps no issue that is more global than the environment. While pollution of the soil can be contained, to a point, water and air pollution is notoriously “cross-border” in nature.
IN FOCUS ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
If we look at the world as a snow globe, 70% of which is a single interconnected ocean, perhaps we would be more cognizant of the way we interact with these critical elements. Young people have been keen to the way mankind has been, at worse, abusive, and at best, benign toward protection of the environment since the 1960s. But, most young people grow old, and become more concerned with raising a family and assuring a minimum economic level to support that family. And, the environment continues to deteriorate. In 2015, Cultural Vistas continued in its ongoing efforts to help individuals from around the world to come together and inspire them to take a long term view on environmental and energy issues. Two specific initiatives spotlighted our efforts to provide opportunities for in-depth collaboration between people from around the world–the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative YSEALI Generation: Earth workshop and the UK Climate and Energy Leaders program. The YSEALI workshop took place in Siem Reap, Cambodia in April. This four-day workshop brought together nearly 100 Southeast Asian and American young people to share best practices and resources to address a wide variety of environmental sustainability issues. YSEALI is an effort of the Obama Administration to unite the rising generation of young people from the ten ASEAN member nations, and to signal support for their professional development by the government and people of the United States. As we witnessed in Cambodia, these young people are infused with passion for contributing to addressing global challenges. They recognize their grandparents and parents fought hard and sacrificed much to build the ASEAN economies, and to provide them with opportunities for better education. But, they also fear this was done at the expense of consideration for the environment. So, they are aiming their passion toward building a cleaner and more environmentally sustainable ASEAN region, which can only help the entire world. Our workshop design not only allowed these Southeast Asians to better understand the
rights and responsibilities of being a citizen of ASEAN–six months prior to its leaders voting to bring the economic union even closer together as a regional bloc–it provided the chance for Americans to demonstrate their commitment to share knowledge and contacts to support the young people of the region. To paraphrase one the participants: “We are creating our weapons of mass instruction.” In July, Cultural Vistas welcomed a group of climate and renewable energy leaders selected by the U.S. Embassy in London to the United States to learn about American efforts to address climate change. Why engage leaders from a nation with already-robust efforts to combat global warming and develop renewable energy? First, prior to the Paris round of climate change talks, we sought to assure our friends across the pond that the United States is truly committed to doing its part in reducing our production of climate-changing greenhouse gases. And, second, as these participants discovered, there are truly exciting things going on in the United States. Emphasizing the importance to look at the work taking place in individual states (California arguably does more to address climate change than any other “nation” in the world, and Iowa gets more of its energy from wind power than any other “nation” in the world), they came to understand how technology, developed through considerable investment on the part of the U.S. Department of Energy, is transforming the way Americans produce and consume energy. And, like their counterparts in Southeast Asia, they heard how American young people–from “both sides of the aisle”–are pressuring those in power to support environmental issues that will affect them and their children. Cultural Vistas believes we need to continue to connect young people through exchanges–and to promote the outcomes of their efforts–to affect lasting change that will hopefully persist as these young people age. The exchange community goes to great effort to figure out and communicate the “economic benefits” of international exchange. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could someday measure and report on the reduction in greenhouse gases or the number of plastic bottles kept from entering the ocean resulting from knowledge and experience gained from an international exchange? Such a “adapt and trade” quotient may end up being the key factor in keeping our snow globe clear and blue.
Dan Wang ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT AND SOCIOLOGY AT COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL
IN FOCUS EXCHANGE'S IMPACT: THE EFFECTS OF OVERSEAS WORK EXPERIENCE
The globalization of markets and business has made foreign work experience an essential component of professional training and development for skilled workers around the world. Indeed, academic research has shown that overseas work experiences can enhance one’s leadership skills, entrepreneurial ability, and creativity. However, some recent studies have also commented on potential negative impact of overseas experiences– especially when professionals return from working abroad–including reverse culture shock, loss of identity, and difficulty with reintegration. Because of this tension, industry professionals and academics lack a cohesive understanding on how to improve the overseas work and training experiences for the benefit of a globalizing workforce. Moreover, many claims from past work have been made on the basis of anecdotal evidence, analysis of small samples, or narrow case studies. To address these problems, in the past five years, I have worked with Cultural Vistas to study the alumni of its J-1 internship and trainee programs to better explain the tradeoffs in how working abroad influence alumni careers in their home countries and the organizations in which they work. Our collaboration has led to the successful completion of two waves of a major survey that includes responses from over 8,000 alumni who have participated in J-1 intern and trainee programs through Cultural Vistas since 1998 and represent 120 home countries. The on-going survey data collection has received grant funding from the Kauffman Foundation and Columbia Business School’s Chazen Institute for International Business, and it represents the broadest quantitative study of the effects of overseas work experiences on skilled professionals ever conducted. Opposite are results from two specific projects that have emerged from this work.
⊳ International interns and trainees at Siemens in Sacramento, California. Photo: Manuel Kaiser
Do alumni successfully bring what they learned abroad into the workplaces of their home countries? Working abroad has a long-lasting impact on alumni, as many translate their overseas experiences into practice in their home countries.
Approximately 48% of J-1 intern and trainee alumni working in their home countries report having shared in their current workplaces some significant piece of knowledge based on their U.S. training experience
Of these respondents, 65% report the knowledge they shared led to a long-term change or improvement in their current workplaces.
My study, however, also revealed why some alumni were more effective at transferring overseas knowledge back to their home countries than others.
Alumni reported significantly greater success in implementing practices they learned overseas when they maintained strong connections to professional contacts they made while working abroad. Thus, alumni who formed strong ‘cross-border’ networks had better access to novel ideas and perspectives that they could potentially bring back to their home countries.
What aspects of an overseas work experience influence alumni to become entrepreneurs after they return to their home countries? 12 to 15 percent of respondents across the two waves of the survey reported starting companies after they returned to their home countries. Because foreign work experience often exposes one to broader perspectives, they obtain a greater diversity of knowledge that can enhance one’s innovative capability. As a result, a non-trivial amount of alumni found themselves inspired to found new ventures after re-entering their home countries, a critical component of economic growth. At the same time, my study also reveals that there is considerable variability among survey respondents in who decides to become an entrepreneur.
Respondents who report developing a broader set of skills working abroad–as opposed to a narrower, more specialized set of skills–are more likely to start new ventures in the home countries.
Alumni who maintain stronger connections overseas are also more likely to start companies than those who do not.
Alumni who in their overseas training experiences had colleagues who themselves had entrepreneurial experience were twice as likely to start ventures of their own in their home countries than alumni who did not have such colleagues.
Furthermore, the survey results also showed the benefit of developing strong overseas ties was enhanced even more when alumni also maintained strong and frequent professional connections to their home country while abroad. Here, alumni’s connections to their home countries kept them embedded in professional social networks in their homelands, allowing them to translate their overseas knowledge in a more relevant way in their home country workplaces.
These results suggest that the nature of Cultural Vistas’ J-1 intern and training programs can have a meaningful impact on their future career decisions. For example, designing training programs to impart broader skills or facilitate strong professional connections can foster greater entrepreneurial desire among participants.
Forging long-lasting social ties abroad is not enough to make a foreign experience valuable–it is also up to globetrotting professionals to maintain some connection to their home countries to make the value of that foreign experience relevant in their home countries.
Moreover, these findings also reveal if more J-1 intern and trainee participants sort into training positions in early stage ventures, where they are more likely to encounter former entrepreneurs as colleagues, they too might get the startup itch after returning to their home countries.
EXCHANGE'S IMPACT: THE EFFECTS OF OVERSEAS WORK EXPERIENCE
Let's face it. Today's world is faster, messier, more connected, and seems as polarized as ever before.
IN FOCUS FOSTERING UNDERSTANDING
The most pressing problems we face–from climate change to mass migration to terrorism–are increasingly complex in character and scope, and require cooperative global efforts to solve. Because we face a more difficult world, international understanding–direct knowledge and an authentic understanding of different countries and cultures–will be vital to our ability to successfully meet the many challenges ahead. Every year, nearly 6,000 individuals around the world receive this direct knowledge through our exchange programs and special initiatives. We believe these opportunities broaden the worldview of our participants in ways they never forget, and are an essential step in creating a more just and peaceful world.
This kind of inspired learning takes place in many different forms and settings in our work. It is top of mind when we host a series of educational activities and events every November to commemorate International Education Week (IEW). In 2015, we brought over 30 J-1 exchange participants and alumni, representing 12 countries from Italy to Indonesia, into six public elementary and middle schools in New York, New Hampshire, and Washington, D.C. to lead presentations about their home cultures. â€œI gave a presentation on Korean culture during International Education Week. The children were so curious about so many things, without any boundaries. It taught me how important it is to encourage curiosity.â€? - Yehyun Kim, Korea WEST alumnus. When people come together and share a common experience, exchanges can erase misconceptions. Uma Ali, of Manchester, England, who was among Muslim student and community leaders from the United Kingdom who explored faith, diversity, and leadership development in the United States, experienced this during one of two Cultural Vistas-led initiatives sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in London, held in January and April of 2015.
Commenting on what surprised her most about her U.S. visit–Uma cited how friendly Americans are, particularly in Oklahoma–one of the many cities her group visited. “I had this notion that they would be narrow-minded,” said Ali. “But they're very curious and interested in who you are and where you came from. It makes you feel good. We should take that back to England.” Understanding there's no “one size fits all” path to leadership or success was the major takeaway for the nearly 40 participants we welcomed in the spring as part of the TOMODACHI MetLife Women's Leadership Program. A diverse 10-day U.S. itinerary connected first and secondyear Japanese university students with women leaders across sectors, including Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono, among others, to showcase new possibilities and inspire the confidence to push past long-held gender norms.
“Before this program, I thought that leadership was something you were born with, like a personality,” a TOMODACHI participant reflected upon returning home. “But I learned that there can be different types of leaders and that leadership is something you foster, not something you were born with.” Showcasing an American perspective and cultivating an understanding of a variety of pertinent global topics is also at the heart of our work as a National Program Agency for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Cultural Vistas is now in its fifth year working on IVLP. To date, we have implemented more than 150 projects bringing professionals and emerging foreign leaders to meet with their American counterparts on short-term visits and learn how the United States tackles a range of issues–from promoting gender justice and female entrepreneurship in Egypt and Saudi Arabia to protecting minority rights in Russia, Ukraine, Montenegro, and Kosovo.
As Christina Tsafoulias, a 2013-14 Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship alumna and now an advisor for congressional affairs at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C., aptly put it in a recent interview, “understanding people’s motivations has always been key to finding compromise and dynamic solutions–and there is no better way to understand a different society’s motivations than by living in that society and getting a personal feel for why its citizens make decisions the way they do.” Whether through sending Americans abroad or welcoming international visitors to the United States, this is central to all that we do.
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT For Steven Kratchman, international exchange wasn’t an “if,” but rather a “when,” after sharing two years of his childhood with students from Montevideo, Uruguay, and Manila, Philippines in his family home in Chicago. This experience as a 12-year-old opened Steven to several new opportunities both through his education and now as a successful professional. While in high school, he participated in an exchange program in Israel, which he followed in college through an IAESTE/DAAD internship with Hamburg, Germany’s City Planning Commission. In 1983, Steven returned to Germany on a Donald P. Ewart Scholarship to study in Dortmund.
I will never be the same again after the experiences and the activities that I participated in. Being part of a group of 23 participants from all over the world has already connected me to a global village. My outlook on the world will never be the same. ▲ M oses Semwayo, inspired by what he learned during the International Visitor Leadership Program in the United States, established a small network of sewing businesses to empower local women in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
This he followed with three stays in Spannocchia, Italy through a preservation program; a Fulbright scholarship in Stuttgart; and an internship at Atelier du Patrimoine in Marseille, France. Now an accomplished architect in New York City with his own firm, Steven says of his professional path, “I wanted to choose a career in which study and training could include language, international education, and travel. I thought architecture and the history of it would match these goals.” Now that he is in a position to foster young talent, he does so wholeheartedly; his firm, Steven Kratchman Architect, P.C., has an ongoing program for international and American interns, which in his 15 years of business has hosted no less than 45 aspiring architects! Of the interns, Steven states, “I love having the foreign accents in the office and hearing the diversity of opinions with respect to projects, the world of architecture, and the world beyond.”
We know that the best ideas can come from anywhere; the key is to adapt them to your country and your culture.
IN FOCUS ENTREPRENEURSHIP + INNOVATION
Below is a glimpse into the many ways our work promotes and spurs entrepreneurship by connecting individuals and institutions around the world to exchange best practices.
How a J-1 Internship Inspired a New Business
Upon returning from Estonia, Luke Beard sat to edit a set of photos he had taken inside an old prison when he realized there was no simple platform for him to share the story of his travels in an elegant way that was also not difficult to use. That was the impetus for prototyping the project that would become Exposure. In 2013, Luke, a native of Cheltenham in the United Kingdom, came to the States to intern with Elepath, a product studio, through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. At Elepath, his idea for a new visual storytelling platform became the very first product he worked on from end-toend. In less than five months into his internship, Exposure launched to the public. In March of 2015, it was spun into its own company. Today, it is sustainable product and business with more than 80,000 members and more than 2.1 million photos within over 50,000 published stories. ⊳ Luke Beard, exposure.co
From Silicon Valley to Truffle Farming A fervent curiosity pushed Robert Chang to work and learn German as part of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program in 2002-2003. That decision led the Stanford grad with postgraduate degrees in electrical engineering toward a unique career path that led him to start the American Truffle Company in 2007. Truffles, you ask? He first tasted the delicacy at an Italian bistro in Munich during his fellowship year. His company, which partners with people willing to invest in and grow truffle orchards in North America, has been a resounding success. “Starting my business had everything to do with international experience,” said Chang. “I would not have gotten into the truffle business without being a Bosch fellow spending time in Germany.” IN FOCUS
International experience is valuable in entrepreneurship in two significant ways. First, entrepreneurship is ultimately about making a business out of new ways of doing things. International experience exposes one to new perspectives, new ideas and new opportunities otherwise largely beyond reach. My Bosch experience directly resulted in my seeing an opportunity and bringing new scientific ways of growing truffles to North America, which had never been done before here. Second, international experience sensitizes one to building a global business from the ground up, avoiding incurring significant costs later in localization and internationalization. As a result, I have built my business with global branding and infrastructure from the outset, ready for a global market. ▲ R obert Chang, Bosch alumnus and truffle proprietor ⊲
WEAmericas Entrepreneurs Build Ties Between North + South America In September, Cultural Vistas welcomed 17 female entrepreneurs from 11 Latin American countries for a three-week, six-city International Visitor Leadership Program exchange to the United States as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas) program. WEAmericas allows women business leaders to explore a variety of mentorship, job shadowing, education, and skills development programs. These inspiring women epitomize the essential role played by womenowned businesses in driving economic development, democratization, and stabilization around the world.
Berlin Startup Program for Emerging Entrepreneurs In the spring of 2015, the first participants in the new Berlin Startup Program began internships with startup companies in Germany's hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. This brand new initiative, which is managed by the European office of Cultural Vistas, provides students, ages 18-30, from around the world with internships at Berlin-based startups.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP + INNOVATION
Cultural Vistas alumni are an impressive group. From Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff, and Sandra Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman at Johnson & Johnson, to Christian Chabot, Founder and CEO of Tableau, our global alumni are only growing in prominence.
SPOTLIGHT ON CULTURAL VISTAS ALUMNI NETWORK
At all levels of government, business, and the nonprofit sector, you will find individuals like these whose career paths were radically altered by their exchange experience. This is why Cultural Vistas made a commitment in 2015 to engage these passionate advocates through its new alumni relations program. With Alumni Relations Officer Richard Bobo in the lead, it was a year of fact-finding, and we owe special thanks to the many alumni who participated in our focus groups in Washington and New York, pilot programs, and online survey. Combining lessons learned with best practices drawn from our peers and universities, we found that Cultural Vistas alumni are eager to gain access to a broad professional network that extends beyond the program in which they participated.
Alumni Relations Values
Cultural Vistas created its alumni relations initiative using these guidelines to shape its focus and direction.
100,000+ MEMBERS FROM 150+ COUNTRIES
International exchange network: We create facilitated access to a network of Cultural Vistas international exchange alumni, which leads to valuable professional collaboration and career advancement.
Professional advancement: We provide alumni with tools, training, and support for leveraging their exchange experience for professional advancement throughout their careers.
Lifelong exchange experience: Through in-person and virtual encounters, we offer alumni opportunities to extend and build on their exchange experience after it has taken place.
Recognition: We celebrate and promote alumni achievements that demonstrate the professional and social-impact value of international exchange.
12 WAYS TO PAY IT FORWARD Cultural Vistas’ community of alumni is growing by leaps and bounds, expanding its reach and impact in notable ways. This comes with a warm invitation to join this expanding circle, which connects participants, alumni, volunteer leadership, and staff in an exciting shared commitment to cultural exchange. Here’s how you can help!
Join the Cultural Vistas Alumni Network group on LinkedIn so we can stay in touch
Connect with us via social media at culturalvistas.org/connect
Host an international intern at your workplace
Share your expertise on our blog at blog.culturalvistas.org
Provide guidance to applicants in your program
Speak at one of our events or serve as a moderator
Recommend our J-1 Visa services to your employer’s HR department
Welcome an international group for home hospitality
Inform your network of our scholarship and fellowship opportunities
10 Contribute to our mission with a charitable donation 11
Ask your employer to match your gift
12 Support us while you shop with AmazonSmile
To take the next step, visit culturalvistas.org/alumni or contact alumni relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.545.6831.
CULTURAL VISTAS ALUMNI NETWORK
2015 FINANCIAL REPORT
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
Board Chair Mr. Karl Geercken PARTNER, ALSTON & BIRD, LLP
47% PROGRAM SERVICE FEES 28% UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT GRANTS 24% FOUNDATION + INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT OF PROGRAMMING 1% CONTRIBUTIONS, INVESTMENT RETURNS, + OTHER
Vice Chair Mr. Jeffrey Reinke CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
Board Treasurer Mr. Charles Meier DIRECTOR, CITIGROUP
Board Secretary Mr. Jim Thomas FOUNDER & CEO, ITEMIZE INC.
Board Members: Dr. Fanta Aw ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT AND CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, NAFSA
Ambassador Fred Bush COUNSELOR, FRIENDS OF THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF AFGHANISTAN
WHERE DID IT GO?
Mr. Alpha Conteh 65% PROFESSIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMS TO THE UNITED STATES 20% OUTBOUND + RECIPROCAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
15% ADMIN + FUNDRAISING
8 5% P R O G R A
14% MANAGEMENT + GENERAL 1% FUNDRAISING
CONTROLLER, HARLEM CHILDREN’S ZONE
Mr. Robert Fenstermacher (ex officio) PRESIDENT AND CEO, CULTURAL VISTAS
Ms. Helga Flores-Trejo EXTERNAL RELATIONS ADVISOR, INTER-AMERICAN INVESTMENT CORP.
Mr. Kevin Gully PRACTICE PRINCIPAL, HEWLETT-PACKARD ENTERPRISE
Mr. Adam Hunter DIRECTOR, IMMIGRATION AND THE STATES, THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS
Dr. Marcelo Knobel PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS, UNIVERSIDADE ESTADUAL DE CAMPINAS (BRAZIL)
Ms. Noel Kreicker (Ret.) INTERCULTURAL RELATIONS CONSULTANT
Cultural Vistas is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in New York, N.Y. and is classified as a publically-supported organization under Section 509(a). Its financial statements are audited on an annual basis by Marks Paneth LLP. Marks Paneth LLP conducted an audit of and issued an unmodified opinion on Cultural Vistas’ financial statements (summarized above). Complete audited statements are available on the Cultural Vistas website, or upon request.
Mr. Aslam Masood CFO, KABAFUSION HOLDINGS, LLC
Ms. Jacqueline Renner PRESIDENT, C.F. MARTIN & CO
Mr. Howard Wallack MA, MSC, SHRM-SCP GLOBAL MARKETS EXECUTIVE, SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MGMT.
CULTURAL VISTAS 2015 ANNUAL REPORT
FUNDERS + INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERS
CONNECT WITH US
Cultural Vistas works with and receives funding from many public and private sources such as the U.S. Department of State, U.S. embassies, foreign governments, foundations, universities, and companies, ranging from multinationals to small businesses, to deliver exchange programs ranging across industries with global significance.
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AFS-USA ALFA-BANK ALLIANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON GERMANY AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY GERMAN STUDIES ATLANTIK-BRÜCKE BMW GROUP BRAZILIAN NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF INDUSTRY CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR CO-OPERATIVE EDUCATION CI EXPERIENCE BRAZIL COUNCIL ON INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE COINED COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON DEUTSCHE WELLE DREXEL UNIVERSITY EUROPEAN YOUNG INNOVATORS FORUM FRANCE LANGUE FREIE UNIVERSITÄT BERLIN GERMAN FEDERAL MINISTRY FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS AND ENERGY GIZ: DEUTSCHE GESELLSCHAFT FÜR INTERNATIONALE ZUSAMMENARBEIT GLOBAL ACCESS PIPELINE GLOBAL INTERN TEAM, SOUTH KOREA GLOBAL TIES U.S. HEINRICH BÖLL STIFTUNG NORTH AMERICA HONG KONG AMERICA CENTER IAESTE, A.S.B.L. INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE INSTITUTE IRISH EDUCATION PARTNERS THE INSTITUTE FOR JAPAN INTERNATIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING JFK ATLANTIC FORUM KAPLAN INTERNATIONAL LDI AFRICA
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THE MCCAIN INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, REPUBLIC OF KOREA METLIFE ALICO MOREHOUSE COLLEGE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION NEW YORK UNIVERSITY ONE TO WORLD PAÑÑĀSĀSTRA UNIVERSITY OF CAMBODIA, SIEM REAP PRINCETON UNIVERSITY RAUS VON ZUHAUS ROBERT BOSCH FOUNDATION SPELMAN COLLEGE SOUTH KOREAN MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY THE HALLE FOUNDATION THE TOMODACHI INITIATIVE THESE NUMBERS HAVE FACES UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA UNIVERSITY OF GUADALAJARA UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL CHENNAI U.S. CONSULATE BELFAST U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, BUREAU OF EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, E. ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS U.S. EMBASSY, ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN U.S. EMBASSY, BANGKOK U.S. EMBASSY, BERLIN U.S. EMBASSY, DUBLIN U.S. EMBASSY JAKARTA U.S. EMBASSY, LONDON U.S. EMBASSY, MOSCOW U.S. EMBASSY, NEW DELHI U.S. EMBASSY, PHNOM PENH U.S. EMBASY, REYKJAVIK U.S. EMBASSY, TOKYO U.S.-JAPAN BRIDGING FOUNDATION WANHUA CHEMICAL GROUP WELCOMING AMERICA
CULTURAL VISTAS 2015 ANNUAL REPORT
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A nonprofit is not just a legal entity; it can also be a vibrant community—one that needs enthusiastic volunteers, friends, and donors to thrive in making a difference together. 2015 represented a breakthrough year in Cultural Vistas’ commitment to building and sustaining a community of lifelong believers in the power of cultural exchange.
SPOTLIGHT ON PHILANTHROPY
This summer, Cultural Vistas launched its first philanthropy initiative, with Laura Brower Hagood, a career development professional and Bosch Fellow, at the helm. As a result of this investment in internal capacity, Cultural Vistas is ready to support donors, making gifts from $10 to $25,000, in fostering life-changing leaders. In our first sustained holiday campaign, Our Voices. Your Tomorrow., we raised more than $55,000 in support of our shared vision, almost 80% more than in 2014. Cultural Vistas’ board of directors, with Alston & Bird Partner Karl Geercken in the lead, signaled its strong commitment to this new endeavor by doubling its philanthropic giving and reaching its 100% participation goal.
▲ J onathon VanBrunt in Berlin during his 2015 Cultural Vistas Fellowship.
In 1980, I came from Pakistan by way of the United Kingdom to the United States for studies. Since then, a solid cross cultural awareness and understanding have always been very important to me, to my family and to our leading a happy and successful life in the diverse environment of our new world. The efforts of Cultural Vistas in managing international educational exchanges should promote beneficial opportunities for individuals to gain a better appreciation for the cultural differences and the similarities across nations and thus become more successful citizens of the world. ▲ A slam Masood, CFO, KabaFusion Holdings, LLC and board member at Cultural Vistas
▲ M isato Oi of Kyoto (second from right) participated in the 2013-2014 TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program in the United States. She went on to represent her home country at the 2014 G(irls) 20 Summit and encourage fellow female Japanese youth to push past gender stereotypes on a five-city speaking tour across Japan
WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE TO CULTURAL VISTAS Sometimes it’s hard to tell what changes the course of someone’s life for the better. An exceptional teacher. A patient but firm grandmother. A mentor who sees your potential when no one else does. Cultural Vistas believes that cultural exchange–a chance to live and work abroad for the first time–belongs at the top of this list. Even more than travel or study abroad, professional experience promotes talents and skills that create successful careers and nurture leaders, whether they are community activists or change agents at a global level. And increasingly employers are seeking out new hires who are at ease in the global marketplace. Not enough of our young people, and especially those coming from underserved backgrounds, are getting these opportunities. With its 2020 vision, Cultural Vistas has committed to boosting the number of American participants coming through its programs to 1,200. Far more than numbers, each of these individuals is a uniquely talented student or emerging leader with the passion and commitment to make the world a better, more collaborative place. Today, we ask you to generously support Cultural Vistas’ diverse professional exchange programs for this simple reason: You will touch someone’s life journey in one of the most promising and transformative ways possible.
$5,000 and up Karl Geercken and Monica Geercken Aslam Masood Jeffrey Reinke
$1,000 - $4,999
THANK YOU DONORS! We extend our sincere thanks to the many donors who supported Cultural Vistas in 2015. These important supporters are part of a growing community of allies and friends who promote global understanding through exchange and collaboration in new and ever more important ways. This year as in every year, they have our heartfelt gratitude.
Cultural Vistasâ€™ vision is one I am deeply passionate about. I donate because Cultural Vistas opens doors of opportunities and changes lives. â–˛ Dr. Fanta Aw Assistant VP, American University; President and Chair of the Board of Directors, NAFSA; and board member at Cultural Vistas
Anonymous Linda Boughton Robert Fenstermacher Noel Kreicker Nancy and Mark Malone Charles Meier Jacqueline Renner and David Craig Kevin and Marie Gully Kendra Mirasol Adam M. Hunter Martin Levion 440 Realty Co Josef Dieter Stein and Gudrun S. Johnson-Stein James Thomas
$500 - $999 Anonymous Barry W. Fenstermacher Dr. Fanta Aw Sylvia Becker Dan Ewert Helga Flores and Michael Werz David Martin William Mejia Anna Oberle-Brill Howard A. Wallack and Hallie Galen Wallack
$250 - $499 Robert Fenstermacher and Anne Jacobson Peter Ruof Marcelo Knobel Anonymous in loving memory of Eugene A. Gargiulo Frederick Bush Lisa Cohen Alpha Conteh Sally Grooms Cowal Gregory Crouch Dr. Cheryl Matherly and Dr. Steven Wilson Steven E. Sokol
Up to $249 Anonymous Anonymous in honor of Yvonne B. Strickland David W. Detjen Environics Communications Wilson Rickerson Dr. Gary and Helene Eith Adam and Lynn Gerstmeier Cornelius Adebahr Peter Alwardt and Gisela Scharein Dr. William C. Brown and Dede Kern Brown Elizabeth Chaulk Danil Chung Laura Brower Hagood and John Hagood Stephen Heimann and Monika Hemmers Lubrizol Foundation Bruce R. Marsh John Marum Anette Mauet Oberle Anonymous Gerhardt G. Sihler Greta Adams Villere Matthew Burns Amazon Smile Connie and Donny Askin Cordell Carter II Noah E. Gotbaum RBFAA Member Nicolas in honor of cultural exchanges Chisa Nakagawa AWG Annoshirvan Batmanghelidj Gerald W Craft CBYX 1995 William Stanley Sergey Suslov David T. Kirk Watkis Elaine G. Szeto Cristina Caldas Susannah Ensign
Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund Anonymous Anonymous In honor of Ann Marie Wagner Christine Elder Marc Jaffan Chad Robertson Mr. Cody Gray Myers CBYX 2006-2007
CBYX Fund Lara Bollweg and Gary Mortensen Timothy White
Ways to Give Your donation to support Cultural Vistas is sincerely appreciated, and we are pleased to offer a range of giving options for your convenience. To support our mission and programs through our annual fund, we invite you to give: • • • • •
online at culturalvistas.org/donate by check or credit card using the attached card via wire or bank transfer via stock or other securities in memory or in honor of a loved one
You may also contribute to the endowed Cultural Vistas Scholarship Fund or the Cultural Vistas Fellowship program, which both support young Americans going abroad, many for the very first time. Gifts starting at $25,000 may be endowed in named funds. With this kind of generous donor support, we provided $36,800 in scholarship assistance to 34 Americans pursuing low or unpaid internships abroad in 2015 and have provided nearly 200 individuals with more than $215,000 in scholarship support since 2011. Generous program funders such as the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Halle Foundation also helped ensure more than 87 percent of American participants in Cultural Vistas outgoing programs are at least partially funded. Cultural Vistas is a 501(c)3 organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Our tax identification number is 13-6199596. International donors wishing to contribute in Euros may support Cultural Vistas gGmbH, a registered nonprofit organization based in Berlin, via bank transfer. German residents are eligible for a tax deduction. Contact us to request account information. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Laura Brower Hagood, director of philanthropy, at email@example.com or 202.545.6769 with any questions or to request additional information.
COLOPHON CULTURAL VISTAS IS COMMITTED TO MINIMIZING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT BY PRODUCING OUR ANNUAL REPORT IN A CARBON NEUTRAL FACILITY THAT UTILIZES 100% WIND POWER AND INVESTS IN REFORESTATIONS PROGRAMS. THE PAPER USED IN THIS REPORT IS CERTIFIED BY THE FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL AND CONSISTS OF 100% POST-CONSUMER RECOVERED FIBER. OUR CHOICE OF THIS PAPER HAS PRESERVED 20 TREES, AVOIDED THE CREATION OF ONE POUND OF WATER POLLUTANTS, SAVED 9,531 GALLONS OF WATER, PREVENTED THE CREATION OF 638 POUNDS OF SOLID WASTE, KEPT 1,757 POUNDS OF CO2 FROM ENTERING OUR ATMOSPHERE, AND ELIMINATED THE CONSUMPTION OF 9 MILLION BTUS OF ENERGY. ALL IMAGES APPEARING IN THIS REPORT ARE PARTICIPANT SUBMISSIONS TO OUR ANNUAL PHOTO CONTEST UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE. THIS PAGE, PHOTO BY MIA KILBORN, J-1 TRAINEE; TAKEN AT COLCHUCK LAKE, WASHINGTON
JEREMIAH BERGER: CREATIVE DIRECTION + DESIGN PETER PLOTICA + YANGIN SHIEH: DESIGN + IMAGE EDITING ANTHONY NAGLIERI + LAUREN AITKEN: CONTENT DEVELOPMENT + COPY EDITING CONTRIBUTORS: DAN EWERT ROB FENSTERMACHER MELISSA GRAVES DAN WANG
EXPERIENCE THE GLOBAL WORKPLACE
Learn more about how we are fulfilling our nonprofit's mission in our 2015 Annual Report.