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A publication of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles Winter/Spring 2013

Volume 29 Number 1

Citizen Diplomats in the City of Angels

From the



ach year our Citizen Diplomacy Celebration recognizes the power of peopleto-people diplomacy, including the election of fantastic citizen diplomats to the IVCLA board. We are honored to welcome our three newly elected directors (see page 8). They share our enthusiasm for creating international understanding and cooperation between the Los Angeles region and the rest of the world. Citizen Diplomacy is more important than ever, yet sadly, the world’s security issues make it more and more difficult for our U.S. Embassies to engage directly with the local people. The good news is we have programs like the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, which IVCLA coordinates. These programs are fostering personal connections all over the world, ultimately making it a better place for us all to live. Join us in our work making these important people-to-people connections. To learn about becoming an IVCLA Citizen Diplomat visit or call me at (213) 388-1428 ext 27.

Janet Elliott Executive Director

Los Angeles Country Sheriff Lee Baca (far left) and IVCLA Board member William Collier (far right) presented Los Angeles Times investigative reporters Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb (center) with IVCLA’s Outstanding Citizen Diplomat Awards.

Should anyone ever wonder if there are angels in the City of Angels, we can firmly state we know it to be true. IVCLA Citizen Diplomats prove it every day with their angelic dedication to making the world a better place through people to people diplomacy. Our Citizen Diplomat angels take time out of a busy day to meet with a visitor for a candid discussion on an important global issue. Often through this exchange of ideas, attitudes shift and new perceptions about each other’s work and culture develop. Our members also show off their shiny halos when they welcome visitors into their homes to share a meal or take them sightseeing to places off the beaten path. During our Citizen Diplomacy Celebration we acknowledged some of these wonderful Citizen Diplomats. We were proud to recognize our retiring board member Andy Leeka who completed his term limit. We treasure

his passion and enthusiasm and look forward to his continued participation with IVCLA. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was recognized as IVCLA’s Outstanding Resource and Los Angeles Times investigative reporters Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives received the continued on page 5

Randy HaberKamp, Director of Educational Programs for AMPAS, accepts the IVCLA Outstanding Resource Award at the celebration.


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Winter/Spring 2013

Volunteerism - The Spirit of America Citizen Diplomats Welcome the World with Open Arms The IVCLA home hospitality program brings the world right into the homes of our members. IVCLA Citizen Diplomats have the opportunity to host emerging international leaders in their homes for dinner and conversation, making new friendships around the world that may last a lifetime. International Visitors often say the chance to meet socially with American citizens is the highlight of their program.

Saudi Arabian visitors gave new member Carlos Collard a gift in appreciation of his hospitality.

Stephanie & Alberto Esparza hosted visitors from Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan for dinner in Long Beach.

CREATING NEW GLOBAL FRIENDSHIPS - IVCLA members Robert Ryans and LeRoy Jones invited friends to welcome Sora Duba Dadacha from Kenya (far right) to Los Angeles.

International Visitors Volunteer in the Community “This was a very interesting experience! Since the United States is well known for the tradition of volunteerism, for us it was extremely useful to see how it works in reality. I wish to replicate some programs in my own country.” - Ms. Nijole Petrauskiene, Librarian from Lithuania

A group of International Visitors from 22 countries volunteered at TreePeople to help with tree planting at their Mullholland campus. One of the visitors said “if only the work of TreePeople can be emulated across the world, oh what a great earth and healthy environment we will all enjoy. Thank you for this opportunity!”

Our South Korean visitors volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank were quite surprised to learn Southern California has a hunger problem. As they became aware of the issue, they got into the volunteer spirit having a rewarding and enjoyable time sorting food for needy Angelinos.

Fatima Zibouh from Belgium was thrilled to share her insights with UCLA students who were eager to know more about Islam. The dynamism of civil society, the spirit of volunteerism and mainstream philanthropy greatly impressed Fatima during her trip to the United States.


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Partnering with Elected Officials

FROM ATHENS TO L.A. - Tolis Aristeidou of Greece was welcomed by City Councilman Eric Garcetti when he returned to L.A. as part of the U.S. Department of State’s IVLP Gold Star Alumni Tour.

PROMOTING TRADE RELATIONSHIPS - Congresswoman Maxine Waters and IVCLA Board Members Ginger Barnard, Lanie Denslow, Sandra Jones Anderson, Steve Jones and Hud Warren welcomed foreign trade professionals from Africa at a reception at the LAX Flight Path Museum.

SISTER CITIES HIKE - Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge provided his friendly greeting to a group of locally hired employees from U.S. embassies around the world on the Annual Summer Solstice Sister Cities Hike in Griffith Park.

New Program Officer We are pleased to welcome Natalia Porter as IVCLA’s newest Program Officer. Natalia received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of North Carolina in 2011. Prior to moving to California, she interned at the Charlotte International Cabinet. Natalia is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia and is a certified English-Russian translator. She is a wonderful addition to the IVCLA team.

One of the few things the Foggy Bottom can find consensus on these days is that Citizen Diplomacy provides a path to global security and peace. Our international visitors illustrate it time and time again as do the volunteers who welcome them into our local communities. Federal and local elected officials take time from their busy schedules to greet our international visitors and provide a valuable glimpse into how our government works. Stable societies around the world create a more stable world for us all. By sharing the story of Citizen Diplomacy with all of our elected officials, they can understand the positive role international exchange programs play in vital global issues. As Senator Patrick Leahy stated about international exchanges “… they are an investment in exploring the ideas and experiences that can unite us in common, peaceful purposes.”

22nd Annual Fulbright Luncheon

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS IN MALIBU - Each fall, IVCLA members look forward to the Fulbright Luncheon where they and members of the L.A. Consular Corps welcome Fulbright scholarship students from around the world. Hosted by Dr. & Mrs. Amarjit Marwah, the students enjoy meeting Americans in a social setting.


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Winter/Spring 2013

Thank You! Thank You to the Following Donors for Making Our Citizen Diplomacy Celebration a Great Success!


RICHARD ST. JOHN Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Silent Auction American Cinemateque Aquarium of the Pacific Architecture Tours L.A. Bob Baker Marionette Theater BoraBora Jewelry, Inc. Boston Private Bank Candela Taco Bar Carmody & Co. Stationary Center for the Art of Performance - UCLA Cirque du Soleil Clarion Anaheim Hotel Consulate General of Belgium Consulate General of Lebanon Consulate General of Sri Lanka Courtyard by Marriott Old Pasadena Delta Air Lines, Inc. Dermalogica Disneyland Doubletree Guest Suites Santa Monica EB5 Direct Investments, LLC Facelube Gainey Select Wines Ginger & John Barnard

Guy Fox Halper Fine Art Hearst Castle Hilton Garden Inn House of Blues Sunset Strip Huntington Botanical Gardens Hyatt at the Pike Long Beach Ice House Comedy Club Japanese American National Museum June & Paul Bilgore Lanie Denslow Legoland Lisa Napoli Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Los Angeles Philharmonic Los Angeles Police Department Magicopolis Malibu Family Wines Malibu Surf Shack Marina del Rey Parasailing Mattel, Inc. Melting Pot Food Tasting Tours Michaeljohn Salon Beverly Hills

Michele Buchanan Michelle Kezirian Mike Takac - Warner Home Video Mission San Juan Capistrano MountainGate Country Club Mulligan Family Fun Center Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP Museum of Latin American Art Old Town Trolley Tours San Diego Omni Hotel Los Angeles Pacific Asia Museum PRP Wine International Queen Mary Hotel San Diego Zoo Global Santa Anita Park Santa Monica Yoga Sky High Sports Studio K Blow Out Bar Ten Thousand Villages Universal Studios Yoga House Pasadena Zimmer Children’s Museum

International Year of Dining Drawing A.O.C. Wine Bar - Californian (Pasadena) Bella Vista - Brazilian (Culver City) Border Grill - Mexican (Downtown) Cafe Santorini - Mediterranean (Pasadena)

Carousel - Middle Eastern (Glendale) Forbidden City - Chinese (Long Beach) Maison Akira - French (Pasadena) Messob - Ethiopian (Fairfax District)

Papa Cristo’s - Greek (Mid-city) Scarpetta - Italian (Beverly Hills) Sunnin - Lebanese (Westwood) Tibet Nepal House - Nepalese (Pasadena)

We are fortunate to have the support of dedicated individuals throughout the greater Los Angeles area who make our work possible. We would like to thank our year-end donors for their generous contributions. Ginger & John Barnard Lanie Denslow Dr. & Mrs. George Gleghorn Mary Hense

Wafa Hoballah Ann Kerr Kay & Jack Lachter Sandra Kohn

Irene Nevil Mr. & Mrs. Malcom J. Romano Ghaleb & Edman Saab Mary Stauffer

Richard St. John Dr. Earnestine Thomas-Robertson Hud Warren


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Citizen Diplomacy Celebration continued from page 1

Outstanding Citizen Diplomat Award.

CONSULAR CORPS FRIENDSHIP - IVCLA board member Ginger Barnard welcomed The Honorable Bruno Ryff, Consul General of Switzerland to the event.

TAIKO - Taiko drummers treated guest to an exciting performance prior to the award ceremony. Taiko literally translates to “drum” in Japanese but refers to a rich tradition of drumming.

The Academy not only selects the Oscar winners each year, they generously share their skills and experiences through a variety of programs. One such program is the Academy’s Global Outreach which inspires filmmaking communities around the world by sharing expertise and fostering an appreciation of each culture’s unique stories. The Academy is eager and open to discuss its work with IVCLA’s international filmmakers. The visiting filmmakers not only have the opportunity to enhance their technical capabilities, but also their sense of themselves as artists. Jeff Gottleib and Ruben Vives were awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their investigation of the corruption taking place in the City of Bell. These two talented reporters gladly share their expertise with IVCLA international reporters. The visiting reporters may come from countries where they risk their lives providing truth in reporting, but after meeting with Gottlieb and Vives they have a renewed vigor about their important work providing citizens with factual information.

FOSTERING TIES WITH EGYPT - The Honorable El Husseini Abdelwahab, Consul General of Egypt greeted a group of journalists from his country who were in L.A. to discuss journalism and elections.

DEUTSCHLAND TO HOLLYWOOD - IVCLA former board member Rodney Punt and his wife Ruth Punt were pleased to meet Stefan Biedermann, Deputy Consul General of Germany at the celebration.

We were pleased to recognize these outstanding honorees’ dedication to create understanding and cooperation between the citizens of the world. This year’s celebration was held at the picturesque Mountain Gate Country Club. During the reception guests enjoyed the keyboard talents of IVCLA member Michael Blum. Exhilarating Taiko drummers opened the program. Throughout the evening guests enjoyed wines from around the world donated by the Consuls General of Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and Calistoga Cellars. The silent auction provided treasures from around the world for guests to bid on. IVCLA thanks all the item donors and bidders for their support.


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Winter/Spring 2013

Open Homes, Open Hearts, Open World Sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, the Open World Program seeks to foster lasting ties of cooperation and collaboration between Eurasia and the United States. This past year, IVCLA was pleased to host Open World delegations from Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. The groups were comprised of judges, museum/arts professionals and court administrators respectively. IVCLA would like to thank the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for their partnership in providing the Moldovan and Ukrainian delegations with indepth trainings of the U.S. legal system. Highlights from their meetings included the Office of the Federal Public Defender and the U.S. Probation Office where they learned about processes for investigating individuals convicted of federal crimes. On a very different topic, the Serbian visitors were invited to the U.S. based on their enthusiasm and hard work in arts and museum management in their country. Two decades ago, before Yugoslavia split apart, Belgrade was not only at the heart of the progressive Yugoslav art scene but was also a thriving center in Europe for conceptual and performance art. Today, the country’s art scene faces setbacks mostly due to a lack of exhibition space and funding. This program gave the group an opportunity to gain exposure and new ideas to support their museums back home.

FROM MOLDOVA WITH LOVE - George & Barbara Gleghorn have been hosting visitors in their home through IVCLA since the early 1980’s. This year they hosted two judges from Moldova and said “These two were some of the nicest guests we have had. We felt a special bonding with Alex. From what they said, I know the total experience was extraordinary in their lives. We’re happy to be a small part of that.”

ARTISTS UNITE - Serbian museum managers, curators and arts educators came to Los Angeles to learn about museum management in the United States. They were pleased to have the opportunity to meet with the Wende Museum and see what they are doing to preserve the history of the Cold War.

All of the participants stayed in the homes of Angelenos during their oneweek program in Los Angeles. We are grateful for the generous hospitality and continued support of all the home stay hosts who gave our visitors a glimpse into American life. In return, our hosts welcomed a stranger into their homes and sent home a friend. One of the visitors from Serbia told us “I was nervous about coming to the United States ... but then I was surprised to see how friendly Americans are”.

RULE OF LAW - Ukrainian court administrators came to L.A. eager to experience and meet with American colleagues to learn about the U.S. court system. They were also interested in understanding the functions of the three branches of power and the system of checks and balances.


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Global Professional Networks Connecting International Opinion Leaders with Los Angeles Many Los Angeles professionals recognize the importance of connecting with individuals in their field from around the world. From leaders in the film industry and environmental activists, to law enforcement officials - they all share one thing in common: the desire to understand the issues affecting their counterparts in all corners of the globe. IVCLA is proud to coordinate the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). From its launch in the 1940’s, the IVLP has provided emerging leaders from around the globe the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas in their professional fields, and to build lasting relationships with those they meet. The open, spontaneous dialogue that occurs, makes these exchanges vital for greater international understanding and cooperation. Program topics are determined by the U.S. Embassies abroad based on current U.S. foreign policy and the needs of the visitor’s country. For more information about meeting with international visitors in a particular field of expertise, contact the IVCLA office.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION - Madrasa teachers from Pakistan were inspired by the work of Shabbir Mansuri at the Institute for Religious & Civic Values.

COMBATING CRIME - Visitors from Chile & Bolivia were part of a larger group from Latin America that met with the LAPD to discuss community policing.

CREATING GROWTH FOR AFRICA - The African Women Entrepreneur Program brings women together from Sub-Saharan Africa to build business alliances, develop communication skills and make connections for U.S. partnerships. The delegation to L.A. was comprised of emerging leaders in fashion and textiles.

TELLING HER STORY- Ms. Hala Galal El Sayed Mohamed found new strength to inspire women in Egypt through the International Visitor Leadership Program.

IVCLA alumna Hala Galal El Sayed Mohamed is a leading force in promoting independent film in Egypt and a pioneer in using the arts to promote social change. As an acclaimed documentary filmmaker in Egypt, she is helping to inspire the next generation of Egyptian artists to use film as a tool for social reform. By telling women’s stories, often involving politically charged and highly sensitive topics, Mohamed gives voice to Egyptian women in a unique way. Mohamed founded Semat, a nonprofit organization working to produce independent films, train young people on how the cinema industry works, and develop alternatives to mainstream Egyptian cinema. Her IVLP project on filmmaking in September 2007 prompted her to re-evaluate Semat, saying, “After returning, I started to redesign the programs I was planning to achieve, and to focus more on networking and, as a result, Semat is now a partner and cofounder in the Network of Arab Arthouse Screen (NAAS) that includes other partners from the United States, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Morocco and Tunisia.” Mohamed embodies the vision put forth by President Obama calling for a new beginning between the United States and Muslim communities around the world.


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Winter/Spring 2013

IVCLA Welcomes New Directors to the Board Wafa Hoballah is an attorney with an international practice in and between the United States, the Middle East, West Africa and Vietnam. Her practice focuses on assisting Lebanese nationals with family and probate matters. An avid activist for human rights, she was invited by the U.N. to present the legal aspects of human trafficking to the Committee on the Status of Women in New York. She has been a keynote speaker for the U.S. Deptartment of State on comparative laws and has traveled to Oman, Algeria and Yemen as a program specialist. She serves on the advisory board for the Refugee Safe Haven Shelter for Victims of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence and is the chair and a founding member of the Los Angeles Beirut Sister Cities Organization.

Yuko Kaifu is Senior V.P. of Corporate Communications at Union Bank. Previously, Ms. Kaifu was Deputy Director of Cultural Policy for the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was appointed as an official interpreter by the Foreign Minister to interpret for numerous Japanese and foreign dignitaries including: Emperor and Empress of Japan, Princess Saya, President Ronald Reagan, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, and Prime Minister Thatcher of U.K. Ms. Kaifu is currently Deputy Chair of the Business & Administration Committee for the Japan Business Association of Southern California. She is frequently invited to speak on Japan-U.S. relations throughout Southern California.

Alexander Kramer is Chief Financial Officer for LEHR, Inc. where he is responsible for investor relations and financial operations for activities in the USA, Asia, and Europe. He brings to LEHR over 25 years of experience from across both the corporate and non-profit sectors. He has lived and worked in Latin America, Asia and North Africa, focusing on international trade and global finance. An advocate of international trade and education, The LA Business Journal named Mr. Kramer one of the most influential people in international trade in California. He is chair of the finance committee of Hearts Afire (a non-profit deploying medical teams to Africa and Latin America), and was the 2011 Chair for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Global Initiatives Council.

IVCLA Board of Directors Honorary Chairs

Antonio Villaraigosa

Mayor, City of Los Angeles

Mark Ridley-Thomas Chairman, L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chairman

Hud Warren ChinaWest LLC President

David Stepp

Bryan Cave LLP Vice Presidents

Guy Fox

Guy Fox & Associates, Inc.

Michele Buchanan

Stone & Grzegorek LLP

Michelle Kezirian BET Tzedek Legal Services Secretary

Richard St. John Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP Treasurer

Matthew Olsen

Boston Private Bank & Trust

Legal Counsel

Sandra Jones Anderson Law Offices of Sandra Anderson

Ginger Barnard

Protocol & Diplomacy International and Protocol Officers Association

Michael McDowell

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Attorney at Law

Gary Rhodes

Keesal, Young & Logan

Lanie Denslow

John Richardson Jr.

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Dwayne Gathers

Gathers Strategies, Inc.

Wafa Hoballah WJH Law Offices

Ahmad Iqbal

Address Service Requested

UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

Lourdes Saab

Office of Protocol County of Los Angeles

Elga A. Sharpe

Office of the Mayor City of Los Angeles

BPM Advisors

Steves Jones Los Angeles World Airports

Yuko Kaifu Union Bank

Alexander Kramer LEHR, Inc.

Staff Janet Elliott

Mable Kong

Karen Ramirez

Helen Thomas

Natalia Porter

Ho Lo

Executive Director

Director of Public Relations


Wilma Pinder

Center for Global Education UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

William H. Collier, Jr.


International Visitors Council of Los Angeles 3540 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 910 Los Angeles, CA 90010

Senior Program Officer

Program Officer

Project Assistant

Accounting Manager

Published by the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, 3540 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 910, Los Angeles, CA 90010. IVCLA is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization. Partial funding comes from the U.S. Dept. of State, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles. IVCLA is a member of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV). Phone: (213)388-1428

Fax: (213)388-5879



The Citizen Diplomat Newsletter 2013  

A publication of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles

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