Being an Emerging Leader

Being an Emerging Leader 
By: Colbee Cunningham, Former IIC Intern & current Simpson College student

Grateful, humbled, and empowered: The emotions I’ve experienced since being named a member of the 2022 Global Ties Emerging Leader cohort.

Now more than ever before, the importance of public diplomacy cannot be overstated. In an effort to foster the next generation of international affairs professionals, Global Ties selects a group of 20 Emerging Leaders to partake in a year-long public affairs trainee program. Within this program, participants are provided with unique professional development, networking and mentorship opportunities.

Through partaking in this program, I hope to heighten my ability to effectively communicate with both domestic and foreign audiences. Furthermore, I hope to gain an enhanced aptitude for the development and implementation of international exchange programs. All in all, I am hoping this program will allow me to become more well-equipped to navigate cultural differences, logistical challenges, and language barriers.

Within the first two months of the program, my understanding and appreciation for public diplomacy has already increased substantially. Thus far, I have had the opportunity to virtually attend the 2022 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting, connect with Global Ties CEO Katherine Brown, and foster relationships with my fellow Emerging Leaders. Looking ahead, the remaining portion of the program involves the implementation of a personal service-learning project, the opportunity to converse with a current U.S. ambassador and a workshop that explores possible graduate school opportunities.

All things considered, I believe that my involvement in the Global Ties Emerging Leaders Program is an unparalleled opportunity for me to gain skills to help “welcome the world to Iowa.” Upon the conclusion of this program, I aspire to serve as a champion for public diplomacy within my home state and share the knowledge that I gain with my fellow Iowans.

A huge thank you to Iowa International Center for providing me with this incredible opportunity! 

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