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Published: October 10th 2010
Well, let's start today off with some proud mom moments....As I left off last night....today is Sean's 16th birthday which is pretty darn hard to believe! Jesuit played Beaverton tonight and Sean had a goal and an assist to help Jesuit to a 4-1 victory! What a great bday present to himself--competitor that he is.
Ok, on to travel news....I visited with Sen. Merkley's Senate HELP staff to advocate for the Calling for 211 Act. See picture at Capitol Hill. Thanks to the Senator for his support!
Then....the fellowship began. At 2:30, we met as a group of 15 fellows from all over the country to meet each other, learn more about the program and to review our itinerary. More about all the fellow travelers as we go along the trip.
A couple of unique things about the German Marshall Fund of the US:
The fund is a non-partisan American public policy and grant making institution dedicated to promoting better understanding and cooperation between North America and Europe on transatlantic and global issues. Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. The Marshall Memorial Fellowship program provides a unique opportunity to young policy and opinion leaders from 37 European countries and the US to gain an in-depth understanding of societies, institutions and peoples across the Atlantic.
Then, we were lucky enough to meet a similar group of European fellows to share conversation about various issues we have in common--I participated in the discussion about immigration and learned a great deal about the role Greece plays as host to many immigrants from other parts of the world. Finally, we shared dinner together as a way to continue to learn more about various people's experiences and to hear from Jonathan Martin of politico (http://www.politico.com/) and Jesper Steinmetz, a former fellow and the US correspondent for TV2 in Denmark. Both shared their perspectives on the mid-term elections and fielded a few questions. The consensus was that the mid-term election will have little impact on the US and transatlantic relations. One item that was shared with us during the initial briefing was data regarding public opinion on transatlantic trends. Some striking data....In 2008, overall European Union approval rating of Bush/Obama handling of International Policies was 20%. In 2009, ,it was an astonishing 83%. In 2010, it was down a bit but only to 78%. Clearly, there is support for a shift in US international policy!
It was a relevant, enriching dialogue and a great send off for the adventure ahead. Oh, and a good reminder that I need to work on my pictures at meal events!
Tomorrow, more briefings and then off to Brussells. No posts until Saturday!
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