Foreign Policy Blogs

I-VOTE 2008

Today the State Department welcomes about 100 fellows of the “I-VOTE” program to a reception in the diplomatic reception rooms. I-VOTE, which stands for International Visitors Observe the Elections, is a program of State's ECA Bureau. Here's their description:

“I-VOTE is an exchange initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' International Visitor Leadership Program. I-VOTE will immerse participants in national, state and local election processes by introducing them to election officials, political analysts, citizen activists, students, academics, voters and the candidates themselves for an increased understanding of the U.S. political system.

The Election Fellows will gain insights through professional programs in Washington, DC, and in one of five battleground or swing states: Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, or Ohio. On Election Day, they will observe activities in other communities across the nation. They will reunite November 5 in Boston at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government for a symposium to analyze the outcomes and ramifications of the elections, as well as to share their program experiences and insights.

…In Washington, DC (October 26-29), as part of their orientation to the U.S. political process, the Election Fellows will hear from Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Goli Ameri, former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf, former Democratic Congressman and governor Jim Blanchard, Politico Managing Editor Bill Nichols, CEO of Burson-Marsteller and advisor and polling analyst Mark Penn, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, and Founder and CEO of Politics-360 Greg Fawcett. At Gallup's World Poll Conference Center, the Fellows will have an insider's view of the world of political polling from Gallup Poll Editor Frank Newport and other experts.”

I look forward to the Nov. 5th symposium, and hearing about their experiences!



Melinda Brouwer

Melinda Brower holds a Masters degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Chile during her tenure as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, for Foreign Policy magazine and the American Academy of Diplomacy. She presently works for an internationally focused non-profit research organization in Washington, DC.