Today, I leave for Kuwait and Oman where I will have the honor to represent the Corporation for National and Community Service as part of a delegation of seven Americans traveling to the region for the Legislative Fellows Program.
This program links community leaders in a two-way exchange that strengthens mutual understanding of the legislative and policymaking processes in all three countries.
Since 2002 I have worked at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), where I coordinate the resource mapping and delivery of the agency’s tools, training and information via a family of training and technical assistance websites; manage a portfolio of volunteer and civic engagement grants and contracts; and provide strategic counsel and technical assistance to nonprofits on their use of social media and other technology tools.
When the Gulf fellows
were in Washington, D.C. last fall I had the pleasure to host them for an afternoon to explain the work of CNCS and discuss national service. I was intrigued to learn about the budding non-profit sector in those countries and the unique role they are carving-out to meet community challenges that not fully addressed by government and religious institutions.
Many of the fellows were interested in tapping into the energy and the excitiement of members of their communities to strengthen community ties and civic participation, in their roles as government and community leaders.
I’m most excited to explore the cultures of these two countries and learn from the Fellows about civic engagement and community participation in their government and nonprofit sectors. I hope to share my knowledge of national service and how volunteerism can help address a nation’s most pressing issues – from education reform to increasing economic opportunities for all citizens. In addition, I would like to explore the role of new media and technology and the impact these tools can have on engaging citizens in community solutions.