San Francisco, July 1, 2014 — In June 2014, The Asia Foundation sponsored an observation program and summer course in the United States for three diplomats from India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA): Ninad S. Deshpande, undersecretary (China), East Asia Division; Binoy George, undersecretary, Europe West Division; and Sumit Seth, undersecretary, External Publicity & Public Diplomacy.
The program included participation in the two-week course, “U.S. Foreign Policy in a Global Era,” at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in Washington, DC, held from June 2 through June 13, followed by an Asia Foundation-organized observation program to several diverse locales in the United States – New York City, Nebraska, Louisiana, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The tour, held from June 14 to June 29, focused on current events and key issues such as climate change and immigration in the 2014 elections, as well as implications for U.S.-India bilateral relations.
The program, now in its eighth year, aimed to enhance understanding of the most important and current public policy issues in the United States, while deepening familiarity of the American social, cultural and economic context. The Foundation’s support of the diplomats’ participation in both the observation program and the summer course is intended to foster dialogue between Indians and Americans.
Through its Asian American Exchange unit, the Foundation seeks to encourage greater understanding between Asians and Americans with the ultimate aim of contributing towards strengthened U.S.-Asia relations.