Political science – and science – help guide NATO

In a recent Star Tribune editorial, writer John Rash talked with Dr. Bryan Wells, Chief Scientist at NATO, about the evolving role of science in the Western alliance.

Dr. Wells led a conversation during our recent NATO’s Climate Change program, which is available for viewing online.

Political science – and science – help guide NATOStar Tribune, May 21, 2021

Photo credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko, Associated Press

Geopolitical risks begin here at home

Star Tribune editorial writer John Rash reflects on recent riots at the U.S. Capitol and discusses the geopolitical year ahead as President-elect Joe Biden faces foreign and domestic crises. The article quotes frequent Global Minnesota speaker and former U.S. Foreign Service Office Tom Hanson, as he prepares to speak at the 2021 U.S. Foreign Policy Update.

Geopolitical risks begin here at homeStar Tribune, January 8, 2021

Country could use a ‘James Baker-like’ figure

Star Tribune editorial write John Rash highlights Global Minnesota’s event on James A. Baker and his consequential career in both politics and governance including a look at the new biography, “The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III,” co-written by the husband-and-wife team Peter Baker, The New York Times’ chief White House correspondent, and Susan Glasser, a New Yorker writer covering the Trump White House.

Country could use a ‘James Baker-like’ figureStar Tribune, November 6, 2020

Photo credit: Chang W. Lee, New York Times


Thank-you letters from 1915 point back to unlikely hero

Minnesota history reporter Curt Brown discusses the history of Minnesota’s involvement in the Commission for Relief in Belgium during World War I – the largest humanitarian effort in history – and Global Minnesota’s virtual exhibit opening of “When Minnesota Fed the Children of Europe,” a selection of thank you letters from Belgium to American children during this time.

Thank-you letters from 1915 point back to unlikely heroStar Tribune, October 10, 2020


Mohamed Ahmed Receives 2020 Citizen Diplomacy Award

Mohamed Ahmed, community partner and Executive Director of Average Mohamed, has been named the recipient of the 2020 Citizen Diplomacy Award by the U.S. Department of State.

The award honors American citizens and organizations leading efforts to renew and strengthen U.S. relationships with the world that further U.S. foreign policy and public diplomacy. Mohamed is being recognized for his grassroots work on countering violent extremism by engaging audiences, particularly youth, in meaningful discussions about true Islamic values and democratic ideals, institutions, and civil society.

A proud American citizen, Mohamed immigrated to Minnesota from Somalia more than 20 years ago. Frustrated by the lack of messaging countering extremist propaganda and a high number of ISIS recruits coming from his community, he created and launched the cartoon, “Average Mohamed.” By speaking plainly and directly to Somali youth in Minnesota and abroad about the true teachings of the Qur’an, Mohamed encourages them to reject violent extremism and inspires them to think critically about diversity and community-building.

Mohamed has played a crucial role locally in his volunteer work as a Professional Exchanges resource for Global Minnesota. Global Minnesota is a proud host of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program, hosting hundreds of professionals from around the world each year. Mohamed has met with more than 30 of these visiting groups who want to share ideas and expertise on reaching young people to counter messages of extremism.

“Mohamed Ahmed is the epitome of a citizen diplomat,” said Global Minnesota President Mark Ritchie. “By tirelessly engaging youth and offering them alternatives to extremism, he has had a real-world impact on U.S. foreign policy priorities.”

Mohamed was presented with the award by senior U.S. State Department officials in a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, September 30. View a recording of the ceremony online at: https://youtu.be/rtGje7aZykU.

Read the full press release.

In the News

We Stand with International Students

Early this week, without warning, the U.S. federal government announced it will expel all international students who are enrolled in colleges or universities observing COVID-19 safety guidelines by offering their classes online. This attack on our higher education institutions could dramatically impact nearly 1 million students and seriously damage our reputation as a destination of choice for future leaders from across the world. The financial impact on Minnesota’s colleges and universities and loss of this talent pool of well-educated future employees will further damage our state’s short and long-term economic well-being.

Warmly welcoming students from other countries and supporting them during their stay in Minnesota was this organization’s original mission – and our slogan was simply “They arrived as strangers, may they depart as friends.” Over time, we saw how these friendships became “two-way streets” of understanding and partnerships, and our literature reminded members that “You Have Friends Everywhere in the World.”

While Global Minnesota is a non-partisan, nonprofit membership organization that stays strictly non-partisan, we are fiercely committed to our values, our mission, and to honoring the heritage we’ve inherited from our founders. We cannot stand by and watch 70 years of work be undermined in this way.

This order by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is receiving severe criticism. Harvard University and MIT have sued, the University of Minnesota filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit, university leaders are speaking out about the chaos being created for institutions and students alike, and some members of Congress are taking up the issue as crucial to the nation’s future.

If you agree that this should not stand, please consider the following:

  • Call, email, and write both Minnesota senators and your representatives in Congress.
  • Send a letter to the editors of newspapers, magazines, journals, and other publications.
  • Join the social media outcry and encourage others to speak up for international students.
  • Contact your alma mater and find out how you can support their efforts – all are impacted.

Global Minnesota was founded 70 years ago to ensure that international students were properly greeted and supported throughout their time in our state. At that time, there were alarming stories in the media about young men and women coming to study in our country being met with racism and discrimination. One example was an especially alarming incident highlighted in the national magazine, The Church Woman, that caught the attention of Gladys Brooks, one of our “founding mothers.” Ms. Brooks raised this example in a luncheon speech to our local Metropolitan Council of Church Women:

Over 30,000 young men and women from 121 foreign countries are in our colleges today. We know their impressions of America will be good or otherwise, depending upon the experiences they have while here. We also know these outstanding students may take positions of responsibility in their home countries, and that their impression will influence other decisions. It is very important that you and I play our small part in showing these visitors what this great country of ours is really like.

This past year has been difficult for everyone, including international students who had their entire educational experience turned upside down. Global Minnesota has been working to provide support and we are grateful to all of our members who have stepped up in this effort.

Minnesotans are famous for making our voices heard. Global Minnesota is proud to be part of this tradition.