THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
broadened the focus.
We worked collaboratively with the
Indian embassy and its New York consul-
ate to organize the three-day trip. One
event, where we shared the stage with
India’s deputy consul general, featured
150 community leaders, as well as New
Jersey officials, and was broadcast as a
multi-part series on the TV Asia network.
In New York, we visited the Indian con-
sulate, its mission to the United Nations
and the U.S.-India Business Council.
The trip was covered in four Indian-
American newspapers and was even
picked up by outlets in India. One
headline read, “U.S. Diplomats Surprise
Indian Americans with a Flourish of Flu-
A Worthy Goal
Such domestic immersion trips are
outreach opportunities. Yet although FSI
conducts about 40 total domestic and
international trips a year, funding is often
in doubt and few engage diasporas in
a concerted way. (The Arabic-language
trip to Dearborn, Michigan, is a notable
exception.) Generally students are
focused on their language exam and have
little motivation or support to seek policy
benefits from the trips.
However, a little coordination with
Main State could go a long way. For
example, regional bureaus could join the
trips to discuss policy, Consular Affairs
could answer visa and passport questions
and Legislative Affairs could help with
congressional coordination. Beyond the
trips, diaspora groups could be invited to
visit language and area studies classes at
FSI. (Both of these can be done via DVC
when travel is not possible.) Finally, FSI
can work closely with regional bureaus to
ensure alignment with policy goals.
I am confident the benefits from this
type of outreach will justify the effort.