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Global Perspectives on Democracy

U.S. –Afghanistan Professional Partnership Program


Charlottesville: Summer 2011 and 2012


Hosted in partnership with Relief International and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the U.S.-Afghanistan Professional Partnership Program (GPD-Afghanistan) included a series of three exchanges comprised of 50 high level predominantly female Afghan officials from government and civil society during the summers of 2011 and 2012 that focused on the U.S. judicial system and the importance of civic engagement. During their three weeks in Charlottesville, delegates worked with local professionals to develop cross-cultural relationships and professional skills that positively impact the lives of the participants and those they are in contact with and bolstered the relationship between the two nations. Delegates learned about the American workplace practices, foundations of American history and government, the importance of the rule of law, pluralism and more through job shadowing opportunities in their areas of expertise, workshops featuring special guest speakers and Center for Politics staff, and site visits.

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Kabul, Afghanistan: December 8-17, 2011


Center for Politics staff members Daman Irby and Meg Heubeck who coordinated GPD-Afghanistan were selected to participate in the 10-day return exchange to Kabul in December 2011. During this portion of the exchange, Daman and Meg reunited with the 2011 Afghan program delegates, received in person updates on the progress of their program related projects, and visited many of their workplaces. In addition, they met with officials at the Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Supreme Court, Department of Justice and others. The host organization in Kabul, the Bureau of Reconstruction and Development, arranged a meeting of civil society experts from across Afghanistan.

Related Article: Center participates in two-way cultural exchange

Concluded Exchanges and Events:

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Global Perspectives of Democracy continually evaluates new exchange and event opportunities. Contact Daman Irby, Director of Global Initiatives, at irby@virginia.edu or 434-243-8475 for additional information.