On August 30, a group of Tunisian State Department exchange program alumni were joined by Ambassador Rubinstein and embassy staff in a meeting with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi and his Youth and Diplomacy Advisors at the Presidential Palace. During this meeting, alumni shared the results of their experiences in the United States on a variety of U.S. government funded academic and professional exchanges in their respective fields, from economics and entrepreneurship to civic participation and communications. These alumni presented details of their accomplishments since returning to Tunisia – starting their own businesses to employ youth, assisting other entrepreneurs, advancing the higher education sector, bridging the digital divide between urban and rural Tunisians, involving young women in solving community problems through technology, and empowering resilient communities. President Caid Essebsi highlighted the important role of exchange programs in empowering Tunisians with tools to be successful and boost the Tunisian economy.
Participants in the meeting included alumni from the Thomas Jefferson Program, Study for the Institute for Student Leaders on Social Entrepreneurship Program, TechWomen Program, MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders Program and various International Visitors Leadership Program cohorts.