Shumate: International exchange to South Africa, Ghana

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 29-Nov-2010

State Rep. Jabar Shumate has been selected by the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) as a delegate to South Africa and Ghana for a 12-day political exchange program beginning today (Monday, November 29).

Shumate, a Tulsa Democrat, will join six other young political leaders from across the U.S. to study both nations’ political systems, engage in a dialogue on international issues and forge professional relationships and friendships. The program is arranged by ACYPL and made possible by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

“We have a unique mission of providing select young leaders with an opportunity to travel internationally and engage firsthand in public diplomacy,” ACYPL Chief Executive Officer Linda Rotunno said. “Our delegates have access to key leaders in the nations they visit. They engage in dialogue on sensitive issues, gain a unique perspective on the country’s politics and its relations with the U.S., and, most importantly, forge professional relationships and friendships that can last a lifetime.”

Shumate is joining other delegates, each between the age of 25 and 40, in Washington, D.C., for briefings by the U.S. Department of State and regional experts before flying to South Africa. The program will provide delegates with opportunities to travel within the county and interact with key leaders, business representatives and civic and community groups.

“I am honored to have been selected to participate in this exchange to South Africa and Ghana,” Shumate, a strong supporter of education reform said. “It will be an excellent opportunity for me to learn about the current political and social dynamics in both countries and help people in both nations to better understand the United States.”

Recognized by the U.S. Congress as a catalyst for introducing rising political leaders and policymakers to international affairs and to each other, ACYPL is a bipartisan, not-for-profit international exchange organization based in Washington, D.C.

Since its founding in 1966, ACYPL has conducted programs and exchanges with 100 countries, producing a global network of more than 7,500 alumni. Former ACYPL participants include more than 40 sitting members of Congress, six sitting U.S. governors and ambassadors, cabinet ministers and parliamentarians around the globe.