From Letter of Intent to Memorandum of Understanding: Ever More Exchange Opportunities Between the United States and MexicoPosted on Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 3:17 pm.
On Monday, March 16, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan and Under Secretary for North American Affairs for the Government of Mexico, Sergio Alcocer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to officially establish the J-1 U.S.-Mexico Internship Exchange Program. This historic event follows the signing of the letter of intent to create the program on January 5, which was featured in my blog earlier this year.
It was an incredible honor to welcome over 60 representatives of the U.S. Department of State, the Government of Mexico, bilateral organizations, J-1 internship sponsors, private corporations, and current Mexican J-1 Intern participants.
This new initiative will expand academic exchange internship opportunities for U.S. and Mexican college students and recent graduates to develop a strong regional workforce and to further strengthen our robust economic partnership. Did you know that the United States is Mexico’s largest trading partner? In 2014, U.S. trade with Mexico grew 5.5% to $584.7 billion. In addition, 22 U.S. states count Mexico as a top destination for their exports.
Through the J-1 Internship Exchange Program, Mexican exchange visitors will experience life working and integrating into U.S. companies and communities for up to one year. Individuals gain invaluable skills that will help them become future leaders in their industry and communities while organizations are exposed to the expertise and perspective of the intern, helping to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
A number of Mexican interns attended the MOU signing ceremony, including Mariana Guzman who is currently interning in the Office of Congressman Juan Vargas and is focusing on educational legislation and reform in the United States. She aspires to work with youth to address issues of poverty and education when she returns to Mexico.
Roman Reyes, an intern at CNS Global, works on quality management systems analyses and strategic plan proposals for development. Roman’s goal is to encourage young people to become involved in policy programs and to empower the youth in Mexico to start their own enterprises.
Our hope is for this Memorandum of Understanding to inspire our two governments as well as our partners in academia and the private sector to find innovative ways to increase internship exchange opportunities for young people like Mariana and Roman in order to build a stronger 21st century workforce for both our countries.
|About Nicole Elkon|
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange
Nicole Elkon joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange in September 2021. Until June 2021, Ms. Elkon was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Human Rights First, an independent advocacy organization focused on human rights and the rule of law. Prior to her position as COO, Ms. Elkon was a Senior Advisor at Results for America (RFA), a non-profit organization focused on advancing data-driven, evidence based public policy at all levels of government. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of ECA and was Director of the Office of Public Private Partnerships at ECA working to leverage strategic partnerships to enhance Administration foreign policy priorities.Read More
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