The U.S.-Mexico Internship Exchange Program – as chronicled in previous posts (see Mexico MOU Signing Ceremony) – is a central pillar in the bilateral strategy to vastly increase two-way exchanges between our countries. The strength of our relationship and the excitement on both sides of the border to increase cooperation on exchanges encouraged us to try something new. We worked closely with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, and their academic and government partners to arrange a study tour for interested J-1 designated intern sponsors to visit Mexico City and Puebla, Mexico.
Our goal for this trip was to open up channels of cooperation for Mexican and American organizations, and to educate Mexican stakeholders about processes and opportunities within privately-funded exchange programs. A busy schedule of meetings with partners from federal and state governments, binational organizations, private sector, and academia led to new friends, new ideas, and palpable energy and enthusiasm around the U.S.-Mexico Internship program. Meetings with CONAGO, SENER, and CONACYT opened up possibilities of cooperation on a large scale. The J-1 sponsors met with some 75 Mexican university representatives in Mexico City and another 130 in Puebla to exchange important information and establish relationships.
This inaugural trip was exciting for me – I watched new partnerships being made that will measurably benefit both countries. The cherry on top was meeting Rodrigo, the General Manager of the extraordinary hotel and restaurant in Puebla, Casareyna. Can you guess which not-so-secret ingredient landed him the job? Yep, a J-1 internship!
|About Rebecca Pasini|
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange
Rebecca A. Pasini joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchanges in July 2023. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister - Counselor, Ms. Pasini has been an American diplomat since 1997.
Ms. Pasini previously served as the Director of Public and Congressional Affairs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 2021-2023. Other Washington assignments have included positions in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, the Office of Foreign Missions, and as a liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. She has also completed multiple overseas tours, including as Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs in Islamabad, Pakistan, and as the Consular Chief in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Other tours included Mexico City and Kuwait.
A Maryland native, Ms. Pasini has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Indiana University, a master’s degree in National Security and Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, and an undergraduate degree from Mary Washington College.
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