From Cheboygan to Detroit: The State Department’s Impact on Michigan

On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Wolverine State” of Michigan by supporting veterans, promoting the economic activity of commercial and recreational Great Lakes fisheries, and through educational exchange programs.

First, the State Department impacts Michigan by supporting its veterans. General Motors, headquartered in Detroit, partnered with the State Department to help launch the Veterans Innovation Fellowship (VIP), a program managed by the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships and the Bureau of Human Resources. VIP offers U.S. citizen veterans of the American armed forces a one-year paid fellowship to gain experience by working in a U.S. government international affairs agency. The fellowship supports veterans’ transitions to diplomacy and development careers, and gives U.S. government agencies the benefit of having veterans with a wide-range of experiences and expertise providing their perspectives.

The commercial and recreational fisheries of the Great Lakes employ thousands of Americans and generate billions of dollars in economic activity each year in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Through the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, established by a treaty concluded in the 1950s, the United States and Canada cooperate to coordinate research into these shared fisheries and develop measures to ensure their long term sustainability. The Commission also coordinates efforts to eradicate parasitic sea lamprey, an invasive species that entered the Great Lakes in the early 20th century and nearly decimated populations of Great Lakes trout, salmon, whitefish, and other fish. Through its sea lamprey control programs, funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs through the International Fisheries Commission account, populations of sea lamprey are sharply down and the fish stocks are rebuilding.

Finally, the State Department impacts Michigan through the Fulbright Program, the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world. The Fulbright Program fosters bilateral relationships and promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. More than 380,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the Program since its inception more than 70 years ago, and the Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide. In the 2017–2018 academic year, 55 Scholars, Students, and Teachers from Michigan were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and 144 international students received a Fulbright grant to study in Michigan. These exchanges build our people-to-people relationships and foster mutual understanding between the international community and the people of Michigan.

From Cheboygan to Detroit, the State Department impacts Michigan communities through military partnerships, educational exchange, and law enforcement support. And Michiganians, in return, impact communities around the globe.

Find out more about the Department of State’s impact in American communities at Department of State by State.

Editor’s Note: This entry originally appeared on DipNote.

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The official Medium account of the U.S. Department of State

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