From March 26 to 31, 2015, the World Affairs Council of Maine hosted a delegation of 11 government leaders from Afghanistan who participated in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Their program topic was “Effective Municipal and Local Government” and the specific professional objectives for the national program were to:
Learn about the U.S. federal system of government, division of powers, and interaction between national, state, and local government;
Explore laws and initiatives to promote government accountability, transparency and the ethical conduct of government officials;
Discuss citizen and civil society engagement with government and policy development officials; and
Explore trends such as economic development, environmental sustainability, public-private partnerships, and service provision for urban and rural areas.
On Friday, March 27th, and Monday, March 30th, the group participated in professional exchange meetings with officials in Augusta, Portland, and Brunswick. During the weekend the delegation enjoyed an excursion to the Portland Head Light along with an afternoon of dining and shopping in Freeport. An evening of home hospitality was provided in several local homes to round out their Maine experience.
In addition to Maine, the group visited Washington, D.C.; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Grand Island, Nebraska; and Cleveland, Ohio.