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CDAF 2021 Winners' Announcement

November 16, 2021

Winners this year include projects that create space and intervention for mental health in Guinea, amplify the environmental concerns that have arisen in Puerto Rico due to over-tourism, promote STEM education in Kenya, Russia, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and Senegal, and much more!  

“Congratulations to our exchange alumni who have received awards from the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund to lead public service projects in their communities,” said Matthew Lussenhop, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “These alumni will serve diverse communities in the United States and abroad through programs adapted to the realities of COVID-19. We are proud of these citizen diplomats.” 

Since 2019, the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has invited U.S. citizen alumni of all U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs - including the Fulbright Program, the Gilman Scholarship, and Cultural and Sports Envoys - to apply for small grants of up to $10,000 as part of the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund. 

For the 2021 competition, exchange alumni from across the United States submitted proposals for public service projects that addressed the themes of media literacy education, protecting the environment, bolstering alumni network engagement, bolstering outreach to underserved communities, and building community through arts, sports, language, and technology. Since the close of the competition, the U.S. Department of State has funded 47 projects that address issues faced by communities across the United States and around the world with international partners in countries including Argentina, Burundi, Mexico, Pakistan, and South Africa.   

We look forward to sharing the progress of alumni from the winning teams as they implement these innovative projects in cities and towns across the United States, and virtually with international partners. 

The Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and implemented in partnership with the Partners of the Americas. Visit for more information. 

Vocational Skills Training for Peace seeks to equip at least 100 young unemployed women in the Nkoranza North district of Ghana with sustainable and self-employable vocational skills training with emphasis on women with disability and mental health conditions to serve as peace agents in the community while running their social businesses. Throughout this training, arts and culture will act as tools for peace building and conflict resolution for sustainable community development. Alumni Team: Adam Zahn (Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Joel Afi Duah (Mandela Washington Fellowship)  with Veronica Carey, PhD, Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, College of Nursing and Health Professionals, Drexel University.