Yemeni Community Organizers and Activists Meet with NCSL

June 5, 2012

On June 5th, the International Programs Department of NCSL hosted a meeting with community organizers and political activists from Yemen, who participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Michael Bird, Senior Federal Affairs Counsel, NCSL State-Federal Relations Division, gave a presentation on the role of federalism in the U.S. government and a brief background on how NCSL promotes a relationship between the national government and state legislatures. Ms. Kathy Brennan Wiggins, Director, International Relations Department, also provided information on the International Programs Department and how Yemen could get involved with our programs and our annual Legislative Summit.

The meeting was a benefit to the activists from Yemen and the NCSL staff alike, as a robust dialogue about the structure and function of both the U.S. and Yemeni government systems developed. The attendees from Yemen were especially interested in how to best represent the interests of states at the federal level, since in 2014, a new government will be formed in Yemen and these leading community organizers and activists will be key participants in this transition. The Yemenis were also interested in discussing the problems with the current Yemeni government, such as corruption and highly centralized control, which they hope to fix with the creation of the new government. An exchange occurred during the discussion regarding the expanding role of women in Yemeni government and politics, which both the Yemenis and NCSL staff felt was promising. The meeting provided a great opportunity for international discussion and networking, of which all attendees took full advantage and appreciated.

 

Updated June 11, 2012