IdEA’s New Home at U.S. Department of State


By Sara Gallagher (IdEA Program Officer) and Leigh Moran (IdEA Program Manager)

Cuso International's GDW event "Diasporas for Development: Reflections on International Service"

Cuso International’s GDW event “Diasporas for Development: Reflections on International Service”

When you look down the list of challenges that we face – the headlines every single day, from natural disasters to promoting economic growth to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East – one thing is absolutely clear: Diaspora communities are helping to meet each and every one of those challenges.
– John Kerry, Secretary of State

Over the last few years, the IdEA partnership has grown by leaps and bounds. We’ve increased our global footprint and grown our community by 300%, helping connect diaspora networks to each other and to opportunities to make a difference back home. We’ve hosted more than 30 trainings and events, shared our members’ incredible work in over 200 blogs, and brought more than 10,000 people together to celebrate diaspora communities and their contributions to global development. We couldn’t have done this work without you, our members.

Since fall of 2013, Calvert Foundation has been the proud managing partner of IdEA and its amazing growth. Although our management role for IdEA will be wrapping up this summer as planned, the work of IdEA is truly just beginning. The programming you engage with every day and the dedication to engaging diaspora to be a powerful force for global development and diplomacy continues through our partners at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as through the broader IdEA network.

We’re happy to announce that we’ll be handing the IdEA reins to Ashwood Heffern from the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State who will be your new point of contact for IdEA going forward: HeffernJA1@state.gov. USAID will continue to partner with diasporas to tackle development challenges as well and Anna Nikolova will be your point person regarding USAID diaspora opportunities going forward: diasporas@usaid.gov.

Calvert Foundation remains enthusiastically committed to engaging diaspora through our core expertise: investing for a social and a financial return. We are excited to further grow our diaspora investment initiatives launched in 2015, the India Investment Initiative and Raíces, and will continue to offer opportunities for diaspora members to engage with us through these campaigns and others. We encourage you to stay in touch by signing up for the Calvert Foundation newsletter.

What’s Next?
IdEA will be doing some exciting work over the next several months and we are pleased to announce some updates and additional resources to share with you:

  • The Diaspora Map: You asked and we listened! This fall we will be rolling out new features for the Diaspora Map to improve user experience. These upgrades include regional selection options and adding a search bar so that you can search for organizations using key words.
  • Global Innovation Exchange: The Global Innovation Exchange is a great resource for diaspora communities. It is a global online marketplace for innovations, funding, insights, resources and conversations, allowing people like you to better work together to address humanity’s greatest challenges. Check out the diaspora microsite here.
  • Global Diaspora Week (GDW): The next GDW will be hosted in spring 2017. Stay tuned for more details within the next few months.
  • October Diaspora Event: Stay tuned for a major diaspora event hosted by USAID in mid-October. To stay up to date on USAID’s diaspora efforts, be sure to check out this website.

We have learned a tremendous amount from the IdEA community and have valued the opportunity to work with a diverse network of organizations dedicated to affecting change in their communities around the world. We thank you for that opportunity and for your partnership. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with all of you.