Annette Alvarez: Heads group taking foreign visitors into Miami homes
The people Annette Alvarez says she most enjoys dealing with and being around are those whose kindergarten report card probably described as “plays well with others,” because one of her frequent quotes is, “Global Ties Miami plays with everyone on the playground.”
For the past 11 years, Ms. Alvarez has been the executive director of Global Ties Miami, which she describes as a unique organization given the opportunity to introduce people from around the world to the US through connections with people and places in South Florida.
She and Global Ties Miami staff, along with volunteers, work on the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, which is what US ambassadors rank as their number one tool for public diplomacy year and year again.
It’s vital to cultivate ties with people from other countries, Ms. Alvarez said. A lot of innovation comes from people around the world, she said, and those who come here and make it their home contribute to our country, as has been happening since its formation.
The visitors are here for a short while, and for them to see our community and essentially the US for just a few days is a chance to see it without the filters, Ms. Alvarez said. Also, she said, it’s a way for them to make up their own minds without the media interfering with their perception.
Relationships that are forged through Global Ties Miami and the knowledge that’s shared on both sides make the world a more peaceful place and a more optimistic place, she said.
Miami Today reporter Susan Danseyar interviewed Ms. Alvarez in her Coral Gables office.
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