Beginning a new year – Thoughts from the Executive Director, Pat Watson

CDA is excited to be looking forward to 2024 and what it has to offer for the international visitors and the members of CDA. February marks the 14th year that I have been fortunate enough to be the Executive Director of CDA. Working with an amazing board and membership we have been able to add exciting new things to the list of work CDA does to bring Citizen Diplomacy to Southern Arizona and the world. 2023 was a banner year for CDA, hosting more international visitors than ever before!!

April 6th will be the Annual Meeting where members of the board will be elected (or re-elected) to serve as the representatives of the members.

Programming is again being done to bring the visitors to Tucson and Southern Arizona, speaking engagements are continuing as are the World Watch Ambassador talks. New adventures are coming with the involvement of COIL (Congressional Office of International Leadership) and the group coming in June for a week of meetings and home stays. Our wonderful members have stepped up, once again, and offered to provide homestays for the visitors, Thanks to them we can provide the necessary requirements to host this group.

This is a time when CDA can take a minute and thank the wonderful presenters that share their knowledge, time and friendship with the visitors. It is truly a blessing that so many are willing to take time out of their day and meet with the visitors. Tucson, Nogales, Willcox, Eloy, Sells and other communities have been part of the programming for the visitors offering a diverse range of knowledge and hope for the future by getting to know the visitors and the visitors getting to know them, on a person to person level (not government to government). What a wonderful way to build Citizen Diplomacy, “one handshake at a time.”

I look forward to working with you in 2024 and wish each and everyone reading this a very Happy New Year. We can, and do, make a difference by being involved in CDA, encourage your friends and family, co-workers and acquaintances to become members. Remember it is only $25 a year for a single membership and $50 for a family.