For this week’s community spotlight, the World Affairs Council is thrilled to recognize the Pacific Northwest Economic Region.
Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) is a public/private non-profit created in 1991 by the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories with the mission to increase the economic well-being and quality of life for all citizens of the region while maintaining and enhancing the natural environment. PNWER regularly coordinates with state legislatures, holding an annual meeting with experts and U.S. Government policymakers. PNWER’s accomplishments include work on the NAFTA modernization task force, the Columbia River Treaty, transportation infrastructure, invasive species, and other high priority issues facing the region.
The State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) celebrates its 80th Anniversary this year, and as one of our flagship professional exchange programs, we host between 50 - 80 IVLP groups annually. PNWER regularly meets with IVLP leaders to share their expertise on cross-border collaboration and economic growth and stability. Senior Program Manager, Steve Myers, (pictured) has met with the majority of visiting global leaders in these fields. In 2019 alone, he met with international visitors from seven different IVLP groups including global economic cooperation, disaster preparedness, and U.S. foreign policy. Steve works on a number of portfolio areas including Innovation, Natural Resources, and Arctic Policy. Additionally, Steve supports PNWER's Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, specifically on homeland security and emergency management issues; he leads the U.S. federal outreach program and provides insights on relevant legislative issues and outreach to PNWER members and the rest of the community through educational activities for stakeholders, workshops, and seminars.
Steve has particularly enjoyed the opportunity to discuss Canada-U.S. trade relations with visitors from East Asia and how PNWER's efforts in trade facilitation in North America can be applied in other regions around the world. He thinks that the World Affairs Council provides an “important avenue to shed light on the importance of the sub-national relationships and local voices in fostering bilateral trade relations between the U.S. and Canada.”
Through PNWER, Steve continues to engage diverse audiences in pressing issues, for example, he is currently leading a webinar series on economic recovery in the post-COVID 19 world. If you’re interested in learning more, please join PNWER online for a series of webinars exploring the future of economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 world. Steve is also a contributing author in the newly published Lessons from the Arctic: The Role of Regional Government in International Affairs.
PNWER’s partnership with the World Affairs Council has lasted over a decade. Not only have they supported our programs and hosted visitors from around the world, but they have been a friendly face in our office, sharing stories, donuts, and ideas for ways our organizations can further collaborate. We are incredibly grateful for the time and expertise Steve and the incredible PNWER staff have shared with our global community and we thank them for their support of the Council and our programs.
Please join us next week for another community spotlight as we continue to recognize the local and global impact of international exchanges through our Seattle partners!
By Amodini Khade, International Visitor Program Intern, and Camille Adkins-Rieck, Program Officer