June 8, 1999
Release No. 031-99

CONTACT: Theresa Markiw
PHONE: (202) 619-4130

United States Information Agency - News Release

USIA-Chaired Interagency Working Group Launches Web Site

Washington, D.C. -- The Interagency Working Group on U.S. Government-Sponsored International Exchanges and Training (IAWG) has launched its new web site, a ready reference and clearinghouse of information about international exchanges and training programs.

The IAWG was created to improve the coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness of all U.S. government-sponsored international exchanges and training activities, and has been so effective that it earned the Vice President's Hammer Award for making extraordinary progress in reinventing government. The IAWG's new web site contains information about the IAWG, the full text of the 1997 Annual Report, and links to all the agencies involved in the Working Group. Moreover, the page is a clearinghouse of international exchange and training information, listing and linking to over 90 non-governmental organizations involved in international exchanges, and providing links to useful information on travel, visas, individual country information, and more.

The IAWG's site, designed for simplicity and ease of use worldwide, is accessible with even the most basic computers in a quickly downloadable format. The page is also responsive, allowing any NGO involved with international exchanges to be listed on and link to IAWG's site. The site will continue to evolve to meet additional user needs.

"The IAWG's web site will be a ready resource for people inside and outside government to gain a better understanding of the full range of U.S. government-funded international exchanges and training programs as well as the impact these programs have abroad and their long-term importance to the United States," said Bill Kiehl, Staff Director of the IAWG.

The Interagency Working Group was established by Executive Order 13055 in 1997 and modified by subsequent legislation (the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Public Law 105-277). The IAWG - composed of senior representatives from the Departments of State, Defense, Education, and Justice, and the Agency for International Development, with representatives from 22 other federal agencies - is chaired by the Associate Director for Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency.

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The United States Information Agency, headed by Acting Director Penn Kemble, is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of information programs. The Agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

USIA's programs include the Voice of America, Radio and TV Martí, the WORLDNET satellite television system, the daily Washington File newswire, the Fulbright scholarship program, the International Visitor Program, the Speakers and Specialists Program, three Foreign Press Centers in the United States, and a network of overseas resource and cultural centers. The Agency has 190 posts in 141 countries.

The USIA domestic server can be accessed through or through most search engines on the Internet.

United States Information Agency, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20547
Tel: (202) 619-4355, Fax: (202) 619-6988

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