International Center Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Seoul Government
Many municipal leaders from South Korea's capital city will engage in professional development programs offered by the Institute's International Center, according to a new partnership between the Institute and the Seoul Municipal Government (SMG). Through a memorandum of understanding signed by the two organizations' leadership on October 11, the International Center will provide short- and long-term programs for high-ranking city officials to enhance their career enrichment and promote cultural exchange between South Korea and the United States.
The new partnership reinvigorates and greatly expands the Institute's involvement in Korea. The Institute will host select, high-ranking Seoul officials who will work at the Institute during yearlong internships. The agreement between the Institute and SMG also designates the Institute as manager of all short-term training programs to the United States.
A pilot program conducted by the Institute in June provided instruction to 21 Seoul managers and took them on site visits to New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Future programs will include visits to locations in Georgia.
"We're very excited to see this relationship take off," commented Vinson Institute Interim Director Laura Meadows about the new partnership with SMG. "Connections between Georgia and South Korea have strengthened tremendously in recent years, and we hope that this partnership will enable them to intensify even more."
SMG Director General Hyo-sung Jung emphasized during the signing ceremony that the new partnership represents valuable opportunities for the present and the future and that both organizations will benefit from interacting and learning from each other.
The International Center has also launched a partnership with the Government Association of Korea (GAK), an organization of local elected leaders and civil servants, to bring groups of Korean officials to the Institute for one-month periods. GAK hopes to learn more about the Institute's professional development and training programs and to network with counterparts in Georgia. The organization would like to implement a similar "Institute of Government" in Korea in partnership with the Vinson Institute.