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27, 2012

Suzy Trutie

Annette G. Alvarez

Foreign journalists arrive in Miami to study trends likely to affect outcome of US elections

Miami-Dade County elected officials and staff met with journalists

The Miami Council for International Visitors (MCIV), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program and Meridian International Center, is currently hosting foreign journalists on a three day program focused on the U.S. elections and political system.

Miami was chosen as the final destination in a three week U.S. itinerary designed to provide the journalists with background information on key topics likely to influence this year's elections. The print, television and new media journalists are from 22 countries including Brazil, Burma, Canada, Egypt, Kosovo, Oman and the Republic of South Sudan.

On September 26, the journalists met with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff Genaro “Chip” Iglesias, Communications and External Affairs Director Fernando Figueredo and Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections Tara Smith, among other staff members. They learned about Miami-Dade County government, its budget and the county-wide elections process.

“It was a real pleasure to welcome this diverse group of foreign journalists to Miami-Dade County and give them a sense of how our electoral process works,” said Mayor Gimenez. “Sometimes we take our right to vote in fair elections for granted, but the questions and comments that we received from a number of these reporters highlighted just how fortunate we are to be able to cast our ballots with confidence.”

The journalists also visited the Knight Foundation; met with Eric Newton, Senior Adviser to the President; and discussed trends in media and journalism, and learned about the digital media projects the Knight Foundation is funding around the globe.

Through meetings with Univision anchors and executives, the journalists will learn about issues of importance to Hispanic voters. They will further examine the role of Hispanics' engagement in the election process with a panel presentation on “New Media in the Elections” moderated by Kjell DeOrr, CEO of IBOPE Inteligencia and featuring panelists Michael Hernadez, Sr. Director of Penn Schoen Berland; Jesse Manzano-Plaza, Campaign Consultant; and Natascha Otero-Santiago, Social Media Consultant at NOS Communications and Co-Director of Latinos in Social Media, South Florida.

Their Miami itinerary culminates with a meeting with State Department representatives at the New World Center, home to New World Symphony.



The Miami Council for International Visitors (MCIV) connects Miami with tomorrow's global leaders. Since 1959, MCIV has introduced thousands of international policy and decision makers, and participants of the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program to the South Florida community through business meetings and cultural experiences. MCIV is a membership and volunteer supported non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. For more information, visit

About the International Visitor Leadership Program
The Office of International Visitors manages and funds the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Launched in 1940, the IVLP aims to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations of the world by coordinating professional visits and designing programs for emerging foreign leaders.

Each year, over 4,500 IVLP participants from all over the world are selected by U.S. embassies to travel to the United States to meet and confer with their professional counterparts. More than 325 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government and many other distinguished world leaders from across the public and private sectors, have participated in the program. For more information, visit