WYSTC 2013 Welcomes U.S. Government Official for Talks on US Cultural Exchange Programmes

WYSE Travel Confederation is pleased to announce the attendance of Robin Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at this year’s edition of WYSTC.

Confirming WYSTC’s status as a major global forum for discussing the future of cultural exchange programmes in the U.S., DAS Lerner has agreed to speak at the Special J-1 Visa Session to be held on Thursday 19 September. The session on J-1 visas has become a popular fixture for over ten years at WYSTC. Organised by WYSE Travel Confederation and its Sector Association WYSE Work Abroad, the session routinely brings together key players in the sector to discuss changes in regulation and business practice in constructive dialogue with the US Department of State.

The session takes on particular prominence this year.  A number of major State Department rulemakings are in the works for J-1 exchanges, and compliance enforcement continues to strengthen.

DAS Lerner’s attendance at WYSTC will offer a rare opportunity for agents and operators around the world to hear first hand from the U.S. government official who directly oversees the J-1 visa programme. Writing from her office in Washington DC, DAS Lerner said “WYSTC offers a great opportunity for the U.S. Government to enter into constructive dialogue with agents around the world that use the J-1 visa programme. I look forward to discussing the latest developments with WYSTC delegates in Sydney this September”.

WYSE Travel Confederation Director General David Chapman said “we’re delighted that DAS Lerner will be coming to meet U.S. Sponsors and their foreign partners at WYSTC this year.”. “Her participation in the J-1 visa session will add real depth to the discussions surrounding this vital programme”

The session on the J-1 visa programme will be held at 10:45 on Thursday 19 September 2013 at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre in the context of WYSTC. Participants will be invited to table questions for DAS Lerner.

Meet the speaker:

Lerner black and white websiteRobin Lerner, DASDepartment of State –Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Ms. Lerner serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, she oversees the Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa) Programme, which annually brings some 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States to study, build skills, and teach. Ms. Lerner, a lawyer by training and a member of the California bar, joined the majority staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as counsel in March, 2009. In this position, she handled human rights, refugees, migration, trafficking in persons, gender equity, and public diplomacy for Chairman John Kerry. Prior to the Committee, Ms. Lerner worked for the Department of State for nearly seven years as a senior reporting officer for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.