Stephan Helgesen is the founder of FriendshipWorks (USA). After completing a successful 20-year career as a U.S. diplomat working in over two dozen countries, Stephan returned to the U.S. in 2004 and became active in the Albuquerque Council for International Visitors (ACIV), an organization affiliated with the U.S. Department of State). He was elected ACIVís Vice-President and then, later, President, a position he still holds. From 2005-2006, he was Executive Director of the North American Institute, a tri-lateral (Canada, U.S. and Mexico) non-profit organization, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2006, he was appointed by New Mexicoís Governor, Bill Richardson, to head up the Stateís Office of Science and Technology. Stephanís interest in international affairs dates back to the 80s when he joined the Diplomatic Corps. He was fortunate to have worked with CEOs, international leaders and NGOs on three continents and for a dozen U.S. Ambassadors who strongly believed in cultural exchange and engagement as the principal tools to effect positive change.
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