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LT. GOV. DANIEL J. MCKEE announces the launch of the International Economic Ambassadors         Initiative Tuesday. / COURTESY OFFICE OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

PROVIDENCE – Lt. Gov. Daniel J. McKee announced the launch of the International Economic Ambassadors Initiative Tuesday. The program will recruit volunteer Rhode Islanders who frequently travel outside of the country, grant them honorary ambassador designations and provide them with professional marketing materials for the state. The goal is to attract investments and economic opportunity in Rhode Island.

Participants will be accepted to the program via an application process. They will conduct business on their personal time and will not be reimbursed by the state. If an ambassador finds a lead, they are asked to report this back to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office so the state may follow up with an appropriate economic-development agency.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office said it does not know of another similar program in the country.

“Rhode Island’s diversity has always been our strength. The International Economic Ambassadors Initiative gives us a new way to engage Rhode Islanders who have international ties to promote our state’s economic potential,” McKee said in a statement. “My team’s job is to equip ambassadors with the information, materials and authority to highlight Rhode Island in a positive and meaningful way. The ambassador’s job is to deliver that message to people who we, as a state, may otherwise never have reached.” The initiative was designed with the support of individuals from the Associated German Societies of New England, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Japan American Society, Museum of Work and Culture, R.I. Commerce Corp., Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island-Israel Collaborative, Tai-O Group and the U.S. Department of Commerce in Providence.