Program Theme Spotlight: The Power of Partnerships

“Public-Private Partnerships are fundamental and inescapable,” pronounced an American speaker when explaining the U.S. system of government to a recent group of International Visitor Leadership (IVLP) participants.  This couldn’t be truer—regardless of the subject, one of the most salient aspects of any professional exchange program is the prevalence of public-private partnerships (P3s). Whether in support of business and economic development or other social, cultural or academic initiatives, P3s are the rule, and International Visitors take notice.  In fact, often the first example of an American P3 is the Department of State’s partnership with the National Program Agencies, Global Ties...

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African Women: Leaders in the Economy and Society

Expanding markets. Ensuring quality control. Accessing supply and value chains. Broadening networks. Addressing management challenges. Showcasing women’s leadership. And yes, advocating for change. These are topics that a dynamic group of African women entrepreneurs are focusing on during their visit to the U.S. as part of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP). AWEP was launched, in conjunction with the 2010 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Every year, U.S. Embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa nominate leading women entrepreneurs to participate. While in the U.S., the group...

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From U.S. to Korea – A Participant’s Journey

In March and April of this year, Meridian International Center, conducted a longitudinal study which surveyed American and Korean participants from the 2007 – 2017 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Programs. The exchange, jointly funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Unification of the Korean National Assembly, is Meridian’s second longest program implemented continuously since 1998. The exchange however is much older having been created in 1981 by U.S. Representative Ben Gilman and his Korean counterpart Assemblyman David Pong with the express...

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The IVLP In One Pitch

I anticipated that the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)  “Demographic Change and Immigration,” which opened on April 23, 2018, would be an excellent program. Sometimes, you just get that feeling. The meetings were spot on, the cities were diverse, and the visitors had a perfect blend of professional backgrounds—a journalist, an attorney, and a few elected officials. There was also uncommon diversity in the group, including first generation and second-generation immigrants from Tajikstan and Turkey. On April 23, I thought an excellent meeting on demographics with D’Vera Cohn at Pew Research Center might be the highlight. And while that meeting...

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American Cultural Diplomacy’s Cold War Origins

During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union were concerned with showcasing the art of their respective states to the world. Both feared that artist communities had sided with government rivals, and thus explored ways to repress artistic expression with state power. The story of how American artists, philanthropists, activists, and policymakers overcame Cold War fears to create programs like Arts In The Embassies and other early organs of U.S. cultural diplomacy is an understated but vital component of the success of American arts around the world. As the Cold War began, the United States was in...

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