IVLP: New Experiences, New Friends & New Perspectives

This post was submitted by Navjeev Singh, IVLP alum from Singapore. When I first found out that I was invited to an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), I was chuffed. After all, a quick Google search tells you it is the U.S. State Department’s premier professional exchange program. It is invite-only. It has been around for over 80 years. Over 500 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government had attended an IVLP. My expectations for this program were set very high as a result.   I was invited to represent Singapore at the IVLP on Advancing an Open, Reliable, and Secure Digital...

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In-person Programming Fosters Return to Cultural and Personal Connections

After two years of virtual meetings, where we perfected the use of Zoom and asking people to unmute, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) has returned to in-person programs at full speed. While we all appreciated the chance to still connect during the throes of the pandemic, there is no true substitution for the connection face to face interaction offers. This was recently highlighted in the experience of Team SVAT, standing for Special Visitors, Ashi, and Tatyana (in reference to their resolute liaison team). This contingent of seven participants from various countries recently came to the U.S. for a...

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Embracing Pride through International Exchanges

The following post was written by Jack Fornasiero, Meridian’s Executive Office and Communications Fellow.   Each year, Meridian engages international visitors through exchange and leadership programs that strive to uplift the global LGBTQ+ community, in addition to our work ensuring the U.S. foreign service represents Americans abroad through diplomacy, cultural exchange, and informed leadership. During Pride Month and beyond, Meridian is proud to stand by our LGBTQ+ staff at Meridian, the U.S. Department of State, our community-based members, corporate partners, and those in the foreign service.   Meridian’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplified through programming like...

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Top Takeaways from the 2022 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting

On March 16-19, 2022, Meridian joined fellow peers and organization members at the 2022 Global Ties U.S. National Meeting: Moving Exchange Forward. Over 400 attendees gathered to discuss strategies and resources to navigate programming, to learn about current events and trends affecting the United States and its foreign policy and to strengthen connections among those involved in international exchanges. As one of eight National Programming Agencies for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Meridian maintains a vital role both leading and participating in these conversations. Several staff attended the meeting both in-person and virtually, while also curating two panels focused...

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Women in Science: From IVLP to Opportunities in STEM

To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are highlighting Sotheavy At, Strategic Communications Specialist at DAI Global/USAID Digital Asia Accelerator and alumna of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).   How has participating in international exchange for STEM issues transformed your life, career, or education? Did any new opportunities arise from this experience? Before the visit, I thought that only women and girls in developing countries like Cambodia faced barriers to pursue STEM-education and STEM-related work. From my visit, I quickly learned that most women and girls share the same journey...

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