The 75th Anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a major milestone in the program’s history. It offers us a chance to reflect on the impact of the program by examining the numbers. More than 335 current or former heads of government are IVLP alumni. Meridian International Center is proud to have coordinated the programs of 50% of these alumni.
To celebrate the program’s growth and impact we mapped the visitor percentage by year and country in a time-lapse video. Meridian IVLP alumni who later became heads of state are highlighted in the video with gold stars.
This video was made possible thanks to the efforts of Greg Porter who cataloged the visitor data by country all the way back to 1950. This required separating out individuals on multicounty projects based on archival card catalogs. To display this data I joined it by country on a world base map. Since the world map has changed a great deal since 1950 I had to make some decisions in merging the data. For example, I combined the data for the former two Germanys into one and I split the visitor data for the former Czechoslovakia evenly between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The overall intent was to keep all of the data and show the regional impact even as borders changed.
The intensity of the color is based on the percentage of visitors from that country during a given year. The countries with a large percentage of that year’s total are dark purple while those with less are light purple.
Another component in the video are the gold stars which mark the year a Meridian IVLP Alumni visited the US on the program.
The music is an original improvisational piece by Marc Smith.