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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An eye on our most vulnerable

Meer Ahsan Habib is a National Consultant – Communication Specialist, National Adaptation Plan Process at UNDP Bangladesh and 2021 participant in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project, “Transparency and Accountability in Government for the Indo-Pacific.” Habib develops the communications strategy of the National Adaptation Plan of Bangladesh. By engaging policy experts and the public, he provides policy analysis and suggestions to create an inclusive National Adaptation Plan and comprehensive position papers on climate change adaptation for Bangladesh’s Department of Environment. Habib is also a freelance columnist for several media outlets and has written numerous op-ed...

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IVLP Fosters Collaboration as part of 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative was originally conceived during President Obama’s administration with the stated goal “to underscore the critical relationship between broader educational opportunity and greater regional prosperity.” The initiative’s central objective is to increase study abroad opportunities between the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Over the years, Meridian has worked on multiple projects aimed at building stronger cooperation through this initiative. Most recently, an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project focused on Expanding Sustainable Education Partnerships engaged eight higher education leaders from four Latin American countries exploring future linkages with U.S. educational institutions....

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Reflections on Filipino-American Identity

The month of October in the U.S. is recognized as Filipino-American History Month and commemorates the arrival of the first Filipinos to North America. The following blog post was contributed by Keanu Gaite, Program Associate for International Visitor Leadership Program Collaborative Services at the Meridian Center for Global Leadership.  For most of my life, I have identified as Filipino. No hyphen. No Filipino-“American.” I would wear hats with “Pinoy” across the brim and shirts embossed with the Philippine flag, presents from titos and titas (also known as uncles and aunts) when they returned from trips to the islands.   But at some point, this cultural pride started to dim. I came to question how connected to...

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