IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Volunteering from Oklahoma to Kazakhstan

The following was written by Bob Lieser, Vice President of Program at Tulsa Global Alliance. In October 2018, Tulsa Global Alliance (TGA), a Community-Based Member of Global Ties U.S., collaborated with Meridian International Center to host a U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) from Kazakhstan titled “Volunteerism: Charity and Civic Action.” Their schedule included tours of the Little Light House, a faith-based non-profit providing free educational and therapeutic services to children with special needs, and Jenks High School, where they learned about special needs education at a public school district. The visitors also volunteered at Iron Gate,...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Connecting People, Creating Understanding, Exploring Opportunities

The following was written and submitted by Mr. Marco Polo. The author participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. Department of State from September 27 to October 20, 2019. He is an Associate Professor at the Communication and Journalism Department and concurrently the Director for University Advancement of De La Salle University-Dasmariñas in Cavite, Philippines. He is a former two-term national president of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE) and is a member of the Board of Management of the Asian Media, Information and Communication Center (AMIC). I have always believed that traveling is...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Promoting the digital economy through collaboration

In September of 2019, Mr. Aaron Hape of New Zealand participated in the multi-regional International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project “Advancing an Open, Reliable, and Secure Digital Economy.” Working as a senior public servant in the New Zealand Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, his focus is aimed at helping guide regional economic development policies. For Mr. Hape, his IVLP experience highlighted the importance of global perspectives in pursuing his work remarking, “Because of the myriad of cultures I was exposed to in my IVLP cohort, I now have a greater understanding of how other countries support the growth of their digital sectors and encourage the uptake and use of...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: The Financial Phoenix – Bankruptcy and Growth

When thinking of bankruptcy, images of personal failures, bad management, or fraud often come to mind. However, some experts argue that bankruptcy should be perceived as a financial rebirth. Economists at the World Bank conclude that “effective bankruptcy laws that allow viable firms to reorganize and unviable ones to liquidate or be sold is a necessary condition for growth.” The U.S. has an extensive code of laws that cover financial death and rebirth for individuals, small businesses, and corporations but many other countries do not. To share how U.S. Bankruptcy law can help businesses grow, the State Department’s International...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Overcoming Fears through Exchange

In 2015, Mr. Victor Gotevbe of Nigeria attended the multi-regional IVLP, “American Youth: Inspiring Leadership and Civic Engagement.” At the time, he had been serving as the Administrative and Human Resources Manager at a national newspaper, however his experience inspired him to become much more. “I eventually left the lucrative job in April of 2017 after 17 years with the organization. It was quite emotional but the entrepreneur in me wanted more and basically helped me conquer the fear of the unknown.” Mr. Gotevbe’s American experience had a major impact on his personal growth, such as taking part in...

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