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...Continue
Community Impact highlights organizations and people in communities across the U.S. that connect with international visitors, and how those cultural exchanges impact them. Meridian collaborates with local organizations who host international participants across the U.S. through various exchange programs including the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Exchange programs allow participants to gain a diverse perspective of the country, while local communities are also exposed to people from around the world. This past November, I attended the Global Ties U.S. triannual summit in Louisville, Kentucky hosted by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana (WAC). During a networking lunch, I connected with representatives from YouthBuild Louisville, the...Continue
Corruption, an abuse of power for private gain, threatens democracy, depletes national wealth, and undermines public trust. It’s a global problem plaguing even the youngest republics, like Kosovo. The U.S. Department of State reports that Kosovo suffers from endemic government corruption and one of the Kosovo’s think tanks reports its judicial system is considered among the most corrupt. Continue
In the fall of 2018, Mr. Manuel Comeron, an alumnus of the 2017 Meridian International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) entitled “Strong Cities: Building Community Resilience to Radicalization and Violent Extremism,” was a programming partner for the Community Connections program. This iteration of Community Connections is a two-part international exchange program between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee and Liège and Verviers, Belgium during which rising American and Belgian leaders in violence prevention exchange best practices in countering violent extremism. In the first part of the program, Mr. Comeron organized a one-week program in Liège for 8 American NGO leaders, government officials,...Continue
IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflecton the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we spotlight, Ms. Antoinette Botti from Cote d’Ivoire, whose work focuses specifically on empowering women in rural environments. Ms. Botti participated in a large group project on volunteerism, and she recounts below the impact that this program had on her, both personally and professionally.