IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Strengthening U.S.–Japan Government Bonds

This blog post was contributed by Lee Norrgard, Program Officer in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division For almost 170 years, the United States and Japan have organized informational and cultural exchanges between our two countries. Arriving in 1871, Umeko Tsuda was a seven-year-old girl sent to learn Western ways in Washington, DC. Her foster parents provided schooling that led to her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. Upon returning to Japan, she founded the prestigious women’s school Tsuda University which continues the intercultural exchange first experienced by the young Umeko Tsuda. Carrying on this long tradition, in the 1970s, the Government of...


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,...


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...


Public Diplomacy Supports the Rule of Law

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