Paying It Forward: Lessons Learned from My IVLP

In July 2018, Ms. Sadaf Usman, Director of For a Cause, participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program project for Pakistan: “Strengthening Civil Society- Building Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism'”. She and her colleagues visited Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Kalamazoo, MI; and Detroit, MI to connect with organizations working to prevent and counter violence through community-focused programs. Below she reflects on her experience. As part of the IVLP on “Strengthening Civil Society- Building Community Resilience against Violent Extremism,” I found the 3-week experience to be quite enlightening and educational. The rise of conflict based on race,...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: The Impact of Partnerships

IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature two Pakistani alumni from different IVLP projects who have connected through the alumni network and established working partnerships to address local needs.  Visitor: Ms. Rahat Jabeen Title: Environment Specialist, Environment & Natural Resources Department, Global Practices, World Bank Country of Origin: Pakistan Itinerary: Washington, DC; Maryland; Denver and Golden, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida IVLP Project: Sustainable Development & Environmental Protection, A Multi Regional...

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Student Exchange for Global Change

The U.S.-Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program brought ten innovative young women from across the globe to explore what is out there and waiting for them. By excelling in academia, the students from the Army Public Schools and Colleges of Pakistan had the opportunity not just to explore, but to question and to learn about culture, science, and methods around the world. I can’t believe it’s been one week since the end of the 2016 U.S.-Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program. This seventeen day program made me more conscious about the way I could have a career in the...

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International Exchanges: Instilling Hope and Understanding for a Better 2016

Here I was, in a charter bus with 15 Pakistani young leaders, dancing to Punjabi music, while directing the Chinese bus driver where to go in the bustling streets of San Francisco. To most people, this situation would seem bizarre. However, these types of unique experiences are a typical part of my job at Meridian International Center. Although they are definitely different from the traditional diplomacy, people-to-people exchanges have the power to effect meaningful change. Most notably, these exchanges break down stereotypes to foster intercultural understanding. For the 2015 Emerging Leaders of Pakistan program, Meridian worked on behalf of...

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Walking in the Footsteps of Murrow

Visitors from South and Central Asia explore journalistic principles in the digital age.

Meridian International Center hosted the U.S. Department of State’s Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists during its 10th anniversary in October 2015. Up-and-coming leaders from around the world came to the United States for a three-week professional exchange program examining journalistic practices. The group from South and Central Asia (SCA) represented seven different countries and was comprised of ten media professionals from a range of sectors, including television, radio, print, and new media.

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