To be a Face of Exchange alongside Anwar Sadat

This post was written by Vered Cohen Barzilay. Ms. Vered Cohen-Barzilay is an Israeli social entrepreneur, a women’s rights activist, and an advocate for aviation, space, and science education.  Her latest project is “Out of the Box”’ which seeks to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through space education and entrepreneurship. To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has been introducing 80 Faces of Exchange this year. These profiles of IVLP alumni have showcased participants from around the world and across...

Continue  

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,...

Continue  

Women’s empowerment at Meridian International Center

As catalysts, trailblazers and change-makers, women have unquestionably shaped the world we live in today. Next month marks Women’s History Month in the U.S. and Meridian is proud to honor the accomplishments of women in diplomacy around the world through a series of programs, as well as flashbacks to our flagship initiatives that demonstrate Meridian’s commitment to championing the empowerment of women and girls.  WOMEN IN DIPLOMACY  On February 24, in partnership with Women Ambassadors Serving America, Meridian hosted over 50 former and current women ambassadors from foreign embassies and the U.S. for “Diplomatic Readiness: What skills will diplomats need in 2030 and beyond?” This program opened with the Director of National Intelligence’s Global Trends report, followed by a panel conversation, moderated...

Continue  

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,...

Continue  

IVLP Alumni Among Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders

Sunita Danuwar, 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Hero, was honored this week as one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Sunita is the Executive Director of Shakti Samuha, an organization that provides shelter and support to victims of trafficking in persons in Nepal. A trafficking survivor herself, Sunita now serves as an advocate for other victims. She has played a key role in expanding her organization’s victim-support services to include education and skills training, repatriation services, and legal assistance to survivors and girls at risk of trafficking. In 2018, the US Department of State recognized Sunita and...

Continue