In-person Programming Fosters Return to Cultural and Personal Connections

After two years of virtual meetings, where we perfected the use of Zoom and asking people to unmute, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) has returned to in-person programs at full speed. While we all appreciated the chance to still connect during the throes of the pandemic, there is no true substitution for the connection face to face interaction offers. This was recently highlighted in the experience of Team SVAT, standing for Special Visitors, Ashi, and Tatyana (in reference to their resolute liaison team). This contingent of seven participants from various countries recently came to the U.S. for a...


Investigating Human Rights Abuses through Advanced Technologies

The following post was drafted and submitted by Fernand Gouveia, Program Officer for Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership. Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership recently administered a project for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Investigating and Prosecuting Human Rights Violations.” Participants included a group of 10 lawyers, prosecutors, government advisors, and advocates representing various countries with compelling human rights records, like Barbados, Colombia, Mexico, and Rwanda. Participants gained valuable insight on the use of evidence-based methods and innovative technologies that investigators increasingly rely on to hold rights violators accountable and protect vulnerable populations. These new tools and strategies,...


IVLP Alumni Spotlight: NGOs leading the way in response to COVID-19 in Cote d’Ivoire

This post was submitted by Mark Rebstock, Vice President of External Relations in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division. As cases of COVID-19 began to emerge in Cote d’Ivoire in March 2020, non-governmental organizations began to mobilize to meet community needs. For NGO AGIS, headed by IVLP Alumnus, Dr. Aboubakar Sylla, this meant setting up informational sessions about the importance of hand-washing and other precautions, collecting and distributing PPE and other supplies, and a special operation to disinfect the bus stations in Cocody, Cote d’Ivoire. Dr. Sylla registered AGIS in 2012 to prevent pneumonia in children and to reduce the mortality...


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