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...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Promoting the digital economy through collaboration

In September of 2019, Mr. Aaron Hape of New Zealand participated in the multi-regional International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project “Advancing an Open, Reliable, and Secure Digital Economy.” Working as a senior public servant in the New Zealand Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, his focus is aimed at helping guide regional economic development policies. For Mr. Hape, his IVLP experience highlighted the importance of global perspectives in pursuing his work remarking, “Because of the myriad of cultures I was exposed to in my IVLP cohort, I now have a greater understanding of how other countries support the growth of their digital sectors and encourage the uptake and use of...

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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  

IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Promoting Accountability & Transparency in Civil Society

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 spotlight, Mr. Rewati, Dhakal from the Nepal, whose work focuses on institutional transparency, accountability and good governance.  Visitor: Mr. Rewati Dhakal Title:  Executive Communication and Resource Mobilization Officer, Youth Vision Country of Origin: Nepal Itinerary: Washington, DC; New York, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Salt Lake City, Utah IVLP Project: Transparency and Accountability in State and Local Government   What have you been up to since...

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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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