International Visitor Leadership Program

International Visitor Leadership Program

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State Office of International Visitors in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The purpose of the program is to help build mutual understanding between citizens of the U.S. and other countries.


In 1948 representative Karl E. Mundt and Senator H. Alexander Smith marshaled the Informational and Educational Exchange Act, also known as the Smith-Mundt Act which was passed by the 80th United States Congress and approved by President Harry S. Truman. During a time when Americans grew increasingly concerned about Soviet propaganda , the purpose of the Smith-Mundt was "to promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries" though educational and cultural exchangescite web|url=|title=History - International Visitor Leadership Program|accessdate=2008-07-25] . From this legislation birthed the Foreign Leaders Program, which was eventually consolidated into the International Visitor Program (IVP) in 1952. In 2004 the IVP was renamed the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).


While the IVLP has no written statement of purpose, Dr. Sherry L. Mueller (President, National Council for International Visitors) has identified at least two goals that have remained consistent since the inception of the program:

#Link the foreign leaders with their U.S. counterparts, providing a solid professional experience and in-depth, substantive exploration of key issues and diverse, balanced approaches to these issues.
#Enable the visitors to gain a better understanding of the history and heritage of the United States, a better sense of who [Americans] are as a people and what [Americans] value.cite book|first=Sherry L.|last=Mueller|editor=William P. Kiehl|year=2006|title=Professional Exchanges, Citizen Diplomacy and Credibility|publisher=Public Diplomacy Council|location=Washington, DC|pages=p. 63|isbn=0-9764391-1-5]

Notable Alumni

The following tables list all current and former Chiefs of State and Heads of Government who have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Programcite web|url=|title=Program Alumni|accessdate=2008-07-25] .

East Asia & Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Western Hemisphere

Agencies involved

The IVLP functions through a public-private partnership with several national program agencies that arrange the itineraries for the foreign visitors.

* [ Academy for Educational Development]
* [ American Center for International Labor Solidarity]
* [ Institute of International Education]
* [ Meridian International Center]
* [ Mississippi Consortium for International Development]
* [ Phelps Stokes Fund]
* [ The Graduate School (USDA)]
* [ World Learning - Delphi International Program]


External links

* [ IVLP Overview]
* [ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs]
* [ National Council for International Visitors (NCIV)]

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