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International Exchanges

International Visitor Leadership Program

WACNH is one of more than 90 community organizations around the country that host visitors through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs International Visitors Leadership Program– the department’s premier professional exchange program.

This program brings approximately 4,000 foreign leaders and specialists to the U.S. for short-term (one- to three-week) professional programs. Participants in the national program, who are leaders and decision-makers in their home countries, travel as individuals or as part of pre-arranged groups.

Since 1940, the IVLP program has introduced over 225,000 participants to communities across the United States through more than 90 community organizations. With more than 500 IVLP alumni who have gone on to become current or former heads of state, this program builds important international, long lasting relationships for our country.

Some of the groups are fully funded by the U.S. Congress through its appropriation to the U.S. Department of State, while others receive little or no financial support from the U.S. government. The national program constitutes a major component of this country’s public diplomacy efforts to foster mutual understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and other countries.

Through a long-standing public-private sector partnership, the U.S. government works with national private, nonprofit organizations and a network of volunteer-based organizations that are members of Global Ties U.S., a nonprofit organization established in 1961. Together, these organizations design and implement quality, experiential programs for distinguished international visitors. Through its grassroots network, the national program involves more than 80,000 volunteers each year as citizen diplomats who develop enduring international linkages.