f_0022609_18601 - International Visitor Leadership Program:...

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Spring 2011 The Ambassadors REVIEW 51 International Visitor Leadership Program: A Valuable Tool in the Public Diplomacy Kit Jinnie Lee Kathryn W. Davis Public Diplomacy Fellow, 2009-2010 elebrating its 70 th anniversary this year, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the State Department’s flagship citizen exchange program. The IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the United States. These visits to the United States reflect the International Visitors’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. The participants are current and emerging foreign leaders in government, politics, journalism, education, arts, business, and other key fields identified as such by officers serving in US embassies. Almost 200,000 individuals have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program, including more than 300 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors. The IVLP primarily targeted opinion makers and leaders in the most traditional sense. The majority of participants were junior legislators, young religious leaders, and budding commerce executives. The assumption at the time of IVLP’s inception in 1940 was correct; these were the future leaders of their countries and targeting them during the early stages of their professional careers would allow us to exert some influence. The logic followed that if we showcased the best of America in an all expense paid guided tour, when they reached positions of power, they would possess a favorable disposition towards the United States hopefully supporting our foreign policy goals. Furthermore, as future leaders, these candidates would also be future opinion makers in their country and they would be able to sway their country’s policies and popular sentiments to be complemen- tary to the United States. This worked beautifully countless times, and the IVLP touts over 300 heads of state alone as alumni. A shining example, Margaret Thatcher participated in the program as a mid-level
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course COMM 321 taught by Professor Erinmcclellan during the Spring '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0022609_18601 - International Visitor Leadership Program:...

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