The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)’s Office of International Visitors has selected CRDF Global as one of its implementing partners of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). As a national member of the Global Ties U.S. network, CRDF Global works closely with fellow community-based members to help build a more peaceful and prosperous world through the implementation of the IVLP.
The IVLP’s history dates back to 1940, at the beginnings of the Second World War, when the need for building relationships with other countries was at an all-time high. In the decades following, the value of person-to-person exchanges and fostering mutual understanding has only become more important for international relations in times of turbulence and prosperity alike. The IVLP has a deeply human approach to diplomacy and—from its creation by Nelson Rockefeller under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the 13 administrations since—has been recognized and supported for its continued success.
CRDF Global is partnered closely with ECA’s Office of International Visitors to respond to US foreign policy priorities through the IVLP’s substantive professional and cross-cultural exchange model. The participants are emerging leaders from around the world selected for their community engagement efforts. Through a variety of meetings, workshops, site visits, and cultural events, the IVLP offers program participants professional development opportunities through meaningful engagement with Americans. The Americans with whom they meet represent a cross-section of US culture, geography, and politics demonstrating the diversity of the United States. An important goal of the IVLP is for participants to independently formulate an understanding of the U.S. that is unfiltered and balanced. Through these professional and cultural exchanges, Americans and international participants are able to share experiences built on common objectives pervasive in their respective countries. It is through these conversations and shared experiences that inlets are formed organically and voluntarily between individuals in the U.S. and countries around the world to build mutual trust and respect.
As a leader in supporting innovation in science and technology through research and people-to-people exchange, CRDF Global brings its deep expertise in promoting safety, security, and sustainability to one of the most critical US public diplomacy programs in existence. CRDF Global is particularly well-suited to introduce participants to subject matter experts from a variety of industries, given its extensive network of professionals who have helped assure the success of study tours, research competitions, scientific advancement, and international collaborations between Americans and their counterparts abroad. The long-term public diplomacy efforts of ECA therefore run parallel to CRDF Global’s mission of promoting a safer, more secure world.
In 2018, CRDF Global has welcomed visitors from the following countries: Armenia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Egypt, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
Delegations from these countries have traveled around the U.S. exploring the following topics: agriculture; civil society; combatting violent extremism; economic and business development; education; energy; historic and cultural preservation; immigration, refugees, population; intellectual property rights, politics, rule of law, trafficking in people, urban planning and development; and women's empowerment.