WASHINGTON DC, June 6, 2013—A group of twelve emerging youth leaders affiliated with U.S. Embassy Youth Councils are visiting the United States for two weeks as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The Office of Global Youth Issues hosted a reception for the emerging leaders on Wednesday, June 5 at the Department of State, attended by Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara Sonenshine, and Special Adviser to the Secretary for Global Youth Issues, Zeenat Rahman.
This exchange is part of the U.S. government’s efforts to reach out to youth populations in order to promote growth and stable democratic government. The Youth Council members represent Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Paraguay, South Sudan, Swaziland, and Ukraine.
After beginning their visit in Washington, DC on June 3, the diverse cross-section of emerging youth leaders are splitting into two groups to visit Cleveland, OH, and Kansas City, MO. They will reconvene in New York, NY before concluding their visit on June 14.
During their two-week International Visitor Leadership Program exchange in the United States, the Youth Council members will meet with a variety of Americans to discuss creative ideas to advance the role of young people in addressing the challenges and opportunities they face civically, politically, and economically. The project will also provide the participants with tools and techniques to implement action plans for youth-led positive change, ranging from social media activism to entrepreneurship.
The International Visitor Leadership Program is the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) premier professional exchange program, which brings more than 5,000 International Visitors to the United States each year. Since 1940, more than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including over 330 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government. IVLP helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States. The majority of IVLP exchanges include visits to four U.S. communities over three weeks, although projects vary based on themes, Embassy requests and other factors. Participants meet with professional counterparts, visit U.S. public and private sector organizations related to the project theme and participate in cultural and social activities.
Since 1972, the Institute of International Education has been one of seven private, nonprofit organizations that design and implement the U.S. projects on behalf of the Department of State. IIE has implemented projects for more than 18,000 International Visitors to date