U.S. Embassy Celebrates 75 Years of International Visitors Leadership Program

The U.S. Embassy celebrates the 75th anniversary of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), one of U.S. Government initiatives promoting mutual understanding through communication at the personal and professional level.

The IVLP is the premier professional exchange program of the Department of State. It was initiated in 1940, when Nelson Rockefeller launched an “exchange of persons” program with Latin America. The first exchange program visitor, who traveled to United States in December 1940, was Father Aurelio Espinosa Pólit, Director of the Colegio de Cotocollao, Quito, Ecuador.

Along its 75 years of existence, the IVLP has brought together over 200,000 International Visitors, among whom more than 335 current or former chiefs of state or heads of government, more than 50 Nobel laureates, and many other people with notable achievements.

The first Romanian to travel as an IVLP appears in the archives in 1960. Since then, the over 1,500 Romanians who are part of the International Visitors community are respected practitioners of all fields, including educators, journalists, legal professionals, artists, NGO leaders and grassroots activists, ministers, and other prominent figures of Romanian public life. Priority themes have included rule of law and accountability, human rights, empowerment of the underrepresented, entrepreneurship, law enforcement, education and youth engagement.

Meeting with some of these participants, U.S. Charge d’Affaires Dean Thompson told them: „International Visitors Leadership Program is a huge part of the U.S. Government policies and efforts to build relationships all over the world. It is our firm and strong belief that the better we understand each other, the further we can go in our relationships with one another as well.”

The IVLP promotes learning, sharing, and networking. Participants, who are current or growing leaders in their fields of interest and activity, meet American and foreign counterparts, exchange views, discuss approaches to current issues, and build lasting connections.

Engaging alumni who have participated in USG sponsored programs is a priority of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest. In August 2013, the Romanian U.S. Alumni Association was formed as a legal entity. Membership is open to alumni of all USG exchange programs: Fulbright, Humphrey, International Visitor Leadership and Benjamin Franklin. The Association gathers members who participated in USG programs going as far back as the 60’s and as recently as 2015, representing all regions of Romania.

For more information on the Alumni Association please visit http://www.ro-usalumni.ro/ and www.facebook.com/RoUSAlumni

You can find a webpage dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the program, including a video presentation, a timeline, photos and exchange program alumni at the following Internet address http://exchanges.state.gov/files/75th/index.html

For photos from the anniversary event organized by the U.S. Embassy please visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/usembassyromania/sets/72157658846177228/