International Visitor Leadership Program

Ambassador Riley with IVLP Alumni from the FSM.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Each year nearly 5,000 exchange participants come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including more than 335 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government.

Launched in 1940, the 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.

There is no application for IVLP. Participants are nominated and selected annually by the staff at U.S. Embassies around the world. For those who live in the United States, there are many opportunities to get involved at the community level. Visit the Global Ties U.S. website for a list of community organizations in 45 states and information about local activities.