The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the best U.S. State Department exchange program for professionals. During a short but very intensive stay in the United States, current and future leaders from various disciplines meet with their American counterparts – specialists in the same field. The participants visit American public and private organizations related to the subject of the program. They learn the culture and know-how of the United States and establish lasting contacts with the Americans. The topics of the meetings reflect the interests of the participants and the objectives of the U.S. foreign policy.
Every year, nearly 5,000 participants from around the world visit the United States as part of the IVLP program. Since the program was launched in 1940, there were over 200,000 of them, including 335 current or former heads of state.
You cannot apply for participation in IVLP. Participants are nominated and selected by diplomats from U.S. embassies around the world. The IVLP experience is often a very important moment in the participants’ career. Not infrequently, they later play important roles in politics, economy, culture, science, and the non-governmental sector. In Poland, the list of IVLP participants includes, among others, the former prime ministers, Beata Szydło and Donald Tusk, and the former president Bronisław Komorowski.
More Poles participated in IVLP than in any other exchange programs funded by the U.S. government: over 2,600.