history of the International Visitor Leadership Program

Ambassadors rate the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) as the most effective foreign policy tool of American diplomacy. Over 500 past visitors to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program are current or former Heads of Government or Chiefs of State. Put another way, one third of current Heads of State across the Globe have visited the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program.

The IVLP is designed to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries through carefully designed visits that reflect the participants' professional interests and support U.S foreign policy goals.  Program participants are either established or potential foreign opinion makers in government, public policy, media, education, labor, the arts, and other key fields. Selected by American embassies around the world, these international visitors come to the United States to meet and confer with their professional counterparts and to gain and appreciate the ethnic, cultural, political, and socio-economic diversity of the U.S.

The IVLP in Kansas City is administered through close collaboration with 8 non-profit program agencies in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Department of State.  Global Ties KC is one of over 80 community-based organizations in cities across the U.S., whose members arrange professional meetings, cultural activities and home hospitality for the visitors. These non-profit organizations are members of Global Ties U.S.  Global Ties KC arranges professional meetings for the IVLP participants in the state of Kansas and western Missouri.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of The United Kingdom, President Alvaro Uribe Velez of Colombia, President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, Prime Minister Tony Blair of The United Kingdom, and President F.W. deKlerk of South Africa, to name a few who have participated in these programs before attaining their level of prominence in the world.