The International Visitor Leadership Program


The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the United States’ foundational professional exchange program, implemented by member organizations in the Global Ties Network. It is designed to build trust and collaboration between U.S. and international counterparts and support U.S. foreign policy goals. In 2020, the Global Ties Network helped develop a new virtual IVLP model to continue the IVLP impact in the current teleworking environment.

Through a 60-year partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Global Ties U.S. supports a Network of U.S.-based exchange organizations that design and implement short-term, professional exchange programs that connect U.S. citizens and the world’s emerging leaders. IVLP exchanges enable participants to experience the United States firsthand, connect with U.S. counterparts, and share their respective cultures with U.S. citizens and communities. To sustain the impact of the IVLP and ensure our Network remained operationally strong during the effects of the pandemic, we adapted the IVLP to a virtual model. The new IVLP virtual model continues to provide international participants with professional and cultural activities, and grow our Network’s investment in U.S. communities, economies, and foreign policy goals.


Progress to Date

Each year, the Global Ties Network invests 10 times the amount of federal funding they receive to implement the IVLP into their cities. The IVLP is not only cost-effective, but it creates opportunities for business, government, nonprofit, and academic leaders from around the world to collaborate with U.S. counterparts and address shared challenges.

Since 1940, the IVLP has introduced more than 225,000 global participants, including 500 current or former heads of state or government, and thousands of leaders in their respective fields, to counterparts in communities in all 50 U.S. states. Each of these visits was supported by members of the Global Ties Network. IVLP alumni have built or grown their careers through connections and ideas gained on the IVLP, and this exchange impact continues now via virtual means. In 2023, the Global Ties Network welcomed more than 3,810 IVLP participants.

While 2020 and 2021 have seen some unprecedented disruptions, the Global Ties Network has innovated and adapted to advance our shared vision of a more peaceful and prosperous world where individuals build enduring relationships through international exchange. Whether in-person or online, thanks to the Global Ties Network, the long-term outcomes of the IVLP include increased economic and social benefits for U.S. citizens and communities; reinvigorated civic and business partnerships between U.S. and their international counterparts; and individual and organizational enrichment through professional development exchanges with IVLP visitors. 

Please note: Global Ties U.S. and our members are not involved in selecting participants for the IVLP.


The International Visitor Leadership Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by members of Global Ties U.S.