What They Say About Us

President Barack Obama in 2015:

“Since 1940, State Department programs have provided generations of Americans opportunities to make lasting connections with people across the globe. These initiatives reflect the extraordinary potential public diplomacy, not only to cultivate personal relationships across borders, but also to help shape a more peaceful and prosperous future—one in which we, as citizens of the world, see ourselves through “the lens of what unites us rather than what divides us.”

President Bill Clinton in 1996:

“Welcoming these international visitors to your communities with open arms, you have helped to foster important intercultural exchanges between people of different lands, and our nation is richer for the experience.”

President George H.W. Bush in 1990:

I have spoken on many occasions of the “thousand points of light” that have helped to make our nation great. Yours is one light that shines especially bright around the world. The thousands of foreign guests welcomed into your communities, offices, and homes each year return to their native lands with a great sense of American hospitality and a clearer understanding of our free and democratic government…Your work helps develop the mutual understanding, respect, and trust that serve as the foundation on which greater international cooperation and peace are built.

President Ronald Reagan in 1984:

The international exchange programs you help implement are among the most effective tools this country has for meeting its long-term foreign policy goals.”

Foreign visitors often come to this country with misunderstandings or misconceptions. Thanks to the programs and services you offer, they return home with understanding, respect, professional ties, and friendships. Equally important, the thousands of Americans who open their offices and homes to these foreign leaders, at your request, gain a better understanding of the complex political, social, and economic world in which we live. Thus, through your involvement in international exchange, you are transcending national boundaries by promoting understanding of common problems and shared goals.”

President Jimmy Carter in 1978:

“The many thousands of Americans associated with your organization since its beginning can be proud of the bridges of understanding they have helped build between the peoples of the United States and other lands.”

President Gerald Ford in 1975:

“…[Y]ou are engaged in the vitally important task of better informing our own citizens and our visitors from abroad on the realities of interdependence and on the importance of working together to seek solutions to common problems. Your efforts are reflective of the deep commitment of…the American people to greater and more meaningful international cooperation from which all peoples may benefit.”

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, National Meeting, 2002

“When you open your homes, when you open your communities, when you open your hearts to visitors from around the world, you give your guests a chance to see America at our best.”

Senator Arlen Specter in 2001:

It is most gratifying for me to nominate the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV)…for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize…The program’s mission is to promote democracy and worldwide peace by fostering a better understanding of worldwide political, business and cultural climates. Prominent government and civic leaders are invited to the United States to participate in business, educational and cultural forums. Hundreds of thousands of one-on-one meetings and forums are arranged each year by the NCIV’s members…to help increase the understanding of each participants respective country and government. Various notable heads of state….have participated in NCIV related activities and have praised the NCIV in various international press articles and publications. My wife and I have participated in many NCIV sponsored forums and we remain very impressed with the organization’s management. We have both enjoyed and benefitted from the various programs which aim to increase the understanding and appreciation of international cultures….

I firmly believe in one of the principal tenets of the Nobel Peace Prize criteria, namely, identifying an individual who ‘shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.’ In my view, the NCIV mission and its members collectively embrace this belief which is promoted through their various meritorious programs.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Meeting, 2021:

You’ve helped develop generations of global leaders and instilled in them lasting ties to the American people and our values. That work is essential to U.S. foreign policy.