Manila, December 8, 2020 — On December 7, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. led the opening of the International Visitor Leadership Program’s (IVLP) 80th Anniversary Week Celebration. A week-long series of virtual engagements – from December 7 to 11 – will highlight the contributions that Philippine IVLP alumni have made to community and national development.
The IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship professional exchange program that annually sends nearly 5,000 current and emerging leaders worldwide on short visits to the United States to meet with American counterparts for knowledge sharing, professional networking, and cultural and social activities. The IVLP experience enables leaders to return to their home countries with new ideas and expanded networks so they can be even more effective in their advocacies and careers.
Since its launch in 1940, IVLP has produced more than 225,000 alumni, including more than 500 heads of state or government. More than 2,000 Filipinos have participated in the program.
“As an alumnus of the program, I can tell you from firsthand experience that I have only positive takeaways from the program,” Secretary Locsin remarked of his participation in the IVLP in 1997. He added, “the program has been a channel for synergy, construction and deconstruction, proliferation of ideas, and transformation.”
Chargé d’Affaires Law explained, “Alumni of U.S. exchange programs like IVLP have consistently been our most outstanding partners for making a difference in people’s lives.”
To highlight the impact IVLP alumni have on their communities, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy launched an online #FacesofExchange campaign. The Embassy also will host a series of online discussions that feature the work of IVLP alumni in different fields:
- On December 8, IVLP women entrepreneur alumni will host an online discussion about women supporting each other to start new businesses;
- On December 9, IVLP alumni who lead community volunteer initiatives will discuss how they manage to promote volunteerism and civic engagement even during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- On December 10, IVLP alumni who advocate for juvenile justice and welfare will discuss their work; and
- On December 11, IVLP alumni who lead peacebuilding initiatives in Mindanao will share how they promote peace education in their schools and universities. IVLP alumnus and artist AG Saño will also lead volunteers for a peace art project in Luneta Park.
During his remarks to Filipino IVLP alums, U.S. Department of State Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education and Cultural Affairs Matthew Lussenhop emphasized that exchange programs such as IVLP enrich U.S. relationships with other countries, noting that exchange programs “helps transform people, transform relationships, allow foreign audiences to meet American counterparts, and to build up those ties between people.”
IVLP 80th anniversary week activities will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/ExchangeAlumniPH. For more information about the IVLP and the IVLP 80th anniversary celebration worldwide, visit https://eca.state.gov/ivlp and https://eca.state.gov/facesofexchange/.