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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Department of State and Avon Foundation for Women Use International Exchanges to Combat Cancer and Raise Awareness Worldwide

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 14, 2011


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs teamed up with Avon to pursue global efforts to combat breast cancer and raise awareness. Through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the Department brought 44 international medical specialists and health activists to the U.S. to join 40 international guests invited by the Avon Foundation, and 30 panelists and breast cancer experts to participate in the 2011 Breast Cancer Global Congress from October 12-16. After capping off the Breast Cancer Global Congress, the international participants will travel to New York City to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer New York with Avon Foundation Honorary Chair Reese Witherspoon. This international exchange coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The group includes clinicians, government health officials and those who have leadership roles in breast cancer non-profits in their home country. Participants are from Argentina, Armenia, Bhutan, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, United Arab Emirates Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Following their international exchange, the 44 global participants will work in their home countries to combat breast cancer and raise awareness both in the medical field and to the public.

The participants will also visit Minneapolis, MN and divide into smaller groups for programs in Corpus Christi, TX; Pensacola, FL; Louisville, KY; Huntsville, AL; and Greensboro, NC. The program will end in Seattle, WA.

Now in its 70th year, the IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term programs to build mutual understanding on foreign policy issues. Nearly 200,000 distinguished individuals have participated in the program, including more than 320 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors. More information on the IVLP can be found on

PRN: 2011/1725

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