From December 3-14, as part of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's ongoing efforts to strengthen civil society worldwide, the State Department is welcoming civil society leaders from 25 countries to the United States to participate in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange. The IVLP initiative, “Civil Society: A Cornerstone of Democracy,” aims to extend U.S. engagement beyond government-to-government relations, and is the latest component of the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, launched by the Secretary of State in February 2011.
The program is a collaboration between the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Office of the Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies. It will provide the Strategic Dialogue representatives with an opportunity to exchange innovative ideas and practices in order to build and sustain vibrant civil societies in their home communities and regions.
Participants will represent 25 new working groups in: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Laos, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, The People’s Republic of China, Peru, Russia, Samoa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. They will visit Silicon Valley, CA; Charlottesville, VA; Washington, DC; and divide into smaller sub-groups to visit Kansas City, MO; Salt Lake City, UT; Austin, TX; Tampa, FL; and Raleigh, NC.
Participants were nominated by U.S. Embassy staff overseas to participate in the U.S. visit and serve, upon return home, as representatives of new civil society working groups for the Secretary's Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society.