City-to-city partnerships across the world increase investment in local communities, attract international students, increase tourism, and enrich civil society. To explore the means and benefits of fostering these long-term connections, the U.S. Department of State is welcoming an International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) cohort of 16 government officials, advocates, and civic leaders to the United States. These IVLP participants will spend eight days exploring how cities can utilize their networks to increase engagement within local and global communities.
The program begins in Washington, D.C, where participants will discuss the role of the U.S. federal government and how policy fosters domestic and international cooperation between cities. The cohort will continue to Baltimore, Maryland and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to learn about their academic, trade, and government partnerships within an international scope.
The IVLP group will finish their exchange program in Houston, Texas, where they will attend the Sister Cities International Conference. Participants will network with community leaders and Department of State officials, including Assistant Secretary Marie Royce.
The theme, “Cities Mean Business,” focuses on sparking business opportunities, fostering collaborative settings, and analyzing model successes in Africa, China, Germany, Japan, and Mexico. At the end of their exchange, international visitors will return to their communities with a skillset focused on enriching civil society and engaging their citizens with the world.
Follow #IVLP for updates on social media and to learn more about public events related to this project.