International Visitor Leadership Program

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The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The mission of IVLP is to offer current and emerging international leaders the opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of American political, economic, social and cultural life through carefully designed exchanges that reflect participants’ professional interests and the public diplomacy objectives of the United States government.[peacock prose]

The exchange brings up to 5,000 professional emerging leaders from around the world to the United States each year for programs of up to three weeks. The program is nomination only by staff at U.S. Embassies.[1]


In 1940, Nelson Rockefeller was named the Coordinator of Commercial and Cultural Affairs for the American Republics. He initiated the exchange of persons program with Latin America, inviting 130 Latin American journalists to the United States and recognized as the first exchange under what would become the IVLP. In 1948 representative Karl E. Mundt and Senator H. Alexander Smith marshaled the Informational and Educational Exchange Act, also known as the Smith-Mundt Act which was passed by the 80th United States Congress and approved by President Harry S. Truman. During a time when Americans grew increasingly concerned about Soviet propaganda, the purpose of the Smith-Mundt was "to promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries" though educational and cultural exchanges. From this legislation birthed the Foreign Leaders Program, which was eventually consolidated into the International Visitor Program (IVP) in 1952. In 2004, the IVP was renamed the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).[2][3]


The purpose of the IVLP is to:

  1. cultivate lasting relationships between current and emerging professionals around the world and their American counterparts
  2. provides opportunities for foreign opinion makers to gain firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture and politics[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

The following tables list the 338 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government who have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program.

East Asia and Pacific[edit]

Country Name Highest Position Year Participated
 Australia Julia Gillard Prime Minister 2006
Quentin Bryce Governor General 1978
Paul Keating Prime Minister 1977
William Hayden Governor General 1970
Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister 1964
Gough Whitlam Prime Minister 1964
 Cook Islands Terepai Maoate Prime Minister 1987
 Federated States of Micronesia Tosiwo Nakayama President 1961
 Fiji Kamisese Mara Acting President 1964
Penaia Ganilau President 1963
George Cakobau Governor General 1964
 Indonesia Megawati Sukarnoputri President 1989
Abdurrahman Wahid President 1979
 Japan Naoto Kan Prime Minister 1981, 1980
Yukio Hatoyama Prime Minister 1988
Morihiro Hosokawa Prime Minister 1980
Toshiki Kaifu Prime Minister 2000, 1962
 Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad Prime Minister 1973
Abdul Razak Prime Minister 1963, 1953
 Mongolia Nambaryn Enkhbayar President 1994
 New Zealand Helen Clark Prime Minister 1998
Jenny Shipley Prime Minister 1989
David Lange Prime Minister 1983
Norman Kirk Prime Minister 1971, 1962
Rob Muldoon Prime Minister 1965
Wallace E. Rowling Prime Minister 1967
Jack Marshall Prime Minister 1958
 Palau Lazarus Salii President 1968
 Papua New Guinea Ignatius Kilage Governor-General 1976
Michael Somare Prime Minister 1971
 Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo President 1964
Sara Duterte Vice President 2020
 Samoa Vaai Kolone Prime Minister 1981
 Singapore Wee Kim Wee President 1964
Devan Nair President 1979
 South Korea Kim Dae-jung President 1965
Kim Yong-sam President 1964
Han Seung-soo Prime Minister 1977
Hyun Seung-jong Acting Prime Minister 1971
Lee Yung-duk Prime Minister 1966
Kim Sang-hyup Prime Minister 1970, 1960
Nam Duck-woo Prime Minister 1975
Chung Il-kwon Prime Minister 1971
Lee Han-key Prime Minister 1972
Choi Doo-sun Prime Minister 1950
 Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou President 2003, 1971
Chen Shui-bian President 1990
 Thailand Chuan Leekpai Prime Minister 1971
 Tonga Taufa'ahau Tupou IV King 1964
Fatafehi Tu'ipelehake Prime Minister 1968
 Vanuatu Walter Lini Prime Minister 1976


Country/Region Name Highest Position Year Participated
 Albania Bashkim Fino Prime Minister 1996, 1995
 Austria Heinz Fischer President 1964
Alfred Gusenbauer Chancellor 1987
Wolfgang Schüssel Chancellor 1984, 1971
Franz Vranitzky Chancellor 1975
Bruno Kreisky Chancellor 1958
Fred Sinowatz Chancellor 1965
 Belgium Yves Leterme Prime Minister 1983
Guy Verhofstadt Prime Minister 1983
Wilfried Martens Prime Minister 1971
Leo Tindemans Prime Minister 1967
Mark Eyskens Prime Minister 1984
 Bulgaria Sergei Stanishev Prime Minister 2004
Zhan Videnov Prime Minister 1992
Philip Dimitrov Prime Minister 1990
 Croatia Zoran Milanovic Prime Minister 1996
Ivo Josipović President 2002
Ivica Racan Prime Minister 1998
Zlatko Tomčić President 1998
 Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos President 1968
 Czech Republic Petr Nečas Prime Minister 1999, 1994
 Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen Prime Minister 1989
Anders Fogh Rasmussen Prime Minister 1982
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen Prime Minister 1985
 Estonia Juhan Parts Prime Minister 2005, 1992
 Finland Sauli Niinistö President 1992
Tarja Halonen President 1983
Jyrki Katainen Prime Minister 2003
Matti Vanhanen Prime Minister 1993
Paavo Lipponen Prime Minister 1974
Esko Aho Prime Minister 1979
Harri Holkeri Prime Minister 1970
Anneli Tuulikki Jaatteenmaki Prime Minister 1995
 France Nicolas Sarkozy President 1985
François Fillon Prime Minister 1984
Lionel Jospin Prime Minister 1977
Alain Juppé Prime Minister 1978
Raymond Barre Prime Minister 1965
Pierre Bérégovoy Prime Minister 1977
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing President 1956
Jacques Chaban-Delmas Prime Minister 1961
Michel Debré Prime Minister 1956
 Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili President 1999
Zurab Noghaideli Prime Minister 1997
Zurab Zhvania Prime Minister 1997
 Germany Joachim Gauck President 1993
Christian Wulff President 2000
Gerhard Schröder Chancellor 1981
Richard von Weizsäcker President 1978
Walter Scheel President 1951
Karl Carstens President 1950
Kurt Georg Kiesinger Chancellor 1954
Willy Brandt Chancellor 1954
Helmut Schmidt Chancellor 1956
 Greece Konstandinos Karamanlis Prime Minister 1995
Constantine Mitsotakis Prime Minister 1959
Constantine Karamanlis President 1951
Constantine Tsatsos President 1952
George Rallis Prime Minister 1958, 1953
 Hungary Gyula Horn Prime Minister 1981
József Antall Prime Minister 1989
 Iceland Geir Haarde Prime Minister 1985
David Oddsson Prime Minister 1983
Thorsteinn Palsson Prime Minister 1984
Kristjan Eldjarn President 1957
 Ireland Enda Kenny Prime Minister 1989
Mary Robinson President 1976
John Bruton Prime Minister 1980
 Italy Oscar Luigi Scalfaro President 1960
Francesco Cossiga President 1966
Giuseppe Saragat President 1963
Mario Monti Prime Minister 1981
Romano Prodi Prime Minister 1979
Giovanni Goria Prime Minister 1981
Giovanni Spadolini Prime Minister 1952
Arnaldo Forlani Prime Minister 1960
 Kosovo Fatmir Sejdiu President 2003
Bajram Kosumi Prime Minister 2001
Bajram Rexhepi Prime Minister 2000
 Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė President 1994
Gediminas Kirkilas President 2002, 1993
Arturas Paulauskas President 1992
 Luxembourg Jacques Santer Prime Minister 1973
 Macedonia Nikola Gruevski Prime Minister 2000
Boris Trajkovski President 1996
Ljubco Georgievski Prime Minister 1996
 Malta Joseph Muscat Prime Minister 1984
Edward Fenech Adami President 1974, 1975
Guido De Marco President 1973
Lawrence Gonzi Prime Minister 1990
Ugo Mifsud Bonnici President 1971
Dominic Mintoff Prime Minister 1965
 Moldova Nicolae Timofti President 2005
Petru Lucinschi President 1995
 Montenegro Igor Lukšić Prime Minister 1999
 The Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende Prime Minister 1985
Willem Kok Prime Minister 1978
Joop den Uyl Prime Minister 1953, 1979
 Norway Erna Solberg Prime Minister 1996
Jens Stoltenberg Prime Minister 1988
Thorbjorn Jagland Prime Minister 1982
Kjell Magne Bondevik Prime Minister 1971
Jan P. Syse Prime Minister 1978
Kare Willoch Prime Minister 1979
 Poland Beata Szydło Prime Minister 2004
Bronislaw Komorowski President 2006
Donald Tusk Prime Minister 1995
Hanna Suchocka Prime Minister 1988
Mieczysław Rakowski Prime Minister 1978
Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz Prime Minister 2000
Aleksander Kwasniewski President 1994
 Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva President 1978
Jorge Sampaio President 1965
Mario Alberto Soares President 1976
António Guterres Prime Minister 1978
Francisco Pinto Balsemao Prime Minister 1965
 Romania Victor Ciorbea Prime Minister 1995
 Slovenia Borut Pahor Prime Minister 1991
Janez Drnovšek President 1988
 Spain Eduardo Madina Deputy
 Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt Prime Minister 2002
Carl Bildt Prime Minister 1973
  Switzerland Moritz Leuenberger President 1993
Andri Silberschmidt National Councilor 2019
 Turkey Abdullah Gul President 1995
Suleyman Demirel President 1957
 Ukraine Leonid Kuchma President 1994
Leonid Kravchuk President
 United Kingdom Gordon Brown Prime Minister 1992, 1984
Tony Blair Prime Minister 1992, 1986
Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister 1967
Edward Heath Prime Minister 1953
Humza Yousaf First Minister of Scotland 2008

North Africa, Near East, South Asia and Central Asia[edit]

Country Name Highest Position Year Participated
 Afghanistan Hamid Karzai President 1987
 Bangladesh Fakhruddin Ahmed Chief Advisor 1977
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Prime Minister 1952
 Bhutan Jigme Thinley Prime Minister 1987
Khandu Wangchuk Prime Minister 1993
 Egypt Anwar Sadat President 1968
Ahmed Nazif Prime Minister 1990
Ahmad Fuad Mohieddin Prime Minister 1977
 India Pratibha Patil President 1999, 1986
Narendra modi Prime


Atal Bihari Vajpayee Prime Minister 1960
Indira Gandhi Prime Minister 1961
Morarji Desai Prime Minister 1962
Arun Daniel Yellamaty Founder Youngistaan Foundation 2022
 Israel Moshe Katzav President 1980
Ehud Olmert Prime Minister 1978
 Jordan Adnan Badran Prime Minister 1977
Faisal al-Fayez Prime Minister 1988
Abdelsalam al-Majali Prime Minister 1969
 Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev President 2004
 Lebanon Amin Gemayel President 1979, 1972
Elias Sarkis President 1971
Zaven Kouyoumdjian Media Personality 2006
 Morocco Azzedine Laraki Prime Minister 1986
Maati Bouabid Prime Minister 1965, 1961
   Nepal Krishna Prasad Bhattarai Prime Minister 1993
Sher Bahadur Deuba Prime Minister
 Pakistan Ghulam Ishaq Khan President 1949
 Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse President 1989
Ranil Wickremesinghe Prime Minister 1988, 1981
Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Prime Minister 1975
Ranasinghe Premadasa President 1966
 Tunisia Mohamed Mzali Prime Minister 1964
 Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani Prime Minister 1989

Sub-Saharan Africa[edit]

Country Name Highest Position Year Participated
 Benin Nicephore Soglo President 1997
 Botswana Festus G. Mogae President 1976
Quett Masire President 1975
 Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré President 1999, 1986
 Central African Republic Andre-Dieudonne Kolingba President 1966
 Chad Youssouf Saleh Abbas Prime Minister 1999
Nagoum Yamassoum Prime Minister 1992
 Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo President 1993
Daniel Kablan Duncan Prime Minister 1974
 Ghana John Kufuor President Late 1960s
 Guinea Alpha Condé President 1962
Lamine Sidimé Prime Minister 1992
 Kenya Mwai Kibaki President 1999
Daniel arap Moi President 1969
 Lesotho 'Mamohato Seeiso Queen 1993
 Madagascar Didier Ratsiraka President 1973
Philibert Tsiranana President 1964
 Malawi Joyce Banda President 1989
Bakili Muluzi President 1980
 Mali Alpha Oumar Konaré President 1978
 Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth President 1981
Navinchandra Ramgoolam Prime Minister 1986
Karl Offmann President 1985
Veerasamy Ringadoo Governor General 1982
Dayendranath Burrenchobay Governor General 1969
 Mozambique Armando Guebuza President 1987
Pascoal Mocumbi Prime Minister 1986
 Namibia Nahas Angula Prime Minister 1996
 Niger Seyni Oumarou Prime Minister 1990
Hama Amadou Prime Minister 1986
 Nigeria Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme Vice President
 Rwanda Sylvestre Nsanzimana Prime Minister 1986
 South Africa Frederik Willem de Klerk President 1976
 Senegal Mame Madior Boye Prime Minister 1975
 Seychelles France-Albert René President 1967
 Swaziland Obed Dlamini Prime Minister 1986
 Tanzania Julius Nyerere President 1960
 Togo Faure Gnassingbé President 2001
Yawovi Agboyibo Prime Minister 1997
Edem Kodjo Prime Minister 1972
Joseph Kokou Koffigoh Prime Minister 1990
 Uganda Amama Mbabazi Prime Minister 2011
 Zambia Kebby Musokotwane Prime Minister 1979
 Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai Prime Minister 1989

Western Hemisphere[edit]

Country Name Highest Position Year Participated
 Argentina Fernando de la Rúa President 1966
Raúl Alfonsín President 1981
 Barbados Owen Arthur Prime Minister 1988
Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Prime Minister 1975
Tom Adams Prime Minister 1973
 Belize Said Musa Prime Minister 1995
 Bolivia Carlos Mesa President 2002, 1979
 Brazil Dilma Rousseff President 1992
José Sarney President 1964
 Canada Edward Schreyer Governor General 1978
 Chile Ricardo Lagos President 1988
Marco Antonio Díaz Mayor 2021
 Colombia Álvaro Uribe President 1998
Ernesto Samper President 1985
César Gaviria President 1982
Belisario Betancur President 1952
Julio César Turbay Ayala President 1977
 Costa Rica Óscar Arias Prime Minister 1971
 Dominica Nicholas Liverpool President 1985
Eugenia Charles Prime Minister 1995
Patrick John Prime Minister 1979
 Dominican Republic Danilo Medina President 1991
Hipólito Mejía President 1995
Salvador Jorge Blanco President 1979
 Ecuador Gustavo Noboa President 1960
Jamil Mahuad President 1985
Rosalía Arteaga President 1993
Rodrigo Borja President 1962
 El Salvador Armando Calderón Sol President 1986
Alfredo Cristiani President 1986
 Grenada Paul Scoon Governor General 1972
 Guyana Hamilton Green Prime Minister 1967
Ptolemy Reid President 1966
 Guatemala Vinicio Cerezo President 1976
Alfonso Portillo President 1992
Álvaro Arzú President 1982
Ramiro de León Carpio President 1988
 Haiti Jacques-Édouard Alexis Prime Minister 1983
Ertha Pascal-Trouillot President 1980
Leslie Manigat President 1959
 Honduras Ricardo Maduro President 1986
Carlos Roberto Reina President 1993
Rafael Leonardo Callejas President 1986
José Azcona del Hoyo President 1985
 Jamaica Portia Simpson-Miller Prime Minister 1981
Howard Cooke Governor General 1981
Donald Sangster Prime Minister 1960
 Mexico Felipe Calderón President 1992
 Paraguay Nicanor Duarte President 1989
 Peru Jorge Del Castillo Prime Minister 1988
Beatriz Merino Prime Minister 1997
Vladimiro Montesinos Intelligence chief 1976[5]
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Denzil Douglas Prime Minister 1990
Simeon Daniel Premier 1980
Lee Moore Premier 1972
 Saint Lucia Stephenson King Prime Minister 1985
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines James Fitz-Allen Mitchell Prime Minister 1973
 Suriname Ronald Venetiaan President 1981
Ramsewak Shankar President 1978
 Trinidad and Tobago George Richards President 1986
Kamla Persad-Bissessar Prime Minister 1998
Patrick Manning Prime Minister 1988
Basdeo Panday Prime Minister 1978
Michael Williams President 1988
 Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez President 1993
Washington Beltrán President 1976
Julio María Sanguinetti President 1984
Luis Alberto Lacalle President 1968
 Venezuela Rafael Caldera President 1962
Luis Herrera Campins President 1967

Agencies involved[edit]

The IVLP functions through a cooperative agreement with several National Program Agencies and Global Ties U.S., comprising organizations in 45 states, that arrange the itineraries for IVLP exchange participants.[6]


  1. ^ "IVLP Fact Sheet, U.S. Department of State" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  2. ^ "Program History - International Visitor Leadership Program". Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  3. ^ "How do you spot a future world leader?, Jon Kelly, BBC News Magazine". Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  4. ^ "International Visitor Leadership Program". Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  5. ^ "Vladimiro Montesinos - The Declassified Record". George Washington University. Retrieved 2023-04-16.
  6. ^ "Implementing Partnerships". Retrieved 2013-09-24.

External links[edit]