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Citizen Diplomacy International carries out many programs and initiatives of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' (ECA)  whose mission is to increase mutual understanding and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.

International Visitor Leadership Program

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term exchanges with Citizen Diplomats in the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields develop lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. IVLP participants are nominated and selected by diplomats at U.S. missions abroad.

Since 1940, the IVLP, with the help of Citizen Diplomacy International and a dedicated network of partner organizations in the Global Ties U.S. network., has introduced over 225,000 participants to communities throughout the United States.

Each year Citizen Diplomacy International coordinates programming for 300-500 IVLP participants. Participants meet with professional counterparts, visit U.S. public and private sector organizations related to the project theme, and participate in cultural and social activities. Individuals volunteer as “Citizen Diplomats" to carry out quality experiences for participants including professional meetings, cultural activities, and home hospitality. 


»  More than 500 IVLP participants have become heads of state or government and thousands of others have become leaders in their respective fields, evidence that the IVLP is an opportunity for American communities and policymakers to develop relationships with emerging leaders and build long-term influence through networking.

» Through visits to a variety of U.S. communities, the IVLP enables meaningful people-to-people interactions between foreigners and Americans, building cultural bridges and strengthening citizen diplomacy.

» The IVLP allows participants to explore issues in the U.S. context, meet American professional counterparts, learn more about U.S. society, and understand American values.

Dinner Hosting for  Visiting Scholars

Citizen Diplomacy and our team of volunteer Citizen Diplomats welcome international Fulbright Scholars in the spring and Mandela Washington Fellows each summer. Our network of volunteers provides dinner hospitality in their homes or a restaurant for Fulbright students while they are in Philadelphia for a weekend-long leadership seminar.  For professionals in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, volunteers host one night of dinners in their home and often connect informally through their month-long stay. For many students, it is their first time visiting Philadelphia. 

The Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program provides grants to approximately 850 foreign scholars from over 100 countries to conduct post-doctoral research at U.S. institutions from an academic semester to a full academic year.  Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Over 130 of the brightest students from around the world participating in the largest U.S. international exchange program look forward to meeting you! 

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Since 2014, nearly 4,400 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries. In 2020, the Fellowship will provide 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university with support for professional development after they return home.

Civic Education
Combating Trafficking in Persons
Countering Violent Extremism
Election Processes
Energy Security
Environmental Protection
Food Security and Safety
Global Health
Human Rights
National Security
U.S. Foreign Policy
Women’s Leadership
Youth Leadership