IVLP program open

One of the beneficiaries of IVLP program (left) and US Ambassador to PNG Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, Catherine Ebert-Grey

Emerging leaders and mid-career professionals in Solomon Islands can be part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) next year.

IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program that encourage short-term visits to the United States, involving current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields to experience the U.S. firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer, Chad Morris told SIBC News IVLP looks at a variety of different areas.

“The International Visitor Leadership Program is the State Department’s flagship exchange program. It has been around for more than 50 years and we’ve been identifying future leaders from all over the world and bring them to the U.S. for about three weeks each time. The programs focused on a variety of different areas, justice, journalism, our political system, things like how we develop foreign policy, education, a whole variety of topics, good governance, transparency, etc..”

He says anyone is eligible for the program.

“For the program we typically identify people who are starting out in their careers or people who have shown something interesting, promising in what they’re doing that we feel going to the U.S. and getting a look inside of how we operate that particular system, whether it’s the justice system or the education system would help them when they come back to Solomon Islands to take some of the lessons that they’ve learned. It’s not that we want people to do everything in the way that the United States does it but it’s an opportunity for people to see how we do things and to think about how those practices might be adapted to their own country”.

A number of Solomon Islanders have been the been the beneficiary of the program in the past.

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