For my contribution this week, I will take to heart Dr. Trent’s appeal to incorporate more personal experiences into the blog by introducing the organization with which I currently intern. This will hopefully constitute a series of blog posts, as there is a lot of content for which I can discuss. This week I wish merely to briefly introduce Global Ties U.S. and the IVLP.
Known as Global Ties U.S., it is a non-profit, privately-sector organization that is responsible for managing the International Visitor Leadership Program. The IVLP is the flagship program funded by the Department of State which brings in international professionals and government leaders, nominated by the respective U.S. embassies in their countries, for short visits to the United States to learn best practices from their counterparts. The IVLP is a successful program for its participants because of this collaboration between the public and private sectors. The Department of State selects the participants and provides the funding for the program (which is dispersed throughout organizations within the network run by Global Ties U.S.), and private-sector organizations, either National Program Agencies (those with a national scope i.e. IIE, World Learning, Cultural Vistas) or Community-Based Organizations (local in scope i.e. WorldChicago, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles), take care of the programs for participants while they are in America. Global Ties U.S. acts as the liaison, in essence, between the DOS and the private-sector organizations.
The program is successful because the public sector provides the monetary capital to ensure the program is operational, but the private sector, whose interests may or may not align with those of the government, is in control of what the participants do, see, and experience whilst in the States. This prevents the government from enacting a program that is pro-state at the expense of domestic reality. This increases the amount of credibility and cache of the program (an idea constantly addressed by Joseph Nye in some of the earlier readings we had this semester), which ultimately benefits the participants in allowing them to achieve their goal of learning best practices from counterparts in the states while gaining a more comprehensive and complete picture of what America really is.