Citizen Diplomacy

IRCV engages international leaders on curriculum, religious pluralism, media, and civil society issues

Since 1993, IRCV has been hosting and training established and emerging international leaders invited to tour the United States through the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). We empower leaders to advance meaningful conversation about civic life in their respective countries, and we advance the shared goal of increasing mutual understanding and cooperation to benefit all societies.

We typically spend 3 hours or more with each visitor group to establish a fruitful rapport and address substantive issues. We allocate time for visitors to share their background, interests and reflections about their travels in the U.S., so that we can calibrate our presentation and help visitors better contextualize their experiences. Visitors have consistently remarked that their time with us was among the most fruitful of their interactions, since they are not treated as a captive audience for the host organization’s standard presentation about its activities.

IRCV provides tools that help visiting leaders contemplate structural similarities and differences between societies, utilizing case studies and examples from domestic and global events. We consider media framing of the important issues of the day, discuss public policy in light of the distribution of federal, state and local authority, share how scholarship and standards inform textbook design in a pluralistic society, and explore the role of institutions in civil society. The collective image that emerges provides a practical framework for leaders to identify core issues and values in order to reform or develop effective institutions that make sense in their own countries.

As of December 2010, IRCV has hosted over 1,000 international visitors from over 120 countries.

Sample IVLP Program Titles:

In addition to welcoming visitors through the IVLP, IRCV can develop customized half-day and full-day training program with materials on curriculum/standards/textbooks, religious liberty and pluralism issues, religion in the media, and inter-religious education.