Damon on his IVLP experience

Damon in DC on an IVLP. Photo credit: Damon.

“…I now have a large worldwide network of 43 counties and people that I can directly go to, to work in collaboration with them to reduce the threat to our various nations.”

Damon recently returned from his International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in the United States where he explored the underlying issues of terrorism threat, violence and extremism alongside representatives from 43 countries! The beauty of people-to-people exchange programs is certainly the life-long connections made across the globe.

This special IVLP initiative explored transnational threat landscape and the role that global cooperation and partnerships serve to address them. Participants gained a deeper understanding of the pluralistic nature of the United States through exposure to all levels of the political system and to key security issues such as cybersecurity, disinformation, terrorism, countering violent extremism, transnational organized crime, energy, non-proliferation, human security, and regional threats.

Of the program, Damon says: “Throughout the conference these topics were presented in-depth by many high-level representatives of their agencies. The 43 countries that were represented by the 49 participants were heavily involved in discussions and questions and a large amount of information was received. The main benefit from this conference kindly hosted and funded by the US Department of State is that I now have a large worldwide network of 43 counties and people that I can directly go to, to work in collaboration with them to reduce the threat to our various nations. Also clearly obvious throughout this conference is that whilst all the countries have different cultures and slightly different ways of dealing with issues the underlying issues of terrorism threat, violence and extremism is growing and consistent amongst all of these nations.”

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IVLP – At-a-Glance:

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.

Each year nearly 5,000 International Visitors come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including more than 500 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government.

Find out more at exchange.state.gov.

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