PROGRAM OPENING

Monday, 29 November 2021
Meeting Details

Please join 10 minutes early

Login: 07:50 Eastern U.S. Time

Meeting: 08:00–09:30 Eastern U.S. Time

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Zoom link: https://meridian-org.zoom.us/j/89842664319?pwd=N29GNVBmaHFuUW9lRXlNdThFVlk1dz09 

Meeting ID: 898 4266 4319 

Passcode: IVLP 

Meeting Topic: The Program Opening features a warm welcome from the U.S. Department of State and serves as the official launch of your International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). There will be opening remarks and an introduction from the U.S. Department of State, including pre-recorded remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Afterwards, you will meet with the teams from the Office of International Visitors, Meridian International Center, and the community-based members planning the program to discuss the project objectives, schedule, technology, and logistics. 

Remarks will be delivered by:
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Antony Blinken

he/him/his

Secretary of State 

U.S. Department of State

Antony J. Blinken is the 71st U.S. Secretary of State. He was nominated by President Biden on November 23, 2020; confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 26, 2021; and sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris the following day.

 

Over three decades and three presidential administrations, Mr. Blinken has helped shape U.S. foreign policy to ensure it protects U.S. interests and delivers results for the American people. He served as deputy secretary of state for President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017, and before that, as President Obama’s principal deputy national security advisor. In that role, Mr. Blinken chaired the interagency deputies committee, the main forum for hammering out the administration’s foreign policy.

During the first term of the Obama Administration, Mr. Blinken was national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. This was the continuation of a long professional relationship that stretched back to 2002, when Mr. Blinken began his six-year stint as Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then-Senator Biden was the chair of that committee from 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009.

During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Blinken served as a member of the National Security Council staff, including two years as the senior director for European affairs, the president’s principal advisor on the countries of Europe, the European Union, and NATO. He also spent four years as President Clinton’s chief foreign policy speechwriter, and he led the NSC’s strategic planning team.

Mr. Blinken’s public service began at the State Department. From 1993 to 1994, he was a special assistant in what was then called the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. Now he is proud to lead the department where he got his start in government nearly 30 years ago.

Outside of government, Mr. Blinken has worked in the private sector, civil society, and journalism. He was a founder of WestExec Advisors, an international strategic consulting firm focused on geopolitics and national security. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 and 2002. Before joining government, Mr. Blinken practiced law in New York and Paris. He was also a reporter for The New Republic magazine and is the author of Ally Versus Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis (Praeger, 1987).

Mr. Blinken attended grade school and high school in Paris, where he received a French Baccalaureate degree with high honors. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School. He and his wife Evan Ryan have two children.

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Stacy White 

she/her/hers 

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs 

U.S. Department of State

Stacy E. White is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). She is responsible for overseeing a broad array of professional, youth, cultural, sports, and tech camp exchange programs for U.S. and international participants, including those supported by the Offices of International Visitors and Citizen Exchanges. Since 1988, White has served as an American diplomat abroad at U.S. embassies in Canada, Mexico, Finland, Panama, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Most recently, she was Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Ottawa, Canada. In Washington, DC, White has served in the Bureau of the Western Hemisphere and in the Foreign Service Institute as the Deputy Director of Public Diplomacy Training. In 2005, she represented the State Department as its Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council. She previously served as the Director of the Office of International Visitors (2016-2018) and the Chief of Cultural Programs in the Office of Citizen Exchanges (2012-2015). She is a great believer in the transformational power of people-to-people exchanges. Before entering the Foreign Service, Ms. White was an award-winning broadcast journalist in Texas and Oklahoma. 

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Anne Grimes 

she/her/hers 

Director 

Office of International Visitors 

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs 

U.S. Department of State 

Anne Grimes has served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for over 30 years and is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Her previous postings have included Antananarivo, Madagascar; Surabaya, Indonesia; Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; Washington, DC; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mumbai, India; and Beijing, China. She speaks French, Indonesian, and Mandarin. Ms. Grimes joined the Office of International Visitors as Office Director in September 2018. She is a graduate of Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, with a double major in History and French. 

About the Organizations
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United States Department of State

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Office of International Visitors

International Visitor Leadership Program

The U.S. Department of State helps to shape a freer, more secure and more prosperous world through formulating, representing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. The Secretary of State is the President’s principal adviser on foreign policy and the person chiefly responsible for U.S. representation abroad.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international educational, professional and cultural exchanges. The Bureau promotes personal, professional and institutional ties between private citizens and organizations in the United States and abroad, and presents U.S. history, society, art and culture in all of its diversity to overseas audiences.

The Office of International Visitors manages and funds the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Launched in 1940, the IVLP seeks to build mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through carefully designed professional visits to the United States for current and emerging foreign leaders. These visits reflect the visitors’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the U.S. government. Each year over 4,500 IVLP participants from all over the world are selected by U.S. embassies to travel to the United States to meet and confer with their professional counterparts. Through these encounters, they gain a greater understanding of the cultural and political influences in U.S. society and enjoy a firsthand experience of the United States, its people and its culture. Visitors represent government, politics, the media, education, nongovernmental organizations, the arts, public health, international security, business and trade, and other fields. Over 320 current and former heads of government and state and many other distinguished world leaders in the public and private sectors have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program.

The Office of International Visitors seeks to provide a broad and balanced range of perspectives in the International Visitor Leadership Program. To this end, programs include a variety of appointments with individuals and representatives of organizations whose opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government.

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National Program Partner: Meridian International Center

 

Meridian International Center, a private, non-profit organization, is dedicated to promoting international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas, and the arts. The Professional Exchanges Division operates under a grant from the Department of State to arrange professional programs, virtually and in-person, for visitors who participate in the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.

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Local Program Sponsors: Members of Global Ties U.S.

In most U.S. cities outside of Washington, DC and New York City, Meridian International Center works closely with members of Global Ties U.S., a network of nearly 90 nonprofit organizations dedicated to building international understanding by connecting their communities with the world. Private citizens involved in these organizations volunteer to open their homes, schools, businesses, local government and nongovernmental agencies to leaders from abroad. Community‑based members of Global Ties act as “local sponsors” of the International Visitor Leadership Program by arranging professional and social activities for participants who visit their communities.

U.S. Department of State, Office of Language Services | International Visitor Liaisons

International Visitor Liaisons are professional freelance contractors hired by the U.S. Department of State's Office of Language Services to provide administrative, cultural, and community-building support specifically to your program. The Office of Language Services holds contracts with more than 1,400 interpreters and liaisons, all of whom have passed rigorous language testing, in the case of interpreters, and an assessment of relevant knowledge and problem-solving skills needed for IVLP projects. International Visitor Liaisons may provide support to both the program team and participants. 

Program Documents

About the International Visitor Leadership Program

(1 page, PDF)

About the IVLP:
A Global Moment in Time

(1 page, PDF)

IVLP Social Media Tips

(1 page, PDF)

Welcome Letter form the Director of the Office of International Visitors

(1 page, PDF)

About Meridian International Center

(2 pages, PDF)

Meridian International Center
Social Media

(1 page, PDF)

Join the
#ExchangeAlumni Network

(1 page, PDF)

Participate in the
U.S. Speaker Program

(2 pages, PDF)

Data Privacy and Consent Documents and Forms

Data Privacy Statement

(6 pages, PDF)

Data Privacy | EU Addendum

(3 pages, PDF)

Media Consent Form

(Microsoft Form)

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