Citizen Diplomacy Makes a Difference "One Handshake at a Time"

Posted by Ann Stock
February 17, 2011
Citizen Diplomacy: Screenshot of International Visitor Leadership Program 70th Anniversary Video

Videos:"I Am a Citizen Diplomat" | "Seventy Years of the International Visitor Leadership Program"About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs.

On Thursday, February 17, I will join Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale in celebrating joint milestones: 70 years of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' International Visitor Leadership Program and the 50th anniversary of the National Council for International Visitors. Tune in to the live webcasts of the events here.

It is this shared partnership that brings 5,200 international visitors to the United States each year. In addition, it is the network -- nearly 80,000 strong -- of citizen diplomats that host international visitors across the United States and bring people together to cultivate greater understanding.

So what is citizen diplomacy? A few weeks ago, a call went out to 92 councils nationwide. We asked a simple question: "What does being a citizen diplomat mean to you?" We were overwhelmed by the response.

Citizen diplomacy comes in many forms. Diplomacy knows no age, language, race, or social status. It is the belief, as the National Council for International Visitors' motto rightly states that "citizen diplomacy is the concept that the individual has the right, even the responsibility to help shape U.S. foreign relations, one handshake at a time."Follow @annatstate and join the #Citizendiplomacy conversation on Twitter.



Donald L.
District Of Columbia, USA
February 17, 2011

Donald L. in Washington, DC writes:

Thank you so much for the words of encouragement today! It's been a wonderful week celebrating the anniversaries with so many members of the IVLP community. Here's to the next 50 years, 70 years, and beyond!
-Donald, World Learning

seeta k.
February 27, 2011

Seeta K. in Guyana writes:

this is great i learn something here

Kanwal M.
March 3, 2011

Kanwal M. in Pakistan writes:

Had a wonderful time in United States as an International Visitors Leadership Program Delegate of "A NEW BEGINNING - Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation' program in 2010. Thanks U.D.O.S

Wish you many more anniversaries!

Peace & Love,
KHM, Pakistan.

Labadi R.
March 6, 2011

Riad L. in Algeria writes:

I've been part of the IVLP program, "A NEW BEGINNING - Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation" representing Algeria, together with other 28 delegates from all over the world.

IVLP is a one's in a life experience that you will keep with you for the rest of your life.

You are doing a wonderful job.

All my wishes for the future, you deserve it


Riad L.
Algiers, Algeria


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