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Citizen Diplomacy Series with Susan Shultz

Susan Shultz, the acting director of the Office of International Visitors of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, led a discussion on strengthening international relations through North Carolina’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). IVLP accepts international leaders and invites them to the United States, from 3 days to 3 weeks, to cultivate lasting relationships between current and emerging professionals around the world and their American counterparts and provides opportunities for foreign opinion makers to gain firsthand knowledge about U.S. society, culture and politics. The discussion, which was held on Tuesday, August 30th, focused on IVLP impact in many different areas. First, IVLP’s social impact was explored. This included programs like Bangladeshi scientist studying climate change and German policy makers studying refugee resettlement protocols. IVLP’s financial impact for the state of North Carolina was also discussed, citing that the program on average generates 4 times the amount of revenue that it cost to run. Lastly, we discussed the ways that citizens of North Carolina can be an impactful part of this program. This is done by actively being a part of organizations like International Focus.

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