State Department Opens First Virtual International Visitor Leadership Program With Icelandic Environmental Organizations

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 21, 2014


Starting this week, professionals representing several of Iceland’s leading environmental organizations will begin the first ever virtual International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Meetings and interactions with U.S. counterparts will be conducted remotely via video or web-based conferencing, with complementary sessions and cultural activities taking place in Reykjavik.

Over the course of three months, the Icelandic participants will engage with their U.S. counterparts in an effort to address key environmental and developmental issues facing both countries, with a particular focus on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and promoting and supporting sustainable environmental practices.

This IVLP project, which will continue through January 2015, will include a series of online discussions, including bi-monthly virtual town hall meetings. Opening and closing sessions will take place at the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik, allowing for participants and program staff to come together face-to-face. The project will also include various cultural activities – a staple of traditional people-to-people exchanges – such as Embassy staff-hosted home hospitality featuring typical American cuisine and a series of virtual field trips to major landmarks in Washington, D.C., and across the United States.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is extending connections made before, during, and after physical exchange programs through the use of virtual components. This new virtual IVLP project is a means to increase the number of international people-to-people interactions with the United States in an innovative and cost-effective way.

The project will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the policies and techniques employed by the U.S. public and private sectors in developing solutions to pressing environmental issues as they investigate innovative technology and management strategies for partnership building, grassroots organizing, and social media messaging.

Learn more through social media by following @StateIVLP and @CulturalVistas, and by searching using the #IVLP and #ECACollab hashtags. For further information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at eca-press@state.gov.