Our IVLP delegate from Tajikistan learned more about the history of Northwest Florida between his professional appointments. Photo compliments of Ellen Schwartz, ELO
The U.S. Department of State has a fantastic public diplomacy program where foreign opinion-makers and potential opinion-makers travel around the country to meet professional colleagues and ordinary citizens. It’s called the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).IVLP participants visit small towns, large cities, and rural communities; but they only visit areas where a local citizen diplomacy council can receive them.Unfortunately, as recently as October 2008, northwest Florida west of Tallahassee was a no-go zone.
But that’s different now.
On November 7, 2008, the National Council for International Visitors, a national network now celebrating half a century of leadership in citizen diplomacy, granted membership to the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council.With this status, northwest Florida was welcomed to the national IVLP itinerary, giving us the opportunity to learn more about the world and providing more exposure for northwest Florida.