IVLP Fast Facts
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International visitors to St. Louis every year


Countries visited St. Louis from 2018-2019 

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Local resources engaging with IVLP visitors

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. U.S. Embassies abroad designate which visitors will travel to the United States; however, this exchange is not merely an international experience, but a chance to cultivate lasting relationships with local counterparts.

Visitors to the World Affairs Council of St. Louis are able to engage in our vibrant and beautiful city as one part of their visit experience. The first week of the program, the visitors begin in Washington, DC before traveling to two or three locations across the States. This experience allows for the exchange of ideas on a larger scale – as these citizen ambassadors return to meet with their counterparts and discuss the different locations that they each visited.

This program allows for individuals in St. Louis to gain cross-cultural understanding skills, as well as stimulating the local economy. On a larger scale, the program supports the foreign policy goals of the United States.


“Many communities will benefit and many lives will be touched in Zambia through the Savannah Project’s Communities of Influence just as I have been influenced by the IVLP and my American counterparts.”

Nkole Mwamba,

Executive Director Savannah Project in Zambia

Photo retrieved here

Our Role

The State Department and private programming agencies provide the basis for programming and cultural experience ideas. The World Affairs Council of St. Louis is one of the many organizations throughout the United States who takes these ideas and puts them into action. Using a network of local professionals and business, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis creates an engaging and educational programming agenda to fit the interests of each international visitor group that visits. The city of St. Louis lends itself to this goal because of its growing business community, vibrant ethnic makeup, and strong historical background. The World Affairs Council of St. Louis usually hosts about 250 visitors each year.


Although some visitors come at their own expense, the Office of International Visitors at the State Department provides full or partial funding for many visitors. The World Affairs Council of St. Louis draws from this funding to implement its programming.


Become a citizen diplomat! Gain a first hand perspective on critical issues in global affairs. Please call Josh Lange at 314-727-9988.