International Visitor Programs

Notice: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a temporary pause of international exchange programming.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. 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.

In 2019, CIR welcomed more than 450 guests of the U.S. State Department in Santa Fe.  Whether by arranging meetings, participating in panel discussions or providing a home-cooked meal, CIR members consistently put Santa Fe on the map and create a memorable experience for future world leaders around the globe.

How it Works

The Santa Fe Council on International Relations is one of several Community Based Members (CBMs) around the United States.  The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) are assigned to these councils by programming agencies in Washington, D.C. based on the suitable cultural and professional resources available for the visiting group’s field of interest.  All of the organizations are represented by the office in Washington, Global Ties U.S.

On occasion, we also host visitors on a fee-for-service basis.  The visitors are participating in various leadership and study programs often emerging leaders in government, politics, business, education, science, art, health care and other fields important to their communities.

Get Involved

CIR member volunteers provide visitors with interesting and enriching experiences. They arrange  meetings, meals and cultural exchanges.  Escorting visitors to their meetings, volunteers learn about the individuals and the countries from which they come, as well as the workings of the counterpart organizations here in Santa Fe.  Since its inception, Santa Fe CIR has welcomed more than 5,000 international visitors.  Our office staff help coordinate member activities.  As described on the Volunteer page of this website, these programs provide great opportunities for our members to learn more international relations and the community.

Plan a Program…

CIR is excited to have individuals interested in becoming volunteer program coordinators.  These instrumental individuals schedule meetings, arrange cultural outings and accompany the visitors during their stay in Santa Fe. 

Open your home to International Visitors…

Santa Fe is able to boast of numerous citizen diplomats who invite visiting leaders into their homes.  This part of the trip is consistently a very fond memory for both the visitors and the home hospitality providers.  Most often, home hospitality entails dinner and relaxed conversation.  It is especially exciting if a home hospitality host or hostess has traveled in the home-country of the visitors or shares professional experience with the visitors’ area of study, but what the visitors value most of all is the chance to meet with U.S. citizens in a casual setting.

Be a resource!

State Department objectives for IVLP range from broad socioeconomic studies to youth empowerment programs.  Generally, CIR keeps a database of community resources who could potentially be called upon to meet with visitors.  Some categories we have recently called upon women entrepreneurs, museum curators, boy scout troops, shop owners promoting fair-trade, medical professionals and employees of NGOs.

If you own or work in a company or organization that would derive mutual benefit from meeting with other professionals around the globe or if you have connections which could provide an invaluable cultural experience for our guests (e.g., museums, national parks, art markets), please let us know!