PRESS RELEASE: Meridian Announces the Third Cohort of the IVLP Impact Awards Initiative in Partnership with the U.S. Department of State


WASHINGTON, D.C. — In partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Meridian International Center is proud to announce the third cohort of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Impact Awards Initiative. This year, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of 120 distinguished IVLP alumni from 101 countries who have been honored as the 2024 IVLP Impact Awardees. 

"For over 60 years, Meridian has been a principal partner of the U.S. Department of State in implementing the International Visitor Leadership Program, building bridges of understanding and collaboration that are essential in today’s interconnected world,” shared Meridian’s CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday. “This form of ‘Open Diplomacy’ ensures that these vital connections foster transparency and mutual respect, paving the way for global solutions." 

These participants will lead community impact projects that build on their experiences and promote innovative solutions to shared challenges across key areas worldwide. Their projects cover a wide range of topics, including women’s empowerment, global entrepreneurship, countering violent extremism, combatting disinformation, cybersecurity, fighting disinformation, environmental sustainability, strengthening democracies, and STEM education. The IVLP Impact Awards initiative engages alumni, strengthens global networks, and supports lasting community impact. 

Since its inception in 2022, the IVLP Impact Awards Initiative has supported nearly 600 IVLP alumni across the globe. These alumni have received grants to implement community impact projects that build upon the knowledge and connections they gained during their IVLP exchange experience in the United States, leading to positive changes within their communities. Along with a series of programs varied by theme and region, the Initiative engages alumni, strengthens the IVLP network, and supports lasting community impact. Awardees receive up to $5,000 USD in funding to implement their projects, which must be completed by January 19, 2025. 

Among the distinguished alumni is Konstantin Nevzorov, a 2022 IVLP Impact Awardee from Kazakhstan, whose project made a significant impact by integrating Ukrainian refugees into Kazakhstan's cultural and business milieu, particularly supporting women entrepreneurs.  The Initiative not only fostered community by creating volunteer groups and launching new businesses but also facilitated the employment of refugees. 

Betty Nancy Fonyuy, a 2023 IVLP Impact Awardee from Cameroon, has become a beacon of hope for marginalized communities through her IVLP Impact Awards project, focusing on civil rights and the role of youth in advocacy for disability rights. Betty had a transformative effect on her community through her commitment to human and civil rights advocacy, as highlighted by a participant's testimony: "This project has given me a voice and empowered me to fight for what is right. I never thought I could make such a difference, but now I know that young people have the power to create change and that disability rights are human rights." 

“IVLP Impact Awardee’s projects address challenges, improve economic opportunity, and promote human rights in their communities,” commented Sarah Gentry, Director of Collaborative Services at Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership. “We’re honored to support and work with these nearly 600 IVLP Alumni from 143 countries since 2022.” 

As the IVLP Impact Awards initiative enters its third year, we remain committed to supporting leaders like Konstantin and Betty in their efforts to bring about change in their communities.  Their stories exemplify the Initiative’s vision of designing creative, impactful, and engaging projects. Their stories of courage and collaboration are a testament to the power of collective action towards a more secure and prosperous world—today and for generations to come. 

For more information about the IVLP and the IVLP Impact Awards Initiative, please visit our website. 

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About IVLP 

Launched in 1940, the IVLP helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States. The majority of IVLP exchanges include visits to four U.S. communities over three weeks, although projects vary based on themes, Embassy requests and other factors. Participants meet with professional counterparts, visit U.S. public and private sector organizations related to the project theme and participate in cultural and social activities. 

About Meridian 

Meridian International Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit diplomacy center that connects leaders through culture and collaboration to drive solutions for global challenges. Founded over 60 years ago, Meridian has equipped thousands of leaders with the networks, insights and cultural context essential for non-partisan work on shared issues. Meridian strengthens engagement between the United States and the world through diplomacy, global leadership and culture, because we believe we are stronger together when globally engaged. 

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