NOCDC promotes better international relations by arranging professional meetings and cultural activities for international leaders who travel to New Orleans.


NOCDC administers the International Visitor Leadership Program for those participants who travel to Louisiana through the IVLP exchange.  The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The mission of IVLP is to offer current and emerging international leaders the opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of American political, economic, social and cultural life through carefully designed exchanges that reflect participants’ professional interests and the public diplomacy objectives of the United States government.

The exchange brings up to 5,000 professional emerging leaders from around the world to the United States each year for programs of up to three weeks. The program is nomination only by staff at U.S. Embassies.


History of IVLP

In 1940, Nelson Rockefeller was named the Coordinator of Commercial and Cultural Affairs for the American Republics. He initiated the exchange of persons program with Latin America, inviting 130 Latin American journalists to the United States and recognized as the first exchange under what would become the IVLP. In 1948 representative Karl E. Mundt and Senator H. Alexander Smith marshaled the Informational and Educational Exchange Act, also known as the Smith-Mundt Act which was passed by the 80th United States Congress and approved by President Harry S. Truman. During a time when Americans grew increasingly concerned about Soviet propaganda, the purpose of the Smith-Mundt was "to promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries" though educational and cultural exchanges. From this legislation birthed the Foreign Leaders Program, which was eventually consolidated into the International Visitor Program (IVP) in 1952. In 2004, the IVP was renamed the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

What do International Visitors do in the U.S.?

Participants typically visit four U.S. communities over three weeks, and projects vary by theme and requests from U.S. Embassies around the world. As they travel, participants:

  • Meet with representatives of U.S. public and private sector organizations related to the project theme.

  • Explore American society, history, and culture, led by international visitor liaisons or foreign language interpreters.

  • Engage in home hospitality with American families.


There is no application for the IVLP. Participants are nominated by the staff at U.S. Embassies around the world and project topics are tied to key U.S foreign policy priorities.

Projects cover a broad array of themes, some of which include:

  • English language instruction

  • Entrepreneurism

  • Environmental protection

  • Food security and safety

  • Human rights

  • International health

  • Journalism

  • National security and counter-terrorism

  • U.S. foreign policy

  • Volunteerism

  • Women’s leadership

  • Youth leadership

In addition to the International Visitor Leadership Program, below are examples of exchanges and services NOCDC has facilitated in recent years.

Eisenhower Fellowships identify, empower and link outstanding leaders from around the world, helping them to achieve consequential outcomes across sectors and borders. EF provides a transformational experience leading to lifetime engagement in a global network, where dialogue and collaboration make the world more prosperous, just and peaceful. We bring two groups of approximately 20 outstanding mid-career Fellows (aged 32-45) drawn from 47 different countries to the U.S. annually.

The Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program provides a variety of enrichment activities throughout the academic year intended to further the Fulbright Program's goal of increasing mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and people of other countries. These enrichment activities benefit the more than 800 Fulbright Visiting Scholars (faculty and professionals from over 100 countries) who have received Fulbright Scholar grants for advanced research and university lecturing in the U.S.

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the Federal Government's primary training institution for officers and support personnel of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. The Institute's programs include training for the professional development of Foreign Service administrative, consular, economic/commercial, political, and public diplomacy officers; and more.

The Open World Leadership Center administers the Open World program, one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs with post-Soviet countries. Sponsored by Congress, Open World both supports Congressional outreach to Eurasia and conducts exchanges that establish lasting professional relationships between the up-and-coming leaders of Open World countries and Americans dedicated to showcasing U.S. values and democratic institutions.


Global Ties U.S., in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, oversees the Police Professionalization Exchange Program (PPEP) for Mexican senior law enforcement officials. The program has four components, with some participants engaging in one and others in two or more:

  • Online learning as pre-arrival training for officials traveling to the United States, or as a separate course for a larger pool of officials who will be trained virtually

  • On-site training at various U.S. police academies

  • Professional study tour experiences in cities across the U.S., exploring themes such as data-driven policing

  • Hands-on training in Mexico by U.S. or regional experts based on the priorities of U.S.-Mexico security cooperation

The four components were intentionally designed to create a multi-dimensional professional development program. Most program participants are chiefs or deputy chiefs of state and large municipal police agencies, as well as directors or chief academic officers of state and large municipal police academies.

The program will engage roughly 3,800 Mexican law enforcement professionals over three years either virtually or face to face. The first exchange took place in February 2017 and subsequent exchanges continue through 2020.

Key elements of the program, such as interactions with U.S. law enforcement agencies through people-to-people exchange, will create opportunities for personal and professional bonding, leading to long-term collaborations and partnerships between individuals and institutions. As a result of this program, participants and their institutions will be better equipped to encourage democratic and transparent public security in Mexico, leading to a safer country for its citizens.

Private Services --The New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council offers the same services to the private sector that it has provided to government-sponsored international visitors for over forty years.
Whether you are a local company with short-term international guests or employees that have recently transferred from abroad, an international scholar, or a foreign professional seeking business contacts in the United States, we can tailor a program to fit your needs.   Email us for more details.