Publication Date

2008

Abstract

This paper examines how National Program Agencies (NPAs), which administer the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), such as World Learning’s Visitor Exchange Program (VEP), contribute to the public diplomacy goals of the United States Department of State (DoS). This paper is a case study of VEP between 2002-2006.

This paper is based upon the conceptual framework of public-private partnerships. The findings of this paper are based on interviews with nine staff members from VEP, six staff from the DoS, two staff from the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), and quantitative studies which measured the number of visitors, projects, and countries VEP served between the years 2002 to 2006. These statistics also illustrate how many projects VEP administered, in comparison to the other seven NPAs. The interviews, in combination with personal observation and statistics, were analyzed until common themes emerged. The reoccurring themes were: Sets of Skills; Motivation; Enhancements & Improvements; Contributions; Effective Mechanisms of Collaboration; and Public Diplomacy Definition.

The research findings indicate that NPAs do significantly contribute to public diplomacy goals. The partnerships are needed to promote public diplomacy goals in IVLP, although, NPAs need more freedom to design programs, to create more solid PPP, and more efficient and open communication between partners. Overall, the DoS needs NPAs to administer IVLP because they create and implement programs for international visitors to interact with their professional counterparts and average Americans. It is because of NPAs, that the DoS is able to reach their public diplomacy goals, giving future foreign leaders a more accurate view of the U.S. and decrease the stereotype idea that the IVLP is only a propaganda tool of the U.S. government.

Disciplines

International and Comparative Education

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