International Visitor Leadership Program


*The International Visitor Leadership Program has been impacted due to COVID-19.  In-person International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) projects remain paused through May 2020. The U.S. Department of State's official media note regarding the pause of all federal international exchange programs due to COVID-19 can be found here. Stay tuned for more information about virtual IVLP projects!


The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, bringing emerging foreign leaders to the U.S. to meet with their local professional counterparts. PAAC is one of 89 "Community-Based Member" organizations nationwide implementing the IVLP with the assistance of Global Ties U.S., a nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State.


The program is designed to promote collaboration and mutual understanding between the U.S. and countries throughout the world.  Leaders are able to share experiences and best practices, while building trust and empathy across nations, one handshake at a time.  PAAC coordinates these professional exchanges for the state of Hawaiʻi, showcasing the rich diversity of Hawaiʻi culture and society. In 2019, PAAC hosted 17 programs, connecting 132 leaders, representing 37 countries, with 56 locally-based organizations.  See pictures of these groups in our Gallery.

Participant Voices

Nearly 200,000 distinguished individuals have participated in the program since its inception in 1940, including over 500 current and former Chiefs of State and heads of government, including Tony Blair, Felipe Calderon, Indira Gandhi, Hamid Karzai, Anwar Sadat, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Ma Ying-jeou.  


“People of the United States are very concerned with environmental conservation. Mahalo for giving me the opportunity to learn closely the way Hawaii’s people conserve the natural marine environment.” – International visitor from Thailand


“My impression of the U.S. has changed. Especially during the meetings with ordinary people, I can feel their warm welcome.” – International visitor from South Korea