International Visitor Leadership Program



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. Since 1998, PAAC has hosted over 1,500 current and emerging leaders from over 130 countries. See pictures of these groups in our Gallery.


For the 2022 IVLP programming year PAAC hosted 64 visitors from 8 countries in nine different projects.


Recent Projects:

‘Promoting Greater Understanding of U.S. Strategy for Free and Open Indo-Pacific and U.S. Policy Toward China,’ academics from South Korea, November 2022


‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and Cooperation,’ journalists from Japan, November 2022


‘Improving Monitoring and Management of Marine Ecosystems,’ 15 Filipino nationals, December 2022


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