The San Antonio Council for International Visitors (SACIV) is part of a national network of organizations of which Global Ties U.S., based in Washington D.C. is the umbrella organization. Every year the Global Ties national meeting is held in D.C. to provide updates from the Department of State regarding the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and to provide the opportunity for the attendees to interact with colleagues who represent the various U.S. communities supporting and advocating for citizen diplomacy. At one of the sessions I attended, we looked at why is the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) a distinct and special program of the State Department, and why is it important for our communities.
Two key factors for IVLP’s uniqueness were presented. First, there are a variety of countries involved and represented, and second, the visitors are influential and emerging leaders in their countries. When and where would you get to meet two women political leaders from Chad and Iraq, women entrepreneurs from Cuba, or trade policy related individuals from Indonesia. SACIV members can meet these distinguished visitors with home hospitality. My husband Stuart says it this way:”Home Hospitality is the opportunity to talk to people in the global community on a one-on-one basis; the opportunity to learn what the issues are in their home countries, and the opportunity to share the values of Americans and of our local community.”
Although I’ve had the opportunity to travel to many places in the world, I would not likely be travelling to many of the countries represented by the visitors. What an honor to exchange and interact with these individuals. One of the outcomes of the session that I attended in Washington was to create SACIV’s value proposition; that is, why does the work of SACIV matter. My conclusion was that “SACIV brings opportunities for international connections and engagement to our San Antonio citizens, at the business, professional and personal level.” I hope you align with this statement and with our international role in the San Antonio community. Thank you for your continued support.