International Visitors

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The Committee for International Visitors is a Partner of 

Who: The Committee for International Visitors (CIV) is a committee of the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council. It is one of more than 90 community-based organizations in the country that provides assistance to international visitors brought to the United States under the U.S. Department of State’s prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Learn more about IVLP.

What: The Committee works with the Washington, DC based organization Global Ties U.S. www.globaltiesus.org (formerly called the National Council for International Visitors or NCIV) that administers the IVLP program for the Department of State and its associated National Programming Agencies (NPAs) to arrange professional programs in our community that are tailored to the objectives of the visitors. Programs include, but are not limited to local government, education, business, the environment, defense, sports, medicine, research, and non-profit and other professional organizations. Committee members often accompany the visitors to their meetings, and also socialize with them, inviting them into our homes for dinner and accompanying them on sightseeing tours of our city and the surrounding area.

When: The international visitors can visit us at any time of the year. Normally they stay for four or five days and are accommodated in local hotels.

Why: We believe that we, as citizen diplomats, can enhance both the local and national image of the United States in the minds of our international visitors and thereby foster international understanding and cooperation in the near and long term.

The International Visitor Leadership Program

This prestigious program brings today’s and tomorrow’s foreign leaders to the United States for firsthand exposure to their professional counterparts and U.S. society. Among the distinguished alumni of the program are over 350 former and current chiefs of state and heads of government, including Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Anwar Sadat, Giscard D’Estaing, Indira Gandhi, and Felipe Calderón.

Each year nearly 5,000 exchange participants come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, since the program began in 1940. The IVLP helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States. The majority of IVLP exchanges include visits to four U.S. communities over three weeks, although projects vary based on themes, Embassy requests and other factors. Participants meet with professional counterparts, visit U.S. public and private sector organizations related to the project theme and participate in cultural and social activities. There is no application for IVLP. Participants are nominated and selected annually by the staff at U.S. Embassies around the world. For more information, see http://eca.state.gov/ivlp/about-ivlp#sthash.T1yb4YE0.dpuf.

Periodically, international visitors are also hosted in Colorado Springs under the Open World Program which is sponsored by the Library of Congress. Unlike participants in the IVLP programs who are accommodated in hotels, these visitors stay in volunteers’ homes during their visit and participate in professional meetings during the day.

If you would like to be part of the Colorado Springs Committee for International Visitors, please contact by mail at:

Colorado Springs World Affairs Council
P.O. Box 608, Colorado Springs, CO 80901

Recent International Visits 

The Committee for International Visitors continues to welcome international leaders to the Pikes Peak Region virtually. Below are the various projects that our visitors participated in as well as upcoming projects. 

  • January: “Mental Health Awareness” – Egypt
  • February: “Cybersecurity and Safe Digitalization – Transferring U.S. Best Practices and Building Collaboration” – Switzerland
  • March: “Special Victims Assistance for Indonesian Law Enforcement” – Indonesia 
  • April: “U.S Best Practices in Social Media Engagement” – Cuba
  • April:  “NGO Management” – Multi-Regional Project 
  • May: “Smart Cities – Building Sustainable Communities across the Indo Pacific” – Regional Project 
  • May: “Promoting Cybersecurity” – Multi-Regional Project
  • May: “Ending Gender-Based Violence” – Regional Project 
  • June: “Transparency and Accountability in Government” – Regional Project
  • June: “U.S. Foreign Policy in the Time of Great Competitors” – Canada 
  • June: “Disability Rights – Equal Access for All” – Regional Project
  • July: “21st Century ChangeMakers: Storytelling and Documentary Filmmaking” – Sub-Regional Project
  • July: “Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management” – Multi-Regional Project 
Through the Covid-19 pandemic, CSWAC has been assisting the State Department with virtual IVLP projects. Here you see a screen shot from our “Water Resource Management” project meeting for an African delegation. The delegates met with CS Utilities and Colorado Water Conservation Board to discuss managing water utilities in a time of crisis.    
Amaya Coppens (middle), from Nicaragua, was awarded an International Women of Courage Award from the U.S. Secretary of State and First Lady in early March 2020. After receiving her award, she visited COS to learn about democracy, grassroots movements and government accountability and transparency. Amaya met with members of the City Council, D11 School Board and El Paso County Commissioners as well as CSPD and numerous nonprofit organizations.  
Participants of the International Visitor Program come to learn from experts in their fields, attending numerous professional meetings, lectures, and tours. During their stay in our city, they also have the opportunity to sightsee, enjoying the gems of our community, and visit with local Americans over a meal. The downtime around the dinner table is invaluable. Friendships are built, a better understanding of differing cultures and backgrounds is formed, a literal taste of typical American food is enjoyed. The experience is praised by both the internationalists and their American hosts!   
Having a taste of the natural mineral waters in Manitou Springs

A World Dinner event
   

Note: If you would like to host a World Dinner for future visitors, please contact the International Visitor Program Manager at jamie@csworldaffairs.org or 719.579.8443.  Learn more here!

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