In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Ambassador Mamet welcomed U.S. government-hosted exchange program participants, as well as prominent members of the alumni community and exchange program partner institutions. Argentine alumni from the IVLP, Fulbright Scholarship Program, Fortune/State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, Cochran Fellows, Youth Ambassadors Program, National Youth Science Camp, and Iowa International Writing Program, as well as U.S. Gilman Scholars, among others, gathered to celebrate this milestone anniversary.
In his remarks, Ambassador Mamet highlighted that U.S. cross-cultural exchange programs began under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and that it was during his visit in Buenos Aires in 1936 that he first spoke about the importance of cultural exchange. The Ambassador explained that the driving idea behind the exchange program is to provide a platform to interchange ideas and deepen understanding: “Every day, I talk about the importance of expanding cooperation and collaboration between our two countries, as President Obama and Secretary Kerry charged me with before I left for Argentina. This boils down to increasing connectivity, not just through bilateral government programs and trade, but through people to people contact as well.” said Ambassador Mamet.
The event also served to recognize the achievements of the Argentine-American Network for Leadership (REAL), the official Argentine IVLP alumni association. The Ambassador expressed his appreciation to REAL for their efforts to improve understanding among people of both nations, and in particular for its outgoing president, Ricardo Vanella, for his continued commitment to enhancing relations between the people of Argentina and the United States of America. During the event, the Ambassador congratulated REAL’s new President, Juan Pablo Laporte.