Celebrating American Diplomacy

Photo by US Department of State

“I think I was invited for the gender diversity,” joked The Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri who participated in the 80th Anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), at the National Museum of American Diplomacy. The event officially kicked-off the yearlong celebration that cultivates an open dialogue about how countries around the world can utilize ECA resources to increase cultural connections with the United States.

“Eighteen years ago when The Department of State and the United States started this program, it was a very different world,” he said. “Today we are connected to each other by social media, by technology. Eight years ago, unless you came to the United States personally, you really didn’t know anything about it. And yet programs like this remain very relevant even for someone coming today for them to have an opportunity to come here, visit small towns, cities around the United States to compare notes, exchange ideas. The programs remains relevant particularly with many of the global challenges that we face and I encourage the department to stick, to continue, this program and keep expanding it in order to create new opportunities for us to be here. Singapore and the United States share a very close relationship. This idea of people to people exchanges remains very critical for us in today’s world.”