On January 4, U.S. Embassy Manama hosted a small dinner in honor of recently returned 2016 alumni of the International Leadership Visitor Program (IVLP). Launched in 1940, the IVLP program 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 IVLP exchanges generally include visits to four U.S. communities over three weeks, although projects vary based on themes. Honored alumni included Fatema Al Jar -NGO Management in the United States, Mohamed Ahmadi – Tech Entrepreneurship Boot Camps, Venture Pitching and Crowd Funding, Esam Hammad -Tech Entrepreneurship Boot Camps, Venture Pitching and Crowd Funding, and Naser Al Arayedh -Global Economic Cooperation and Revitalization. Acting Public Affairs Officer, Mrs. Joslyn Mack-Wilson welcomed the alumni and thanked them for participating in the IVLP program in the United States.
During the dinner, the distinguished alumni shared their positive experiences with the American culture as well as some of the issues they learned about on the trip with Political and Economic Counselor Anne Bennett and Economic and Commercial Officer Christiaan De Luigi. Each participant was presented with an IVLP Certificate of Participation and all were welcomed into the U.S. Embassy exchange program alumni family to participate in future alumni-related activities organized.