Professional Exchanges

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) was founded in 1940 to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries, through carefully designed visits that reflect the participants’ professional interests and support U.S. foreign policy goals.

Over the last 25 years, Embassy Bridgetown has succesfully nominated more than 500 professionals from Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to participate in International Visitor Leadership Programs. 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 U.S. Embassy staff.

For additional information please visit http://eca.state.gov/ivlp.

Here are some recent IVLP participants from the Eastern Caribbean:

Marcia Edwards

The manager of the Counter Narcotics Operational Team in the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP) in Antigua and Barbuda, Marcia Edwards, traveled to the United States to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). She took part in a three-week project on “Community Responsiveness — Leadership in Law Enforcement” from February 27 until March 17, 2017. During the program, participants met police administrators and trainers, civil rights and community activists, victim advocacy groups, and police union representatives to explore issues affecting community and police relations. They examined U.S. local, state, and federal efforts to foster and implement community policing in police departments; explore best practices in building trust and transparency between communities and police departments; demonstrate the variety of current training and the organizational structures of local police departments; and demonstrate how community input has made an impact.

Ryllis Mannix and Joseph Prosper

Ryllis Mannix, the Director of the National Public Library in Antigua, and Joseph Prosper, the Acting Director of the National Archives of Antigua and Barbuda participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Librarians and Archivists as Defenders of Intellectual Property Rights” from June 13 – July 1, 2016 in the United States. This program was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of policies, best practices, and challenges for improving awareness and protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Alverna Inniss

As part of the U.S. Embassy Bridgetown’s continuing efforts to ensure human rights for all peoples, Antiguan activist Alverna Inniss was nominated to participate in the “Combating Trafficking in Persons” International Vistor Leadership Program. The themes of the program included the U.S. criminal justice system and anti-trafficking laws; U.S. foreign policy and international anti-trafficking laws; international law and anti-trafficking cooperation; and federal agencies and NGOs involved in combating trafficking. While in Washington participants met with representatives of the Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Department of Homeland Security’s Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit. Ms. Inniss is devoted to reducing the number of people in the Caribbean affected by human trafficking.

Ogden Burton

From May 21 to June 11, 2011 environmental activist Ogden Burton participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Parks, Biotourism, and Ecodiversity Management.” Mr. Burton is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the Antiguan and Barbudan environment.

Ronald Maginley

Ronald Maginley was selected to participate in the International Leadership Program ” U.S. Trade Policies.” The goals of Mr. Maginley’s program were to review the U.S. economic system and domestic economic forces that influence U.S. trade policy and policy-making; examine trade and export promotional strategies utilized at all levels of government; and explore the role of the U.S. in international trade and the impact of international trade agreements on the U.S. economy, business, and trade relations. Following the program, participants reported an improved understanding of trade policy formulation and regional differences on trade and economic issues in the U.S.

Shantel Lynch 

Shantel Lynch, a graduate teacher employed by the Barbados Ministry of Education, took part in a three-week project on “Education and Activism for Young Women” from January 29 until February 17, 2017. This project  engaged current leaders in enlarging young women’s sphere of possibility, self-confidence, and visions for change, as well as exploried ways to give them the tools and professional networks they need to launch their ideas into the world. Participants interacted with public, private, academic, religious, and grassroots organizations to learn about best practices in responsible citizen activism and leadership for women.

Junior Browne and Grace Haynes 

Junior Browne, the Officer in Charge in the Faculty of Law Library located at the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill Campus in Barbados and Grace Haynes, Coordinator, Government Department Libraries in Barbados participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Librarians and Archivists as Defenders of Intellectual Property Rights” from June 13 – July 1, 2016 in the United States. This program was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of policies, best practices, and challenges for improving awareness and protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Liesel Daisley

Liesel Daisley travelled to the United States in April 2013 to participate in the “Women and Justice” IVLP. Ms. Daisley was one of 16 participants, from 14 countries, to complete the three week program. The goal of the “Women and Justice” program was to promote an appreciation for the rule of law; address the global problems of violence against women and women’s lack of access to justice; and create international connections amongst legal professionals to strengthen women’s access to justice. Session topics included international women’s rights; women’s political empowerment; the role of civil society in promoting women’s rights; an introduction to tribal law issues; the role of juvenile and family courts; empowerment of young female leaders; female refugees and immigrants; reduction of narcotics use and prostitution; and combating domestic violence. The program began in Washington, DC and moved west across the country, as participants travelled to Reno, Nevada; Seattle, Washington; and either Des Moines, Iowa; Indianapolis, Indiana; or Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ms. Daisley is the Founder and Chairman of the SAVE Foundation; a Barbadian non-profit organization that counsels victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Linda Griffith

Linda Griffith was selected to participate in the “Small Business Development” International Visitor Leadership Program. Ms. Griffith reported the program inspired an interest in small business promotion, facilitated valuable exchanges with American entrepreneurs, and allowed her the opportunity to examine the level of volunteerism in the U.S. Ms. Griffith travelled to Washington, DC; Minneapolis, MN; Pensacola, FL; and Seattle, WA during the period of July 30 to August 17, 2012.

Kemar Saffrey

Young Barbadian social activist, Kemar Saffrey participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Civil Society 2.0.” The program was held from January 9 to 27, 2012 in Washington, DC; Philadelphia, PA; Reno, NV; Little Rock, AR; and Miami, FL. Through the program, Saffrey learned how social media and new outreach tools can be used to advance the Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society, of which he is chairman. In March 2013 Saffrey won the Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence in Development.

Sharon Kinch

Sharon Kinch was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Women and Entrepreneurship.” The goals of the program were to provide examples of entrepreneurial efforts in the U.S., particularly those initiated by women; illustrate the essential role of non-governmental and grassroots organizations in supporting and empowering the development of women-owned businesses; and higlight the social, economic, and political factors that influence and encourage the development of private enterprise in the U.S. Ms. Kinch travelled to Washington, DC; St. Louis, MO; Boise, Idaho; and Portland, OR for the April 24 to May 11, 2012 program.

Donalson Frederick 

Donalson Frederick, a fire officer traveled to the United States to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Donalson Frederick, an officer with the Dominica Fire and Ambulance Service, took part in a three-week project on “Disaster Preparedness” from February 11 until March 4, 2017. During the program, participants interacted with public, private, academic, and grassroots organizations to learn about best practices in disaster preparedness and management. They examined U.S. local, state, and federal approaches to disaster management, emergency preparedness and emergency response; how government, NGOs, community organizers, first responders, and media align in advance their emergency preparedness and response plans; the importance of community-based partnerships and strategies for developing emergency preparedness and response plans; the variety of emergency preparedness and response structures at federal, state, and local levels; current training practices; and the constructive impact of community input.

Vernanda Raymond

Vernanda Raymond, the Acting Chief Librarian at the National Documentation Center in Dominica participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Librarians and Archivists as Defenders of Intellectual Property Rights” from June 13 – July 1, 2016 in the United States. This program was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of policies, best practices, and challenges for improving awareness and protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Julian Pacquette

Julian Pacquette (L) and Hillary Gabriel (R) travelled to Washington, D.C. to participate in an International Visiting Leaders program on volunteerism and the Peace Corps

In 2011, Dominican Julian Pacquette participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program “The Spirit of Volunteerism: 50 Years of the Peace Corps.” Mr. Pacquette travelled throughout the U.S. for the program from September 24- October 4, 2011.

Sandiford Edwards

Sandiford Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Marketing and National Importation Board, traveled to the United States to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) to take part in a three-week project on “U.S. Agriculture and Food Safety” from February 19 until March 11, 2017. During the program, participants interacted with public, private, academic, and grassroots organizations to learn about best practices in agriculture and food safety. They examined U.S. policies and programs related to agricultural trade, food safety, and sustainable agriculture; analyze the political, social, environmental, and economic forces that influence U.S. agricultural trade policies; explored how U.S. food commodities are regulated and marketed from farm to table and for international export; and assessed how federal, regional, and local programs for agricultural research, inspection, trade promotion and resource conservation help ensure U.S. agricultural competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Claudette Bartholomew

Claudette Bartholomew, the Court Administrator at the Supreme Court of Grenada participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Librarians and Archivists as Defenders of Intellectual Property Rights” from June 13 – July 1, 2016 in the United States. This program was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of policies, best practices, and challenges for improving awareness and protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Deneal Antoine

Embassy Bridgetown nominated Mr. Deneal Antoine to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI): Community Policing.” The goals of the program were to develop community relations programs that can be implemented by Caribbean law enforcement organizations and complement CBSI. The “Community Policing” program also sought to increase cooperation between the United States and Grenada to combat security issues. The program was held in the United States May 13- June 4, 2011. This opportunity allowed Antoine, a constable in the Royal Grenada Police Force, to interact with his American counterparts.

Elaine Henry-McQueen

Elaine Henry-McQueen participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Role of NGOs in Promoting Global Women’s Issues.” Through the program participants discussed the impact of non-profit organizations in promoting women’s political participation, economic opportunities, and access to education and healthcare; examined the partnerships between government and non-governmental organizations in addressing gloabal women’s issues; and studied methodologies used by NGOs for strengthening organizational leadership, developing volunteerism, fundraising and advancing their missions to benefit women. Ms. Henry-McQueen attended sessions throughout the United States, during the periord March 5- 23, 2012. Ms. Henry-McQueen applied the knowledge learned through the IVLP to her role as a Senior Program Officer in the Grenadian Ministry of Social Development.

Dr. Gillian Benjamin

Dr. Gillian Benjamin of Grenada was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention in the U.S.” The program examined trends in HIV/AIDS education, prevention and treatment; discussed the plans implemented in the United States to eradicate HIV/AIDS; and review worldwide research programs. Dr. Benjamin is the Clinical Coordinator of the Grenadian National Infectious Control Unit.

Gordon Patterson

Embassy Bridgetown nominated Gordon Patterson, of the Grenadian Forestry and National Parks Department, to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation.” The program facilitated examinations of how biodiversity is managed in various countries and the strategies developed to meet emerging challenges. The program was held in the United States from April 6 to May 4, 2012.

Hillary Gabriel

Ms. Hillary Gabriel was nominated by Embassy Bridgetown to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “The Spirit of Volunteerism: 50 Years of the Peace Corps.” During her time in the United States conducted a television interview to share the work being done by Peace Corps Volunteers in Grenada. Ms. Gabriel also visited volunteer organizations throughout the country to observe how they operate. Ms. Gabriel attended sessions in Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Santa Fe, NM; and Chicago, IL from September 24 to October 4, 2011. Following the program, Ms. Gabriel hoped to revitalize volunteerism amongst Grenadians and encourge individuals to support their countrymen.

Laurel Victor

Laurel Victor was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Children in the U.S. Justice System.” The goals of the program were to explore the U.S. judicial system with special emphasis on the legal structures in place to protect children; review the best treatment and rehabilitation practices for juvenile offenders and their families; and discuss international cooperation to combat trafficking in children, child exploitation, cross-border child custody disputes and the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. The program was held throughout the U.S. during the period of April 2- 22, 2012.

Leslie-Ann Seon

Ms. Leslie-Ann Seon was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Women’s Leadership and Political Participation (Caribbean).” The program included sessions in Washington, DC; Nashua, NH; and New York City, NY. Ms. Seon attended meetings with women’s leadership groups, staff members of a domestic violence shelter, and the UN Women’s Office. The program encouraged Ms. Seon and her peers to develop national action plans to broaden opportunities for women to engage in leadership roles.

Pemba Braveboy

Pemba Braveboy participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Campaign 2012: Youth Participation in the U.S. Political System.” The program was held in the U.S. August 20- September 7, 2012. The goals of the program were to examine youth engagement in the civic and political spheres; discuss the roles and responsibilities of elected officials to involve youths in the political process; and address the role of NGOs and education in promoting and sustaining youth involvement. The program also afforded participants from around the world to observe the U.S. electoral process firsthand.

Siemone Lorainey

Ms. Siemone Lorainey was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Womens Entrepreneurship.” Ms. Lorainey is the owner of Cutie, Inc, a bridal shop in Grenada. As part of the program Lorainey met with small business owners in the U.S., attended clothing synthesis sessions, and received organizational instruction. During the period of May 12 to 24, 2012, Ms. Lorainey travelled to Washington, DC; Kansas City, MO; Dallas, TX, and Houston, TX.

Tyrone Buckmire

Embassy Bridgetown nominated Mr. Tyrone Buckmire to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation.” Topics discussed during the program include environmental protection, sustainability, habitat conservation, climate change and biodiversity. Participants met with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) personnel and representatives of relevant state and local organizations to examine environmental management policies. The program also included a tour of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Petrine Clarke-Whyte and Evauntay Bridgewater

Petrine Clarke-Whyte, teacher/librarian/library assistant within the Ministry of Education in St. Kitts; and Evauntay Bridgewater, Senior Library Technician within the Ministry of Education in St. Kitts. participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Librarians and Archivists as Defenders of Intellectual Property Rights” from June 13 – July 1, 2016 in the United States. This program was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of policies, best practices, and challenges for improving awareness and protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

James Sutton

Sergeant James Sutton of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force attended the IVLP on “International Crime Issues,” from February 11 to 22, 2013. Sergeant Sutton was among 16 participants, all from different countries, to complete the program. Sessions were held in Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Atlanta, Georgia. The themes of the “International Crime Issues” program were the U.S. justice system; U.S. foreign policy and global cooperation against crime and terrorism; international crimes; national security and civil liberties; human trafficking and smuggling; white collar crime and public corruption; state and local anti-crime efforts and justice systems; and enforcement of immigration laws.

Jihan Williams

Jihan Williams attended the IVLP “Education and Activism for Young Women” session from November 24 to December 12, 2012. The goals of the program were to examine ways to cultivate leadership in young females and encourage them to take action to improve the communities through developing skills such as critical thinking, self-awareness and team building; to emphasize the importance girls’ and women’s leadership, civic participation and volunteerism as components of civic life in the United States and around the world; and to explore creative partnerships between all sectors of civil society to address issues of concern to girls and women. Williams began the program in Washington, DC and then moved to Los Angeles, CA; where the group met with young girls who participate in The EmpowHer Institute’s after-school programs. Next, participants spoke to schoolchildren in Albuquerque, NM about their respective countries. The program concluded with a session in New Orleans, LA that addressed the unique needs of adolescent and teenage girls. Jihan Williams currently serves as a Crown Counselor and Deputy Clerk for the Federal Parliament Company Secretary.

Lauston Percival

Embassy Bridgetown nominated Mr. Lauston Percival to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Children in the US Justice System.” Mr. Percival attended sessions in Washington, DC; Reno, Nevada; Memphis, TN; and Miami, FL from January 24 to February 11, 2011. The program included meetings with public and private child advocacy groups and seminars at the Supreme Court and Department of Justice. Participants examined human trafficking, child welfare issues, and how the U.S. justice system protects and responds to the needs of juvenile victims and offenders.

Sharon Rattan

Sharon Rattan was nominated by Embassy Bridgetown for an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Ms. Rattan participated in the “Women and Justice” program from February 20 to March 9, 2012.

Alicia Stephens

Ms. Alicia Stephens participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Small Business Development.” In Washington, DC the group learned about the role of lobbyists and advocacy groups in the American political system. During their time in Cleveland, Ohio participants reviewed economic stimulation in efforts in the former industrial city. While in Salt Lake City, Utah Ms. Stephens and her peers examined the global perspective immersed in the small city’s business culture. In San Francisco the group learned about practices employed by start-up companies. The overarching goal of the program was to encourage the development of small businesses and entrepreneurship.

Cherianna Philip

Ms. Cherianna Philip was selected to participate in the “Public Health Issues” International Visitor Leadership Program. Through the program participants from 22 countries examined global and domestic initiatives towards awareness, prevention and treatment of chronic and non-communicable diseases and learned to address public health concerns in a holistic manner, fitting infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases into a broader policy context of health and well-being. Ms. Philip and her peers discussed public health concerns with representatives at the National Institute of Health, Center for Disease Control, and the Trust for America’s Health.

Ingrid Cox

St. Lucian Ingrid Cox was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention.” The goals of the program were to explore U.S. policies on the education, prevention, and treatment of HIV/AIDS at the national, state and local levels; highlight the contributions of non-governmental organizations in educating the public about HIV/AIDS and supporting individuals and communities affected by the disease; and promote international cooperation in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. Following the program, Ms. Cox expressed her hope to engage in a partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles.

Josette Edwards

In January and February 2013, Josette Edwards attended the International Visitor Leadership Program “Children in the U.S. Justice System.” Ms. Edwards, an administrative assistant with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, was joined by counterparts from 25 countries around the globe. The goals of the program were to explore the U.S. judicial system, especially the legal structures in place to protect children; examine the American juvenile justice system and practices used to treat and rehabilitate juvenile offenders and their families; and examine international cooperation to combat trafficking in children and child exploitation to resolve cross-border child custody disputes, and implement The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. Participants began the program in Pittsburgh, PA; followed by Washington, DC; and then either Pensacola, FL; Oklahoma City, OK; Austin, TX; or Baton Rogue, LA. The program concluded with a four day session in San Francisco, CA.

Kim Emmanuel

Kim Emmanuel was nominated by Embassy Bridgetown to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “International Security Issues.” Emmanuel attended sessions in Washington, DC; New York City, NY; and San Diego, CA from April 24 to May 4, 2012. Participants received instruction related to federalism and the development of the American system of government, contemporary and traditional security issues, and urban policing; along with tours of the National Counter Terrorism Center and the United Nations. Ms. Emmanuel is the First Secretary of the High Commission for St. Lucia in London.

Kristy Shortte

Kristy Shortte, administrative and research assistant at Sustainable Grenadines Inc., which is located on Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, traveled to the United States to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). She took part in a three-week project on “Our Oceans” from March 14 until March 25, 2017. During the program, participants examined U.S. efforts to address coastal and marine management issues, particularly marine pollution, climate impacts on the ocean, marine protected areas, and sustainable fishing; had opportunities to interact with youth and other stakeholders engaged in marine and coastal resources protection; share strategies to develop awareness and to integrate local level projects with regional and international marine protection and clean‐up efforts.

Donna Mason-McLean

Donna Mason-McLean, the Librarian at the National Public Library in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) titled “Librarians and Archivists as Defenders of Intellectual Property Rights” from June 13 – July 1, 2016 in the United States. This program was designed to enhance participants’ knowledge and understanding of policies, best practices, and challenges for improving awareness and protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Shafia London

Ms. Shafia London of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program “Small Business Development.” Through the program participants examined the economic, political, and social factors that promote the development of small businesses and entrepreneurship in the U.S.; explore the role of small business and entrepreneurship in economic development, democratization, and stabilization; and demonstrate the impact of small businesses on local, regional, national, and global economies. Based on the knowledge gained during her time in the U.S. Ms. London is working to implement programs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines similar to those examined through the IVLP. Ms. London was among 24 individuals from 23 countries to participate in the August 29- September 16, 2011 program.