Programs for Professionals

In addition to multiple short and long-term academic exchange programs, U.S. Mission Russia offers programs for professional development. Please see below for further information on each program.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) brings mid to senior level individuals from Russia to the U.S. for a period of two to four weeks, to meet with their American counterparts and examine issues related to democratic and economic reforms, as well as other topics of interest in the U.S.-Russian relationship. The IVL Program provides a unique opportunity for established or potential foreign leaders in government, politics, media, education, labor relations, arts and other key fields to confer with their professional counterparts and to experience the United States first-hand.
Candidates cannot “apply” or nominate themselves. Unlike most other programs, the U.S. Embassy nominates the visitors and organizes a three-week trip to the United States from Russia to meet with their American counterparts in various cities around the country. Cultural and geographic diversity play a large role in these programs. The decision whether to accept and fund each person rests with the Department of State in Washington and the Public Affairs Section in Moscow.

IVL projects generally last three weeks and provide an in-depth look at a particular subject area. Participants travel in groups and visit Washington, D.C. and three to five other U.S. cities. Participants are typically in their 30s or 40s, and are mid-career professionals with a long career track ahead of them.

The following are among the topics that have been addressed in recent visits:

  • American Studies and the U.S. Political Process
  • HIV Prevention Strategies
  • The Role of Media, the Policy Community and NGOs from a Government Perspective
  • Journalism Education in the U.S.
  • Aviation Safety Programs and Procedures
  • Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Commercialization
  • The Role of Citizen’s Watchdog Groups
  • Terrorism Preparedness Programs
  • Using Public-Private Partnerships for Local Economic Development
  • International Adoption

The United States Congress established the Open World program in 1999. The program organizes short-term professional visits to the United States for citizens of the Russian Federation and the CIS states.

The goal of the program is to develop and strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and the Russian Federation. It provides opportunities for Russian leaders and professionals in various fields to visit the United States on a short visit, meet with their American counterparts, and exchange best practices on the most vital issues for both parties.

The program is intended to have a positive impact on the participants, both from the United States and from the Russian Federation. It promotes further professional growth of participants by developing their business and personal contacts, and contributes to the implementation of new projects that benefit the future of Russian society.

The program promotes mutual understanding between the United States and the Russian Federation by opening new venues of cooperation and developing and maintaining new forms of dialogue between new generations of American and Russian leaders. Since its inception in May 1999, approximately 19,600 leaders from the Russian Federation have participated in the program. They were hosted in more than 800 community organizations in the United States.

The Open World Leadership Center is governed by an independent Board of Trustees and implements an expanded year-round exchange program. It is permanently housed in the Library of Congress.

The Professional Fellows Program affords promising young professionals from Russia the opportunity to gain practical experience in, and exposure to, United States policies related to innovation and entrepreneurship. The knowledge and interest of these young Eurasian professionals in American policies to the above-mentioned areas will be expanded through short-term fellowships in a variety of American organizations and state bodies across the United States that address innovation/entrepreneurship policy issues. In addition, Professional Fellows will also have the opportunity to invite their U.S. supervisors to their home region to develop a mutually beneficial short-term project on innovation/entrepreneurship.

To be eligible for the PFP, applicant must:

  • Be a citizen and current resident of Russia;
  • Be 25 to 35 years of age at the time of the program;
  • Be proficient in English;
  • Have relevant experience in and commitment to a career in innovation/entrepreneurship in the public and private sector;
  • Be able to apply US experience towards innovation/entrepreneurship policy development in Russia.
  • Be involved (full time or part time) in the ecosystem or policy-making in the innovation and entrepreneurship sector (i.e., accelerators, incubators, mentors, non-profits, government offices, private business etc.) Entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for the program!
  • Be involved (full time or part time) in private business which supports and impacts innovation and entrepreneurship in Russia
  • Be involved (full time or part time) in private business which uses and employs innovative entrepreneurship tools to promote business development in Russia

Participants are selected through a competitive application process. Fellows will travel in two delegations (spring and fall) for a total of six weeks.

For more information on this program and how to apply, please visit:

If you have further questions, please contact:

The Russian Business Leaders (RBL) is a program for young Russians engaged in business leadership positions to gain exposure to work in the US private sector. Selected finalists will participate in professionally-relevant, tailored four-week fellowships at a wide-variety of US businesses and non-profit organizations, university business departments, accelerators, and other related institutes and enterprises focused on building businesses. The program will conclude with a dynamic four-day closing program in Washington, D.C., that includes a leadership certificate program at Georgetown University.

RBL will provide participants with an array of modern business tools, concepts, and principles that will strengthen their leadership and technical abilities through interactive and personalized projects, as well as build enduring professional relationships between Americans and Russians who share an interest in driving economic development forward. RBL is designed to allow Russian business leaders to share their experience with American colleagues, learn more about the United States, and build ties that will benefit business and cultural relations between the US and Russia. Many finalists will also have the opportunity to live with an American family and invite an American colleague back to Russia to explore prospects for joint business projects.

Finalists are selected through an open, merit-based competition. RBL pays for flights and all living expenses while on the program.

To be eligible for the Russian business Leaders Program, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen and current resident of Russia. Applicants living outside Russia or on a long term program outside Russia will not be considered eligible to apply;
  • Be 22 to 27 years of age at any time of application;
  • Be a college graduate (equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree or higher);
  • Be proficient in English; and
  • Have two years of relevant experience in and commitment to a career in business. Relevant fields of business include entrepreneurship, innovation, social entrepreneurship, large corporations.
  • Have demonstrated business leadership skills and experience.

Please apply at

For more information about the RBL program, please contact