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ISKCON Official Invited by US Government to Participate in Renowned Leadership Program
By ISKCON News Staff   |  Jul 11, 2023
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Yudhistir Govinda Das with Mark Rozell, Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Yudhistir Govinda Das, Director of Communications at ISKCON India, recently was awarded the designation of Fellow in the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), administered by the United States government.

Spanning across notable cities such as Washington DC, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Raleigh, Charlottesville, and Santa Fe, the program facilitated fruitful meetings and engagements with a wide array of esteemed governmental, educational, civil society, and religious organizations. These included AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, Duke University, University of Central Florida, and the Church of Latter-day Saints, among others.

Expressing his appreciation for the program, Yudhistir Govinda Das commended the U.S. State Department for their professionalism and the well-structured nature of the program. He highlighted its effectiveness in establishing connections with renowned institutions and civil society organizations, many of whom are actively involved in charitable endeavors akin to those pursued by ISKCON.

“I would view the invitation extended by the U.S. government as a testament to ISKCON’s noteworthy contributions in diverse realms such as food relief, education, environmental preservation, and cultural promotion. Today, ISKCON has a major role to play in addressing the world’s challenges and being an effective partner to bring about a change,” added Yudhistir Govinda Das.

The IVLP stands as the premier professional exchange program facilitated by the U.S. Department of State. Participation in the program is exclusively by nomination from the U.S. Embassy. This initiative invites current and emerging leaders from various fields worldwide to engage in short-term visits to the United States, providing them with an opportunity to experience and gain insight into the functioning of American society while fostering long-term relationships.

With an impressive history, the IVLP has seen the participation of nearly 340 world leaders and heads of government. Notable figures who have engaged in the program include Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Over the course of three weeks, the program entailed more than 50 engagements with local, national, and international entities, serving as a platform for meaningful interactions and exchanges of ideas.

In addition to the official IVLP visits, while in Washington DC, Yudhistir Govinda Das and Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON’s Global Minister of Communications, also visited Shri Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Ambassador of India to the US at the India House in Washington DC.  They discussed the activities of ISKCON in the US and the upcoming Potomac temple, along with other initiatives of ISKCON in the region. Finally, the two made a call on KV Subramanian, one of the Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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