Prominent Exchange Alumni of 2012

President of the Dominican Republic and IVLP alumnus Danilo Medina. Each year, alumni of U.S. State Department exchange programs receive prestigious honors and attain positions of prominence all around the world. In recognition of these accomplishments, the list below highlights some of the top alumni achievers of 2012. Eight alumni became heads of state:


  • President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina (IVLP 1991)
  • President of Finland Sauli Niinist√∂ (IVLP 1992)
  • President of Germany Joachim Gauck (IVLP 1993)
  • Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson-Miller (IVLP 1981)
  • President of Malawi Joyce Banda (IVLP 1989)
  • President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti (IVLP 2005)
  • Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico (IVLP 2002)
  • President of Slovenia Borut Pahor (IVLP 1991)

In addition to these eight heads of state, more than 100 alumni assumed offices in cabinets or senior government positions worldwide. More than 20 alumni received honors including:

  • Chinese International Writing Program Alumnus Mo Yan who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature,
  • Tajikistan Sports United Alumna Mavzuna Chorieva who received a bronze medal at London 2012 Olympic Games, and
  • United Kingdom Fulbright Alumnus John B. Gurdon who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Congratulations to these alumni on their outstanding achievements.