Remarks by Robin J. Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Private Sector Exchange The J1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program welcomes nearly 280,000 visitors each year from outside the United States on one of our thirteen different types of cultural exchange programs. Our exchange visitors experience American society as students, teachers, young professionals, and scholars. While in the United States they enrich all kinds of American institutions, as well as American families and businesses. They are bright, motivated, and leaders in their home countries and they return home to do great things all while keeping in touch with their American friends. I oversee the Exchange Visitor Program, which is a vital tool to build mutual understanding and trust between Americans and citizens from other countries. This program offers exchange participants a hands-on experience to learn about US society and culture while sharing their own culture and perspectives with Americans. When we appreciate the similarities that bring people together we strengthen our mutual understanding. These are the goals of people-to-people exchange and are at the very foundation of the Exchange Visitor Program. One of the most significant exchange programs in the world. For more information please visit our website, J1visa.state.gov.