The Volunteer Lecturer Program (VLP) of the IMU Commission for Developing Countries was established in 2008 by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the United States National Committee for Mathematics (USNCM), an IMU adhering body.
The initiation of the Volunteer Lecturer Program was inspired by the programs of the Centre International de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées (CIMPA) at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) in Cambodia, the London Mathematical Society's Mentoring African Research in Mathematics (MARM) program, and the Norwegian Program for Development, Research and Education (NUFU) with southern African universities.
At the invitation of the Cambodian Mathematical Society, USNC/Math Chair and first CDC Secretary for Policy (2010-2015) Herbert Clemens (USA) traveled to Cambodia in early 2007. Prof. Clemens was asked by French and Cambodian mathematicians for assistance and guidance in teaching shortintensive courses at the advanced undergraduate level in a Masters degree program organized by the Centre International de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées (CIMPA) with input from the French government at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). Based on the experience of this visit in the summer of 2007, the American Mathematical Society (AMS) disseminated a USNC/Math appeal to U.S. mathematics department chairs that detailed the purpose of the program and invited U.S. mathematicians to participate as volunteers. The appeal immediately received 50 viable responses. Following the responses the Volunteer Lecturer Program (VLP) was established in 2008.
During 2010-2012 the US Board on International Scientific Organizations received a grant from NSF to establish an on-going program and supported 10 lecturers (from the US) per year.
Since 2010 lecturers come from all over the world.