Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is on a trip to the United States, seeking support as his country tries to bounce back from 20 years of conflict.
The trip marks the president's first U.S. tour since he was elected in September.
Mr. Mohamud is expected to seek American assistance on security, humanitarian, and development matters.
He briefed U.S. Congress members on developments in Somalia on Tuesday, and plans to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday.
During his tour, he is also expected to conduct an exclusive interview with VOA and meet with representatives of Somali immigrant communities in the Washington area and in Minnesota.
The visit comes at a time when Somalia's political progress has inspired confidence in the international community. In August, the country's new parliament was sworn into office, a significant achievement in ending an eight-year political transition.
Until formation of the new government, Somalia went more than two decades without a stable central authority.
Security remains one of the biggest challenges for Somalia.
However, the situation has greatly improved since African Union, Ethiopian and Somali government troops drove al-Shabab militants out of their main strongholds across southern and central Somalia.