Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
NEW YORK, March 20, 2012—More than 150 international education leaders from around the world gathered at the headquarters of the Institute of International Education in New York on Friday, March 9 for IIE’s annual Best Practices Conference. The event focuses on the most effective strategies to internationalize college and university campuses and honors the winners of the IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards, a program that recognizes the most innovative initiatives in international higher education each year.
At the conference leading higher education experts, including winners of the 2012 IIE Heiskell Awards, presented on diverse topics including Strategic Planning for Comprehensive Internationalization, Best Practices in Expanding Participation in Study Abroad, the Role of Philanthropy in Internationalizing Higher Education, and Best Practices for Building International Partnerships. Participants included university presidents, provosts, deans and international education professionals from campuses across the United States and overseas. To make these best practices widely available to educators, IIE has created a multimedia conference website with videos of the panels and speakers and downloadable presentations.
The event’s keynote speakers were Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Mariet Westermann, Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Assistant Secretary Stock’s address focused on the strategic importance of international education to the United States’ broader foreign policy priorities and the openness of the American higher education system. According to Assistant Secretary Stock, “People-to-people connections are, without question, our most effective tool for implementing Secretary Clinton’s vision of smart power—the simple but commanding idea that every strength of American society, including education, be brought to bear on the challenges that face our nation and the world.”
As part of her remarks, Assistant Secretary Stock highlighted the various international education programs funded by the U.S. Department of State that serve American and international students, including the Fulbright Program, Gilman International Scholarship Program, and EducationUSA.
Dr. Westermann’s talk explored how international education leaders could continue to foster strong and sustainable partnerships as they collaborate globally to teach, research, and solve interdisciplinary problems. She also discussed new trends in liberal arts education in the United States and around the world.
According to IIE President and CEO Dr. Allan E. Goodman, “IIE’s Best Practices Conference is one of the best forums to discuss new developments in international education today, and to challenge ourselves to do even more to educate global citizens. Exploring new ideas at the conference and learning from the IIE Heiskell Award winners brings us one step closer to making international a part of everyone’s education.”
On March 8, IIE hosted a pre-conference series of informal, interactive roundtable discussions on other significant topics in international education such as Internationalizing the Faculty, Higher Education Exchanges with the Arab World, and U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Initiatives.
Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.