In the first year, the EducationUSA Leadership Institutes, a new initiative of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, engaged 80 participants from select countries and world regions to increase their understanding of U.S. higher education, develop the tools necessary to build capacity within their own systems, and engage with the U.S. higher education sector in effective, sustained ways. Groups of 12 to 15 higher education administrators and government officials participated in one of six Leadership Institutes focusing on a range of timely and critical topics. Each Leadership Institute was comprised of a pre-departure virtual training component, a DC-based three-day seminar, a 12-day Academic Residency component in the U.S., a two- to four-month virtual follow-on component, and other follow-on activities.

Since it's inaugural year the program has continued to engage over 150 participants from more than 80 countries during 11 Leadership Institutes. The program is currently in its fourth round.

The Leadership Institutes are a component of the State Department’s EducationUSA network, which assists international citizens in accessing U.S. higher education and in supporting U.S. higher education to better recruit international students. The EducationUSA Leadership Institutes are administered by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The first three EducationUSA Leadership Institutes took place in February 2015 and were hosted by three U.S. partner organizations that received grants to develop professional development session on the following focus topics:

  • The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) hosted the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. and provided participants with insight into both U.S. and international accreditation and quality assurance frameworks.
  • StudyColorado hosted the Private-Industry Sector Linkages & Innovation Leadership Institute and provided participants with an opportunity to explore the collaboration between higher education and the private sector around workforce development, R&D, and curricular reform
  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte hosted the Campus Internationalization: Institutional Structures to Support Inbound and Outbound Student Mobility Leadership Institute and advised participants on best practices for international recruitment and retention as well as the promotion of study abroad for U.S. students.

The second round of EducationUSA Leadership Institutes took place in July/August 2015 and was hosted by the following three U.S. partner organizations:

  • Saint Louis University hosted the Campus Internationalization: U.S. Graduate Education Leadership Institute in Saint Louis, MO and provided 15 participants with insight into the process of graduate student admission in the United States and the establishment and maintenance of international research collaborations. For more information about the Leadership Institute at St. Louis read "Graduate Education Program Receives Education USA Grant."
  • StudyColorado hosted the Industry-Private Sector Linkages & Innovation: Energy Sector Partnerships Leadership Institute in Denver, CO and provided 12 participants with an opportunity to explore the collaboration between higher education and the energy sector, while focusing on workforce development, research and development, and curricular reform.
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted the Campus Internationalization: Institutional Structures to Support Inbound and Outbound Student Mobility Leadership Institute in Champaign, IL and advised 14 participants on building capacity in sending domestic students overseas and receiving foreign students for short-term study and full degree programs. For more information about the Leadership Institute read "Academic Residency at Illinois Welcomes 14 Government Officials and Higher Education Administrators from 7 Countries."

The third round of EducationUSA Leadership Institutes took place in March 2016 and was hosted by the following three U.S. partner organizations:

Portland State University hosted the U.S. Graduate Education: Organization and Internationalization Leadership Institute in Portland, OR and provided 15 participants with insight into the structure and organization of graduate programs in the United States and focus on the establishment and maintenance of international research collaborations.

Case Western Reserve University hosted the U.S. Higher Education and Industry-Private Sector Linkages Leadership Institute in Cleveland, OH and provided 15 participants with an opportunity to explore the engagement between higher education and the private sector, including research collaboration, curriculum development, and workforce preparedness.

GlobalPittsburgh hosted the Campus Internationalization: Structures that Support Student Mobility Leadership Institute in Pittsburgh, PA and advised 14 participants on building capacity in sending domestic students overseas and receiving foreign students for short-term study and full degree programs. The Leadership Institute also included topics such as alumni engagement and quality assurance and accreditation in the U.S.

The fourth round of EducationUSA Leadership Institutes is currently taking place and is hosted by the following two U.S. partner organizations:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is hosting the Campus Internationalization: Structures that Support Student Mobility Institute.

North Carolina State University is hosting the U.S. Higher Education and Industry/Private Sector Linkages Institute.