Forging Ahead into the Future Of International Education

By Allan Goodman, President and CEO, Institute of International Education (IIE)

An educational or professional experience beyond one’s borders and culture is critical to building skills for the future of work and education. I’d like to take International Education Week (IEW) to celebrate our collective achievements in the field and to look ahead to the future.

Thank you to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S Department of Education for leading IEW and reaffirming the U.S. government’s support for international educational exchange. IIE proudly administers The Fulbright Program, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, and many others on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). More than 10,000 American and international students participated in these flagship programs in the past year, further promoting peace and mutual understanding between cultures. We are also grateful to support the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Security Education Program (NSEP) by administering the Boren Scholarships, Boren Fellowships, and The Language Flagship Fellowships. 

September marked the beginning of a year-long celebration of the 40thanniversary of the Humphrey Fellowship Program for international professionals. Sponsored by ECA, the program has a network of nearly 6,000 Fellows and alumni who serve their communities in 162 countries around the world. It was our privilege to assist ECA in launching the #Humphrey40 celebrations with an alumni conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, “African Humphrey Voices: Building a Better Future for Our Continent.”  I look forward to collaborating with ECA in the next year to acknowledge the extraordinary professional achievements and impact of Humphrey alumni during the Fellowship’s first 40 years through a series of events around the world.

This year also marks the second year of the Hidden No More International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange project for women scientists, engineers and educators from the international community. They are currently in the U.S. for three weeks of collaboration with their U.S. peers in the STEAM industries to develop strategies to strengthen girls’ and women’s participation in STEAM education and careers. Earlier this month, 49 women kicked off the project by presenting their work at the National Geographic Museum; and just last week, they were featured in the local news for traveling to Huntsville, Alabama to speak with U.S. high school students about STEAM career opportunities for the future. The project was inspired by the Hidden Figures film, which highlighted the largely unknown African-American women who were key players in NASA’s space program in the 1960s.    

IIE also continues to administer the Boren Awards, which provide funding to strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and enhance international cooperation and security. Last year, the NSEP awarded 188 Boren Scholarships and 113 Boren Fellowships to students who studied more than 30 languages critical to U.S interests in 42 countries. NSEP’s The Language Flagship initiative transformed language and culture learning for students of critical languages at 31 U.S. universities, working with leaders in higher education to create the next generation of global professionals who bring to the workforce a professional level of command of languages other than English, cultural knowledge, in-country experience, and diverse majors.

At our annual Gala last month, I was delighted to hear IIE trustee Calvin Butler announce a $500,000 commitment to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to support at least 100 scholarships for students from the Baltimore, Maryland area to study or intern abroad as a part of the merit-based scholarship program.  The Gilman Scholarship supports talented students with high financial need with funding to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to job readiness and to America’s economic prosperity. The Gilman Scholarship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IIE. I hope to see civic leaders in other cities support the Gilman Program in this way and appreciate Calvin’s initiative.


It’s been quite a productive year for IIE initiatives. In response to the heavy demand for educational opportunities for the more than 65 million displaced persons worldwide, the IIE Platform for Education in Emergencies Response (IIE PEER) expanded its service to displaced students from 10 additional countries. In April, our work in higher education in emergencies earned the title of Honorary Member of the Order of Liberty from the President and government of Portugal. 

As IIE approaches its Centennial in 2019, we are excited to forge ahead into the next century by elevating and expanding our services for a rapidly-changing world. I’d like to invite professionals in education, government, business, and philanthropy to join us in New York, February 17-19, to come together to discuss forward-thinking strategies and solutions for the future of international education at the IIE Summit 2019.

Registration is open at and IIE is currently offering a 10% discount in celebration of IEW (valid through November 19). Use code SUMMIT2019_IEW for 10% off of any rate from November 9-19.

Thank you for your support for international education this and every week.