The Institute of International Education worked with the Ibrahim Family Foundation to create the Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project, and managed the project until 2012. From the program’s inception in 2009 through 2012, 26 undergraduate students participated. You can learn about their experiences on this website.

The program is now being managed by Queens College. Please visit the Queens College site for current information and to learn how to apply.


The Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project in the Middle East, sponsored by the Ibrahim Family Foundation (IFF) and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) from 2009-2012, provides an opportunity for high-achieving U.S. undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds and faiths to develop their leadership skills and gain first-hand experience with dialogue efforts in the Middle East.

Following an orientation session in Washington, DC, students engage in a two-week study-tour in three Middle Eastern countries where they meet with leaders and organizations representing a range of viewpoints. Students meet with every type of person – both those who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to promoting tolerance and mutual understanding as well as those who represent more thought-provoking viewpoints, which help students understand the nuances of the region.

In addition to IIE program staff, students are accompanied by distinguished academics who act as Faculty Advisors. These Advisors provide formal lectures on issues relating to the region, as well as informal commentary throughout the study-tour which allows students to further explore their intellectual curiosity.

A unique aspect of this program is the emphasis on the post-program Impact Plan. Students are expected to incorporate this experience into their academic and surrounding communities by engaging their peers in activities, projects, and events, which support the foundation of a more peaceful and prosperous shared future.


The objectives of the Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project in the Middle East are to:

  1. Provide an opportunity for high-achieving U.S. university students with strong leadership potential to gain first-hand experience in the Middle East
  2. Facilitate engagement with organizations and leaders in the Middle East working to overcome religious, cultural, ethnic, and political prejudice and hostility in the region
  3. Inspire respectful dialogue as a tool for building mutual understanding between people of different faiths and backgrounds
  4. Foster a deeper understanding of the countries and cultures of the Middle East through dialogue and personal interaction.