Through the Decades


Founders Stephen Duggan, Sr. and Nobel laureates Elihu Root and Nicholas Murray Butler envisioned IIE as a central coordinating hub to establish political, economic, and cultural collaboration between students, scholars, and institutions worldwide. IIE was one of the first institutes to advocate for international exchange, pioneering some of the earliest scholar and student exchanges between the United States and countries around the world.

IIE has a century-long legacy of working with foundation, government, and corporate partners to develop and manage some of the world’s most prestigious educational and cultural exchange programs, including the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Language Flagship. Over the decades, we have expanded our work to additional facets of international education, including workforce training and opportunities for women and girls in STEM fields and students affected by conflict and natural disasters.

IIE has grown from three people in 1919 to more than 600 in 2019, united by our founders’ belief in the power of international education.