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Who We Are

CIEE is the world leader in international education and exchange.

Who We Are

A nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, CIEE is the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization. Since 1947, CIEE has helped thousands of people gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available.

We began nearly 70 years ago with a mission:

 to help people gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. 

It’s an undertaking we’ve been proud to pursue for seven decades.

Today, we serve more than 340 U.S. colleges and universities, 1,000 U.S. high schools, and 35,000-plus international exchange students each year.

We change lives; our alumni change the world.

Our Story

This is our story, one of transformation and expanding horizons.

Since the late 1940s we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing educational experiences that transform the lives of all they touch and to transforming our organization to meet the changing needs of both the times and our participants.

It’s more than a collection of events and milestones; it’s a story of how we’ve shifted focus from one critical issue to the next while never losing sight of our mission. We’ve boldly taken the lead in the past, and we’re honored by the opportunity to lead the way into the future.

This is our history. And we’re proud of it.

In the years immediately following World War II, a number of organizations and institutions emerged in the U.S. and abroad that were dedicated to promoting peaceful coexistence and respect between nations through student and teacher exchange programs. It soon became clear that these organizations needed expert assistance in coordinating their efforts.

To fulfill that need, CIEE (or the Council on Student Travel, as it was then known) was founded in 1947 and, in its first year of operation, attracted the participation of 32 member organizations. These were primarily U.S. nonprofits and cultural agencies that were engaged in sponsoring groups of students who wanted to travel to Europe for educational purposes.

By the mid-1950s, the Council on Student Travel (CST) was facilitating travel by U.S. students to study in Europe and bringing international students to the U.S. At the same time, CST established operations abroad and began sponsoring conferences on student travel for administrators, educators, and teachers.

In the 1960s, CST emerged as the locus of strategic and policy discussions on the future direction of intercultural education. In recognition of this strategic shift, in 1967 the Council on Student Travel changed its name to the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).

Over the past seven decades, CIEE has continually redefined its focus to meet the changing needs and expectations of students, faculty, staff, and institutions, solidifying its leadership as the world’s premier international educational organization.


CIEE Board of Directors

Robert E. Fallon, MBA
President & CEO,
Phosplatin Therapeutics LLC

Vice Chair
Thomas Mooney, J.D.
Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Laura Brege
Managing Director,
Cervantes Life Science Partners, LLC

Kendall Brostuen
Director of International Programs and Associate Dean of the College,
Brown University

Kathleen Cheek-Milby, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow,
Lynn University

Burch Ford
Independent Educational Consultant

Chris Hill
Former U.S. Ambassador and Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies,
University of Denver

David Jones, Ph.D.
Regional Manager of Branch Operations,
Navy Federal Credit Union

Peter Lighte, Ph.D.
Founding Chairman,
JPMorgan Chase Bank China (retired)

William Martens III
Managing Director,
Citigroup (retired)

Larry Schall, Ed.D., J.D.
Oglethorpe University

Kathleen Sideli, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Overseas Study,
Indiana University

Kumble Subbaswamy, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Marcelle M. Wahba
Former U.S. Ambassador and President of the Arab Gulf States Institute

John H. Yopp, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Educational Partnerships and International Affairs,
University of Kentucky Lexington (retired)
Educational Consultant

Johnny Young
Former U.S. Ambassador and Executive Director of Migration and Refugee Services,
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (retired)

Academic Consortium Board

The cornerstone of CIEE's study abroad program quality is the Academic Consortium Board (ACB). Independently elected, the ACB is comprised of exemplary leaders in international education from the nation's finest colleges and universities. For nearly 70 years, CIEE has drawn on the expertise of its consortium members to ensure that every study abroad program meets the highest standards for academic quality, intercultural exchange, and student safety.


Chair, ACB

Kendall Brostuen
Director of International Programs and Associate Dean of the College,
Brown University

Vice Chair, ACB

Kathleen Fairfax
Assistant Vice President for International Affairs and Outreach,
South Dakota State University

Evaluations Coordinator, ACB

Woody Pelton, J.D.
Dean of International Programs,
Elon University

Chair, CIEE Board of Directors

Robert E. Fallon, MBA
President and CEO,
Phosplatin Therapeutics LLC

William W. Anthony, Ph.D.
Director of Study Abroad,
Northwestern University

Mary Ryan Dando
Director of Study Abroad Programs,
University of Colorado at Boulder

Chris Deegan
Executive Director of Study Abroad,
University of Illinois at Chicago

Giorgio G. DiMauro, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Global Education and Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs,
Rutgers University

Jane Flaherty
Director, Study Abroad Programs Office,
Texas A&M University

Ronald Méndez-Clark, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature,
Modern Languages and Literature & Latin American and Latino Studies Institute,
Fordham University

Mary E. McMahon, Ph.D.
Director of Education Abroad,
University of California

Maxine J. Sample, Ph.D.
Director of International Education,
Dr. George H. Bennett Office for International Education,
English Professor,
Virginia State University

Stephen W. Sawyer, Ph.D.
Director, Off-Campus Study Programs and Associate Dean,
Bates College

Sarah E. Spencer
Director of the Office of Study Abroad and Associate Dean of Students,
International Education Center, University of St. Thomas