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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

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

Kathryn Dungy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Caribbean and Latin American History,
Saint Michael’s College

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

Christopher Thomforde
Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary (retired)

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

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

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

Vice Chair, ACB

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

Evaluations Coordinator, ACB

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

Rebecca Bergren
Dean for Global Initiatives,
Gettysburg College

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

Giorgio G. DiMauro, Ph.D.
Dean, International and Global Strategy,
Barnard College

Robert E. Fallon, MBA
Chair, CIEE Board of Directors,
President and CEO,
Phosplatin Therapeutics LLC

Adam Henry, Ed.D.
Director, Study Abroad Office,
Arizona State University

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

Scott Pentzer
School of Record ACB Observer,
Associate Dean, Global Education,
Tulane University

Lorien Romito
Director, Education Abroad,
Babson College

Maxine J. Sample, Ph.D.
Director of International Education,
Virginia State University

Sarah E. Spencer
Director of Study Abroad,
University of St. Thomas

Elizabeth Wildenberg de Hernandez
Associate Director, Study Abroad,
University of Iowa