Alumni Affairs

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					                                                                    U.S. Department of State

The Alumni Affairs Office of the Bureau of Educational and
Cultural Affairs

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) carries out international exchanges that
include more than 30,000 individuals on an annual basis. All of these exchanges work to increase
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other nations.
The over 800,000 alumni of these exchange programs continue these efforts throughout their
lifetimes. The State Department is increasingly offering support for these alumni initiatives
through U.S. Embassies worldwide.

Program Tools
The Alumni Affairs Office acts as a support center for U.S. Diplomatic Missions worldwide. To
assist Public Affairs Sections in their engagement with ECA alumni, the Alumni Affairs program
offers the following tools:

       The State Alumni Website,

       Annual alumni project competition

       Support for the formation and maintenance of alumni associations

The State Alumni Website
The State Alumni Website is open to alumni of all ECA and USG-sponsored exchange programs.
More than just a website, State Alumni is an interactive global community, where alumni from all
over the world can share ideas, projects, and experiences. offers:

       Calendar of upcoming professional events in every region of the globe
       Searchable listing of tens of thousands of alumni, U.S. host families and contacts
       Two Free Research Databases that have over 3000 Academic Journals, Magazines,
        Newspapers, and more!
       Job listings and career development information
       Grant opportunity listings
       Live online discussions with world leaders and experts
       Discussion forums in English, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese

                 U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
       Alumni news items and success stories
       Photo gallery
       Optional Alumni ListServ
       State Alumni Member of the Month
       Alumni Association Resources Community

Annual Project Competition
ECA’s Alumni Affairs Office in Washington holds an annual competition to all U.S. Embassies
and Consulates worldwide for alumni oriented project proposals. U.S. Missions are encouraged
to work with alumni, Fulbright Commissions, and other alumni specific organizations to produce
a project proposal. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs supports projects that are
goal oriented and that involve a broad number of alumni.

ECA is supporting alumni everywhere with funds that enhance alumni initiatives including:

       Offering consultancy services to local governments and NGOs
       Programs in English and Civic Education for low-income children
       Training for journalists
       Business training for women
       Multi-lateral policy dialogues
       Leadership training programs
       Recruitment of new exchange participants
       Mentoring programs for recently returned exchange participants
       Teacher-training seminars
       Organization of citizen advocacy groups
       Public lectures on key issues
       Drug Prevention Campaigns

Alumni Associations and alumni leaders in search of support should be in contact with the Public
Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission that arranged for their exchange. Additional questions can be
sent to Washington, to:

Support for Alumni Associations
The Alumni Affairs Program offers alumni a specialized community on the State Alumni Website
(, called the “Alumni Association Resources Community.” Within this
community, alumni can access information relating to alumni association development and
fundraising, participate in a discussion forum, and read best practices from other alumni
associations around the world. A contact list of all alumni associations worldwide is also

To help alumni initiate their plans for developing an association, the Public Affairs Section at the
U.S. Embassy can be very helpful. Forming an alumni association should be as grassroots as
possible - created by and for alumni – but the U.S. Embassy can serve as a support structure
to help get the association on its feet. The most thriving, sustainable alumni associations in the
world have had strong support from Embassies - donating creative thought and time, a small

                 U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
amount of funds, and resources, such as the support of the U.S. Ambassador, logistical support,
and meeting space. Most importantly, however, strong alumni associations have passionate
leaders and members who carry out the mission of the association through projects and events
that are goal oriented.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State believes that
alumni of U.S. Exchange programs are a powerful force in furthering mutual understanding
among all nations. By forming an association, alumni can enhance their local communities by
implementing concepts explored during their exchange program. Joining and forming an alumni
association allow alumni to:

1 – Develop strength in numbers
2 – Network with other alumni who have shared a similar experience, making friends and
professional ties
3 – Further mutual understanding by leading cross-cultural discussions
4 – Perform community service projects - enhancing their society
5 – Support the next generation of young people by serving as a mentor and reaching out to
recruit new exchange participants.

Alumni Making Impacts Upon Returning Home

ECA exchange program alumni are working all over the world to improve the state of our
planet and all human societies. Many have become major leaders:

       37 alumni of ECA programs have gone on to win Nobel prizes
       41 alumni of ECA programs are currently heads of state, with over 200 current or
        former heads of state, and 1,500 members of Parliament
       Tony Blair, Hamid Karzai, Mohamed Yunis, Ruth Simmons, Javier Solano, John Updike,
        Rita Dove, Werner Herzog, and Giscard d’Estaing are all ECA alumni

Alumni interested in getting involved should contact their local U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs
Section, and search for project ideas, alumni association best practices,
and local and global contacts.

                 U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs