CIES was founded as a non-profit organization in 1947 by four prestigious academic associations – the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and American Council on Education (ACE), and became well known for its expertise and extensive experience in conducting international exchange programs for scholars and university administrators. For decades, CIES administered the Fulbright Scholar Program, the United States’ flagship academic exchange initiative, on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. In 1996, administration of the Fulbright Scholar Program transferred to the Institute of International Education (IIE), a premier nonprofit educational and cultural exchange organization established in 1919, while the CIES Advisory Board continued as an independent body providing valuable guidance on the administration and future trajectory of the program. The four academic societies (ACLS, NAS, SSRC, and ACE) that founded CIES continue to be represented on the CIES Advisory Board.
The CIES Advisory Board is composed of higher education experts from a variety of colleges, universities, and institutions dedicated to furthering international education and multicultural understanding. Several members are alumni of the Fulbright program. Board members provide insight and advice that helps ECA and IIE fulfill the program’s mission and they act as powerful advocates of Fulbright on their campuses and within the higher education community.