Our Story

CIED was established at Georgetown University in 1981 to design and implement international development and public diplomacy programs. Our programs serve those from diverse economic, geographic, and social backgrounds, and provide people with the tools and knowledge to make sustainable and meaningful improvements in their communities and in their own lives.

Though we currently work in every area of the world, the Center’s initial focus was in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1985 CIED designed the USAID-funded Cooperative Association of States for Scholarships (CASS) program, later known as the Scholarship for Education and Economic Development (SEED) program.

With the CASS and SEED, CIED established a highly-effective program model that incorporated technical training, leadership development, English language learning, intercultural experience, and public diplomacy, providing higher education and professional development scholarships to over 9,000 youth and rural professionals throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and successfully preparing alumni to serve as agents of change and promote USAID’s development goals in their home countries.

Our work in Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrated CIED’s ability to leverage networks, adapt models, and dedicate resources to regional development priorities of public diplomacy, free trade, and anti-corruption.

As our expertise, experience, and capacity grew, our geographic scope expanded and CIED was awarded grants and cooperative agreements which provided the Center with a truly global scope, including programs funded by USAID and the U.S. Department of State:

CIED has developed special expertise in the area of English language programming and administers the U.S. Department of State English Language Programs (ELP), a highly prestigious program for American English teachers. Through ELP, CIED recruits and supports highly trained and qualified teachers of English to participate in short- and long-term projects sponsored by U.S. embassies around the world.

With a large dedicated staff, which includes TESOL experts, CIED is uniquely positioned to administer Youth Exchanges and English language programs tailored to the needs of partners around the world. We leverage our extensive program experience to design specialized, non-traditional exchange and training programs in a wide array of focus areas. And we continue to build on our solid reputation for developing and administering quality, cost-effective programs for private partners and government agencies in the U.S. and around the world.