aka American Councils   |   Washington, DC   |


American Councils strengthens international ties and mutual understanding through excellence in academic, professional and cultural exchange, language acquisition, educational development, and research.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Dr. David P. Patton

Main address

1828 L Street NW Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Nonprofit Management (S50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Cultural Exchanges

Since 1992, American Councils has supported more than 35,000 high school students from Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East, Southeast Europe, and the US while serving as a prime administrator for a variety of academic-year exchange programs.

These academic and cultural exchanges focus on the role of international education in sparking mutual understanding, civic engagement, community service, and personal and professional growth.

Through innovative design and implementation, American Councils has successfully fostered relationships between the US and young people from around the world by encouraging their development and ability to create positive change in their respective local communities.

Population(s) Served

American Councils has supported more than 25,000 rising professionals from 20+ countries through workforce training and internships funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Open World Leadership Center, USAID, and other institutions.

American Councils’ efforts are guided by proven recruitment strategies, transparent selection processes, a diverse group of industry partners, and experienced staff. As a result, these programs have forged pathways of understanding between countries, spurred ideas among professionals, and enhanced international collaboration through education across varied industries, from agriculture to education, healthcare, information technology, and tourism.

Population(s) Served

American Councils connects rising entrepreneurs from emerging markets with American institutions and businesses to learn how to scale and extend the impact of their companies, domestically and internationally.

While hosted in the US on curated internships, these aspiring CEOs, founders, and specialists enhance their business plans, form international networks, and participate in entrepreneurship training, leadership workshops, one-on-one mentoring, customer discovery meetings, and networking. Afterward, follow-on projects serve to sustain entrepreneurship ecosystems in their local communities.

American Councils identifies participants for bespoke internships at US-based startups, business incubators, established enterprises, small businesses, and universities. These partners share our commitment to assisting international leaders as they build their own businesses and joint ventures in greenfield and emerging markets.

Population(s) Served

ARC, the research arm of American Councils, seeks to expand the pool of policy-relevant data and research available to decision-makers at all levels who are concerned with foreign languages in education and the workplace.

ARC is distinguished from other research efforts by its focus on world languages: their acquisition, application, and relevance in today’s world.

ARC addresses central issues in US language policy with a global perspective to research and policy formation by providing data and new analyses related to language learning, including the impact of a second language on educational achievement and performance in the workplace.

In addition to research, ARC engages in outreach activities for policymakers and the general public through publications and policy round-tables. Sample efforts include:

Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Research - The Study of Dual-Language Immersion in the Portland Public Schools is a four-year study undertaken by the American Councils Research Center, Portland (Oregon) Public Schools, and RAND with funding from the US Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences. The study found that DLI students outperformed their English-only peers in reading in English by nearly a year, a key piece of information as DLI programs increase across the US.

Comprehensive Survey of US Foreign Language Enrollments: K-12 and Higher Education Project - This survey was made possible by a grant from the Language Flagship at the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO). ARC—working in conjunction with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), and the Modern Language Association (MLA)—conducted national surveys of elementary and secondary language programs, combined with the findings of the MLA 2013 Language Enrollment Survey, to provide a comprehensive overview of K-16 foreign language education enrollments in the United States today.

Primary Years Programme (PYP) International Baccalaureate (IB) - This study documents the current status of bilingual education implementation in PYP schools to gain a better understanding of the factors that inform and influence bilingual education in the PYP programs approved by IB. This includes examining forms, models, and strategies of bilingual implementation of the PYP that aim to promote student language proficiency.

Population(s) Served

For nearly 50 years, American Councils has played a leading role in developing and administering more than 24 higher education programs for the US government, foreign ministries of education, foundations, and public and private funders.

American Councils’ higher education portfolio currently supports outstanding students and scholars from countries throughout Asia, Africa, Eurasia, and Russia. For example, United States Timor-Leste (USTL) program offers full scholarships to talented and deserving students from Timor-Leste to receive two-year or four-year degrees at leading US universities, colleges, and community colleges.

Another academic scholarship, the US-Central Asia Education Foundation (US-CAEF) fellowship allows qualified students in Central Asia, who are selected based on academic merit and financial need, full scholarships for undergraduate study in business administration and economics at leading Western-style universities in Central Asia.

Population(s) Served

American Councils specializes in immersion learning and language training for critical and less-commonly-taught languages. Participants range from high school students through the postdoctoral and professional level. Partial to full scholarships are available for overseas study in 30 countries.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We have established a Monitoring and Evaluations department in 2019, which serves to cement our commitment toward measured and considerate management of our programs and impact.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Board of directors
as of 01/19/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Robert Rhea

COO, Govini

Board co-chair

Ms. Edith Falk

Principal, Falk Consulting

David Chang

Former Chancellor, Polytechnic Institute Chairman/CEO, GMEO, Inc.

The Rev. Anne Derse, Ambassador (Ret.)

Deacon and Minister for Community Engagement, St. John's Norwood Episcopal Church

Violetka Dirlea

Partner, AT Kearney

Thomas Garza

UT Regents and University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor, Slavic and Eurasian Studies Director, University of Texas at Austin

Robert Heath

US Department of State (ret.)

Michael Hora

CEO, Hora Enterprises

Abol Jalilvand

Professor of Finance and Ralph Marotta Chair in Free Enterprise Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University

Margaret Marsh

Senior Counsel, Akin Gump

Ambassador Richard Morningstar

Founding Director, Global Energy Center Atlantic Council

Ambassador John Ordway

US Department of State (Ret.)

Alan Platt

Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor, Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Susan Rheney

Managing Director, Kerr Rheney Group, LLC Independent Director, CenterPoint Energy

Alicia Ritchie

Senior Manager (Ret.), Inter-American Development Bank

Karl Eikenberry, LTG, Amb.

Ambassador and Lieutenant General, Ret., US Army

Betty Sue Flowers

Former Director, Johnson Presidential Library Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, UT Austin

Gazmend Gjonbalaj

CTO/Partner, Spaxel

M. Hill Hammock

Chairman, Chicago Deferred Exchange Company

Mark Taplin

US Department of State (ret.)

Irwin Weil

Professor, Slavic Department Northwestern University

Shannnon Baldwin-Davis

Director, Customer Channel, Schneider Electric

Kristin Hayden

Vision Powered Ventures

Tiffany Hickerson

Partner, Kearny

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/7/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data