The Collective Public Policy Voice of the Exchange Community

Happy 2024! After a challenging but rewarding 2023, our team entered 2024 more driven and inspired than ever to advocate for educational and cultural exchange programs. 

Instead of making new year’s resolutions, we made a list of commitments to our members that we will work to uphold and prioritize throughout 2024: 

  • Validating and communicating our impact: The core of the Alliance’s work is promoting the growth and impact of exchange programs. Everything we do, whether it be advocacy, policy work, communications, or programming, is centered around this drive to show how exchange programs change lives.
  • Strengthening our position: Our ability to present a strong, unified front in the face of the uncertainty that comes with an election year will be critical. Our challenge this year will be to take that internal strength and translate it into strong partnerships in our field and on Capitol Hill.
  • Preparing for November (and the next Administration): At the end of the day, all roads lead to November. The run up to and outcome of the 2024 election will have a profound impact on the practices and policies that dictate our work. Our goal in the lead up to this unpredictable election is to ensure we are all as prepared as possible for what’s to come. 

Read on to learn more about new and established 2024 Alliance initiatives advancing these commitments: 

Validating and communicating our impact
We want to provide you and fellow exchange champions with the tools, resources, and opportunities to show decision makers how exchange programs support U.S. national security, strengthen the U.S. economy, and increase mutual understanding.  

We recognize that stories paint a picture, but data drives the message home. To that end, we’re excited to announce the creation of a new BridgeUSA report, in partnership with Rajika Bhandari Advisors, on the impact of these programs on participants, host communities, and U.S. public diplomacy. This comprehensive report will update and expand on the critical data shared in the Alliance-commissioned Eureka Facts Reports and will be ready by early fall to use in the direct run-up and immediate aftermath of the election. 

In addition to this new project, we hope members will join us in communicating exchanges’ impact in Washington, D.C. on March 6 and 7 for Advocacy Day, and in their communities on August 5 celebrating Exchange Day’s 10th anniversary. 

Strengthening our position
Strength comes in numbers, and, in our field, we are fortunate to have many partners and fellow champions. We look forward to collaborating with said partners to: 

  • Advocate for stronger funding for Department of State exchanges with our members’ networks, as well as the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition 
  • Engage the larger BridgeUSA community with the relaunch of Americans for Cultural Exchange 
  • Advance international student priorities as a founding member of the U.S. for Success Coalition 

In addition, this election isn’t just about the presidency; it will also reshape the composition of Congress. Our work on Capitol Hill will focus on those Members who are likely to be around in 2025, as well as preparing for the dynamics of a newly balanced Congress. We’ll continue to shore up support with established exchange champions on both sides of the aisle and create new ones. 

Preparing for November (and the next Administration)
This month and again in early March, we’re convening a working group of exchange community leaders to think critically about the election’s potential impact on our programs. The goal of this group will be to create a white paper outlining our principles and priorities. This document will serve as a road map for our 2024 advocacy strategy and will ultimately be shared with the next Administration and Congress to communicate our priorities. 

If you are not currently an Alliance member and are interested in learning more about how to join, please contact Gabrielle Cascio at