The Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) funds and oversees educational, professional, and cultural exchange programs that are crucial to achieving United States’ foreign policy objectives. Each year, the Alliance submits requests to congressional committees in support of robust ECA funding. Congress allocated $646.1 million dollars to the ECA’s budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which is the largest amount of funding in recent years.
Funding for exchange programs delivers significant benefits to the United States. Over 90% of the exchange funding is spent in the United States or invested directly in its citizens or organizations, thereby strengthening the American economy. Additionally, ECA people-to-people exchanges help promote increased understanding among nations through a “soft” public diplomacy approach, which supports our national security.
Below are letters, resolutions, and other material supporting exchange funding, as well as a chart showing both requests from the Executive Branch and congressional funding levels since 2010.
- FY18 Booker letter supporting exchange funding.
- FY18 Johnson letter supporting exchange funding.
- Senate Resolution 357 – A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that international education and exchange programs further United States national security and foreign policy priorities, enhance United States economic competitiveness, and promote mutual understanding and cooperation among nations, and for other purposes.
- House Resolution 470 – Recognizing that international education and exchange programs further national security and foreign policy priorities, enhance economic competitiveness, and promote mutual understanding and cooperation among nations.
- State Department Congressional Budget Justification.
- White House FY19 Proposed Budget.
- 1,200+ Veterans Take Aim at Budget Cuts for State in a letter to Congress.
- Letter from 163 former U.S. Ambassadors supporting international exchange programs.
- Op-Ed – International Exchange Programs Receive Unprecedented Support.
- Op-Ed – International Exchange Programs are Vital to America’s Security.
- ECA State Fact Sheets.
- Alliance testimony supporting international exchange programs in FY19 to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
- Alliance testimony supporting international exchange programs in FY19 to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.