Press Releases

Press releases by the Alliance. For media Inquiries, contact Laine Cavanaugh at

Alliance Statement: Administration’s Cuba Travel Policy Hinders Public Diplomacy

Statement by Ilir Zherka, Executive Director of the Alliance for Internatioanl Exchange:

President Trump’s new policies towards Cuba includes a detrimental restriction for Americans traveling to the island for educational purposes. The administration’s argument for cancelling this travel category is the erroneous assumption that people-to-people exchanges do not help the Cuban people and instead only benefits the Cuban government.

Administration’s 2018 Budget Jeopardizes our Nation’s Public Diplomacy Efforts

For Immediate Release
Contact: 202-293-6141

Fate of Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs Rests with Congress

Washington, DC (May 23, 2017) – The budget released today by President Donald Trump proposes an unprecedented cut of 32 percent to the International Affairs budget, and a 55 percent cut to the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) specifically. ECA funds and oversees a wide range of critical international exchange programs which enable people-to-people diplomacy.

Successful J Day 2016 – event summaries

Alliance members hosted 26 different community service events in states around the U.S. to participate in “J Day” – the annual celebration of international exchanges. These events enable sponsors to connect exchange participants with their American hosts through meaningful and fun activities.

Statement on Trump’s Foreign Policy Plan: “Extreme Visa Vetting”

“Donald Trump’s visa policy proposal would hurt the United States if applied to international exchange and education. New visa requirements are not needed and are counterproductive. Exchange visitors already go through extensive screening before coming to the United States and are tracked by program sponsors once they are here.

Ilir Zherka joins Alliance for International Exchange as new Executive Director

For immediate release: January 11, 2016

Contact: Kaitlyn Chriswell, 202-293-6141,

Washington, DC – Ilir Zherka recently joined the Alliance for International Exchange as new Executive Director.

Zherka, who served as Executive Director of the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), will lead the Alliance in its continued efforts to promote the growth and impact of exchange programs.