CIES was founded as a non-profit organization in 1947 by four prestigious academic associations – the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and American Council on Education (ACE), and became well known for its expertise and extensive experience in conducting international exchange programs for scholars and university administrators. For decades, CIES administered the Fulbright Scholar Program, the United States’ flagship academic exchange initiative, on behalf of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. In 1996, the Institute of International Education (IIE), a premier nonprofit educational and cultural exchange organization established in 1919, became the administrating agency, while the Fulbright Scholar Advisory Board (CIES) continued as an independent body providing valuable guidance on the administration and future trajectory of the program. The four academic societies (ACLS, NAS, SSRC, and ACE) that founded CIES continue to be represented on the Fulbright Scholar Advisory Board (CIES).

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