NAFSA Marks its Milestone with a Call for Climate Action and a National Strategy for International Education
For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, NAFSA: Association of International Educators kicked off its 75th annual conference in Washington, D.C. The flagship event of the international education field, the NAFSA 2023 Annual Conference & Expo will connect international educators, exhibitors, business partners, public officials, and others from across the industry and the globe from May 30–June 2.

“NAFSA 2023—my first as CEO—is truly a joyous homecoming for the field, the association, and for me personally,” said Fanta Aw, NAFSA executive director and CEO. “But we must acknowledge the world has changed profoundly since 2019, when the conference was last in Washington, D.C. I am so proud of all that our field has achieved during NAFSA’s 75-year history. Still, we must continue to evolve to meet the many pressing needs of today: climate change, threats to human security, polarization, social injustice, and attacks on academic freedom, among others. It is undeniable that the United States is facing growing challenges in recruiting the world’s best and brightest to its institutions and, ultimately, its workplaces, and only a sliver of our domestic students are accessing the career-enhancing benefits of study abroad. The potential of a lost generation is upon us.

“However, I am hopeful that together we can meet these challenges. NAFSA is attempting to do its part. We have officially become a signatory to the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE) Accord, a sign of our dedication to leading our sector’s transition to more climate-friendly operations and conducting international education in socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable ways. We are also calling on the Biden administration to lead the development of a proactive international education strategy to increase the number and diversity of international students in the United States and of U.S. students studying abroad. We urge our members and partners to join us in these efforts. This year’s convening is an important opportunity to advance this work.”

Read more about NAFSA’s sustainability practices at the conference and its call for a national strategy for international education.

Conference highlights include:

  • Programming that explores this year’s theme, “Inspiring an Inclusive Future,” including transformative ideas that redefine mobility for students, faculty, and staff; new models for comprehensive and inclusive internationalization; diversification of the voices that will shape the future of the field; and the global imperative for social justice and access.
  • Discussion of pressing issues and their policy implications in sessions and meetings such as “Hot Topics in Employment-Based Education, “Policymaking in International Education: the View from Washington,” and “Competing Globally: National Export Strategy to Strengthen U.S. International Education.”
  • Plenary remarks by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights activist Nadia Murad and writer, activist, and comedian Baratunde Thurston.
  • A celebration of NAFSA’s 75th anniversary, including NAFSA’s new book,  The History of NAFSA: 75 Years of Advancing International Education; a commemorative print edition of International Educator; and a digital experience that features archival photos, a timeline, and member voices. 

Other hallmarks of this annual event include the International Education Expo, which brings together more than 300 country consortia, institutions, providers, and other partners from across the industry and around the globe; the Latin America and Caribbean Forum and the Symposium on Leadership, which offer critical regional updates and innovative strategies for leading the field forward; and a celebration of the 2023 recipients of NAFSA’s International Education Awards, Advocate of the Year, and the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

Complete program information can be found via the online conference planner and mobile app, available for download at More information about NAFSA’s commemoration of its 75th anniversary is available at

Members of the media interested in covering the conference may request a pass in advance or request credentials on-site, in accordance with NAFSA’s media pass policy. On-site registration and/or badge pickup for the media begins at 7:30 a.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, May 30, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

About the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE)
CANIE is a volunteer grassroots initiative formed by international education practitioners from around the world who see the need and opportunity for the sector to take bold climate action. Through open-access resources, specialized events, networking, and information sharing, CANIE aims to mobilize the full power of the international education community to address our contribution to the climate crisis.

About NAFSA: Association of International Educators
Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange in the world. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, including our campaign for a national strategy for international education, visit Resources to guide our members on regulatory issues can be found at