Dear NAFSA Members and International Educators Everywhere,
After careful consideration, and in deep concern for the health and safety of our attendees, the NAFSA board of directors has decided to cancel the 2020 NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo scheduled to take place on May 24-29 in St. Louis, Missouri.
For many of us, the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo represents an opportunity for our entire community to gather and explore our shared passion for creating a stronger, interconnected world. It not only brings the world together, but it also supports jobs and education around the globe, and we do not take that responsibility lightly. We will do everything within our power to continue to look for ways to bring international educators together, make vital connections, and continue to enhance global perspectives throughout higher education.
The international education community faces unique, exceptional challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NAFSA leadership recognizes that international educators will need an opportunity to come together during this critical time; and to that end we are exploring ways to re-envision our program in the virtual space by offering a new series of virtual events in lieu of our traditional conference. Our 2020 conference theme is Innovate, Influence, Impact. In that spirit, we will innovate and find new ways to present a rich array of programming. There will be more information on these new offerings forthcoming.
This pandemic is causing tremendous difficulty for so many in the field. Please know that NAFSA will continue to be your advocate. We remain in close communication with public health officials and federal agencies on the latest guidance for immigration, study abroad, and international education in general. As always, know that NAFSA is dedicated to protecting and defending the field at this critical time.
Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and support as we navigate through the crisis. Please continue to monitor the NAFSA.org website and social media channels for updates and upcoming events, and please practice self-care and be safe. We have posted responses to frequently asked questions on our website.
NAFSA thanks its dedicated members and volunteers, especially the Annual Conference Committee, who work for years to shape each conference, and whose commitment inspires us as we strive to offer programming in a new format. We will follow up separately with specific information for those who have registered for the conference, and related pre-conference programming. Global Partners, sponsors, and exhibitors will also receive special communication from your contacts on the NAFSA staff. I am confident that together we will emerge from the challenging months ahead with a renewed commitment to creating a stronger, more interconnected, more peaceful world.
President, NAFSA: Association of International Educators