From the CEO

“The Need for International Education Has Never Been Greater”

A letter from NAFSA's CEO to the international education community following the U.S. presidential election.

Dear International Educators,

As we continue to watch the U.S. election process and consider what the results will mean for the field of international education, I write to reaffirm NAFSA’s commitment to and steadfast focus on our mission, values, and priorities. To put it simply, no matter the swing of the political pendulum in the United States, NAFSA remains determined to support, defend, and advance the field of international education.

The past 4 years have been one of the most challenging periods in the history of our field, and you have shown unparalleled strength and resilience. You have defended the field against travel bans, executive orders, detrimental regulatory actions, and xenophobic rhetoric. We are going to need to draw on your strength now more than ever.

NAFSA will always support a free and fair election, and the 2020 general election comes at a time when our field is undergoing tremendous transformation. The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the foundation of higher education, threatening student and scholar mobility to and from the United States in profound ways. Our entire international ecosystem is undergoing a seismic event. Yet I remain hopeful. 

Just as the virus knows no borders, nor should the solutions to it. The need for international education has never been greater. To emerge from this crisis and all we may face in the future, we will need to rely on global collaboration. 

Although the U.S. political landscape remains uncertain, one thing that is unwavering is NAFSA’s commitment to you—our members and the field. Today and always, NAFSA stands with you as we tackle the world’s greatest problems and dilemmas. I want to thank you for your continued commitment to your students and scholars and for playing a vital role in building a more globally engaged and welcoming United States.

Esther D. Brimmer, DPhil

About International Educator

International Educator is NAFSA’s flagship publication and has been published continually since 1990. As a record of the association and the field of international education, IE includes articles on a variety of topics, trends, and issues facing NAFSA members and their work. 

From in-depth features to interviews with thought leaders and columns tailored to NAFSA’s knowledge communities, IE provides must-read context and analysis to those working around the globe to advance international education and exchange.


NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA's 10,000 members are located at more than 3,500 institutions worldwide, in over 150 countries.