About American Councils for International Education

American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, an international not-for-profit organization, believes in the fundamental role of education in fostering positive change for individuals, institutions and societies. Building upon over three decades of regional expertise and development experience, American Councils advances education and research worldwide through international programs that provide the global perspective essential for academic and professional excellence. In collaboration with partners around the world, our dedicated team of professionals designs and implements innovative and effective programs responsive to the cultures and needs of the international communities in which we work.


Founded in 1974 as an association for area and language professionals, American Councils has focused its expertise on academic exchange, professional training, distance learning, curriculum and test development, and delivery of technical assistance, research, evaluation, and institution building.


Mission and History

American Councils, originally incorporated as the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR), has worked to advance research, training, and materials development in the fields of Russian and English, as well as strengthen communication within and among the communities of scholars and educators in language, literature, and area studies of the United States and the former Soviet Union. In 1987, the ACTR Board of Directors created the American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study (ACCELS), which quickly became a leader in the design and administration of exchange and training programs funded by the U.S. government.


In its four decades, American Councils has developed into one of the premier American education and international training organizations, administering more than thirty exchange and training programs, including U.S. government programs and non-U.S. national fellowship programs. The organization develops collaborative and partnership programs between individuals and institutions in the United States and the countries of Eurasia and Eastern Europe, consults on project design and education innovation programs, and actively contributes to the development of Eurasian language and area studies in the United States. And the organization maintains its commitment to the teaching of the Russian language, with over 100,000 textbooks and educational materials sold and 6,500 Russian-language learners registered online.


To reflect the organization’s development and expanded activities, in 1998, the ACTR Board created a new organizational structure with a new name, American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS. ACTR and ACCELS are divisions of the American Councils. American Councils employs a full-time professional staff of over 430, located in forty-seven offices in forty cities in 15 countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Funding comes from public and private sources, including the U.S. Agency for International Development; the U.S. Department of State; the U.S. Department of Education; the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the governments of the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan; the World Bank; the Carnegie Corporation; the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundations, and other public and private donors.   American Councils has nearly two dozen overseas offices sprinkled throughout Eurasia, Southeast Europe, and South Asia. If you are looking for contact information for a specific office please visit the American Councils website.


Contact Information

American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS
1828 L Street N.W., Suite 1200 Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-833-7522
Fax: 202-833-7523