Secretary Kerry Launches 100,000 Strong in the Americas

student graduate
Secretary Kerry Launches 100,000 Strong in the Americas

Secretary of State John Kerry will formally launch the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund on January 17 at the Department of State. The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund will promote, expand, and support study abroad programs between the United States and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean through challenge grants to higher education institutions to strengthen their capacity to both send and host student exchange participants.

The event will recognize the Fund’s initial donors, including ExxonMobil and Santander Universities, a Division of Santander Bank, as part of the Founding Circle, and The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Freeport-McMoRan Cooper & Gold Foundation, and the Ford Foundation as Contributing Partners. It will also recognize the recipients of the initial Innovation Fund grant competition.

Secretary Kerry will announce $1 million of Department of State funding to strengthen the capacity of universities in Latin America and the Caribbean to send and receive study abroad students. This funding builds on the Department’s ongoing support for the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, and complements the Department’s core array of international educational programs. In partnership with governments throughout the region, the United States also supports the Fulbright Program and other educational exchanges for students, scholars and teachers; provides students with accurate, comprehensive, and current information about opportunities to study in the United States through the EducationUSA advising network; and provides opportunities for students to learn English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund directly advances the vision first expressed by President Obama in 2011, “to work with partners in the region, including the private sector, to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America to 100,000 and the number of Latin American students studying in the United States to 100,000” annually. To implement the President’s vision, the Department of State has established a public-private partnership with NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education, and Partners of the Americas, a leading voluntary and development agency with more than 45 years of experience in the Americas. This unique public-private partnership will edu­cate and prepare tomorrow’s leaders through today’s investment by corpo­rations, schools, and governments that understand the value of connecting the hemisphere through its young people.

Please visit for more information on this initiative.