Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

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The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries around the world. It is responsible for the United States Cultural Exchange Programs.

The current Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs is Evan Ryan, succeeding Ann Stock.[1]


In 1940, Nelson Rockefeller began the exchange of persons program with Latin America, as the Coordinator of Commercial and Cultural Affairs for the American Republics. This program sent 130 journalists from Latin America to the United States. In 1942, The United States Office of War Information (OWI) was created out of the United States Government's need for a centralized location for information. OWI was disbanded under the Truman administration, though a small element of the original structure was maintained within the State Department as the Office of International Information and Cultural Affairs (OIC), which was renamed the Office of International Information and Educational Exchange. In 1948, the Smith-Mundt Act sought to "promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding." The educational and cultural exchange aspects of the State Department were removed from the Bureau of Public Affairs and entered the newly created Bureau of Educational and Cultural Relations (CU) in 1959. In 1961, congress passed the Fullbright-Hays Act to establish a program to “strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations” [2] In 1978, the United States International Communication Agency (USICA) absorbed the bureau with the understanding that USICA was in charge of United States public diplomacy. Ronald Reagan renamed USICA to the United States Information Agency in 1982, and in 1999, USIA was absorbed by the State Department.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://eca.state.gov/about-bureau/about-assistant-secretary
  2. ^ https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/iegps/fulbrighthaysact.pdf
  3. ^ "History of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs". Retrieved 27 April 2011. 

External links[edit]