Stevens Initiative


The Stevens Initiative was launched in 2015 as a living memorial and to continue the legacy of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, who studied abroad in Europe and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. These experiences shaped his view of the world, fueled his curiosity, and prepared him to be a good-willed diplomat who earned the esteem of people wherever he served.

The Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Aspen Institute, aims to make similar experiences available to an unprecedented number of young people through virtual exchanges that connect youth in the United States to students in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Once a year, the Stevens Initiative sponsors an open competition where qualified not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions can submit proposals to administer virtual exchange programs between young people in the U.S. and in the MENA region. The Initiative has given over 22 grants to organizations, reaching approximately 28,000 young people in over 43 States the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Additionally, 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa and the Palestinian Territories have been awarded grants.

For more information, on the Stevens Initiative, please visit or contact the Stevens Initiative team at or 202-736-3528.

Program Length

There is no application process for individuals for the Stevens Initiative.

Eligibility and Application Overview

Once a year, the program accepts applications from qualified U.S. and foreign institutions for virtual exchange grants. Participants are selected through the awarded grants that come out of this open competition.

For more information, please visit:


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Economic Impact in U.S.A.

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Find out the impact of ECA exchange programs and initiatives in each U.S. state.

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