From the 2nd grader to the CEO, Global Minnesota connects individuals, organizations, and communities to the world. Through a unique lineup of programs offered from the Twin Cities to Greater Minnesota, Global Minnesota takes relevant and timely information on international issues, foreign policy, and cultural topics, and provides the space and opportunity for Minnesotans to engage and discuss.
As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, we are unparalleled in the ability to deliver programs that allow Minnesotans to connect and participate in the international sphere, and for Minnesota to extend its influence around the globe.
Global Minnesota’s mission is to advance international understanding and engagement.
We are committed to serving Minnesota from a foundation built on the following core values: respect, collaboration, nonpartisanship, global competency, inclusion, and courage.
Programs with Meaning
Our distinct program areas provide rich and varied opportunities to connect with others from around the globe, serve as citizen diplomats, and gain a deeper understanding of the world.
The Global Minnesota story begins in 1951, when community leaders from Church Women United, led by Irene Hauser and Gladys Brooks, recognized the need for an organized approach to supporting international students coming to study at the University of Minnesota and other institutions. Their work was guided by the motto “They came as strangers – may they leave as friends.”
In 1953, these founders joined with a number of University of Minnesota professors, including Josef Mestenhauser, Bill Rogers, and Forrest Moore, and other community leaders to formerly incorporate an independent, nonprofit organization called the International Center for Visitors and Students. In 1965 the name was officially changed to Minnesota International Center (MIC).
In the early years, the work of the International Center was focused on organizing “citizen diplomats” to warmly welcome international students and scholars. Founders believed that diplomacy was not the exclusive business of professional diplomats, and that for Minnesota to thrive it needed direct engagement and dynamic leadership by Minnesotans in world affairs.
Since 1951, Global Minnesota has evolved from its roots as an international student welcoming committee to a multifaceted organization with a broad mission “to advance international understanding and engagement.” In a typical year we organize hundreds of educational events and civic engagement opportunities for people of all ages, connecting, informing, and engaging more than 20,000 individuals from across the state and beyond. We also serve as the official host for the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program participants who are invited by U.S. embassies around the world to learn more about America through virtual and in-person visits.
Global Minnesota is one of the oldest and largest World Affairs Councils in the United States, a proud member of Global Ties U.S., the nonprofit partner for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program, and an affiliate of the Foreign Policy Association.
In 2016, we formally changed our name to Global Minnesota, reflecting both our growth as an organization and the dynamic, diverse state we call home.
Celebrating more than 70 years of connecting Minnesotans to the world, and the world to Minnesota, we continue to evolve and reach new milestones.
Together, as members, employees, volunteers, and communities, we are Global Minnesota.
Financial stability and transparency are an important part of our commitment to our members and partners. We work efficiently and effectively to produce high-quality programs and provide necessary financial information.