UM’s Mansfield Center Awarded $7.5M to Support Nationwide Scholar Exchanges

Foreign scholars visit Glacier National Park as part of a program administered by UM’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center.

MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center was awarded a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of State to lead a series of institutes dedicated to enhancing global understanding of the U.S.

The funding will allow UM to design and oversee six multiweek integrated institutes serving more than 300 foreign faculty members, scholars and practitioners over the course of three years.

“Earning this grant contributes to the center’s ranking as the top UM unit in research expenditures so far this year in support of the University’s R1 research status,” said Deena Mansour, the Mansfield Center executive director. “The funding highlights our capacity to compete not only on the merits of our Montana programming, but also on our proven nationwide and global capacity.”

The institutes fall under the Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) branch, offering a nonpartisan, interdisciplinary approach to areas critical to national foreign policy goals. SUSI promotes a U.S. National Security Strategy recognizing that perceptions of the U.S. by people around the world have a significant impact on our freedom and prosperity. By promoting an understanding of the people, institutions, and culture of the U.S., foreign audiences are better able to appreciate issues germane to U.S. national security priorities.

In addition to implementing an institute on contemporary American literature, the Mansfield Center will oversee institutes at Arizona State University, the University of Delaware, the Institute for Training and Development in Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute and New York University. Partner themes include the media, U.S. foreign policy, economics and sustainable development, American politics, and U.S. culture and society.

The Mansfield Center was awarded the grant in part based on its successful performance in implementing a prior three-year grant for scholars with a local theme of workforce development.

“The shift in theme is critical to supporting global understanding of the United States,” said SUSI program officer Anne Hanson. “There are few better ways to understand people than through reading their stories.”

Nearly 60 scholars have attended the Mansfield SUSI program over the past three years, with demonstrated impact in their home countries. 

“During SUSI, we were provided an understanding of the U.S. educational system as it relates to workforce development, including instructional strategies, the linkage between innovation and better job opportunities, and the importance of a partnership between universities and employers to develop curriculum,” said Dizimalta dos Santos Miquitaio of Mozambique. “This was a paradigm shift and reinforces the importance of early job exposure and creating permanent internships, which are key to my project, which is focused on reevaluating curriculum development at my university.”  

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center was created to enhance mutual understanding between the U.S. and Asia and to foster ethical public policy and leadership. The center builds understanding among people and cultures, while fostering globally minded leaders of integrity in Montana and around the world.

For more information on Mansfield programs, visit


Contact: Elizabeth Harrison, director of communications, UM Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, 917-656-9773,