Our Mission: 

We build cultural respect at home and around the world one person at a time.

Founded in 1938, the Iowa International Center began by welcoming and providing safety for refugees fleeing Germany and Poland.  For almost 75 years, the Iowa International Center has been providing personal and professional opportunities linking Iowans with peoples from around the world.

Over time, the name of the organization, its staff, volunteers and locations have experienced changes even as its essential goal – connecting people and changing lives– has remained unchanged.  The legacy of Elinor Robson, the founder and first Director of the Center, lives on through the Robson award, the highest award bestowed by our organization.

The focus of the Iowa International Center is to provide access to international resources to Iowans, new Iowans, and international visitors to Iowa.  The overarching impact provides economic and leadership development resulting in Iowa being a more inclusive and welcoming place to live, work and raise a family.

With more than 75 years of experience the Iowa International Center  is uniquely positioned and equipped to provide effective and efficient access to international resources in four distinct ways: