About Us

As Iowa’s leader in international understanding and civic diplomacy,
Iowa International Center enriches lives and creates pathways to prosperity.

Founded in 1938, the Iowa International Center began by welcoming and providing safety for refugees fleeing Germany and Poland. Since that time, the Iowa International Center has been providing personal and professional opportunities linking Iowans with people from around the world. Over time, the name of the organization, its staff, volunteers and locations have experienced changes the essential goal – connecting people and changing lives – has remained unchanged.

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

The Iowa International Center  is uniquely positioned and equipped to provide effective and efficient access to international resources in four distinct ways:

  • The Iowa International Center provides an extensive interpretation and translation service through an ever increasing number of languages, with currently more than 60 languages and dialects and a network of 150 professional interpreters.
  • Through the Center’s own Sehgal Foundation International Visitors Center , the Iowa International Center works with the U.S. Department of State and USAID to facilitate visits from hundreds of emerging international leaders each year. These exchanges build personal and lasting connections between Iowans and professionals from around the world, as well as economic development opportunities for Iowa.
  • The Iowa International Center is happy to present our Global Conversations Webinar Series. Our webinar series is a free monthly conversation where we discuss relevant topics from a global perspective, such as The Multiplier Effect of Immigrants and Refugees . Topics are wide- ranging and features IVLP alumni from around the world.
  • The Iowa International Center provides essential resources to refugees and immigrants through the provision and ongoing development of the multilingual Welcome to Iowa web site (welcometoiowa.org)in 103 languages, a 24/7 Emergency Interpretation Hotline in 220 languages to assist non-English speakers and first responders dealing with crisis situations, and – most recently – Accessible ESL Classes at two locations in Des Moines. 




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