The Hollings Center designs its initiatives to create long-lasting impacts on participants and their communities.  By creating an experience that shares knowledge and fosters understanding, the Center believes that connections made have impacted perspectives and created new opportunities.  

Hollings Center Programs have demonstrated long-term impact through interpersonal connections and initiatives.

What our participants say...

I spoke with a great deal of participants that challenged my thinking in a substantive way. What was of particular interest was the interaction I had that discussed the role of whether water is a public good or market commodity. My thinking has evolved due to this interaction.

Participant of "The Water, Energy, Food Nexus," 2016

Perception change takes time, but this is the starting point. When we were coming we were in a different mentality. I would say it’s more than 50% changed. We learned a lot of new things here. We made so many good friends. I know each and every person can bring a positive change.

Participant of "Afghanistan-Pakistan Partnership Summit II," 2018

“The unique thing we had was the diversity in the room at this dialogue. What happens usually is that NGOs sit in a corner and talk to each other, same with other sectors. We should all go back to our sectors and organizations, maybe have thematic events within the sector.”

Participant of "Social Integration through Entreprenuership," 2018

“The Hollings Center for International Dialogue is a refreshing departure from the typical Washington, DC based institute: it keeps a very low profile and regularly accomplishes exactly what it has set out to do. It does so by organizing small, private roundtables… [that] inculcate a sense of honesty and modesty among the participants that most international panels or conferences fail to capture.”

J. Edward Conway, past participant and small grant recipient

“At my work, I cooperate and communicate more with government officials than civil society, private sector and academics. So it was a new experience for me to meet such a group consisting of people who have difference backgrounds but all with plenty of experience and vision. Thank you.”

Participant of “Central Asia’s Regional Challenges,” October 2013

“We’re closer to each other than we think. It’s good and helpful to understand each other in a moderated environment. I’m impressed by the caliber of participants; particularly the Iraqis who give me hope once some of them are in positions of power.”

Participant of “Iraq’s Foreign Policy and Economic Challenges,” February 2013

“I found the discussions at the Conference to be extremely rewarding. For me, the event sparked new thinking, outside of the usual patterns. This speaks to the intellectual ambition in the selection of the topic, which required the participants to stretch outside of the regular categories, including comparing and contrasting two regions not often discussed together.”

Participant of “Competing Mediation in the Middle East and Central Asia,” October 2012

“It is very rare to leave a meeting on Afghanistan with a sense of optimism and excitement about what is possible and to feel that those of us outside the formal policymaking process may be able to make a real difference. You and your staff created a safe and inviting atmosphere, and I think many meaningful connections were made or reaffirmed as a result.”

Participant of “The Future of Afghan-U.S. Relations: Development, Investment, and Cultural Exchange,” May 2011

“This event provided an excellent combination of expertise, perspectives, and national experiences. I feel lucky to have participated in an event where the discussion was high quality, wide ranging and respectful.”

Participant of “High and Dry: Addressing the Middle East Water Challenge,” May 2014

“The overall experience of hearing perspectives of professionals with different backgrounds was very insightful in providing a holistic approach to the issue.”

Participant of “Bridging the Disconnect Between Education and the Economy,” February 2015

“I am heartened to see dedication of people around the world on these issues because they can seem overwhelming. The sincerity of participants is clear. The organizers showed respect for the voices of committed people of faith, which is sometimes not found in purely policy circles.”

Participant of “Challenging Extremist Ideology, Propaganda, and Messaging,” April 2015

Small grants amplify the reach of dialogue conferences and produce creative, interesting partnerships

Hollings Center Small Grant projects are innovative and wide reaching. Here are some examples:
  • Two documentary filmmakers, a Palestinian and Egyptian living in New York and Los Angeles respectively, won a small grant to expand their animated documentary Sawt. Sawt, meaning “voice” in Arabic, is an oral narrative and animation documentary project highlighting the experiences of female activists in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and their role in the nation’s dramatic transition to democracy. With the grant, the grantees were able to go back on the Egyptian street one year after the revolution, this time talking to women about the 2012 presidential election.

  • A Hollings Center small grant supported the exploration of an exchange program between Concordia College in the United States and Independent University in Bangladesh (IUB). The grant resulted in several agreements for collaboration between the two universities beyond the original idea for a student exchange program. These partnerships included a research agreement to advance an asthma study between professors from each university, a detailed exchange and study abroad agreement and the possibility for Concordia faculty and students to use other field research facilities at IUB.

  • Two Hollings Center participants joined together for “Untold Stories: The Oral History of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage.” The two worked together to create an on-line repository of interviews from Afghanistan’s cultural heritage specialists and other stakeholders of cultural preservation in Afghanistan. These interviews were featured on the website of Kabul at Work and presented in Washington, D.C. at an event titled, “Afghanistan’s Cultural Institutions and Private Sector in the Shadow of 2014.”

A non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering dialogue between the United States and countries with predominantly Muslim populations in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Eurasia and Europe


US Phone: +1 202-833-5090

Istanbul Phone: +90 530 151 5603

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