“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

“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

“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

“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

“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. The notable diversity and breadth of experience among the participants were also an important factor. Clearly a lot of thought went into their selection. Finally, the event was designed well. The discussions were permitted to evolve over the course of each session and the three days. This open approach encouraged continued, active engagement by the participants for the entirety of the event.”

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

“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

“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

“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 (surprise!). The Center’s mission is to encourage dialogue between the United States and Muslim populations across the world, and 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