Participants and Partners

The strength and effectiveness of Hollings Center programs derives from its unique blend of participants and partners. Since its inception in 2004, the Center has carefully crafted a balance of backgrounds and viewpoints for the promotion of better dialogue.

Our dialogues bring together a geographically diverse group of participants and partners to build networks and promote cross-cultural understanding.

participants and partnerships
  • 65 Countries

    The Center strives for geographic diversity in all of its programs to allow for greater cross-cultural opportunities and global solutions. This includes Muslim-majority and non-Muslim-majority alike.

  • 38 U.S. States & Territories

    The Center aims to have representatives from across the whole of the United States, not just major metropolitan areas. Participants have come from every major geographic region of the US.

Dialogue participants and partners represent a wide array of expertise and disciplines. This carefully crafted balance opens minds to new ideas and opportunities.

  • Universities

    Participants include faculty, researchers, scholars, and students from universities and colleges around the world. The Center has partnered with many universities in the US, Türkiye, and the rest of the world.

  • Think Tanks

    The Center has partnered with US and global think tanks to discuss matters of policy and analysis. The Center regularly includes fellows and experts from these organizations.

  • Non-Governmental Orgs.

    Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) often provide on-the-ground connections to groups and individuals actively working to solve challenging issues. Furthermore, they help organize follow-on activities.

  • Government Representatives

    The Center connects with representatives of government agencies and legislatures, as well as diplomats. Establishing these relationships can impact other dialogue efforts and policy discussions.

  • Business & Trade Orgs.

    Public-private partnerships and the private sector can be major drivers of economic development. The Center engages business leaders and entrepreneurs to provide a difference of perspective.

  • Journalists & Media Outlets

    Freedom of speech and accuracy of facts are critical to fostering dialogue. To enhance understanding the Center regularly engages journalists and media outlets for first-hand knowledge.

  • Next Generation

    The Center believes engaging the next-generation of leaders and thinkers is critical to the long-term maintenance of dialogue. Many of the Center's programs focus on providing opportunities to this group.

  • Scientists & Scientific Orgs.

    Too often, there is a disconnection between science and policy. As data and data collection becomes increasingly important to make policy decisions, the Center invites members of the scientific community into its programs.

What our participants and partners have to say about us...

There is no doubt that the Hollings Center methodology is effective. A recent survey of past Hollings Center participants showed that over 90% of respondents are highly satisfied with the strength of the format and the quality of the discussion. Almost all participants responding to the survey report continued contact with their fellow dialogue participants. Hear directly from participants themselves what they have to say about our programs:

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

Following a dialogue that looked at Central Asia's challenges, a group of female entrepreneurs from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan who were eager to share their experiences and difficulties of running a woman-led business in Central Asia convened a new business group. One participant from Tajikistan invited others to attend and speak at an annual symposium on women in business, expanding the impact of the dialogue outcomes.

"Central Asia's Regional Challenges," 2013

Following this dialogue several participants held a workshop at Mardin Artuklu University. The event, “Oral History in Mardin: Developing Practice, Sharing Experience,” assembled a young Afghan scholar, a seasoned archivist, and director of a world-class oral history center with local oral historians, academics and students. These discussions promoted the use of oral history in Mardin and contributed to research undertaken to develop guidelines for the use of oral history in conflict resolution.

"Oral History in the Middle East and Central Asia," 2012

This dialogue brought together an unlikely pair: a Bosnian-American who heads a scholarship organization for Bosnians and a trainer from Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Program, who does outreach to rural villages in Afghanistan. Following the dialogue, three Afghans trained four Bosnians on formulating a nation-wide rural development program.

"Afghan-U.S. Relations: Development, Investment and Cultural Exchange," 2011

“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

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


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Istanbul Phone: +90 530 151 5603

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