The Fund for American Studies was founded in 1967 to instill in college students an appreciation for the traditional principles that underlie the American political and economic system. In partnership with Georgetown University, The Fund for American Studies sponsors twelve Institutes that educate more than 700 students each year. More than 7,500 students from more than 80 countries have attended Fund programs. The Fund sponsors five Institutes in Washington, DC: The Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems, The Institute on Political Journalism, The Bryce Harlow Institute on Business and Government Affairs, The Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service, and the Capital Semester Program.
In 1993, the Fund created its first international program at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. The American Institute on Political and Economic Systems hosts students from countries of Eastern and Central Europe and studies the political and economic transition process of the post-Communist era. TFAS was among the first organizations of its kind to recognize the need to engage students from the Eastern Mediterranean in an intellectual discussion of the ideas of democracy and market economies. A partnership was formed with the Greek Association for Atlantic and European Cooperation, led by Theodossis Georgiou and Aliki Mitsakos-Georgiou. Together they created the International Institute for Political and Economic Studies (IIPES) by drawing from the democratic traditions of ancient Athens and spirit of peaceful interaction characteristic of the ancient Olympics. Now held on the island of Crete, the program includes a workshop on conflict management and discussions on how democratic and market institutions foster peaceful cooperation and prosperity.
Other TFAS international programs include the Asia Institute for Political Economy, the European Journalism Institute and Institute for Leadership in Americas.