Awards and Leadership Recognition


NAFSA honors excellence in international education in many ways and at many levels. Areas of recognition include long-term service to NAFSA and the field, innovation, and collaboration. All members of the association are encouraged to participate in the awards process by submitting their nominations. .

Campus Internationalization Award

Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization

NAFSA recognizes institutions for overall excellence in internationalization efforts as evidenced in practices, structures, philosophies, and policies. The 2018 Senator Paul Simon Award Competition is now open.

National Awards

Award for Leadership and Collaboration in Honor of Cassandra Pyle

Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field in Honor of Marita Houlihan

Award for Distinguished Service to NAFSA in Honor of Homer Higbee

Rising Star Young Leader Award

Life Membership Award

Outstanding Leadership Award

Special Award for Outstanding Leadership in U.S. International Education Policy

Advocacy Award

Advocate of the Year

The Advocate of the Year Award is an annual award presented at NAFSA Advocacy Day to recognize an international education advocate who has excelled in grassroots advocacy.

Regional Awards for Leadership

NAFSA's 11 regions recognize leadership and service at the regional level.

2016 Regional Awards

Knowledge Community Awards

NAFSA's knowledge communities have developed several professional achievement awards to honor their outstanding participants. Members are recognized for exemplary service in their field, excellence in leadership, and lifetime achievements in their community. Each of these awards is presented during the appropriate Knowledge Community update at the NAFSA Annual Conference.

Education Abroad

International Student and Scholar Services

International Enrollment Management

Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship

Contact Us

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NAFSA's Values

NAFSA's members share a belief that international education advances learning and scholarship, builds understanding and respect among different peoples, and enhances constructive leadership in the global community.

To learn about NAFSA's Mission, Vision, and Values, read our Strategic Plan.