May The World Live In Peace

History of CrossCurrents

CrossCurrents International Institute is a non-profit, public charity under the laws of the State of Ohio and is tax-exempt under federal law. Founded in 1983 to serve a national and international constituency, it is an outgrowth of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation’s International Affairs Program. CrossCurrents became independent of the Kettering Foundation in the mid-80’s.

Programs sponsored by CrossCurrents, between 1985–1991, focused on “citizen diplomacy” between the United States and the former Soviet Union. An estimated 1,500 people from USA traveled to USSR and 500 people from USSR traveled to USA under the umbrella of CrossCurrents. The purpose was to raise the level of awareness and information of participants from both countries and to foster people-to-people friendships. We asked participants on these travel programs to share their experiences with a wider audience after returning to their respective homes.

There were many unexpected success stories from the citizen diplomacy programs. Some participants, who had their first international experience through CrossCurrents, continue to the present time to be actively involved in a wide range of international activities. The broad purpose for these programs was to promote an international climate for peace and human development.

During the decade of the 1990’s, CrossCurrents has continued to sponsor programs with Russia but has also created programs in other geographic regions. Examples of programs during the 1990’s include:

  • newspaper column on topics related to global awareness

  • journalists exchanges between America and Japan

  • education study tours for community leaders to Africa and South Asia

  • professional musician tours between Russia and USA

  • CrossCurrents retreat center for hosting and receiving international visitors

Since the start of CrossCurrents, all projects have been focused on a common theme: to build connections and to tear down boundaries between people on our finite planet



"I like to believe that people, in the long run, are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Website by Jeff van den Bosch