The Florida Association of International Educators (FAIE) was founded in November 1996 at the Florida State Meeting held during the NAFSA Region VII Conference in Hilton Head, SC. At that meeting,the FAIE voted to adopt its first Constitution (now called the FAIE Bylaws in accordance with NAFSA Central guidelines) designed to govern the activities of the FAIE. In essence, the founding of the FAIE was a restructuring of a precursor organization which had been in place for many years in Florida and which had produced outstanding programs and leadership for NAFSA during that period.
The founding of the FAIE was the result of leaders in the international education arena in Florida striving to anticipate the needs of professionals in the field as we approach the 21st century in our beautiful state. The previous leadership concept placed nearly all decision making and programming responsibilities on the shoulders of one person, the Florida State Representative to NAFSA Region VII. The new FAIE put into place a much broader structure designed to enhance the effectiveness of organizational leadership. The FAIE Chair, serving NAFSA Region VII, is now supported by five “District Coordinators”, a Past-Chair, and Chair-Elect who make up the FAIE Executive Board.
Of greatest importance, however, was the re-engineering of the new FAIE using a “district model.” For the first time, the FAIE was based on an organizational model that divided the state into five districts, roughly akin to the U.S.C.I.S. districts in Florida. The rationale for this concept was the dedicated intention of the FAIE to outreach to our local communities more effectively than ever before. This grassroots outreach has been shown to be highly effective in the FAIE districts, due to outstanding district leadership, since the FAIE’s founding. It is anticipated that the new FAIE organizational structure will also enhance the professional development of NAFSA in our state who will bear the responsibility of leadership in the years to come.