The Austro-American Institute of Education was founded by well-known Austrian educator Dr. Paul L. Dengler in 1926 in Vienna under the auspices of the Institute of International Education. Among the founding members were Austrian Federal Chancellor Schober, Richard Strauss, Anna Freud, Otto Gloeckel, Julius Wagner-Jauregg and Nicholas Murray Butler. The first Chairman was the celebrated Viennese doctor Clemens v. Pirquet.
The Amerika-Institut was the first cultural institute in Austria concerned with academic exchange between Austria and the USA. Student exchange, summer school courses and language classes were the first activities of the institute, partly financed by a grant from the Carnegie World Peace Foundation. Closed during the Hitler-era, the Institute was reopened at the end of the war, while Vienna was
still burning. The new duties were, first and foremost, to pull together the ties torn apart by the war and to satisfy the urgent need for information, which was above all manifested as an interest in the English language. Resulting branch offices in Baden and Zwettl, schoolfilm hours, a library of cultural films and an English-language youth library were supplemented by the Club-Evenings of the Austro-American Circle. The Drama-Workshop produced 18 works of American authors. The Educational Testing Center was established.
In 1971 the Washington, D.C.-based sister-organization, “Friends of the Austro-American Institute of Education“, was founded. One of the renowned personalities of the board of directors included Dr. Wilder E. Spaulding, former cultural attaché of the US in Vienna and author of the celebrated book “The Quiet Invaders“.
Many important personalities of public and cultural life belong to the Institute´s executive board. The current activities of the Institute, which is a non-profit, non-political organization, are still dedicated to the cultural exchange between the US and Austria, above all in the field of education. Thus the Institute continues to fulfill its task in an ever globalizing world for which it was founded in 1926.
To promote true and lasting understanding, not only between the young generation of Americans and Austrians, but also between all young people in the world.