American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organizations in the world.

Since 1964, AIFS has been a leading organization providing cultural exchange and educational opportunities for more than 1.8 million young people.

For over 60 years, we have been committed to cross-cultural exchange. Under the direction of Chairman William L. Gertz, AIFS continues to operate its diverse selection of programs as a social enterprise. AIFS maintains an organizational structure that ensures that we have the resources to find new and innovative ways to pursue our core mission of bringing the world together; a mission dedicated to achieving positive social outcomes through global outreach.

We are very proud to consistently receive high satisfaction ratings from our program participants year after year.

AIFS was named one of the top places to work in Connecticut in 2011, 2015 and again in 2018.

AIFS operates 12 global locations & has program offerings in 29 countries worldwide.

We organize cultural exchange programs for more than 50,000 participants each year.

Our Vision:

We bring the world together®

Our Mission:

To provide the highest quality educational and cultural exchange programs to enrich the lives of young people throughout the world.

Our Values:

  • Excellence in our programs, operations and our people
  • Respect for all cultures and ethnicities
  • Exceptional, caring support for our program participants to ensure their safety and well-being
  • Technological innovation
  • Responsible financial stewardship
  • Teamwork and collaboration both within the organization and with our global partners
  • Encouragement of employee initiative and professional development
  • Honest, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of our employees and our program participants with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion
  • Commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices

AIFS Timeline

Sir Cyril Taylor, AIFS Founder

Sir Cyril Taylor was born in Yorkshire, England. He was the Founder and Chairman of AIFS and had a long and distinguished career in public service and education. At age 18 he received a National Service Commission serving with the King’s African Rifles in Kenya. Following his military service he went to Cambridge University graduating with an honors degree in history from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He then decided to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School for which he was awarded the Charles Bell Scholarship by the London Chamber of Commerce.

William L. Gertz, AIFS Chairman

In February 2018, Bill Gertz was elected Chairman of AIFS, a leading organization in the field of educational and cultural exchange. Bill led AIFS as CEO from 2005 - 2022, originally under the leadership of Founder Sir Cyril Taylor. Bill is a native New Yorker with more than 40 years of experience in International Education. He is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton, where he studied journalism and majored in European history. Shortly after college, he worked as a freelance writer, investigative reporter, and editor. Later, Bill completed the Strategic Marketing Management Program at Harvard Business School and in 2014 received an Honorary Doctorate in International Relations from Richmond, the American International University in London.

Jack Burg, President and CEO

Jack Burg web image

In 1998, Jack Burg joined AIFS as Assistant VP of Finance and in 2005 was promoted to Chief Financial Officer. In 2013, Jack’s role was expanded to Chief Operating Officer in addition to his responsibilities as CFO. Jack was promoted once again in 2023 and now serves as AIFS President & CEO.

Impact AIFS

AIFS is the sole funder of the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation (CTCF), named for our founder Sir Cyril Taylor, and dedicated to funding and supporting international education in all forms.

AIFS Organizational affiliations