The mission of International House is to enable its members from around the world to live and learn together in a diverse residential community that builds life-long qualities of leadership, respect and friendship.
This mission is achieved by daily interaction among its residents through programs, facilities and residential life designed to foster diversity of thought and experience.
International House was conceived by the late YMCA official Harry Edmonds following a chance encounter with a lonely Chinese graduate student in 1909. The philanthropy of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the Cleveland H. Dodge family led to its construction at 500 Riverside Drive in 1924.
For more than 88 years, the I-House experience of international cultural exchange in a diverse community has transformed the lives of more than 65,000 people.
An independent, non-profit organization, International House has enjoyed distinguished leadership since its inception. Past Chairmen of the Board have included two former U.S. Presidents, three Secretaries of State, and a former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Among I-House's alumni have been some outstanding and accomplished figures of global renown that reflect the House’s diverse community, including Nobel prize winners and heads of state as well as award-winning authors, singers and actors.
The addition of leadership training for its residents has enriched the scope of international cultural exchange at I-House, and has enhanced the significance of its goal of preparing leaders for a global community.