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black professionals in international affairs


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BPIA Core programs

BPIA undertakes a range of activities designed to increase the participation of African Americans and others of African heritage in international affairs. Our programs for students, professionals, and the public focus on three areas:


Business and Economic Development

Professional Development and Mentoring

Education and Exchange


Professional development and mentoring workshops 

Career fairs and networking events 

Gatherings that broaden participants’ knowledge, insights, and experiences in international affairs

      About BPIA

      BPIA is a charitable, non-profit membership association founded in 1989 by international educator Barbara C. Patterson and associates to increase the involvement of African Americans and other people of African heritage in international affairs. We are an all-volunteer association of people brought together by our passion for international affairs and our desire to further promote the field as a worthwhile career option. The association’s reasonable membership dues promote an inclusive member base, from interested students to accomplished retired diplomats. BPIA maintains a limited overhead and uses donations and membership fees for administrative costs, outreach, and outstanding program implementation.

      BPIA is committed to linking our efforts with those of groups and organizations that have similar goals. To that end, we support and work collaboratively with other public, private sector, and non-profit organizations to carry our mission. 

      The President's Holiday/Farewell Message

      BPIA Board In action

      BPIA board member, Sandile Hlatshwayo, attended the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali, Indonesia (October 4-13th, 2018) to present her research on corruption. Together with co-authors, she explored how news coverage of corruption can help us better understand its effects. To do so, they used more than 665 million newspaper articles to create news-flow indices of corruption (NIC) and anti-corruption efforts for 30 economies. NIC shocks persistently lower GDP growth, while anti-corruption measures only appear to have a sustained positive impact when paired with meaningful institutional strengthening. 

      BPIA Membership

      • General Membership: $50/year

      • Student Membership: $20/year 

      • Sustaining Membership: $195/year

      • Institutional Membership: $2500/year

      Join Us

      Upcoming events

      • No upcoming events


      BPIA membership is open to all applicants who support our mission and goals without regard to race, religion/creed, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual preference or identity.

      Contact Us

      Mailing Address:

      P.O. Box 55922

      Washington, DC 20011

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