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black professionals in international affairs


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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 offers services and programs that promote the engagement of African Americans and others of African heritage in international affairs. Our activities address the interests of students, aspiring career professionals at all levels, and the public in the areas of professional development, education and cultural exchange, and business and economic development.

Who can benefit from BPIA services and programs? 

  • Diverse professionals of all levels looking to connect and network in an intergenerational community
  • Mid-level and Senior-level professionals interested in engaging in professional and social events 
  • Students seeking a travel/study abroad experience, internships, or fellowship
  • Mid-level international affairs practitioners wanting to meet someone who could help with a career transition
  • Organizational partners and sponsors committed to engaging in diverse communities
  • An entrepreneur interested in the experiences of international business people
  • An ‘everyday person’ interested in learning more about global affairs and the role of people of African heritage in them


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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