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The History of CIRED

Virginia Tech was founded in 1872 as a public land-grant university. Discovery, creation, and dissemination of knowledge has always been central to its global mission. University faculty conducted agricultural development projects in Africa and Asia in the 1960s and in 1971, Virginia Tech President T. Marshall Hahn created the University Committee on International Programs (UCIP) to coordinate such work. 

In 1975, the U.S. Congress passed Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, which mobilized the research, teaching, and extension expertise of U.S. land-grant institutions and established the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). Virginia Tech hosted BIFAD’s first Conference on International Development with the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. After the university received its first Title XII grant in 1978, it added a then groundbreaking Women in World Development component to its work. The 1980s saw Virginia Tech President William Lavery named the chair of BIFAD and UCIP consolidate international development projects into the Office of International Development (OID).  

In 1991, OID became the Office of International Research, and Development (OIRD) and over the years established itself as a leader in international development. The office’s mandate was expanded in 2002, when it was renamed the Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED). In 2018, OIRED became CIRED, a new center focused on continuing Virginia Tech’s global legacy.