International Space Stations (ISS) circling the planet by NASA
Scientists collaborating on plant research by Shutterstock
Peace. Prosperity. Sustainable Futures.
Building International Cooperation & Science Diplomacy
We build international understanding, peace, and cooperation through people-to-people exchanges, experiential learning, leadership development, and travel focused on learning about and engaging in projects in key emerging sectors essential to our collective future.
We fight hate. We build peace.
Science diplomacy is the use of scientific collaborations among nations to address common problems and to build constructive international partnerships.
HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, first Saudi astronaut and now Chairman of the Saudi Space Agency, and Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., with NASA Administrator Jim Brindenstine
ISS from space by NASA
Bringing a Global Outlook & Science Diplomacy to
U.S. - MENA Relations
Quasar International Institute is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to building understanding & building bridges. QII develops cooperation, collaborations, and strategic partnerships. We enhance U.S. awareness, knowledge and understanding of Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world, and we enhance MENA (Middle East and North Africa) awareness, knowledge and understanding of the U.S.
It's not our differences that divide us. It's our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.
A President & A King
On February 14, 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud aboard the USS Quincy. This was the beginning of the long-term historic relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
FDR, a Democrat, and Ibn Saud could not have been more different men, but they quickly developed a strong rapport. The King mentioned his legs were getting weaker, and FDR immediately gave him one of his two wheelchairs. The King called it his "most precious possession." The king was also treated to delicious dishes, including apple pie a la mode, which quickly became one of his favorite foods. Then FDR had the U.S. Navy cook train the King's staff how to bake a pie. FDR also refrained from smoking and drinking out of respect for Ibn Saud's religious and cultural practices, unlike Britain's leader, Winston Churchill.
These gestures of generosity, hospitality and cultural respect led Ibn Saud to declare "I have never met the equal of the President in character, wisdom, and gentility." Ever since, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship that has led to stability and economic growth for decades.
Culture, religion, and history are critical to building understanding and partnerships in space, sustainability and health. Appreciating each other's heritage helps people from different backgrounds and nationalities find common ground.
Diverse Disciplines But Common Vision
QII has expertise and a focus on:
Political Risk Analysis
Soft Power Development
United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Reforestation, Biodiversity, & Water Management
Space Commercialization & Exploration
Geopolitical and Globalization Challenges
Societal Impacts & Humanitarian Issues
Cultural Heritage Preservation
Geopolitical factors and societal issues such as refugees, migrant and foreign workers, human trafficking, gender inclusion, and other societal and humanitarian challenges are critical to pursuing these 3 key sectors and addressing these 3 core challenges.
The Kaaba in the center of the mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is Islam's most sacred site.
What We Do
For Schools & Students
We provide opportunities for U.S. and MENA schools and students to engage in international experiential learning experiences - including projects, research, and travel - by providing internships for university and graduate students, as well as early career professionals. QII can also assist students with applications to NASA's DEVELOP program, the U.S. Department of Education's CubeSat Program, and the Commonwealth of Virginia's ThinSat Program. QII provides opportunities for high school, college and graduate students, as well as young adults. With our focus on space, sustainability, and health sectors, students and young adults have opportunities to work on core challenges in water, food security, and climate change through hands-on projects and international peer-to-peer collaboration. Projects focus on promoting peace, prosperity, and sustainable futures, as outlined in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) .
Students build tiny pico satellites with sensors, use computing software and AI, analyze geospatial imaging and other data, and participate in NASA, CubeSat & ThinSat projects.
Students also get a chance to learn about each other's heritage and culture, and gain professional experience and leadership development skills. QII publishes students' articles, artwork, and reports on Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, and the Middle East in its digital magazine, reports, and social media.
Training & Travel
For Corporations, Governments & NGOs
Likewise, QII also creates and provides opportunities for government officials and employees of companies to visit, learn about and take part in experiential learning, leadership development, and travel in the U.S. and MENA region. Professional development experiences focus on how technologies like AI, Blockchain, geospatial imaging, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and Big Data analytics can be used in rapidly evolving sectors - public and private space exploration, green and blue economies, and health technology and security - to address water resource management, food security, climate change, pandemic prevention, and other critical surival and security needs.
Science Diplomacy As a Strategy for Peace & Prosperity
QII provides opportunities to learn and build relationships and professional networks. We foster international strategic partnerships, promote cooperation, and strengthen ties by promoting innovative approaches in these three sectors so critical for our collective future. From the Rub' al Khali desert sand dunes in Saudi Arabia to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, travel and training opportunities can help MENA and U.S. professionals develop strategic partnerships that result in international cooperation, economic and environmental collaboration, and fruitful business ventures.
Rub'al Khali (The Empty Quarter) in a NASA satellite photo showing salt flats from ancient lakes, evidence of a cooler, wetter climate on the Arabian Pennisula thousands of years ago
Holistic & Multi-Faceted
With our team's holistic, multi-faceted perspectives, we see through multiple "lenses." Educational and innovative strategic partnerships can fail, not only due to technical or scientific challenges, but often due to a lack of awareness and sensitivity to cultural, political, religious, economic and historical perspectives. Our team brings together people with diverse expertise and training from a variety of practice areas and disciplines with a common vision and a commitment to support QII's mission and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Louvre Abu Dhabi by Olivier Chatel on Unsplash
Quarzazate Solar Plant in Morocco from NASA
Salt evaporation ponds near Dead Sea, Jordan, NASA
Abu Dhabi Natonal Oil Company Building by Mitel Grover on Unsplash
Travel & Education
We provide international education, training, and travel learning experiences for both students and professionals. What makes QII unique is our combination of experiential learning, leadership coaching, networking, and professional growth opportunities, and our focus on space, sustainability and health. QII brings together geopolitics, culture, heritage, art, and cutting edge technologies to address these emerging sectors. QII provides opportunities to learn about geospatial data, AI, 3D printing, Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and other innovations to help address water, food security, and climate change.
Both business and government leaders routinely identify leadership skills as critical for their organizations. Leadership can make peace, prosperity, and positive change possible for businesses, organizations and nations. Fortunately, leadership can be learned. We provide team and one-on-one executive leadership coaching to support professionals and students in taking ownership, becoming curious, learning to listen, experimenting and take risks, gaining confidence, developing emotional intelligence, and becoming authentic leaders. Nothing can help change our world more than changing ourselves.
Convening & Publishing
We convene leaders, professionals and students to dialogue through virtual learning and in-person conferences. Scientists, government officials, corporate leaders, and students can engage with experts on emerging geopolitical, cultural, space, sustainability, and health issues. QII also provides regular analysis and insights via reports, digests and media posts for NGOs, corporations and government agencies. We publish digital magazines, podcasts, videos and TV shows featuring research, articles, art and visual stories by participants to highlight learning experiences and project outcomes.
We provide consulting, training and capacity-building services for governments, businesses, and NGOs to support policy goals, business objectives, or charitable purposes. QII facilitates meaningful cooperation, impactful collaborations, and strategic partnerships. We enable people and organizations to maximize their strengths and impact. QII's team includes experts in geopolitical analysis and international relations; law; finance and accounting; change management and leadership; training and curriculum development; entrepreneurship; and communications, video production, visual design, and marketing.
Get in Touch
NASA space capsule at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Quasar International Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental educational organization incorporated in the United States with offices in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.
QII provides internships for both American and International students and early career professionals. Please fill out the contact form and indicate your interest, degree, and experience as well as contact information.