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Education | IIHP

International Institute
for Health Promotion

About IIHP

The International Institute for Health Promotion, founded at American University in Washington DC in 1996, is a global cooperative comprised of select academic institutions, national and multinational corporations, private foundations and professional associations, and world thought leaders in the Health Promotion. The primary focus of the International Institute for Health Promotion (IIHP) is the continued education, development, and advancement of the current and future professionals that reside within the Health Promotion and Health Promotion Management fields throughout the world.

Mission and Strategic Objectives

Mission Statement:
The mission of the International Institute for Health Promotion (IIHP) is to strategically maximize the intellectual resources of select institutions, private sector organizations, and informed individuals so as to continually enhance and advance the educational preparation and training of Health Promotion professionals. The IIHP will accomplish this through the facilitation and development of collaborative educational strategies, focused research and public and private sector initiatives and partnerships.

Strategic Objectives:
The membership of the IIHP is dedicated to fulfilling the organization's Mission through the successful development and implementation of the following five strategic objectives:

  • To develop and recommend core curricula content for preparation of current and future health promotion professionals.
  • To develop, recommend and offer continuing educational programs for health promotion professionals.
  • To develop a research agenda along with appropriate methodologies to advance the evidence base of quality Health Promotion programs.
  • To develop and coordinate international exchange opportunities for students, faculty, and professionals within the field of Health Promotion.
  • To encourage and assist countries and public and private sector organizations in the development and implementation of health promotion policies and programs.


The founding and development of the IIHP in 1996 was a logical strategic international extension of the prior sixteen years of academic and research activities conducted by the National Center for Health and Fitness (NCHF) at American University. Founded in 1980, the central purpose of the NCHF was to provide leadership for the United States in the areas of health risk identification and lifestyle improving activities and to stay abreast of the growing and changing needs of the health and fitness industry and in particular health promotion professionals. To that end, in 1980 American University, as a central activity of the NCHF also established an interdisciplinary Master of Science program in Health and Fitness Management (now a MS in Health Promotion Management).

The Health Promotion Program at American University continues to strive to stay at the forefront of the health promotion movement and the many issues that face the US population while at the same time maintaining its established leadership position as one of the premier health promotion academic centers.

The onset of globalization and in particular the internationalization of the workforces of the worlds coupled with the increasing requests for information from the international community with respect to Health Promotion activities served as the impetus for the establishment of the IIHP at American University. Thus, starting in 1988 the founder of the NCHF embarked on a systematic process of evaluating the merits of officially establishing a global network of institutions and individuals to respond to the ever increasing needs of the global community with respect to quality Health Promotion programs and the educational preparation of professionals entering this rapidly emerging discipline. The culmination of this process was the founding meeting of the IIHP held at American University in June of 1996. Today the IIHP is comprised of over 200 institutions, organizations, and individuals that represent more than 50 countries.

Currently the IIHP established IIHP Regional Centers so as to bring the collective resources of the membership of the IIHP closer to select regions of the world. The University of Heidelberg, in Heidelberg, Germany was the first IIHP Regional Center in Europe. The following global map represents the delineation of the global regions for the IIHP.

iihp map

IIHP Network

Upcoming Events

Information forthcoming soon

Contact Us

International Institute
for Health Promotion
Dr. Robert Karch
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC
McCabe Hall - 225
p. (202) 885-6285

MS in Health Promotion Management

The Health Promotion Management Program is a competency-based, multidisciplinary academic program for individuals dedicated to assuming leadership positions within the health promotion industry. Established in 1980, the MS in Health Promotion Management was the first degree of its kind in the U.S. to integrate the business, science, and art of health promotion. Learn more about the Health Promotion Program at American University.

European Centre of the IIHP - University of Heidelberg

The European Centre of the International Institute for Health Promotion was founded in 2007 in Heidelberg as a result of an agreement between American University and the University of Heidelberg. All European activities are being coordinated in Heidelberg. Learn more about the European Centre.

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