American Councils has operated in Turkmenistan nearly since the country’s independence.
Legally, we are an extension of the US Embassy under the 1993 Foreign Assistance Agreement between the US and Turkmenistan. This legal status only allows us to implement US government programs in-country and only those viewed as mutually agreed upon by both governments.
The governments of Turkmenistan and the US share goals of building friendship and understanding between the American and Turkmen people, as well as having more Turkmen citizens access US higher education institutions to enhance the country’s development, especially in the oil and gas sector.
AC Turkmenistan focuses on three main program areas under these goals: the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program, American Corners, and US higher education preparation.
Despite a range of legal, cultural, and diplomatic restrictions, our staff have found innovative ways to maintain an active alumni community, the most popular American Corners in the world, and prepare Turkmen citizens for success in the vastly different higher education system in America.
Roughly 90 percent of Turkmenistan is made up of the Karakum (or “Black Desert”), with only a few urban hubs separated by hundreds of miles of the world’s second-hottest desert. Under the sand is our world’s fourth-largest confirmed natural gas reserves. This fuels the vast majority of the economy and drives the government’s investment in STEM education.
Despite the majority of the population being of Turkmen nationality, the country has a wide range of ethnic, tribal, linguistic, and cultural diversity giving each region its own distinct flavor.
Our central office is in Ashgabat, the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat has been renewed and expanded in the last ten years, making it the Ak Shaher or “White City.”
American Corners provide critical support for AC Turkmenistan's efforts while having their own unique attributes.
DAC specializes in providing local English teachers with resources and new methodology. Over 50 percent of the visitors to MAC come from villages outside the regional capital to access its services. And TAC has fostered a vibrant youth volunteer community who independently lead many cultural projects.
Contact our director to learn more.