The Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) to the United States is one of the specialized agencies created by the Saudi government in 1951 to administer programs and policies to meet the educational and cultural needs of Saudis studying in the United States. It also functions as the intermediary between U.S. educational institutions and the Kingdom in terms of issues pertaining to culture, education and science.
SACM is part of the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., which is under the auspices of H.E. Abdullah bin Faisal Al Saud, the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the USA. However in terms of administration, finance and student affairs, the mission is responsible to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education.
The first Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the United States was established in 1951 to look after the first group of Saudi students who came officially to study in the U.S. The Mission conducted its business from the Saudi Arabian Mission to the United Nations in New York. In 1956 the mission moved to its own independent office in New York under the name of Saudi Cultural Office in America looking after the welfare of 48 students at that time
In 1975 the office relocated to Houston, Texas, and its name was changed to Saudi Educational Office to the USA. In 1977 computers were introduced for the first time to handle financial, administrative and academic matters.
The following year (1978), a branch office was established in Los Angeles. Toward the end of 1984 the main office was moved from Houston to Washington, D.C. In addition to the main office in Washington, D.C. and the Los Angeles branch office, three new branches were opened in Denver, Chicago and Houston. However, in 1987 the Denver and Chicago branch offices were closed to concentrate all efforts at the remaining three branches. In 1988 a major reorganization resulted in the consolidation of the remaining branches into the main office in Washington, D.C., which was renamed Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the USA.
Since 1988 the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission has undergone constant modifications in its organizational structure and continues to integrate modern information technology into its office procedures to meet the challenges of providing fast, efficient and reliable support and services to the Saudi students and their dependents in the USA, as well as to enhance SACM's role of strengthening the educational and cultural relations between the Kingdom and the USA.