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History of the International Baccalaureate®

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation.

A group of talented, forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools, created the IB Diploma Programme. What started life as a single programme for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has today grown into four programmes for students aged 3 to 19.

History of the IB

The programme in the early days consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world, seeking to provide students with a truly international education. Although the first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, they included a very small number of private national institutions and schools belonging to state education departments. This has changed over the years and today over half of all IB World Schools (authorized to offer one or more of our programmes) are state schools.

Although the first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, today over half of all IB World Schools are state schools.

Carrying forward the ideals and dreams of the IB founders, the organization exists to provide high quality education for a better world, as expressed in our mission statement.

IB programmes continue to encourage this international-mindedness in students and educators through the IB learner profile—a set of values that represent our mission and principles.


IB Directors General

Siva Kumari 2014-
Jeffrey Beard 2006–2013
George Walker 1999–2005
Derek Blackman 1998–99
Roger Peel 1983–98
Gérard Renaud 1977–83
Alec Peterson 1968–77

Chair of the IB Board of Governors

2009– Carol Bellamy, President & CEO, World Learning International Development Programs

2003–09 Monique Seefried, Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education, USA

1997–2003 Greg Crafter, former minister for education in South Australia, lawyer

1996–97 Bengt Thelin, director general of education, Sweden

1990–96 Thomas Hagoort, international lawyer, USA

1984–90 Piet Gathier, director general of secondary education, the Netherlands

1981–84 Seydou Madani Sy, director of the University of Dakar, Senegal and later minister for justice and special advisor to the president of Senegal

1968–81 John Goormaghtigh, director of the European office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace