ACSUS was formally established during a conference held at Duke University in 1971. Until 1975, the Association was managed through the Canadian Center at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University. Between 1975 and 1984, ACSUS was an affiliate of Meridian House International. In 1982, through the generous assistance of the Exxon Education Foundation, ACSUS established its secretariat in Washington, D.C., and in 1984, ACSUS became completely independent and relocated to the National Center for Higher Education; the relocation was due in part to the Association's rapid and dramatic growth and the assistance of the William H. Donner Foundation. After thirteen years at One Dupont Circle, ACSUS' sub-lease was terminated and the Association relocated to new office space in the historic Sun Building in downtown Washington D.C. in February 1997.