The Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) is an historic international movement that unites Hellenes and phil- hellenes worldwide under one, non-profit, non-governmental organization with its permanent headquarters in Thessaloniki, Greece. SAE, which was created by a 1995 presidential decree of the Hellenic Republic, serves as the advisory body to the Hellenic Republic on all matters of interest to Hellenes in the Diaspora and as the formal entity through which a continuing dialogue takes place between the Diaspora and the Hellenic Republic. The Council has now incorporated in Thessaloniki, Greece (permanent headquarters of SAE) as the Foundation of Hellenes Abroad. The regional SAEs are also incorporated as non-profit organizations under local jurisdictions.
SAE, through its own programs and the activities of its member organizations, aims to support and strengthen:
- the ties between the 7 million Hellenes abroad and the 10 million Hellenes in Greece and among Hellenes in their countries of citizenship
- Hellenic identity and heritage in the Diaspora
- the role of Hellenism in world affairs
- the greater effectiveness of Hellenic organizations worldwide.
Under World SAE are four regional SAEs, each covering one or more continents. World SAE is governed by an elected Executive Board, which consists of a World President, an Alternate President, five Vice Presidents - each leading a regional SAE established in each of the continents of North and South America, Asia-Africa, Europe and Oceania, as well as a Vice President for Cyprus - and four Secretaries. The Board is elected by delegates from Hellenic Organizations throughout the diaspora at the World Convention.
Under the leadership of its founding president Andrew A. Athens, over the past four years since its beginning, SAE quickly moved onto the world scene and took a leading role in world affairs.