Tertiary educational institutions increasingly are relied upon for sustainable development initiatives. This policy research note analyzes newly available data regarding seven key dimensions of 295 transnational sustainable development projects involving US universities. Comparative regional analysis of the projects profiled in the APLU/AAU database indicates that US universities engage in substantially fewer development projects in Central/Eastern Europe and the Middle East relative to other regions in the South. Further, these projects tend to be short term in duration, with a smaller proportion continuing to be active in 2011 and beyond. Donors or other external sources tend to be the principal impetus for projects in both regions, rather than campus faculty members. The findings suggest that one path to increasing higher education development initiatives in the Middle East and Central/Eastern Europe would center on providing opportunities and incentives for faculty at US and overseas partner institutions to build transnational contacts that lead to joint proposal initiation and submission. The future policy implications of these research findings highlight the importance of increased funding by government agencies, international organizations, NGOs, foundations and corporations for sustainable development projects undertaken through transcontinental higher education linkages of ten years' duration or longer. By expanding direct awards to higher education institutions for collaborative transnational initiatives, donors can further empower universities to address sustainable development challenges of the twenty-first century.