Working at the crossroads of social entrepreneurship, international education and international development, Global Citizen Year has built a team of passionate, results-oriented professionals who share a commitment to unleashing to potential of the next generation of global leaders through a transformative bridge year before college.
- Founder & CEO
As Founder and CEO, Abby leads the team by developing the vision, strategy and resources to make a global bridge…
As Founder and CEO, Abby leads the team by developing the vision, strategy and resources to make a global bridge year after high school a common expectation and opportunity.
Prior to founding Global Citizen Year, Abby spent more than a decade as an educator and entrepreneur in communities across the U.S. and around the world. One of her most notable achievements was designing an initiative that empowers youth to address global poverty, a model which has now become a flagship program of Mercy Corps.
A frequent speaker on social innovation and global education, Abby’s work has been featured in leading forums including the Clinton Global Initiative, the Aspen Ideas Festival, Pop!Tech, and The New York Times. For her achievements as a social entrepreneur, she has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, a Mind Trust Fellow, and a Harvard Social Enterprise Fellow.
Abby holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
What inspires you?
Passion, innovation, and human potential.
- VP of Programs
As the Vice President of Programs, Shannah leads the Global Programs team in developing the strategies and operations for facilitating…
As the Vice President of Programs, Shannah leads the Global Programs team in developing the strategies and operations for facilitating a world-class leadership development program that delivers a positive experience and impact for Fellows and Partners. Prior to leading Global Programming, Shannah designed, built, and grew the Global Citizen Year Ecuador Program as well as oversaw the development of the Global Training Curriculum.
Before joining the Global Citizen Year team in 2010, Shannah worked on international development, human rights, educational, and environmental management projects throughout Latin America, and mostly in Ecuador. Her career included consulting for Lumni Inc., CARE, and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), as well as leading Programs Teams at two Ecuadorian NGOs – Fundacion Pachamama and Fundacion Altropico..
Shannah holds a B.A. and M.A. in Environmental Anthropology from Stanford University.
Why do I do what I do?
I love interacting with people and diverse perspectives and life experiences, so that I can learn more about them, myself, and the world, one relationship at a time!
- VP of Recruitment and Growth Strategy
As Vice President of Recruitment and Growth Strategy, Erin leads a team responsible for increasing the overall impact of Global…
As Vice President of Recruitment and Growth Strategy, Erin leads a team responsible for increasing the overall impact of Global Citizen Year by developing brand presence, expanding the number of kids we serve each year and keeping our alumni meaningfully engaged.
Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Erin served as VP of School Partnerships for Revolution Foods where she led the expansion of Revolution Foods from 5 schools to over 1,200 nationwide. Prior to Revolution Foods, she served as the Bay Area Director for Playworks. Erin was instrumental in expanding this small, Bay Area organization into one that now partners with over 350 public schools nationwide. For the past 12 years, she has simultaneously served as the Head Varsity Coach of the girls’ basketball team at Emery High School and is also the Board Chair for Oakland Leaf, a non-profit dedicated to empowering Oakland youth in their search for social justice.
Previously, Erin worked for NICRO Women’s Support Centre in South Africa developing and implementing a policy that worked to prevent gender-based violence in major school districts.
Erin holds a B.A. from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela
- The New School-Eugene Lang College Faculty Advisor
Stephanie Browner is the Dean of Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City. As…
Stephanie Browner is the Dean of Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City. As part of her work there she meets with and advises students and alumni, observes classes, and teaches a yearlong course to the cohort of Lang/Global Citizen Year Fellows via email during their time abroad. The school received a $5 million grant from its founder, Eugene M. Lang, in honor of her leadership, and she recently secured a half million-dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation to launch Lang’s new Civic Arts and Humanities Community Partnerships Program.
Formerly Stephanie was the Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Berea College, a liberal arts college in Kentucky known nationwide for providing a tuition-free education to low-income students. Her accomplishments there included securing gifts and grants, increasing faculty diversity, designing new curricular initiatives, and collaborating with leaders across the state to launch a series of conferences on Kentucky’s energy policy.
Stephanie’s scholarly interests include nineteenth-century American and African-American literature, the history of American medicine, postcolonial literature, digital humanities, and contemporary public health issues. Her scholarship has appeared in leading journals including PMLA and American Quarterly, and she is the author of two books, including Profound Science and Elegant Literature: Imagining Doctors in Nineteenth-Century America. In fall 2013 a recent article written by Stephanie will appear in the German publication Communicating Disease: CulturalRepresentations of American Medicine.
Stephanie has lectured widely, especially on literature and medicine, and has created websites on Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. She is the founder and editor of The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive and serves on the board of Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship (NINES).
Stephanie’s early experience includes work as a medical volunteer in Central America, a high school English and Spanish teacher, and a professional modern dancer. She holds a PhD and an MA in American Literature and American Studies from Indiana University and a BA from the University of Chicago.
- Director of Strategic Projects
As Director of Strategic Projects, Stacey focuses on institutional partnerships and business development, and leads special projects across the organizations.…
As Director of Strategic Projects, Stacey focuses on institutional partnerships and business development, and leads special projects across the organizations.
Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Stacey was an Analyst and New Sector Alliance Fellow at NewSchools Venture Fund. At NewSchools, a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education for low-income children, Stacey conducted diligence on prospective portfolio ventures, and also supported the organization’s field-building efforts. Previously, Stacey worked with a strategy consulting firm specializing in impact measurement, and summered in equity research at Morgan Stanley. Stacey’s personal commitment to Global Citizen Year’s mission is fueled by the formative year she spent in Ibarra, Ecuador teaching at a community center.
Stacey holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
What inspires you?
Integrity, curiosity and perseverance.
- Manager of Program Experience
As Manager of Program Experence, Esther helps to oversee the US Fellows program experience at Global Citizen Year. She is…
As Manager of Program Experence, Esther helps to oversee the US Fellows program experience at Global Citizen Year. She is also responsible for managing curriculum development, evaluations, and program operations.
Esther previously worked in the social enterprise and higher education sector at Northeastern University, where she managed the Social Enterprise Institute’s international field research programs. Esther has led over 400 students abroad to work on social enterprise programs in Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and South Africa. At the SEI, Esther advised students on development projects selected for Clinton Global Initiative University, and was a Change Team Staff Leader for Ashoka University’s Changemaker Initiative. She also volunteered with Citizen Schools, a national afterschool teaching program. Prior to her work in higher education, Esther worked in a refugee camp in rural Zambia where she led microfinance operations, and in refugee resettlement with the UN Refugee Agency. Esther understands the transformative value of bridge year programs, as she spent her bridge year in South Africa working with children impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Esther holds a B.A. in International Affairs & Economics, certificate in Business Administration from Northeastern University, and is currently completing her M.S. in Nonprofit Management.
”The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- Recruitment and Alumni Engagement Manager
As the Recruitment and Alumni Engagement Manager, Emmy Highsmith focuses on the bookends of the Global Citizen Year fellow cycle,…
As the Recruitment and Alumni Engagement Manager, Emmy Highsmith focuses on the bookends of the Global Citizen Year fellow cycle, recruitment and alumni relations. Her goal is to ensure Global Citizen Year recruits a diverse group of young leaders for each cohort, and keeps them engaged and supported after program completion.
Prior to joining the Global Citizen Year team, Emmy worked as the Senior Manager of Customer Relations at Revolution Foods for over five years.
Emmy holds a B.A. in American Studies (with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies), from San Francisco State University.
- Admissions Manager
As Admissions Manager, Aparna leads the application, selection, and on-boarding process for Global Citizen Year.
Aparna has worked in the…
As Admissions Manager, Aparna leads the application, selection, and on-boarding process for Global Citizen Year.
Aparna has worked in the non-profit sector for over six years and has contributed to organizations such as Atlas Corps, Semester at Sea, and South Asian Americans Leading Together. (SAALT) She has worked on program development, operations, and has a passion for helping organizations implement technological solutions that will allow them to be more effective.
Aparna holds a B.S. in International Business and a minor in International Development and Conflict Management from the University of Maryland.
Ubuntu – “A person is a person through other persons.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
- Program & Operations Associate
As Program & Operations Associate, Katie supports the selection and onboarding of new Fellows by organizing the application review, interview…
As Program & Operations Associate, Katie supports the selection and onboarding of new Fellows by organizing the application review, interview process, and pre-departure preparations. She also serves as the Oakland office manager and provides operational support to the global team.
Katie comes to Global Citizen Year with administrative experience from several non-profits including the Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Global Health Delivery Project. Her firm belief in the transformative power of a bridge year is informed by her own experiences volunteering in India during high school and studying in Uganda during college.
Katie holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
“Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone other than oneself–be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter… a cause to serve or another person to love” – Viktor Frankl
- US Program Associate
As a US Program Associate, Bobby’s role is to support the Fellow experience and help provide both Fellows and Parents…
As a US Program Associate, Bobby’s role is to support the Fellow experience and help provide both Fellows and Parents with a quality program experience from Admissions all the way to Capstone, with special focus around Fall Training and Re-Entry Training.
This is Bobby’s first endeavor into the non-profit world, and he can’t imagine turning back. He is keenly interested in international education and its role in higher education, and hopes to continue to explore the intersection of these topics throughout his career.
Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Bobby worked as part of the Marketing team for Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace. He moved to the Bay Area with hopes of finding work in social innovation, and is excited to be a part of such a focused effort on education reform.
Bobby graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Italian.
“If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.” -David Foster Wallace
PeeBee van den Toorn
- Global Risk Management Director
As Global Risk Management Director, PeeBee’s role is to strengthen risk management systems in order to best support the fellows…
As Global Risk Management Director, PeeBee’s role is to strengthen risk management systems in order to best support the fellows and the program. As the US Training Manager, PeeBee manages both the US-based Fall and Re-Entry Trainings for the global cohort of Fellows.
Before Global Citizen Year, PeeBee’s career included a number of international and youth development experiences. Her passion for international work began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, where she partnered with local schools, NGOs, and community youth members in environmental education initiatives. Beyond Bolivia, and following a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies, PeeBee expanded her global portfolio with additional experiences including work with Project Concern International in El Salvador and post-tsunami India, doing project design, proposal writing, and training in both the health and environment sectors.
For the last several years, PeeBee has worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in a number of capacities including Field Instruction, Risk Management, Administration, and Leadership. She has also been a Lead Trainer for both the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) and NOLS Professional Training (NOLS Pro). In all of her roles with NOLS, PeeBee has been responsible for designing and implementing leadership and skill-based curriculum and training systems.
PeeBee holds a B.A. in History with minors in Spanish and Art History from the University of California at Davis where she played varsity soccer for four years. PeeBee also earned a M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) with a specialization in Nonprofit Management in Developing Countries. Since 1996, she has maintained an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification.
What inspires you?
People and Potential
- Business Development Associate
As Business Development Associate, Nina manages research needs across the business development team, provides administrative support for the CEO, and…
As Business Development Associate, Nina manages research needs across the business development team, provides administrative support for the CEO, and manages the planning and logistics for business development-related events.
Nina is a strong advocate for international immersion, and is committed to making these opportunities accessible to everyone. While living in China during her junior year of high school with School Year Abroad, and studying abroad in China as an undergraduate student at Peking University, Nina experienced firsthand, the value of international education. As a student at the University of Oregon, Nina taught English to international students through the American English Institute, and has also taught English while living abroad in Japan.
Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Nina worked in the health sector, focusing in Traditional Chinese Medicine, women’s health and nutrition.
Nina holds a BA in Chinese Language and International Studies, with an emphasis on Cross Cultural Communication and Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon.
“My actions are my only true belongings.” Thích Nhất Hạnh
- Country Director, Senegal
As Senegal Country Director, Nicole leads the Senegal team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for…
As Senegal Country Director, Nicole leads the Senegal team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for Fellows, and fosters a valuable exchange for local partners and communities.
Born in New York on April 19, 1965, Nicole moved to the Netherlands when she was three weeks old. Attending American schools abroad and in the U.S., she graduated from Tulane University in 1987 with a degree in history and political science. She went on to receive a Masters in adult and outdoor education from Northern Illinois University. Nicole worked as an environmental educator/trainer and director for several years and was well known as a facilitator and teacher of adult education learning principles.
In 1990 she moved to Vermont to attend law school. She completed a masters in environmental law and policy upon finishing her independent study in the Republic of Latvia researching its land use laws and implementation. After receiving her degree, Nicole worked as an independent contractor in Lithuania and Latvia organizing and managing an environmental law project as well as an environmental education teacher-training program.
After many years working in the environmental field, Nicole went to work as the legislative and political director at the Vermont State Employees’ Association. In the mid-1990s she forayed into politics and was elected to the city council for two terms in Montpelier the capitol city of Vermont. In 2005, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Senegal, West Africa until April 2008. As PCVs she developed a successful solid waste management project in the City of Joal where she lived. She remained in Senegal to work for World Wild Life Fund (WWF) to continue the project as well as facilitating conferences for Peace Corps.
In 2009, Nicole became the Associate Peace Corps Director for the Small Enterprise Development and Eco-Tourism Program in Senegal. She supervised the work and cultural integration of 46 SED Peace Corps volunteers and provided technical, logistical, administrative support and counseling to the volunteers. During her tenure as APCD, Nicole enhanced the SED training program to include exportation models and resources, creation of legal associations, food transformation, Junior Achievement workshops, solid waste management and avant-garde eco-tourism initiatives.
Nicole loves to travel with her husband and visit new places and cultures, is fascinated by what motivates people to change their social norms, loves African art, culture, people and food and wants to retire some day as a simple farmer on land she and her husband own near the ocean.
- Team Leader, Senegal
As a Team Leader, Assane is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Assane leads and coaches…
As a Team Leader, Assane is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Assane leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development. In addition, he manages the Language and Cultural Program and serves as the Emergency Response Coordinator.
Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Assane taught History, Geography and civil Rights in Secondary Schools in Senegal, before he join ACI( Africa Consultants International) Baobab Center, where he taught French and Wolof, as well as served as Site Visits Coordinator for 12 years. He also taught French at the American School of Dakar( International School of Dakar), as well as USAID Senegal.
Assane holds a BA in History from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, with a minor in Medieval History and Religious Studies.
What inspires you?
Hassana Hedrick Diallo
- Team Leader, Senegal
As a Team Leader, Hassana is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Kedougou region throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Hassana leads…
As a Team Leader, Hassana is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Kedougou region throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Hassana leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Hassana Hedrick Diallo was born in the rural community of Dindefelo, in southeastern Senegal, and lived there until the age of 10, when he was adopted by Peace Corps Volunteers who had served in his village. He returned with them to the States, where he learned English and attended at The Maret School in Washington, D.C. before going on to graduate from Olympia High School in Washington State. Throughout his time in the U.S., he returned every year or two to Senegal, never losing his native languages or his connection with Senegalese culture. After graduating from college, he worked in two positions in Washington state government, focused on customer relations and training. In 2008, a year after his father returned to Senegal to become the Peace Corps Country Director, he also returned to Senegal to start a new venture, focused on the agricultural supply chain, which now employs 6 people. While doing this, he also worked with and mentored several Peace Corps Volunteers in the Kedougou region.
Previously, Hassana also worked for Malaria No More, educating the Senegalese population on malaria and its preventions. He was the Malaria Education Coordinator in the Senegal Office and was charged with recruiting and schools to incorporate a malaria education curriculum to students and with overseeing its implementation.
Hassana has traveled throughout West Africa and some parts of Europe and is fluent in English, French, Pulaar and Wolof. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in Washington state with a focus on business management and entrepreneurship.
- Team Leader, Senegal
As a Team Leader, Oumou is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Oumou leads and coaches a…
As a Team Leader, Oumou is responsible for supporting Fellows throughout their bridge year in Senegal. Oumou leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Oumou also manages partnerships with host community stakeholders, assists with budgeting and delivers leadership training sessions.
Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Oumou has worked in the non-profit sector on and off for nine years in education-based initiatives, from training African parents on child protection laws in the UK to resolving conflict between neighbors in small communities. She has also taught (English & French) and mentored middle and high school students in both London and Dakar throughout the last thirteen years.
Oumou holds a BA honours in Social Anthropology with a minor in Development Studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, England and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults.
What inspires you?
My Family, Integrity and Love.
- Country Director, Ecuador
As Ecuador Country Director, Eileen manages local programming, staff, in-country strategy and day to day operations of Global Citizen Year’s…
As Ecuador Country Director, Eileen manages local programming, staff, in-country strategy and day to day operations of Global Citizen Year’s largest program.
An Ecuadorian national, Eileen has committed the last eight years of her life to education, international cooperation, and social entrepreneurship on three continents. Eileen’s early overseas experience led her to launch SEED Canada, an education charity now based in Kenya and Zambia. Professional experiences also took her to Ghana and Costa Rica, supporting government officials in the planning and implementation of international cooperation projects.
While in Canada, Eileen’s most recent home base, she remained connected to work overseas, sourcing social innovations as Global Marketing Coordinator for Ashoka’s Changemakers and, most recently, serving as Executive Director of Education Generation, a crowd-funding platform supporting students in the developing world to attend some of the world’s most innovative programs in their home countries. Through these experiences Eileen has worked extensively with youth, developed training programs, supported organizations delivering world-class innovation, and built and led dynamic teams.
Eileen’s career and passion has revolved around developing and supporting creative solutions to social problems.
Eileen holds a B.A. from McMaster University, Canada and a Post-Graduate Degree in Latin American Human Rights and Public Policy from the Henry Dunant School of Human Rights, Chile.
- Team Leader, Ecuador
As a Team Leader, Michaela is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Chimborazo region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Michaela…
As a Team Leader, Michaela is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Chimborazo region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Michaela leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Michaela has been dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice since her internship working with the international nonprofit Global Exchange in San Francisco. While living in Ecuador, she supported an international human rights and environmental justice lawsuit brought by indigenous groups in the Amazon. Michaela has also worked as a group leader and teaching assistant during field studies with the Northeastern Social Enterprise Institute in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and led a language learning trip for teens throughout Spain. Additionally, she has staffed youth leadership development conferences in Rhode Island and Ohio since 2004. Most recently, Michaela completed qualitative research for a start-up micro lending program with a Ugandan agricultural foundation and worked at the nonprofit social investment fund Root Capital as a translator and in the business development and corporate relations department.
Michaela graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in International Affairs, with minors in Sociology, Spanish, and Social Entrepreneurship.
Michaela strives to live by the African ubuntu philosophy “I am what I am because of who we all are.”
- Team Leader, Ecuador
As a Team Leader, Andy is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Amazon (Napo) region throughout their bridge year in…
As a Team Leader, Andy is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Amazon (Napo) region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Andy leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Ever since childhood, Andy has had an appreciation for cross-cultural interactions. He was born and raised in Ecuador with an Ecuadorian Father and an American mother; after high school, he traveled, worked, and studied in Ecuador, the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Through out his career, Andy has focused on contributing to building socially just ties among diverse cultures. He has worked in community development and international education both at the international and domestic level. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa and worked with at risk youth in Washington D.C. During his graduate school years, Andy discovered a specific passion for designing and executing inter-cultural exchange programs. In Ecuador, he operated teacher and volunteer abroad programs for LanguageCorps and the Peace Corps.
Before joining Global Citizen Year, Andy also worked in Washington D.C. organizing international recruiting tours. He then returned to Ecuador eager to bring his enthusiasm for education and social change to Global Citizen Year, with a primary goal of effectively facilitating the link between the host culture and the Fellows to ensure growth for both parties.
Andy holds a B.A. in International Relations from Louisiana State University and an M.A. focused in International Education from The School for International Training (SIT).
Before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away and have their shoes.
- Office Manager, Ecuador
As the Office Manager of Ecuador and Risk Management coordinator, Eugenia provides support in overlooking administrative tasks and providing support…
As the Office Manager of Ecuador and Risk Management coordinator, Eugenia provides support in overlooking administrative tasks and providing support in logistics.
Eugenia spent part of her childhood in the US. She attended high school and got married in Ecuador. After having her daughters she moved back to the US where they lived for 12 years. Her daughters currently attend college in Georgia.
Eugenia highly values cultural diversity and is a firm believer that cultural exchange is necessary to reach worldwide mutual understanding. During the periods of time that she lived in the States, she was a board member and close collaborator of the Ecuadorian Association of Georgia, which was founded by her parents in 1973 and was the first organized immigrant association in the state. She and her family have actively participated in cultural activities like Latin folkloric dance presentations around the state and helped organize frequent events in order to teach, preserve and propagate Ecuadorian and Latin culture and traditions.
In Ecuador, she worked as Sales Manager in the export flower business. In the US, she obtained experience in different industries as Account Executive and Customer Service Manager. She also worked close to the immigrant community of Georgia by providing services as a Medical Interpreter for low-income Spanish speaking patients. Most recently before moving to Ecuador she found her way into the non-profit world when working for a Fair Trade Non-profit Ecuadorian organization based in Atlanta that helps around 350 Ecuadorian artisans overcome poverty and exploitation from the industry by being the vessel to export handmade sustainable crafts to the US. She moved back to Ecuador over a year ago and joined the Global Citizen Year family. She feels that her work and effort now make a real difference and impact on peoples lives and that her professional and life experience can be of more service and support to her team members and fellows.
- Team Leader, Ecuador
As a Team Leader, Maya is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Noroccidente Pichincha region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Maya…
As a Team Leader, Maya is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Noroccidente Pichincha region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Maya leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Prior to joining Global Citizen Year, Maya was involved in mentoring and coaching teens from both the US and abroad through the International Student Services and other on campus organizations at her college. She also has extensive experience working with youth from the US as an adviser and counselor.
In addition to coaching experiences, Maya has had sustained interest and experience working in Latin America. After studying abroad in Ecuador, Maya was a public health intern in Nicaragua with an NGO combatting the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu) epidemic in Central America. There, she grew in her cross-cultural abilities and organizational skills by building strong relationships with community members, teaching about public health, and conducting surveys. These experiences prepared her for work with both fellows and local partners at Global Citizen Year.
Maya holds a BA in Spanish Literature from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
“If you’re ever bored or blue, stand on a street corner for half an hour” – Maira Kalman
María Cristina Silva
- Team Leader, Ecuador
As a Team Leader, María-Cristina is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Imbabura region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. María-Cristina leads and…
As a Team Leader, María-Cristina is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Imbabura region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. María-Cristina leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Before joining the Global Citizen Year team, Maria Cristina contributed her skills and talents to diverse development programs. She has successfully directed Family Support and Early Literacy Programs dedicated to improving the lives of Latino immigrant families with young children in Northern California. In addition, Maria-Cristina has been part of projects focused on sustainable development, climate change and global education in Ecuador.
Maria-Cristina holds a BA in Social Development from the Pontific Catholic University of Ecuador and an MA in Responsible Management and Sustainable Development from the United Nations University for Peace.
What inspires you?
Integrity, honesty, love, solidarity, and fairness.
- Team Leader, Ecuador
As a Team Leader, Yuri is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Azuay/Cañar region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Yuri leads…
As a Team Leader, Yuri is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Azuay/Cañar region throughout their bridge year in Ecuador. Yuri leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Prior to working for Global Citizen Year, Yuri worked with local and international development organizations in various countries, focusing mostly on organizational development & capacity development. Yuri has traveled extensively around the globe and is passionate about the great outdoors.
Yuri holds a B.S. in International Relations and Sociology from Aston University, UK, and an MS in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid from the Humanitarian Aid Studies Centre, Spain.
- Country Director, Brazil
As Brazil Country Director, Isabela leads the Brazil team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for…
As Brazil Country Director, Isabela leads the Brazil team, manages the in-country program to guarantee a high quality experience for Fellows, and fosters a valuable exchange for local partners and communities.
Isabela was born and raised in Brazil, but developed her passion creating cultural and educational bridges between Brazil, the U.S., and around the world through her own experiences studying and working abroad. Over the last 17 years, Isabela has enjoyed a diverse and varied career in performing arts, experiential education, and social entrepreneurship.
Her unique experience range from performing with companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Wise Fool and Teatro de Los Sentidos, contributing to community-oriented projects with underserved youth through the Miami Performing Arts Center, Sister-City Project in Nicaragua and the UNESCO Universal Cultural Forum in Mexico, to leading the Brazil Program for the experiential educational company Where There Be Dragons as the Brazil Course Director.
One of her bold achievements was to combine her work in the arts and environmental education to found and lead the Organization of Permaculture and Art – OPA in Bahia, Brazil.
Isabela holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Dalai Lama.
- Team Leader, Brazil
As a Team Leader, Yvia is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Florianopolis and Curitiba regions throughout their bridge year in Brazil. Yvia leads and coaches…
As a Team Leader, Yvia is responsible for supporting Fellows in the Florianopolis and Curitiba regions throughout their bridge year in Brazil. Yvia leads and coaches a cohort of Fellows, manages local homestays and partners, and supports leadership training development.
Born and raised in Brazil, she lived in the USA for 7 years and dedicated 3 years training, equipping and supporting leaders for counseling and emotional support to newly arrived Brazilians in the USA as a Program Director.
Yvia is also an acting instructor and a Meisner trained actress by one of the foremost authorities on the Meisner Approach, Larry Silverberg.
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
- Team Leader, Brazil
As a Team Leader, Belisa Rathunde manages and fosters local partnerships, performs daily administrative tasks, and provides support and guidance…
As a Team Leader, Belisa Rathunde manages and fosters local partnerships, performs daily administrative tasks, and provides support and guidance to her cohort of Fellows. Belisa’s background in Psychology and Pedagogy, as well as her extensive experience working in social and environmental projects throughout American countries, affords her a comprehensive mentorship towards fellows’ challenges of encountering diverse cultural, familiar and apprenticeship environments.
Belisa was born and raised in Brazil. Her passion for different cultures led her to her first experience abroad at the age of 16; a one-year stay as an exchange student in the US. After college, she spent nearly 4 years living and working as a volunteer in 10 countries in South and North America. Her work was focused on fostering community development, education, sustainability, and leadership empowerment in organizations including the Frontiers Foundation (amidst Northern Canada Indians), the Permaculture Institute (Brazilian Amazon), Ecovillages in Colombia, and Waldorf schools in Ecuador. Upon returning to her home city, Belisa sought to bridge the skills she acquired abroad with local challenges by working as a teacher and coach in poverty-stricken communities.
Belisa holds a BA in Psychology from the Tuiuti University of Paranga.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt
- Admissions Advisor
As an Admissions Advisor, Grace mentors incoming applicants during the application process and helps them understand what it means to…
As an Admissions Advisor, Grace mentors incoming applicants during the application process and helps them understand what it means to be a Global Citizen Year Fellow.
Grace took her bridge year in rural Senegal as a Global Citizen Year Fellow, Class of 2013. She taught environmental education through art at the local elementary school and worked on a waste management project for the village, where she became known for running in the mountain everyday and for her adapted Pulaar dance moves.
Exposure to an agriculture-based community heightened Grace’s interest in agroforestry and geology, now components in her studies at Denison University, Class of 2017.
What inspires you?
Malcolm Gladwell’s storytelling ability
- Social Media Advisor
As Social Media Advisor, Nic takes on the daily task of posting, sharing, commenting, liking, +1ing and tweeting across our…
As Social Media Advisor, Nic takes on the daily task of posting, sharing, commenting, liking, +1ing and tweeting across our variety of different social media accounts.
Hailing from Verona, New Jersey, Nic spent his Global Citizen Year in the community of Rancho Chico, deep within the Andean region of Ecuador. Apart from teaching English in three K-12 schools, he rose with the sun every morning to milk the cows and rode his host-family’s horse around the farm.
Nic is currently double majoring in physics and philosophy at The College of New Jersey.
“Everything flows and nothing stays.” -Heraclitus
- Outreach Advisor
As Outreach Advisor, Joan manages outreach networks, seeking to connect alumni with potential new Fellows in order to widen the…
As Outreach Advisor, Joan manages outreach networks, seeking to connect alumni with potential new Fellows in order to widen the range of applicants to the Global Citizen Year program.
Natively from Huntington Beach, CA, Joan spent her Global Citizen Year in Tena, Ecuador working with the German International Cooperation and Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment. Joan left her post in the Amazon with a capstone project that spearheaded the creation of bilingual Spanish-English reproductions of the Huellas del Sumaco environmental magazine originally produced by her host organization.
Joan is currently studying at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she plans on graduating with a double major in International Development Studies and Geography, and a minor in Environmental Systems and Society by 2016.
“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible – and achieve it, generation after generation.”
-Pearl S. Buck
- Media Advisor
As Media Advisor, Emily Hwang shoots and edits videos that aim to support Global Citizen Year’s vision to reinvent educational…
As Media Advisor, Emily Hwang shoots and edits videos that aim to support Global Citizen Year’s vision to reinvent educational standards. Emily is from Cerritos, CA and spent her bridge year in Riobamba, Ecuador ‘13, where she worked at a vocational school with special needs teenagers. She was deeply humbled by the love she received and feels grateful to have grown in perspective and joy through her experience. Emily is currently a Media Arts Design major at Cypress College. Next Fall, she will continue her studies at Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts ‘16, where she plans to study Culture and Media/Psychology.
I want to be like water. I want to slip through fingers, but hold up a ship.
- Admissions Advisor
As an Admissions Advisor, Mai Lee serves as one of the primary contacts for applicants and provides them with a…
As an Admissions Advisor, Mai Lee serves as one of the primary contacts for applicants and provides them with a better understanding of Global Citizen Year through answering questions and sharing her own experiences as a Fellow.
Leaving behind her comfortable roots in Carmel, California, Mai opted for a year of adventure in Senegal, West Africa, before beginning her university studies. While living in the village of Palmarin Ngounoumane in the Fatick region, she facilitated art and crafts classes at the local preschool (where she also occasionally taught English songs) and, alongside a Peace Corps Volunteer, helped lead a high school English Club.
Mai currently studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she plans to pursue her passion in environment and the arts through a double major in Architectural Studies and Environmental Science with a minor in Environmental Engineering.
“The tallest oak in the forest was once a little nut that held its ground.” -Anonymous
- Admissions Advisor
As an Admissions Advisor, Jordan works with applicants for the incoming class of Global Citizen Year Fellows, both aiding them…
As an Admissions Advisor, Jordan works with applicants for the incoming class of Global Citizen Year Fellows, both aiding them through the application process and helping them understand what a bridge year is all about.
Jordan grew up in Arlington, Virginia and spent his Global Citizen Year almost 4,000 miles away on the coast of northern Senegal in the town of Mboro. During the day, he taught both English and Information Technology at Le Centre International de Formation Pratique, a nearby vocational school, but his favorite activity in Senegal was debating the merits of each Harry Potter book with his host brother, Serigne Saliou.
Jordan is currently studying at Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland and expects to graduate in 2017. Thanks to the multilingual exposure he received in Senegal, Jordan is planning to major in History, with a double minor in French and Italian.
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo da Vinci
- Director of Strategic Initiatives, Aspen Global Leadership Network
Stace Lindsay has been a strategic advisor to senior business, government and non-profit leaders throughout the world. He has held…
Stace Lindsay has been a strategic advisor to senior business, government and non-profit leaders throughout the world. He has held senior positions at both Monitor Company and the OTF Group, where he worked closely with Michael Porter to adapt his work to emerging markets. Stace was most recently the president of Fusion Venture Partners, a firm he started in order to bring together people, insights and capital. Stace also has significant start-up, turnaround and operating experience with companies, having been CEO of New England Portable Storage and VP Business Development for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. He has also been a Managing Partner in the Latin American focused venture capital firm, Explorador.net. Stace has served on the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network For Development Entrepreneurs as well as the Board of Directors of TechnoServe, a non-profit organization dedicated to building competitive businesses in rural Africa and Latin America. He has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Business School as well as the University of Adolpho Ibanez Business School in Chile. Stace is also the co-founder the Central American Leadership Initiative, part of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network where he is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives. Stace is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and earned his degrees in International Relations from Georgetown University and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
- President, Encore.org
Ann MacDougall has had a long career spanning both legal and operating roles, and working both in the US and…
Ann MacDougall has had a long career spanning both legal and operating roles, and working both in the US and Europe. She was Chief Operating Officer of Acumen Fund, a global venture capital fund focused on goods and services for low-income customers. Ann oversaw Acumen’s worldwide operations, strategy and expansion. Before joining Acumen, she was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she rose through the ranks to become General Counsel of PwC US and a member of the Management Committee. During her 17 years at PwC, Ann also spent five years in Paris as Global Deputy General Counsel.
In 2013, Ann was a Fellow in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative, a year-long program to prepare experienced executives to take on new challenges in the social sector. She currently sits on the board of the Audit Committee of the Lycée Français de New York, the Advisory Boards of Equality Now and the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.
Ann holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from Tufts University.
- Social Entreprenuer
A leader in the national service movement, Catherine H. Milton is a social entrepreneur with exceptional experience in designing programs…
A leader in the national service movement, Catherine H. Milton is a social entrepreneur with exceptional experience in designing programs focused on volunteer generation and youth.
Catherine served as the first head of the Commission on National and Community Service, where she was responsible for the design and implementation of national service programs, including AmeriCorps. She was the founder and director for 12 years of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, where she was instrumental in the founding of several state and national service organizations, including the coalition Campus Compact. In 2010 Stanford announced that it is establishing a fellowship for innovative public service in her honor.
Catherine has held senior positions in the Treasury Department, the U.S. Senate, and the Police Foundation. She has authored or co-authored six books and served as a member of the U.S. Attorney\\\’s Task Force on Family Violence.
Additionally, Catherine brings eight years experience as a senior executive with Save the Children and three years as President of Friends of the Children. She has received numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Mt. Holyoke College, and a prestigious three-year Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship. She recently served as a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s John Gardner Center for Youth, helping to develop ideas for expanding national service.
- Visiting Executive Scholar, Haas Business School
Kim Wright-Violich is founder and principal of a consulting practice focused on philanthropic and social sector consulting. Clients are primarily…
Kim Wright-Violich is founder and principal of a consulting practice focused on philanthropic and social sector consulting. Clients are primarily Silicon Valley executives focused on international, systemic changes. From 2000-2011 Kim served as CEO/President of Schwab Charitable, a stand-alone nonprofit corporation founded by Charles Schwab & Co. to increase philanthropy by providing turnkey charitable asset management and philanthropic services. Built from start-up by Kim to the second largest donor advised fund in the US and the largest nonprofit corporation in California attracting over 13,000 customers, $5 billion in charitable assets and facilitating more than $2 billion in grants to more than 50,000 charities.
On Capitol Hill and with national media, a sought-after thought leader and public speaker in the social sector, influencing legislation, published and widely quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNBC, Bloomberg Television News, Investment News, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Chronicle of Philanthropy and Trust and Estates Magazine.
One of San Francisco Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times (2006-2011); WATCH Award (Women at the Center of Leadership and Vision) Junior League of San Francisco: 50 most influential women in the US for 2009 in wealth management by Wealth Manager magazine.
She is a graduate of Stanford University, with a B.A. in Human Biology and Public Policy; Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford Executive Program; Stanford University, Mass Media Institute; and course work at Harvard Business School’s Governing for Non-Profit Excellence.
Neal Baer M.D.
- Exec. Producer & Showrunner, CBS Television
Neal Baer is a pediatrician and television writer who combines his passion for medicine and storytelling to challenge audiences’ views…
Neal Baer is a pediatrician and television writer who combines his passion for medicine and storytelling to challenge audiences’ views on a spectrum of social and political topics. Prior to his work as Executive Producer for A Gifted Man, Neal was Executive Producer of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, which received six Emmys and a Golden Globe for acting, and Executive Producer of the NBC hit series ER, where he received five Emmy nominations as a producer and two for writing.
A clinical professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, Neal created Story Tours, a program that connects TV writers to community activists and former gang members, and lectures at medical schools, universities and healthcare conferences around the world on the power of storytelling to create social change. Neal lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Gerrie Smith, and his son Caleb, who was a gap year participant and is currently a student at Williams College.
- Fmr. Director, White House Fellows
Gail Britton served as the National Director of College Democrats from 1989 to 1992 and then was recruited to create…
Gail Britton served as the National Director of College Democrats from 1989 to 1992 and then was recruited to create White House Internship Program after President Clinton was elected. The internship program thrives today giving hundreds of young people every year a unique experience and the opportunity to provide worthy service at the epicenter of government. After setting up the intern program and directing it through its inaugural year, Gail was appointed Deputy Director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, the nation’s premier public policy leadership program. Ms. Britton helped manage both the rigorous national selection process and the Fellows’ year-long experience of service at the highest levels of government.
In 2006, Gail managed an educational fund-raising trek through Tanzania for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which included recruiting the participation of high-end donors, organizing site visits to Pediatric AIDS-funded projects in Tanzania, and supervising all aspects of the trek.
Gail received her Bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University. She is active in both New York and national politics, and continues to mentor many former interns and White House Fellows.
- Fmr. School Head, Dalton, Branson, and University High Schools
After spending 12 years after college in business, Peter Esty moved to education and never looked back. He served as…
After spending 12 years after college in business, Peter Esty moved to education and never looked back. He served as a teacher and, later, Faculty Dean at Deerfield Academy for a decade, after which he was appointed Head of School at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn for a number of years before being lured to San Francisco University High School for most of the 1990s. After a short stint in foundation work, Peter returned to take on interim headships in Manhattan’s Dalton School, Greens Farms Academy in Westport, CT, and The Branson School in Marin County.
In addition to his work leading schools, Peter has also long been involved with the School Year Abroad program, serving on its Board (most recently as Chair) and as Resident Director of the programs in Viterbo, Italy and Hanoi, Vietnam for a year each. Beyond SYA, Peter has served on boards of schools, museums, and education associations on both coasts. He was the founding Board Chair of Summerbridge National, now The Breakthrough Collaborative, and twice served the young Bay School of San Francisco—first to oversee hiring of the founding faculty, and four years later to direct a long-view study of the school as it might want to look in 2040.
Peter holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. from The Harvard Graduate School of Education.
- COO, Tipping Point Community
Renuka Kher currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Tipping Point Community, where she is responsible for overseeing its day-to-day…
Renuka Kher currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Tipping Point Community, where she is responsible for overseeing its day-to-day operations. Most recently, Renuka served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Revolution Foods. Prior to working with Revolution Foods, Renuka served as a Principal at NewSchools Venture Fund, where she focused on the firm’s investment strategy, and led due diligence and management assistance for the early stage non-profit and for-profit portfolio ventures. In this capacity, she served on the board of directors for Revolution Foods, and has advised board members and executives of leading education organizations including, Aspire Public Schools, Education for Change, EnCorps, Beyond12, Leadership Public Schools, Teach For America – DC Region and The Urban Teacher Center.
Prior to NewSchools, Renuka was a Senior Program Officer at the Robin Hood Foundation where she focused on developing and implementing a strategy for a $65 million relief fund, one of the nation’s largest, created to respond to the attacks of September 11th. She launched her career in the public sector at the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Michigan, and completed her graduate work in public health at Emory University and holds a certificate in Innovation Leadership from California College of the Arts.
William S. Reese
- President & CEO, International Youth Foundation
Bill Reese was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Youth Foundation in 2005, having joined IYF in…
Bill Reese was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Youth Foundation in 2005, having joined IYF in May 1998 as its Chief Operating Officer. He was President and CEO of Partners of the Americas for twelve years. Previously, he served with the Peace Corps for ten years, first as a volunteer in Salvador, Brazil, then as director of Brazil operations, and in Washington as deputy director of the Latin American and Caribbean region. Bill has served on USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid since 1991.
He currently serves on the boards of Women Thrive Worldwide, the Basic Education Coalition and Episcopal Relief and Development, among others. He was chairman of the board of InterAction and a board member of the Independent Sector.
Bill received his B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and is a 1995 graduate of the Business School’s Executive Program.
- Founder & CEO, Three Ships Media
Zach Clayton is an entrepreneur interested in media, technology, and politics. He currently works at McKinsey & Company, a management…
Zach Clayton is an entrepreneur interested in media, technology, and politics. He currently works at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm that advises leading companies on issues of strategy, organization, technology, and operations.
Zach is the founder of Three Ships Media, an emerging media marketing firm with expertise in brand monitoring, content creation, online public relations, and metrics. In 2006, Zach founded New Media Campaigns, a technology and online marketing company based in North Carolina. As President of New Media Campaigns, Zach guided the company from inception through the launch of Epicenter One, a proprietary software platform for online marketing. Today, the company serves over 200 clients in 20 different states and has released several software products. Zach serves as Chairman of the Board of Three Ships Media and New Media Campaigns. He is also involved in other early-stage technology and media ventures.
Previously, Zach was a partner in The Resources Group, a public affairs firm. He created advertising campaigns and managed strategic communications for corporate and political clients. Zach has written for The Hotline, authored two books, and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News.
Zach holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Kirsten Saenz Tobey
- Founder & Chief Impact Officer, Revolution Foods
Kirsten Saenz Tobey founded Revolution Foods in 2006 with Kristin Groos Richmond, a former classmate at Berkeley’s Haas School of…
Kirsten Saenz Tobey founded Revolution Foods in 2006 with Kristin Groos Richmond, a former classmate at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Kirsten continues to steward the mission and drive the vision and brand experience for the company, overseeing marketing communications and talent management, among other key aspects of the business.
Prior to founding Revolution Foods, Kirsten’s career spanned from leading experiential education programs in the US and Ecuador to evaluating the scalability of school feeding programs with the United Nations Hunger Task Force in Ghana. Kirsten is an Aspen Institute Environmental Fellow (Catto), a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Sustainable Business Council, and with co-founder Kristin Groos Richmond, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by NewSchools Venture Fund in 2010, is one of Time Magazine’s Education Activists of 2011, and listed as one of Fortune’s 40 under 40 for 2013.
Kirsten’s work centers around developing innovative, attainable solutions aimed at providing access to healthy food and education to all current and future generations. She is also currently a member of the Board of Directors for Net Impact as well as People’s Community Market
Kirsten holds an A.B. from Brown University and an MBA from UC Berkeley. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and two daughters.
Kirsten’s past associations include being a member of the USF Presidential Commission for Health Professions, and mentor for Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program through the George W. Bush Institute.