AFS Intercultural Programs welcomes four new members to the Board of Trustees: Dr. Veronica Boix Mansilla, Mr. Isada Hiranwiwatkul, Mr. Eric Lomeli, and Dr. Willibald Plesser. They will bring in their specific know-how and skills to advance AFS’s mission to build a more just and peaceful world by developing active global citizens, globalizing schools and institutions, and expanding access to intercultural education. AFS also congratulates Dr. Vishakha Desai on her re-election as Chair of the Board, and J. Brian Atwood on his re-election as Vice Chair of the Board. We also warmly thank for their dedicated work to advance the AFS mission Don Mohanlal, Maureen Erasmus, William (Bill) Meserve and Ragnar Thorvardarson, whose service on the Board ended in October 2018.

Veronica Boix Mansilla
Principal Investigator and Steering Committee member at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Veronica Boix Mansilla is a Senior Principal Investigator at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she leads the IdGlobal Project and chairs the Future of Learning Institute. She co-developed the OECD-PISA framework on Global Competence in 2018 and the Asia Society CCSSO framework on the topic. Veronica co-leads Reimagining Migration a new initiative on Migration and Education. With a background in cognitive science, human development and education, she examines how to prepare our youth for a world of increasing complexity and interdependence. Her research focuses on three main areas: global competence as it develops among learners and teachers in various world regions; quality interdisciplinary research and education among experts, teachers and youth; and quality teaching and learning in disciplines (history, biology, the arts) as lenses through which to understand the world. Veronica serves as an advisor at a variety of institutions including the Asia Society, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Council of Chief State School Officers, the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, the International Baccalaureate, WorldSavy, Global Kids, and the OECD among others. She teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has taught at the University of Buenos Aires. She holds a Masters and a Doctoral degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Isada Hiranwiwatkul
Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Head of BCG Thailand

Isada Hiranwiwatkul is an experienced Managing Director with a demonstrated success of working in the management consulting industry. He has extensive experience in Strategy Development and Execution, Digital Transformation, People & Organization Design, and Buy-side M&A Support. Isada has an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management. He has been serving on the Board of Directors of AFS Thailand since April 2017.

Eric Lomelí
Geographic Information Solutions (GIS) Supervisor at Bexar County (Texas) 

Eric Lomelí is the GIS Supervisor at Bexar County Information Technology Department, the provider of information and communication technology and services for all Bexar County government elected officials, departments, and the general public. Eric’s expertise is in Geographical Information Systems/Science, demographics, historical digital data, spatial analysis, GIS training, project management, strategic planning, and intercultural learning.  Eric also served on the Board of Directors of AFS USA from 2015 to 2018 and as their Volunteer National Council 2013-2016, having previously been involved with the organization in various volunteer capacities, since 1989. He is also AFS alumnus (Italy 1992-1993).  Eric holds a Master of Science degree in Geographical Information Systems from the University of Redlands (California), and a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Eric was raised in Mexico, and continues to have strong ties and a large extended family there.


Dr. Willibald Plesser
Attorney at Law, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Willibald Plesser is a partner in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s global transactions group. He also is a Freshfields country partner for the CEE/CIS region and for Turkey. His focus as a lawyer is on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), especially in the financial institutions, energy and media sectors, and on related arbitrations. Willibald’s core skills lie in negotiating transactions, structuring complex matters, and resolving disputes. Clients appreciate his implementation skills and his talent for finding innovative solutions whenever required. He frequently leads large teams, identifying and drawing on the best people for each project wherever they might be located in the firm. He is often also involved in the negotiations of joint ventures. Willibald is well known for his expertise in Eastern Europe as well as in the CIS region and Turkey. He speaks German and English. He holds a master’s degree in English and History, as well as a doctoral law degree from the University of Vienna, and is a Member of the Austrian and International Bar Associations.