Board of Trustees

The AFS International Board of Trustees, a diverse group representing over a dozen countries, works in conjunction with our Partners and volunteers worldwide to realize our goal of providing the world’s youth with secure avenues of intercultural exchange.
Dr. Vishaka N. Desai

Dr. Vishaka N. Desai

New York, USA (chair)
Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University, Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs, President Emerita of the Asia Society

J. Brian Atwood

J. Brian Atwood

Massachusetts, USA (vice-chair) 
Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute, Brown University, Former Dean & Chair of Global Studies at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Professor Emeritus. Non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution


Dr. Jackie Chimhanzi

Johannesburg, South Africa
CEO of the African Leadership Institute

Maureen Erasmus

Maureen Erasmus

London, United Kingdom
Advisory Partner, Bain & Company

Amalie Ferdinand

Amalie Ferdinand

Copenhagen, Denmark
Consultant, Federation of Public Workers Union

Makiko Haraga

Makiko Haraga

Tokyo, Japan
Independent Writing and Editing Professional

Ivonne de Leon

Ivonne de Leon

Florida, United States
Founding Partner at TrueCore Group & Transmutis

William (Bill) Meserve

William (Bill) Meserve

Massachusetts, USA
Retired Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP


Najmuzzaman Mohammad

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Technical Product Manager at Aurea Software

Don Mohanlal

Don Mohanlal

New York & Maryland, USA
President & Chief Executive Officer, The Synergos Institute. Vice Chair, Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation, New Delhi, India

Daniel Obst

Daniel Obst

New York, USA (ex officio) 
President and Chief Executive Officer, AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.

Ernesto Rey Moreno

Ernesto Rey Moreno

Bogotá, Colombia
Founder & CEO, Empresas REYMORENO


Roberto Ruffino

Colle di Val d’Elsa, Italy
Secretary General of Fondazione Intercultura

Ragnar Thorvardarson

Ragnar Thorvardarson

Reykjavik, Iceland
Specialist at Directorate for International and Security Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland

Urlich Voss

Ulrich Voss

Kronberg, Germany
Founder and Managing Partner at Kronberg Advisors

Alexis Zlocowski

Alexis Zlocowski

Cordoba, Argentina
Latin America Big Data Sales Director at Teradata Aster

Life Trustees


Dr. Richard M. Hunt

Massachusetts, USA
The University Marshal, Harvard University (retired), World War II AFS ambulance driver


Sachiye Kuwamoto

California, USA
Regional Director, Central California, Japanese-American Citizens League (retired)

AFS Partner Director Representatives

The AFS Partner Director Representatives, works in conjunction with our Board of Trustees and AFS Volunteers worldwide to realize our goal of providing the world’s youth with secure avenues of intercultural exchange.

Rita Bangáné Jarecsni

Partner Director, Hungary

Simone Caporali

Simone Caporali

Partner Director, Italy

Jorge Castro

Jorge Castro

Partner Director, USA

Rosario Gutierrez

Rosario Gutierrez

Partner Director, Colombia

AFS in neuem Kleid

Ingeborg Suppin-Fabisch

Partner Director, Austria


Ulrik Wehner

Partner Director, Denmark

AFS Educational Advisory Council

Melissa Liles (Chair), New York, USA Chief Education Officer, AFS Intercultural Programs

Milton J. Bennett, Ph.D. Oregon, USA and Milan, Italy Executive Director, The Intercultural Development Research Institute

Dr. Darla Deardorff, North Carolina, USA Executive Director Association of International Education Administrators and Research Scholar Program in Education, Duke University

Dr. Roberto Ruffino, Colle di val d’Elsa, Italy Secretary General, Fondazione Intercultura

Professor Nagesh Rao, Ahmedabad, India President & Director, MICA Institute of Strategic Marketing and Communication

Michael (Mick) Vande Berg, Ph.D., Maine, USA Principal, MVB Associates

Mitchell R. Hammer (Special Advisor), Ph.D. Maryland, USA President, IDI, LLC and Hammer Consulting, LLC

Bruce La Brack (Special Advisor), Ph.D., California, USA Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and International Studies, School of International Studies, University of the Pacific

Veronica Boix Mansilla, Ed.D., Massachusetts, USA, Principal Investigator at Project Zero, Lecturer in Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education


AFS Staff supports our volunteers, and enable exchanges to succeed by working together to ensure that the highest quality experiences are afforded to all participants and host families. The staff at AFS International provide worldwide support, quality control and development of the 59 AFS Network Organization in 60 countries. 

Executive Team

Daniel Obst

Daniel Obst

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Urs-Rainer von Arx

Dr. Urs-Rainer von Arx 🇨🇭

Vice President, Chief Operations & Financial Officer

Hal Denton

Hal Denton 🇺🇸

General Counsel & Chief Risk Management Officer

Melissa Liles

Melissa Liles 🇺🇸

Chief Global Engagement Officer

Sheryl Tucker

Sheryl Tucker 🇺🇸

Chief External Affairs Officer

Bert Vercamer

Bert Vercamer 🇧🇪

Chief Program Innovation Officer & Sentio General Manager

Lucas Welter

Lucas Welter 🇧🇷

Chief Organization Development & Strategy Officer

AFS International Team

Ana Carolina Cassiano 🇧🇷
Consultant, Educator Relations

Andrea Kammerer 🇭🇺
Senior Analyst, Management Information

Andy Woods Ballard 🇿🇦
Consultant, Business Development

Anna Treyer-Simakova 🇷🇺
Manager, International Events

Camilla Soulere 🇳🇴
Fellow, Learning Program

Cristina Mateo 🇩🇴
Coordinator, Accounting and Budget

Damien Epsztein 🇦🇷
Fellow, Digital Products

David Blythe 🇺🇸
Manager, Program Policy and Support

Ebbe Skovdal 🇩🇰 🇺🇸
Advisor to the President

Eduardo Assed 🇧🇷
Senior Consultant, Partner Engagement

Efrem Fisher 🇺🇸
Director, Program Services and Development

Elis Motta 🇧🇷
Consultant, Head of Training

Esteban Araya-Santiago 🇨🇷
Specialist, Website and Digital Content

Fabricia Manoel 🇧🇷
Consultant, Organization Development & Program Development

Hazar Yildirim 🇹🇷
Manager, Alliances

Hristo Banov 🇧🇬
Manager, Management Information

Indre Salciute 🇱🇹
Consultant, Management Information

Laila Khan 🇺🇸
Director, Development

Larry Barnett 🇺🇸
Director, Risk and Crisis Management

Linda Stuart 🇺🇸
Specialist, Educational Products

Magnus-Andreas Aase 🇳🇴
Consultant, Digital and AFS World Café

Maria Grazia Brizi 🇮🇹
Corporate Secretary, Assistant to GC & Manager, Network Administration

Marika Strauss 🇺🇸
Head of Volunteer Development

Marcela Lapertosa 🇦🇷
Director, Educational Products

Martha Rivas 🇵🇾
Coordinator, Accounts Payable & Office Services

Milena Miladinovic 🇷🇸
Consultant, Senior Writer & Social Marketing Specialist

Monica Our 🇺🇸
Director, Budget and
Network Finances

Nick Cooper 🇬🇧
Manager, Network ICT

Nicole Lebenson 🇺🇸
Director, Partner Engagement

Nicole Milano 🇺🇸
Head Archivist and Historical Publications Editor

Paul Gamner 🇺🇸
Assistant to the President

Raquel Martinez 🇭🇳
Director, Customer Experience

Sarah Collins 🇺🇸
Manager, Training and Learning

Shiree Pointer 🇺🇸
Manager, Program Growth and Quality Support

Stijn Van den Bergh 🇧🇪
Coordinator, ICT Support and Training