Melissa Liles

Melissa Liles

Melissa Liles has spent two decades leading efforts to help people and organizations improve how they communicate, connect and collaborate across differences. 

Melissa works closely with education authorities, practitioners and academic experts in over 60 countries to integrate intercultural learning and global competence education into student, teacher and teacher educator curricula. 

From 2009 to 2017, Melissa led the evolution of AFS study abroad programs into curriculum-based intercultural learning journeys for volunteers, staff, students and host families. She also established AFS’s state-of-the-art global training initiative, The Intercultural Link Learning Program, for 50,000 adult learners worldwide and, early in her AFS career, served as the first National Director for AFS India. 

Today, Melissa also heads global engagement and thought leadership at AFS, oversees AFS’s Globalizing Schools and Institutions initiative, and chairs the AFS Educational Advisory Council of distinguished international academics.


Lauren Moloney-Egnatios

Director of the Center for Intercultural Learning and Global Competence


Carla Rey Vasquez

Global Engagement and Programs Manager


Hazar Yildirim

Director of Strategic Alliances


Linda Stuart

Education and Training Specialist


Ana Carolina Cassiano

Educator and Schools Relations Manager

AFS Educational Advisory Council

First created in 2006, the AFS Educational Advisory Council is a body of thought leaders from the wider intercultural realm who guide AFS concerning the direction of our educational efforts and academic research. Today, the Council gives inputs to mid and long-term strategic plans in relation to the AFS Mission and AFS Vision 2020, with individual members providing views from their particular area(s) of expertise.

  • 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

EFIL Intercultural Education Advisors

The European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) contributes to peace and justice in a diverse world threatened by inequity and intolerance, by promoting intercultural understanding and sensitivity among European and other countries, organisations and citizens, hereby endorsing the ends of AFS Intercultural Programs. Their Education Advisors include:

  • Barry Van Driel, Secretary General of the International Association for Intercultural Education and Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Intercultural Education
  • Darla Deardorff, Executive Director of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), and Research Scholar at Duke University, USA
  • Martyn Barrett, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Surrey, UK
  • Alessio Surian, Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology FISPPA, University of Padova, Italy
  • Prue Holmes, Reader in the School of Education at Durham University and Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland

Work With Us

The Center offers expert, practitioner lead training and consultation to help organisations and communities navigate intercultural and global competence challenges. We aim to engage, empower, and inform stakeholders through our offerings. 

To learn more about customized training and coaching for your organization, or if you are interested in becoming one of the Center’s fellows, please e-mail [email protected].