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

Read Vishakha’s bio

Urlich Voss

Ulrich Voss

Kronberg, Germany (vice-chair)
Founder and Managing Partner at Kronberg Advisors

Read Ulrich’s bio

Veronica Boix Mansilla

Dr. Veronica Boix Mansilla

Massachussetts, USA
Principal Investigator and Steering Committee member at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Read Veronica’s bio


Lennart D'hulst

Opwijk, Belgium
Expert HR Project Manager at NMBS, Board Chair at AFS Belgium Flanders, member of the Sentio inc., Board of Directors

Read Lennart’s bio


Amalie Ferdinand

Copenhagen, Denmark
Consultant, Federation of Public Workers Union

Read Amalie’s bio

Makiko Haraga

Makiko Haraga

Tokyo, Japan
Independent Writing and Editing Professional

Read Makiko’s bio


Isada Hiranwiwatkul

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

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Regina Honu

Accra, Ghana
CEO of Soronko Solutions

Read Regina’s bio

Ivonne de Leon

Ivonne de Leon

Florida, USA
Founding Partner at TrueCore Group & Transmutis

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Eric Lomeli

Texas, USA
Geographic Information Solutions (GIS) Supervisor at Bexar County (Texas)

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Michaela Mariani

Rome, Italy
Head of the legal and corporate affairs at Cherry106 S.p.A

Read Michaela’s bio


Daniel Obst

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

Read Daniel’s bio

Ernesto Rey Moreno

Ernesto Rey Moreno

Bogotá, Colombia
Founder & CEO, Empresas REYMORENO

Read Ernesto’s bio


Dr. Willibald Plesser

Vienna, Austria
Attorney at Law, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

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Dr. Roberto Ruffino

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

Read Roberto’s bio


Dr. Helmut Schuster

London, UK
executive advisor at bp

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Life Trustee

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.

Luc Estape

Partner Director, Switzerland

Read Luc’s bio


Junko Kawano

Partner Director, AFS Japan

Read Junko’s bio


Derya Komitoglu

Partner Director, Turkey

Read Derya’s bio


Marcel Krause

Partner Director, Germany

Read Marcel’s bio

AFS in neuem Kleid

Ingeborg Suppin-Fabisch

Partner Director, Austria

Read Ingeborg’s bio


Ulrik Wehner

Partner Director, Denmark

Read Ulrik’s bio

AFS Educational Advisory Council

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 AFS Network Organizations worldwide.

Executive Team


Daniel Obst

President and Chief Executive Officer

Read Daniel’s bio


Rita Bangáné Jarecsni

Chief Financial and Operational Officer

Read Rita’s bio


Maria Grazia Brizi

Corporate Secretary, Associate General Counsel

Read Maria’s bio


Hal Denton

General Counsel & Chief Risk Management Officer

Read Hal’s bio


Efrem Fisher

Chief Programs Officer

Read Efrem’s bio


Lucas Welter

Chief Organization Development & Strategy Officer

Read Lucas’ bio

AFS International Team

Ana Carolina Cassiano
Consultant, Head of Education Development

Anaïs Chauvet
Consultant, Educational Support Specialist

Andreza Martins
Director, Programs

Andrew Menges
Consultant, Data Analytics & Visualization

Brice Sagbohan
Accountant, Budget & Network Finances

Carlos Irias Kattan
Consultant, Digital Marketing & Website Management

David Blythe
Manager, Program Policy & Support

Eduardo Assed
Consultant, Network & Market Development

Fabricia Manoel
Consultant, Program Development & Innovation

Georgianna Jarrett
Manager, Human Resources

Guillermo Bril
Consultant, Digital Products

Larry Barnett
Director, Risk & Crisis Management

Linda Stuart 
Director, Global Education Innovation

Manuela Ramirez 
Consultant, Volunteer Development & Training

Martha Rivas 
Coordinator, Accounts Payable & Office Services

Martin Teplanszki 
Consultant, Digital Support

Milena Miladinovic 
Consultant, Communications & External Affairs

Molly Stern 
Manager, Global Competence Certificate

Monica Our
Director, Budget & Network Finances

Nicole Lebenson Angulo
Director, Partner Engagement & Communications

Paul Gamner
Assistant to the President

Pedro Junqueira
Head, Digital Products

Sarah Collins 
Head, Training

Saskia Kaya
Program Manager

Sean Reilly
Director, Program Development

Shiree Pointer 
Manager, Program Operations & Quality Support

Stefanie Grech
Specialist, Internal Communications

Stijn Van den Bergh 
Consultant, ICT

Veronica Conti
Consultant, Marketing & Customer Experience

Yumna Khan
Manager, The Youth Assembly