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

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

Read Brian’s bio


Dr. Veronica Boix Mansilla

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

Read Veronica’s bio


Dr. Jackie Chimhanzi

Johannesburg, South Africa
CEO of the African Leadership Institute

Read Jackie’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

Read Isada’s bio

Ivonne de Leon

Ivonne de Leon

Florida, USA
Founding Partner at TrueCore Group & Transmutis

Read Ivonne’s bio


Eric Lomeli

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

Read Eric’s bio


Najmuzzaman Mohammad

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Chief Product Officer at Capria VentureBasecamp

Read Najmu’s bio

Daniel Obst

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

Read Willibald’s bio


Dr. Roberto Ruffino

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

Read Roberto’s bio

Urlich Voss

Ulrich Voss

Kronberg, Germany
Founder and Managing Partner at Kronberg Advisors

Read Ulrich’s bio

Alexis Zlocowski

Alexis Zlocowski

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

Read Alexis’ bio

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.

Luc Estape

Partner Director, Switzerland

Read Luc’s bio


Andrea Franzoi

Secretary General, Intercultura (Italian partner of AFS)

Read Andrea’s bio

Rosario Gutierrez

Rosario Gutierrez

Partner Director, Colombia

Read Rosario’s bio


Juan Medici

Partner Director, Argentina & Uruguay

Read Juan’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

Melissa Liles (Chair), New York, USA Chief Global Engagement 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 🇺🇸

President and Chief Executive Officer

Read Daniel’s bio


Rita Bangáné Jarecsni 🇭🇺

Chief Financial and Operational Officer

Read Rita’s bio


Maria Grazia Brizi 🇮🇹

Associate General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Data Protection Officer

Read Maria’s bio

Hal Denton

Hal Denton 🇺🇸

General Counsel & Chief Risk Management Officer

Read Hal’s bio


Efrem Fisher 🇺🇸

Chief Programs Officer

Read Efrem’s bio

Melissa Liles

Melissa Liles 🇺🇸

Chief Global Engagement Officer

Read Melissa’s bio

Sheryl Tucker

Sheryl Tucker 🇺🇸

Chief External Affairs Officer

Read Sheryl’s bio


Lucas Welter 🇧🇷

Chief Organization Development & Strategy Officer

Read Lucas’ bio

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 Brito 🇧🇷
International Events Intern

Camilla Soulere 🇳🇴
Fellow, Learning Program

Carlos Irias 🇭🇳
Digital Marketing & Website Management Consultant

Cristina Mateo 🇩🇴 🇺🇸
Coordinator, Accounting and Budget

Damian Epsztein 🇦🇷
Consultant, Digital Products

David Blythe 🇺🇸
Manager, Program Policy and Support

Ebbe Skovdal 🇩🇰 🇺🇸
Advisor to the President

Eduardo Assed 🇧🇷
Senior Consultant, Partner Engagement

Fabricia Manoel 🇧🇷
Consultant, Organization Development & Program Development

Hazar Yildirim 🇹🇷
Manager, Alliances

Heidy Utami 🇮🇩
Training Fellow

Indre Salciute 🇱🇹
Consultant, Management Information

Larry Barnett 🇺🇸
Director, Risk and Crisis Management

Linda Stuart 🇺🇸
Specialist, Educational Products

Magnus-Andreas Aase 🇳🇴
Consultant, Digital

Marika Strauss 🇺🇸
Head of Volunteer Development

Marshall Adams 🇺🇸
Business Development Manager in Asia and the Pacific

Martha Rivas 🇵🇾
Coordinator, Accounts Payable & Office Services

Melissa Chang 🇺🇸
Corporate & Foundation Partnerships Manager

Milena Miladinovic 🇷🇸
Consultant, Communications & External Affairs

Molly Stern 🇺🇸
Educational Products Coordinator

Monica Our 🇺🇸
Director, Budget and Network Finances

Nicole Lebenson 🇺🇸
Director, Partner Engagement

Paul Gamner 🇺🇸
Assistant to the President

Pedro Junqueira 🇧🇷🇺🇸
Head of Digital

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