Cuba in Context: Regulations and Realities for U.S. Study Abroad Programs in Cuba


April 18, 2017

Learn what's changed and what hasn’t with Cuba regulations and realities on the ground. A representative from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) joined two university representatives for a panel discussion sharing their experiences developing and implementing study abroad programs in Cuba.

This Government Connection is part of NAFSA’s Cuba Engagement Initiative, which provides a space for dialogue, networking, and training events throughout the year. Each Government Connection features an official from a specific U.S. federal agency along with NAFSA subject matter experts.

Government Connections are virtual presentations followed by a live question and answer session. Live government connections are free and open to all international education professionals.

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Annie Gibson, PhD
Tulane University

Annie Gibson, PhD, is the associate director for intercultural learning at the Center for Global Education at Tulane University, where she also completed her PhD in Latin American studies. Gibson leads the Center for Global Education's efforts to promote global understanding campus-wide. Her areas of research specialization include Cuban and Brazilian performance cultures, immigration, travel, and tourism studies. She has published widely, including two books: Post-Katrina Brazucas: Brazilians in New Orleans and Hispanic and Latino New Orleans: Immigration and Identity Since the 18th Century. She has also published articles in accredited academic journals such as Studies in Latin American Popular Culture and the Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, and co-produced and directed a short film in Cuba, titled "Tempo of Tomorrow Revisited," that explores U.S. tourism to Cuba in 1958 and 2014. In addition, Gibson teaches a diverse range of courses in Spanish and Portuguese languages, literatures, and cultures on Tulane’s campus and abroad.

Laura E. Boudon, PhD
Florida International University

Laura E. Boudon, PhD, is director of the Office of Study Abroad at Florida International University (FIU) and leads FIU’s efforts to increase the number of FIU students who study abroad and participate in the university's exchange program. Boudon recently traveled to Cuba for FIU to learn about Cuban higher education and internationalization, and is also participating in a multi-institutional research project with Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning on Study Abroad and Global Learning. She serves as the campus representative for Boren scholarships and fellowships. Prior to her current position, Boudon worked for the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at FIU, most recently serving as associate director for international programs. She also served for several years as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work. Boudon has 15 years of professional experience in higher education administration and has worked for Georgetown University, American University, and the University of South Carolina. She holds graduate degrees in international relations and social work, having graduated from FIU with a PhD in international relations.

Scott Douglass
Office of Foreign Assets Control

Scott Douglass is a sanctions licensing officer in the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Licensing Division, where he works on the travel transactions team processing Cuba travel, transactional, and wire transfer license requests. Douglass has a BA in history from George Mason University and is a U.S. Navy veteran.