NAFSA celebrates innovation and values highly talented volunteer leaders and staff. 


Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO
Esther Brimmer, DPhil, currently serves as the executive director and chief executive officer of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Dr. Brimmer’s distinguished career includes three appointments within the U.S. Department of State, serving most recently as the assistant secretary for international organization affairs from April 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining NAFSA, Dr. Brimmer was professor of practice of international affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where she served a two-year term as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor. She was also an adjunct senior fellow for international institutions at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a senior adviser at McLarty Associates. She was previously deputy director and director of research at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) from 2001 to 2009, and was a member of the SAIS faculty. She also taught at the College of Europe in Belgium, and from 1995 to 1999, she was a senior associate at the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. Earlier, she served on Capitol Hill as a legislative analyst for the Democratic Study Group in the U.S. House of Representatives. Immediately after earning her doctorate from Oxford University, she spent two years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.

Learn more about the rest of NAFSA's senior staff.

  • Mary Grace Quackenbush, Executive Assistant
  • Beth Sharp, Administrative Assistant

Human Resources

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  • Patricia Scott, Senior Director, Human Resources
  • Stephanie Cloninger, Human Resources Associate

Organizational Advancement

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  • Dina Gillespy, Associate Director, Organizational Advancement
  • Gail Hochhauser, Senior Director, Organizational Advancement
  • Matt Ruffner, Senior Coordinator, Organizational Advancement

Communications and Advancement

Marketing and Creative Services

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  • Meredith Brodbeck, Associate Director, Web Communications
  • Dion Faradonez, Associate Director, Creative Services
  • Claudia Guintu, Graphic Designer
  • Erik Gudris, Associate Director, Marketing Copywriting and Video Services
  • Robin Little, Director, Production and Marketing Services
  • James Mahoney, Senior Director, Marketing and Membership
  • Henry Pazaryna, Senior Coordinator, Digital Marketing
  • Jordan Wait, Associate Director, Web Communications and Social Media


Contact Membership

  • Brace Ford, Director, Membership and Career Center
  • Alberta Minter, Membership Frontline Specialist
  • Dawn Wooten, Associate Director, Membership and Career Center

Strategic Communications

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  • Meredith Bell, Associate Editor, Publishing Services
  • Martha Hawley-Bertsch, Director, Publishing Services
  • Elizabeth Hendley, Editor-in-Chief, International Educator
  • Dara Liling, Editor, Publishing Services
  • Natalie Ngo, Senior Editor, Publishing Services

Knowledge Development

  • Stacy Johnson, Administrative Assistant, Knowledge Development

Academic Affairs and Internationalization

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  • Solida En, Senior Coordinator, Academic Affairs & Internationalization
  • Kelsey Sherbondy, Associate Director, Internationalization
  • Heather MacCleoud, Director, Academic Affairs

Global Programs and Resource Development

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  • Michael Kulma, Senior Director, Global Programs & Resource Development
  • Maria Jose de Leon M, Senior Coordinator
  • Shanna Saubert, Associate Director, Research and Scholarship
  • Irina Schubert, Associate Director, Global Programs & Resource Development

Conference Program

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  • Katarzyna (Kasia) Batorski, Senior Director, Conference Program
  • Shaina Dorow, Senior Coordinator, Conference Program
  • Christina McCoy, Associate Director, Conference Program

Finance and Administration

  • Jane Hoffman, Deputy Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer

Conference and Meeting Planning

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  • Antoinette Dixon, Registration and Housing Specialist
  • Joanne Kuriyan, Exhibits Director
  • Shannon Mulvaney, Associate Director, Conferences & Meetings
  • Leslie Murray, Director, Meeting Planning and Services
  • Valerie Royal, Senior Director, Conferences and Meeting Planning

Finance and Administration

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  • Jenny Heinritz, Controller
  • Brendan Long, Accounting Associate
  • Irina Schuster, Accounts Payable Administrator
  • Tonia Wise, Accounting Associate

Office Services

  • Jonathan Mitchell, Manager Office Services

Technology Solutions

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  • Kyle Contrata, Data Analyst/Project Manager
  • Kristen Johnson, Senior Director, Technology Solutions
  • Peter Kehoe, Senior Advisor, Data Integrity
  • Melissa Larkin, Enterprise Applications Manager, Technology Solutions
  • Pete Mason, Director, Digital Experience
  • Mariama Orange, Technology Solutions Coordinator
  • Karina Perla, Technology Support Associate
  • Ronnie Townsend, Event Technology Specialist
  • Norman Twitty, Manager, Technology Support

Leadership and Professional Development Services

Education Abroad Services

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  • Allison Cash Spiro, Associate Director, Education Abroad Outreach and Regulatory Practice
  • Caroline Donovan White, Senior Director, Education Abroad Services
  • Heather McGann, Associate Director, Education Abroad Services

International Enrollment Management
International Student/Scholar Services

Contact International Enrollment Management | Contact International Student/Scholar Services

  • David Fosnocht, Director, Immigration Practice Resources
  • Erin Heffernan, Senior Coordinator, IEM-ISS Services
  • Sallie Ly, Associate Director, International Enrollment Management
  • Joann Ng Hartmann, Senior Director, IEM-ISS Services
  • Alena Palevitz, Associate Director, International Student & Scholar Services
  • Steve Springer, Director, Regulatory Practice Liaison

Professional Learning Services

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  • Lauren Carlson, Associate Director, Professional Learning Services
  • Corrie Fisher, Senior Learning Designer
  • Briona Graham-Clayton, Senior Coordinator
  • Chad Goeden, Associate Director
  • Marianne Haegeli, Senior Director
  • Lauren Newton, Program Manager

Volunteer Leadership Development and Regional Affairs

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  • Elisa Becker, Program Manager, Regional Affairs
  • Chelsea Ridenour, Associate Director, Volunteer Engagement and Regional Affairs
  • Julia Ruane, Program Manager, Regional Affairs

Public Policy and Advocacy

  • Jill Allen Murray, Deputy Director, Public Policy

Media Relations

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Public Policy

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  • Rachel Banks, Director, Public Policy
  • Mark Farmer, Director, Higher Education and Public Policy
  • Kasey Penfield, Public Policy & Media Relations Specialist
  • Heather Stewart, Counsel and Director of Immigration Policy