Full session details for NAFSA annual conference now online at www.nafsa.org/ac11sessions 2011-03-14FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEKatie O’Connell at 202.737.3699 x4420

The NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference & Expo, to be held May 31 – June 3 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is the world's largest gathering of leaders and professionals in international education and exchange, attracting more than 8,000 participants from 120 countries. The conference offers a wide array of learning and networking opportunities for international educators, focusing on the most crucial topics in international education and exchange today, from study abroad and international student and scholar advising to global education trends and systems and international education policy.

See below to find out more about this year’s lineup, tap into online features to help you plan your time at the conference, and to apply for a media pass.

NAFSA's annual conference is the best chance each year to hear from and talk with the leaders who are influencing "Innovation and Sustainability in International Education"

Tuesday, May 31 – Friday, June 3, 2011

Vancouver Convention Centre
1055 Canada Place
Vancouver, BC, V6C 0C3

2011 Plenary Speakers

  • Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa is the creator of an innovative comic book series THE 99 that promotes peace and tolerance through the adventures of superheroes inspired by Islam. Also a Kuwaiti clinical psychologist and entrepreneur, Dr. Al-Mutawa has beennamed one of the "500 Most Influential Muslims in the World" and was singled out for praise by President Barack Obama during the 2010 White House Summit on Entrepreneurship. THE 99 (also referred to as "The Ninety-Nine") was born in 2006 out of Dr. Al-Mutawa’s concern about media portrayals of Islam. He set out to find a way to change people’s perceptions and created a worldwide sensation. Forbes magazine recently named THE 99 "One of the Top 20 Trends Sweeping the Globe." Opening Plenary, Tuesday, May 31, 4:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • The Wednesday plenary this year will feature a panel discussion among a dynamic group of trailblazing and inspiring social entrepreneurs. The three panelists are Hammad Hammad, cofounder and president of Inspire Dreams, a non-profit that provides academic, athletic and arts-based education programs to Palestinian refugee youth in the West Bank; Kristin Hayden, founder and executive director of OneWorld Now!, a social venture that aims to develop the next generation of global leaders by providing critical language skills, leadership training, and study abroad opportunities to underserved youth; and Jessica Lax, social entrepreneur in residence at Causeway Work Centre, a community economic development organization, and cofounder of The Otesha Project, a youth-led charitable organization that educates, mobilizes, and equips Canadians to create local and global change. The panel will discuss both the theory and the reality of how change is made in the world. They will also share how international education played a role in shaping their lives and work – and how it can support their efforts and inspire future generations to create a more sustainable world. The event will be moderated by award-winning broadcast journalist Belle Puri of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News in Vancouver. Plenary Panel and Annual Business Meeting, Wednesday, June 1 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
  • Anand Sudarshan is CEO and managing director of Manipal Education, a growing presence in the vibrant and burgeoning education market in India and in global higher education. It operates three private universities – Manipal University, Sikkim Manipal University, and the American University of Antigua – and more than thirty other institutions of learning and training in India, as well as others in Antigua, Dubai, Malaysia, and Nepal. Under Sudarshan’s leadership, Manipal Education is committed to becoming a leading provider of English-language higher education in the developing world. The group has also placed an emphasis on the use of technology in education, launching collaborative interactive environments for its distance-education students. International Plenary and Luncheon, Friday, June 3, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Learn more about NAFSA’s conference plenary lineup at www.nafsa.org/ac11plenaries.

Online Tools to Help You Plan your Conference Experience

  • A major highlight of the conference is the International Education Expo Hall, featuring exhibitors representing hundreds of organizations from around the world, including colleges and universities, study abroad and intensive-English programs, embassies and government agencies, and more. Plan ahead with this interactive map.
  • Complete topic and panelist information is ONLINE NOW for the more than 200 conference session offerings. Visit the session schedule at www.nafsa.org/ac11sessions and view the complete list of educational offerings at www.nafsa.org/ac11education.
  • For complete information about press registration, NAFSA’s policy for media pass holders, and other details, visit NAFSA's 2011 Annual Conference Pages for News Media. Check-in for news media begins Tuesday, May 31, at 7:00 a.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

For advance or on-site help, to schedule interviews, or to arrange a quick guided orientation to the conference, contact [email protected]. You can also visit NAFSA online, check out our blog, and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest in international education.

With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education