Our Team

Darla Deardorff
Founding President, Executive Team
Founding President of World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence, Dr. Darla Deardorff is author of 8 books & over 60 articles/book chapters on intercultural competence and international education.Affiliated faculty at numerous institutions around the world and regularly invited to speak. Advisor to United Nations, Council of Europe, OECD.
Fran Baxter
Executive Team
Fran is the co-founder and executive director of Value Learning. Fran is an educator who has developed intercultural programs for audiences across Australia and internationally. Fran holds a B. Adult and Vocational Education and has trained trainers and assessors for accredited learning in Australia. She has developed government projects for international education related to Indonesia, China and India, and designed the International Student Forum. Fran was previously the CEO of AFS Australia.
Marcela Lapertosa
Executive Team
Marcela Lapertosa is a Child Psychologist with a Masters degree in Cross Cultural Psychology. Intercultural facilitator and trainer who led the development of multiple intercultural learning curricula including the AFS Global Competence Certificate, a blended learning program for 18+ study abroad participants. Marcela is a former faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication and a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.
Nadine Binder
Executive Team, Events, Working Groups
Nadine is a trainer and coach specialized in intercultural competence, diversity & inclusion, and Personal Leadership. She received her PhD in Psychology from the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) for her research on intercultural competence development in higher education. Nadine is passionate about bridging research and practice to help people flourish. Nadine has lived in Germany, Australia and the Netherlands and is currently based in Hamburg, Germany.
Amy Rasmussen
Executive Team Associate, Working Groups
Amy is an international educator who recently moved back to the US after six years in Madrid, Spain. Her experience includes teaching English and Cultural Competence in a K-12 environment, program management in higher education, and lecturing on culture and travel to prospective university students. She has a BA in History and Secondary Education from Kean University and an MS in Global and International Education from Drexel University.
Minghui (Hannah) Hou
Executive Team Associate
I am a Ph.D. student in the higher education program at Old Dominion University. My research interests include but are not limited to, issues of equity in international education, curriculum internationalization, neoracism, and international students' experiences. I am passionate to establish equitable and inclusive formal and informal learning environments for international students from postcolonial perspective. I am also a copy editor of the Journal of International Students.
Yovana S-Veerasamy, PhD.
Executive Team Associate - Resources
Dr. S-Veerasamy, is a consultant & researcher in higher education. Her professional experience includes teaching and advising international students in the U.S. community college sector. Winner of the Comparative International Education Society, HESIG Best Dissertation Award, her research focuses on U.S. Internationalization policy in the 2000s. She has working experience with the adaptation of intercultural competence in online delivery of education and services including VE/COIL. She believes in promoting peace in the world through intercultural understanding, diplomacy and cooperation.
Emily Brokaw
Intercultural Connector, Web Team
Emily is an emerging librarian and freelance writer and editor. Raised in Southeast Asia, she is keenly aware of the importance of cross cultural experiences and intercultural communication. She has participated in several intercultural programs with the aim of fostering conversations across cultural boundaries. Emily is passionate about the use of information services to facilitate interdisciplinary and intercultural collaboration. She holds an MLIS from Kent State University.
Jenny Litzen
Intercultural Connector
I'm currently an online teacher and instructional leader at NC Virtual. I got involved with the Intercultural Connector through my affiliation with the World Council, via the World Council Teaching Fellows in 2021.
Kelly Pengelly
Intercultural Connector, Former Strategy Advisor
Kelly Pengelly leverages over 26 years of international higher education, cross-cultural and student development experience both domestically and internationally. Her expertise ranges from developing human rights based intercultural competence, student and young professional leadership, global exchange, cultural entry, event programming, service learning and partnership development. She enjoys advancing the talents of people of color and enjoys bridging domestic and foreign national communities.
Sarah Price
Intercultural Connector
Dr. Sarah Price is the Global Engagement Officer at Bournemouth University. She provides operational support for delivering the University's strategy for global engagement. Sarah supports international partnership developments as well as student and staff mobility projects. Having been an international student herself, as well as having worked all over Europe as part of her PhD, the global outlook and intercultural competence of staff and students is something Sarah is passionate about.
Hayley Pottle
Web Team Lead, Intercultural Connector
Hayley is dedicated to providing leadership development experiences in cross-cultural mentoring. She serves as the Program Coordinator for TechGirls, U.S. Department of State initiative and Education Consultant for the University of Richmond. She lived and worked in Jordan where she acted as the Project Development Manager for Hopes for Women in Education. Hayley holds a Bachelor of Science degree from VCU in Mass Communications and Business Studies.
Joan Sena Kpodzro
Web Team
Sena is a senior in Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, with a commitment to cross-cultural patient care. She is from Accra, Ghana, but has had the opportunity to pursue higher education in Singapore and the United States for the past five years. As the co-founder of Story Circles Ghana, Sena advocates for the development of intercultural competencies within the Ghanaian healthcare system.
Kris Acheson-Clair
Working Group Coordinator, Underrepresented Voices in IC Research
Kris Acheson-Clair (PhD, Intercultural Communication, 2008) is former faculty at Georgia State University and Fulbright Scholar to Honduras. At Purdue University, she directs the Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR), whose staff works to embed intercultural learning across the curriculum. Dr. Acheson is a well-published scholar and an in-demand trainer/speaker on pedagogy and assessment.
Sasha Edith Butler
Working Group Coordinator, ICC and Community-Based Global Learning
Sasha E. Butler is the Executive Director at Changing Destinations: Journey To Excellence, Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on leadership and global citizenship education. Her expertise includes intercultural competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion, program and curriculum development, and global education consulting. She has a BA in English Literature & Writing, MS in Adult Education & HR Development, and is an EdD Candidate in the Higher Education and Adult Learning.
Curtis Chu, PhD.
Working Group Coordinator, ICC Assessment
Curtis is an experienced educator in intercultural communications, and he has been an advocate for teaching to reduce discrimination and increase understanding across cultures for over 10 years. In his teaching career, he has taught in settings such as cram schools, elementary schools, junior high schools and universities. He is currently a faculty member in the Global Education Center at Setsunan University. Prior to living in Japan, he lived in Hong Kong, Canada, and Taiwan.
María Alejandra Fumaroni
Working Group Coordinator Community-based Inter-Cultural Competence
María Alejandra Fumaroni is a University Specialist Professor in Entrepreneurship and Social Sciences from UCES Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a Cultural Management Diploma and a degree in Business Administration. With more than 15 years of experience in local and international companies and more than 4 years working in education institutions, her work is centered around topics such as cultural diversity, education, equity, inclusiveness and digital tools. María is currently teaching English as a global language, with a special interest in emotional intelligence and commitment to Sustainable Development Goals as well as in writing and reciting poetry.
Irina Golubeva
Working Group Coordinator ICC Resources
Dr Irina Golubeva is Associate Professor of Intercultural Communication at UMBC (USA) and co-director of Intercultural Leadership Certificate Program. Her main research interests concern the development of multilingual awareness and intercultural competence, internationalisation of higher education, and conceptualization of intercultural citizenship. She is strongly committed to non-profit work and served for 7 years as a vice-president of the European Association of Teachers.
Ana Sofia Hofmeyr, PhD.
Working Group Coordinator Early Career Professionals, Intercultural Connector
Ana Sofia Hofmeyr is a Lecturer of English as a Foreign Language at Kansai University, Japan. She has an MA in Culture and Identity Studies from the University of St Andrews and a PhD from Osaka University in Transformative Education with a focus on intercultural competence development through internationalisation-at-home initiatives.
Claudia Issa
Working Group Coordinator of the Spanish ICC group
Claudia Issa is a DEI & Intercultural Trainer, Psychologist, and Psychotherapist based in Barcelona, Spain. Recognized as an International Leader in Mental Health by the US Department of State she is a passionate about her role in championing businesses to support their organizations wellbeing. She also serves as Chair of the Community Development Committee at SIETAR Europa.
Hiba Ibrahim
Working Group Coordinator ICC Resources
Hiba is PhD student in applied linguistics at York University in Canada. Through her empirical research and career, she's worked with school leaders, students and teachers to develop curricula that promotes ICC, collaboration and 21st century skills. Hiba earned her MA in education from UCL. Her research focused on incorporating ICC in EFL pedagogy. Her PhD research lies in exploring tension sites in virtual exchange and the role of task design in eliciting intercultural mediation strategies.
Shabnam Ivkovic
Working Group Coordinator SDGs and ICC/GC
Shay leads a team of practitioners at UWaterloo to facilitate 3200+ international, paid, 4-to-8-month co-op internships – annually. She is a certified Advanced Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Professional and has a Certificate in Sustainability. Shay has presented and / or published via APAIE, CBIE, CEIA, CEWIL Canada, GIC, IJWIL, NZIEC and WACE. She co-leads CBIE’s INTL PLC. She is past Chair of CEWIL Canada’s INTL Committee, and member of their Research Committee and EWO’s Governance Committee.
Molly McSweeney
Working Group Coordinator ICC Policy
Molly McSweeney’s professional background at CIEE, IES Abroad, Longwood University, and Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici is also informed by cultural heritage and oral history projects. She currently works as Substitute Teacher at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh and is actively involved in supporting newcomers through community-based global engagement projects. Molly holds an MA in Cultural & Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Psychology from Dickinson College.
Clare Sisisky
Working Group Coordinator, ICC K-12
Clare Sisisky is the Executive Director of the Global Education Benchmark Group, a nonprofit that supports 300 member schools around the world in all aspects of global education. She has 15 years of leadership experience in public and independent schools, as well as experience in China, India, and Mauritius. Clare has a BA from George Washington University, a graduate degree from Harvard University, and is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.
Lourdes Zilberberg, PhD.
Working Group Coordinator Early Career Professionals
Director of the International Office and Local Director of the Confucius Institute at FAAP, Brazil. Dedicated to the study of internationalization and intercultural and global competence, she holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations (UDELAR, Uruguay), a MBA in International Business (FAAP Penn State, USA) a Master in Creativity and Innovation (Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Portugal) and now She’s concluding a PhD in Policy and Management of Higher Education (UNTREF, Argentina).