Our Team

Our Team

  • No stranger to the exchange experience himself, Benjamin has been with American Councils since 1995 and now oversees the entire team, including our network of Local Coordinators throughout the U.S. In high school and university, Benjamin was an exchange student in Russia; he has also traveled extensively throughout Eurasia, as well as lived and traveled in Latin America.

    He is currently working on issues that affect the entire sphere of global exchange. From advocacy to seeking new partners, you’ll hear from Benjamin mostly with respect to issues that have an impact on the world of exchange, both across the U.S., and in your community, as well as some potential new avenues for programming. If you are interested in supporting our bright, young, international students in your community (whether you are a small business owner or a leader in an organization with a complementary mission or goal), Benjamin is happy to hear from you.

    Benjamin has a BA in Russian from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. He is a fluent speaker of Russian, Spanish, and Dutch.

  • Lindsay joins the International Student Support Team after having worked since 2013 providing on-program support for students on the YES Program at American Councils. Studying abroad in Jordan during college ignited Lindsay’s passion for travel and international youth exchange, and she’s slowly working to add many new stamps to her passport! Her new role has Lindsay managing the operations and administrative side of the team, as well as developing our policies for student, Host Family, and Local Coordinator support.

    As Assistant Operations Manager, Lindsay will act as the lead on reporting to our program sponsors at the U.S. Department of State, work with all sub-grantee organizations, hire consultants, and support student placement.

    Lindsay received her MA in International Affairs, concentrating in Middle East Studies, from The George Washington University. She graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Anthropology and Politics.

  • Elizabeth’s interest in exploring other cultures began as a teenager in Michigan, when her family hosted exchange students from Latvia and Germany.

    As a former public classroom teacher, Elizabeth’s experience educating an international demographic heightened her appreciation for cultural exchange, spurring her to add an ESOL endorsement to her teaching credentials. Before relocating to the D.C. area, Elizabeth taught English/Language Arts for an intellectually gifted student program in Florida.

    Now a Program Officer for the International Student Support Team at American Councils, Elizabeth’s responsibilities include evaluating host family applications, travel requests, reimbursements and honoraria, and health insurance.

    Elizabeth is a graduate of Central Michigan University with degrees in Secondary English, K-12 Art, and Reading.

  • Timothy’s dedication to bridging cultures is evidenced by his 12 years working on cultural exchange programs. Since 2002, Timothy has worked with American Councils in three countries abroad: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. He has enjoyed conducting recruitment, pre-departure orientations, student support, and administering other aspects of both the FLEX and YES youth exchange programs. 

    Filled with wanderlust and a desire to explore other cultures and climates, Timothy has travelled widely in Central Asia and Eurasia. His travel itch began early on: Timothy studied on a U.S. sponsored exchange fellowship in Russia.

    As a Senior Program Officer for the International Student Support Team at American Councils, Timothy supports students in host family placements. He works on training and support for Local Coordinators, on-program student support, and capacity building for placing students.    

    Timothy holds a BA in Economics and Russian Studies from Washington and Lee University.

  • Amanda’s high school study abroad experience in Nice, France originally sparked her interest in exchange programs. In March 2013, she joined the International Student Support Team as a Program Assistant. Now a Senior Program Officer, Amanda is the primary contact in our department regarding student support, placement, and Local Coordinator training opportunities.

    In addition, Amanda provides support with handbook and general material development, manages the International Student Support Team newsletter, and coordinates student photo contests and social media for the department.  Prior to joining our team, Amanda worked in the D.C. area with Deaf and Hard of Hearing federal employees and ASL interpreters.

    Amanda received her MA in Social Anthropology overseas from the University of Manchester. Prior to graduate school, she received her BA in History and International Studies from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she was also a member of an organization that welcomed new exchange students to the university.

  • As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, Joel stumbled upon the joy of cultural exchanges when he was hired as a FLEX Pre-Departure Orientation Leader. Since that moment, he has been immersed in the world of international student exchanges. Before joining the International Student Support Team in 2017, he worked in the American Councils Field Operations department and was Director of Summer Camp America in Tajikistan.

    These various cultural experiences have been integral to Joel’s career development in international education. While the administration of such programs is often full of speed bumps, the first-hand experiences with students deeply affected by these programs has made Joel’s career a series of rewards.

    In International Student Support, Joel works on participant monitoring as well as various special projects throughout the year. Questions about VIP calls, second home visits, monthly student reports, and student stipends can all be directed to Joel, whether it be a phone call or email.

    Joel graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 with degrees in English and Political Science.