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 US. During high school and university, Benjamin was an exchange student in Russia; since then, he has traveled extensively throughout Eurasia, as well as lived and traveled in Latin America.

    Today Benjamin works 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 US and in your community, as well as 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.

  • Christina has been dedicated to international exchange programs and technical assistance projects for over 25 years. She first joined American Councils in 1993 as the FLEX Program Field Office (Hub) Director in L’viv, Ukraine.  In 1995, she transferred to the Kyiv office to head up the US Educational Advising Center. She later also took on the management of Teachers’ Exchange Programs and in 2002 became Country Director for Ukraine. In 2012, Christina returned to the US and continued to work as a Consultant for American Councils’ Ukraine Standardized External Testing Initiative. Christina briefly worked as a Senior Compliance Officer for the Field Operations and Programs department in the Washington, DC office in 2014, before moving to Munich, Germany, where she worked on the Reforming Ukraine’s Higher Education Project. From 2016 through early October 2019, she Consulted for American Councils’ projects supporting efforts in building Public Diplomacy capacity for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

    Christina has a BA in Political Science from New York 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 Progam Officer since 2016, she is the primary contact in our department regarding student support, placement, and our annual Re-Entry Workshops. She also helps to plan and organize our annual Local Coordinator conference and other Local Coordinator training opportunities.

    In addition, Amanda takes the lead on handbook and general material development and coordinates student contests and social media for the department. Prior to joining our team, Amanda worked in the DC 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.

  • Lauren has been interested in exchange programs since childhood, when a postcard from a neighbor studying abroad sparked her interest in international education and cultural exchange. As an undergraduate student, Lauren solidified her interest in such programs by studying abroad in Serbia, Kosovo, and Turkey. Lauren also spent four years working in Southeast Europe as a Fulbright grantee and Peace Corps Volunteer, where she taught English as a foreign language to students from Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and China. Before joining the International Student Support Team in January 2020, Lauren worked with American Councils field offices in Southeast Europe as a Pre-Departure Orientation instructor and a FLEX and YES Program participant recruiter. 

    On the International Student Support Team, Lauren works on host family and coordinator onboarding, outreach including social media, and student, host family and local coordinator support. 

    Lauren earned a BA in History from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. 

  • Andrew joined our team in winter 2019 as a recent graduate. His interest in exchange programs originally sparked from his time living abroad during middle and high school in India, Mexico and Brazil, and from living at the International Residential College at the University of Virginia.

    Andrew realized after his own experience abroad just how the perspectives you obtain from immersion in another culture will shape the rest of your life and he is thrilled to see the students today doing the same in the YES and FLEX programs. 

    As part of the International Student Support team, Andrew works primarily on participant monitoring and financial issues, as well as various special projects throughout the year. Questions about reimbursements and honoraria, VIP calls, second home visits, monthly reports, and student stipends can all be directed to him.

    Andrew earned his BA at the University of Virginia, double majoring in Latin American Studies and Studio Art.