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.

  • 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 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.

  • International exchanges have been a big part of Paige’s academic and professional lives over the past several years. She studied abroad in Poland, China, and Russia before teaching English in Kazakhstan, where she worked closely with FLEX students and alumni. While serving as a FLEX participant recruiter for three seasons, she traveled to several FLEX countries, particularly in Central Asia. She worked with American Councils full-time in DC since 2017 on the Secondary School Programs Enhancement Team before joining our team in February 2019. 

    Now a Program Officer for the International Student Support Team at American Councils, Paige’s responsibilities include evaluating host family applications, travel requests, and Local Coordinator onboarding.

    Paige received her B.A. from the University of Louisville in Political Science with a minor in Russian studies.

  • Mandy (Amanda) joined our team in winter 2018 after working for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Mandy’s interest in exchange programs originally sparked from her study abroad experience in Florence, Italy and her experiences growing up in a multicultural family and having many international friends. Mandy realized after her own studies abroad just how incredible it is to immerse yourself in someone else’s culture and how the global perspectives you obtain will shape the rest of your life.  She is thrilled to see the students today doing the same in the YES and FLEX programs. 

    In International Student Support, Mandy works on participant monitoring 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 Mandy, whether it be a phone call or email.

    Mandy has an MA in Museum Education, concentrating in Accessibility, from The University of the Arts.  She graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in Art History, where she focused on broadly studying cultures around the world.