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3 posts from June 2013


Minneapolis: Home to the Best Parks in the Nation

Looking for a place to stroll or relax during the conference this fall? You're in luck! The Trust of the Public Land recently named Minneapolis the nation's best big city for public parks. Parks were scored on factors including size, access to citizens, and services provided.

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New Collection of Japanese Art at Minneapolis Museum

Clark collection

A collection of nearly 1,700 works of Japanese art is headed to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

A number of pieces from the the collection--which is part of a gift and purchase from the Clark Center of Japanese Art and Culture, in California--will be on display during our CIEE Annual Conference this November!

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Staff Announcements & Updates

We have a number of exciting and important staffing changes within CIEE Study Abroad; please join us in welcoming and congratulating our colleagues.

Program Management

William (Bill) Bull, Director of Health, Safety, and Security

Joining CIEE on June 17, Bill will be responsible for creating, implementing, and assessing the health, safety, and security policies of each of our nearly 200 programs in more than 40 countries. Additionally,

Bill will lead a central CIEE Risk Management Team; will coordinate all CIEE staff training in health, safety, and security; and will work closely with program staff to upgrade CIEE facilities as needed. Bill comes to CIEE with a long history in the safety and security field, having most recently served as East Africa/East Indian Ocean Safety and Security Officer for the Peace Corps, an organization he has maintained close ties with since he first became a Peace Corps volunteer in 1985.

Since 1999, Bill has served in many capacities for the organization, including as Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD) for Rural Development and Post Safety Officer in Gabon; as APCD for the Environment and Safety Officer in Madagascar; and as Country Director in Madagascar, during which he received numerous prestigious awards for his work, including the John F. Kennedy Award and a knighthood from the Malagasy Government into the Ordre National de Merit. Bill also played an instrumental role in re-opening Peace Corps programs in Madagascar in May 2002 and in Liberia in 2008. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from LaFayette College and a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. 

Regional Directors of Operations

The Regional Directors of Operations (RDOs) are new positions created in 2013. Resident Directors and Center Directors report to the RDOs and the RDOs report to Senior Program Director Catharine Scruggs located at the CIEE headquarters in Portland, Maine. 

Clara Rodes
Clara Rodes, Regional Director of Operations, Southern Europe (France, Italy, Portugal, Spain)

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Phone: 207-553-7888


Clara Rodes holds a master’s in business administration from DePaul University and has extensive management and academic experience. She has worked in the financial, consulting, and education sectors in Argentina, Spain, and the U.S. Prior to joining CIEE in 2007 as Resident Director of the Business and Culture program (and subsequently as Center Director and Resident Director of the Economics and Culture program), Clara worked for more than eight years at the European campus of The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where she held the positions of Academic Advisor and Director of Administration. In addition, Clara has been a faculty member at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra for the last 15 years.


Caroline at Schloss Schoenbrunn
Caroline Maas, Regional Director of Operations, Northern Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) 

Location: Berlin, Germany

Phone: 207-553-7887


Caroline Maas holds a master’s in business administration from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. Previously, she consulted for the University of South Carolina School of Business. Prior to that, Caroline served as Marketing and Public Relations Director for the Spoleto Arts Festival in South Carolina, and worked for many years in a variety of capacities for EF Education First. 

 Max Savishinsky

Max Savishinsky, Regional Director of Operations, Latin America & Caribbean

Location: Brazil

Phone: 207-553-4054


Max Savishinsky holds masters’ degrees in public administration and international studies, and doctorates of higher education leadership and policy from the University of Washington in Seattle. Prior to joining CIEE, Max directed the University of Washington’s Exploration Seminar study abroad program: 40 short-term faculty-led programs in 25 countries on 6 continents. He also served as the University of Washington’s Assistant Director for Latin American Studies and as Resident Director for numerous undergraduate and high school programs to Latin America focused on immigration, the coffee industry, social movements, and service-learning.


Janine el talJanine El Tal, Regional Director of Operations, Middle East & North Africa 

Location : Dubai/Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Phone: 207-553-7890


Janine El Tal has more than thirty years of experience in leadership roles in the field of international education in the Middle East including 25 years as the Country Director for the Jordan office of America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (AMIDEAST). She was instrumental in the development of the CIEE Study Center in Amman and served as a consultant in the development of the CIEE Study Center in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Since relocating from Jordan to the UAE, Janine has worked with the Foundation for International Education (FIE), the Government of Dubai, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.  


Penny AlexanderPenny Alexander – Regional Director Operations, Africa

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Phone: 207-553-7889


Penny Alexander has served in leadership roles in Africa and the U.S., including Habitat for Humanity, Jesuit Refugee Service, and Boston College, primarily in the areas of relief, development, and cross-cultural education. She earned her master’s of social work from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor’s degree in counseling and psychology from Lesley College.  

Download a Program Management Organizational Chart of our Study Abroad Program Management team.

Institutional Relations

Our Institutional Relations team has also recently undergone restructuring to better meet the needs of the institutions we partner with. To see the full map/regions please visit our contact page.   

Michelle Howard, Senior Manager, Institutional Relations

Michelle comes to Institutional Relations from CIEE Applicant Interview (CAI), offering CAI to university admissions offices. Prior to joining CIEE, Michelle held positions with Apple Computer, Inc. and Zenith Data Systems selling to the higher education market and managing computer retail sales professionals and student representatives. She also worked in admissions and student support for the University of Southern Maine and The Governor’s Academy in Massachusetts, and helped to interview and evaluate students interested in studying abroad for AFS-USA. Michelle received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Bentley University and a master’s degree in multicultural education from the Universidad de Salamanca.


Tyler D'Andrea, Manager, Institutional Relations Development

Tyler joined the Institutional Relations team in 2008 and has been working with southeast region. Tyler joined the Institutional Relations team after working at the University of Maryland as a study abroad advisor. Tyler’s interest in international education can be traced back to high school during which he spent a year in Chemnitz, Germany, on the Congress-Bundestag High School Exchange Program. This experience inspired him to study abroad while at the University of Florida (UF), first in St. Petersburg, Russia, with CIEE, and then in Shanghai, China, at Fudan University. During his time at UF, he also participated in the study abroad office’s peer advising program, which ultimately led the way to his new role at CIEE. Tyler holds a bachelor’s degree in Russian language.



Laura Sweet, Director, International Faculty Development Seminars (IFDS)

Laura, who did great work serving the Western region for Institutional Relations, has been promoted and will now serve as CIEE’s Director for IFDS. In this new role, Laura is responsible for expanding our faculty development offerings to new locations, disciplines, and terms to meet the needs of today’s faculty. Laura came to CIEE in 2006 to work with our Inbound Support and USA High School teams before transitioning to a West Coast Institutional Relations Manager in 2008.

Previously, she lived overseas, working as the Student Affairs Manager for the School for Field Studies in the Australian rainforest and as Program Coordinator for an anthropology and marine science summer field school in the Solomon Islands. During her undergraduate studies, she spent two semesters studying abroad in New Zealand and Samoa. Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in international education from the SIT Graduate Institute. 

Download an organizational chart for IR and Enrollment Management.