Cynthia Banks has decades of experience in entrepreneurial leadership as Founder/CEO of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, a global education abroad organization which helped more than 30,000 students study or intern abroad at 120 programs worldwide. She currently serves as President of the Foundation for Global Scholars, a non-profit supporting globally minded young adults with scholarships and other resources. Her consulting practice, New World Vistas, designs business and leadership strategies with an emphasis on supporting women leaders.
Banks has served as a member of NAFSA’s Board of Directors, is a current trainer for the NAFSA Management Development Program and has held four other significant leadership roles with the Association including Chair, Education Abroad Knowledge Community and Executive Committee Treasurer, Region 2. She serves as board advisor for the Colorado State University Institute for Entrepreneurship and is an elected member of the International Women's Forum. Now in the faculty for the University of Colorado – Boulder Leed’s Business School, she also travels as an invited keynote speaker and presenter at national and global education conferences. Honors include 2009 Small Business of the Year by Colorado Women’s Chamber, Inc. Magazine Top 5000 Business and the 2013 Top Three Minority/Women Owned Business do by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
John Christian is the President & CEO of CAPA The Global Education Network. John has a longstanding history in the field of international education spanning more than 25 years. He has been an active and contributing member of the international education industry including NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, and Forum on Education Abroad.
He began his international education career as a Foreign Student Advisor for the State University of New York at Oswego in the Office of International Education. He attended graduate school at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies where he completed a master’s degree in Area studies: China. During this time, John was also the executive director of the SUNY Oswego London Center which led to the development of CAPA’s first program center in London.
As an entrepreneur and leader, John continues to evolve and support the field of international education. He strives for new and innovative ways to enhance the student experience in academics, personal and professional development and cultural exchange using state-of-the-art technology to create globally collaborative communities across the CAPA network of programs. His entrepreneurial approach to learning takes students to places they never knew they could go and prepares them to function and compete in an increasingly interdependent global landscape.
Currently, John sits on the Fund for Education Abroad’s Access Advisory Board, the Advisory Council for Diversity Abroad, and the Development Board of the California Innocence Project.
Dr. Leeanne Dunsmore is the Director for Education Abroad at the University of Maryland. She previously served as the Senior Educational Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, and launched the U.S Study Abroad Branch in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Prior to her role in government, she was the Associate Dean in the School of International Service at American University where she created international programs and partnerships throughout the world, building one of the most diverse schools of international affairs in the country. While at American she chaired the diversity initiatives committee for the 100K Strong Foundation, established the Pakistan Women’s Council and developed the first online degree program in international affairs in the United States. She received her B.A in international relations and business from the College of Wooster, her M.A. in international political economy from American University and a Doctorate in Global Education from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Kari Knutson Miller (Ph.D., Educational Psychology, Arizona State University; B.S. and M.S., University of Wisconsin, Madison;) joined Cal State Fullerton in 1999 as an assistant professor of child and adolescent studies. She achieved the rank of associate professor in 2005 and professor in 2010. She served in multiple faculty leadership roles including that as chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Studies; chair of university planning, resource and budget and strategic planning committees; and academic senator. She was named the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Member/Faculty Marshal for the College of Health and Human Development and received the 2013 Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance award. As faculty and department chair, she developed, facilitated, and led CAS international internship programs in China, Thailand, New Zealand, and Germany with these transformational learning experiences highlighted in the 2014 Center for Internships and Community Engagement Report.
From 2014-2017, Dr. Knutson Miller served as dean of University Extended Education, associate vice president for International Programs & Global Engagement, and Senior International Officer. She launched the International Programs and Global Engagement unit and, together with her team, annually supported global inbound and outbound academic, teaching, and research-oriented mobility for approximately 3,000 international students and 100+ faculty. Over a five year period, student participation in study abroad more than doubled with processes and outcomes reported in Diversity Abroad and NAFSA publications. Under her leadership, the institution received a 100,000 Strong in the Americas grant award, Institute of International Education Seal of Excellence, and AASCU Excellence and Innovation in International Education award.
In 2018, Dr. Knutson Miller served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. As Chief Academic Officer, she led work aligned with the core teaching, scholarly and creative, and service mission of the institution. Specific areas of emphasis included accreditation, general education, student success, philanthropic and entrepreneurial activities, equity-related work, and launch of the 2018-2023 university strategic plan. Dr. Knutson Miller currently serves as special assistant to the president supporting university priorities, including cultural and global initiatives articulated in the current strategic plan, and professor of child and adolescent studies. She is a member of the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration (CONAHEC) Advisory Board and serves as a trainer for the annual AASCU/NAFSA New Senior International Officers Leadership for Internationalization workshop.
Daniel Obst is President & CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs, a global network of 60 member organizations with nearly 50,000 volunteers and programs in 99 countries. Before joining AFS in 2016, Daniel served as Deputy Vice President for International Partnerships at the Institute of International Education (IIE) where he provided strategic leadership for many groundbreaking IIE initiatives. Daniel led the launch of Generation Study Abroad, which mobilized 700 international partner organizations to help double the number of U.S. students who study abroad. Under his leadership, partners pledged more than $185 million to support study abroad. He was also responsible for all the activities of IIE’s network of 1,500 member institutions, publications and higher education services, IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education, and strategic communications team, including alumni affairs.
Daniel currently serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Prior to joining IIE, Daniel worked as Producer and Director of Product Development at the tech start-up iAgora.com, an online community for young internationals who live, work and study abroad. Daniel his B.A. in International Relations from the George Washington University (USA) and holds a Master's degree in European Studies from the London School of Economics (UK).
Dr. Anthony L. Pinder serves as the inaugural Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs for Internationalization and Global Engagement at Emerson College in Boston, MA. He plays a pivotal role in helping the College determine what it means to be a leading institution in the arts and communication in a global way. As the chief international officer, he is responsible for managing and building on all of the College’s international operations, such as Emerson College’s European Center at Kasteel Well, The Netherlands; its partnerships with the United Nations Development Programme and the Academy of Performing Arts for Film and Television in the Czech Republic. He established Emerson’s Global Pathways Program, which number 15 faculty-led education abroad programs around the world. He provides leadership to Emerson’s Curriculum Internationalization Studio, international student operations, education abroad programming, international agreements, English Language Learning, among other strategies for internationalization.
Previously, he served as the charter Director of Internationalization and Assistant Professor of Education at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). In this role he was responsible for the vision, implementation and staffing of GGC’s comprehensive internationalization operation. Dr. Pinder’s research and professional interests focus on the international dimensions of higher education at the institutional, system, national and international levels, student global learning outcomes/assessment and minority serving institutions. His 16 years in higher education have also included serving as the chief international officer at two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), notably, Executive Director of the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) and Associate Dean of Global Studies at Dillard University (New Orleans, LA).
Prior to his academic appointments, he served as the National Director for Minority Recruitment with the U.S. Peace Corps in Washington, DC. In addition, he held the Peace Corps appointments of Country Director in Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa; Regional Budget Analyst for Africa in Washington, DC; and Small Business Volunteer in Ecuador, South America. Other professional appointments include National Director of Program Development with the United Negro College Fund; Senior Program Officer at The African American Institute; Management Consultant with DAC International, Inc., and Futures Trader with Cargill, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Pinder holds a doctorate in education from Clark Atlanta University; MA in international economics and Latin American studies from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); and a BA in finance from Morehouse College.
Dr. Jewell Green Winn has over thirty-five years of experience in education. She provides leadership to the office of International Affairs at Tennessee State University as the Senior International Officer, Deputy Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. Dr. Winn holds the Doctorate of Education, Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees.
During the early years of her career, she experienced many ‘firsts’, which prompted her to advocate for more inclusion of women in leadership roles across disciplines. She co-founded the inaugural Women’s Center on the campus of Tennessee State University while helping to launch an annual awards dinner recognizing women excelling in their respective fields. She recently co-authored an anthology entitled—Truth Be Told: Narratives from the Souls of Black Women—an empowering but emotional publication that allowed women of color to share their untold stories.
Winn’s advocacy efforts did not end with women. She has a unique passion for underrepresented groups—particularly youth. She co-founded a non-profit organization that explored discipline disparities towards vulnerable students and realized there was a need to emphasize restorative practices by providing academic, music and sports enrichment as an intervention to needy students locally and abroad. This commitment to equity and inclusion led her to being selected to join and lead some of Nashville’s most prominent and engaged community organizations that support P-20 education, diversity and inclusion, and global outreach.
Her research interests include the intersection of diversity and international affairs, global strategies for minority serving institutions, cultural competence in theory and practice, and the acculturation of international students. She has authored and co-authored articles and book chapters relative to diversity and internationalization efforts at HBCUs. She is a member of Diversity Abroad, the Forum on Education Abroad, the Association of Int’l Education Administrators, Women in Higher Education in Tennessee, and other civic/social organizations. She also serves on the board for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the Tennessee Diversity Consortium, and Alignment Nashville.