TANYA BUROVTSEVA, External Engagement Manager, InterExchange

Originally from Ukraine, Tanya first experienced the field of international exchange as a program participant and is a proud alumna of two Exchange Visitor Programs: Summer Work Travel and Trainee. In her current role as External Engagement Manager, she is leading InterExchange’s advocacy activities by collaborating with fellow sponsor organizations and representing InterExchange in advocacy projects on local and national levels. One of Tanya’s favorite parts of her work is creating an online series of cultural advice for InterExchange participants called Tanya’s Tips, where she uses her own exchange program experience to help incoming students navigate American culture. Tanya holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science/International Relations from Suffolk University in Boston.

“Attending the Alliance Annual Conference was a very special and inspirational experience for me. It’s an excellent opportunity to network with exchange industry professionals, learn more about the latest trends and, most importantly, get inspired again and again with the impact that cultural and educational exchange programs make in individual lives, communities, and the world. Receiving the McCarry Leadership Award and being recognized for my work is a great honor. I look forward to being a part of the inspirational network of past and future award recipients and to collaborate on meaningful projects together!”

JENNIFER CHEN, Digital Program Specialist, World Learning

Jennifer Chen is the Digital Program Specialist at World Learning. In her role, she manages The Experiment Digital, a virtual exchange program for high school students in Algeria, Iraq, the United States, and Yemen, and provides consultation on various digital programming initiatives for youth, undergraduate students and professionals. Ms. Chen grew up living in Taiwan, Italy and Thailand. She previously worked at PBS KIDS designing mobile learning products for children and was a former high school history teacher. She received her B.S. in International Politics from Georgetown University and M.Ed. in Technology, Innovation and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“Attending the Annual Conference was a rewarding experience. The sessions inspired me to think more intentionally about program design, stakeholder engagement and digital storytelling; the luncheon offered a productive space for me to network with a variety of practitioners in the field of international exchange. After hearing from a wide range of specialists from different sectors, I felt motivated to further explore the role, potential, and reach of virtual exchange in the greater international exchange landscape.”

KATE SANDERS, Program Officer, Meridian International Center

Kate came to work in international exchanges after a long history of cross-cultural living and learning. She lived as an expat with her family in Guatemala, spent a high school semester in Australia with Youth for Understanding (YFU), and studied for two college semesters abroad in Honduras and Spain, and a year teaching English in Vietnam. She is currently a Program Officer in the Professional Exchanges Division at Meridian International Center where she administers International Visitor Leadership Programs (IVLP) for the U.S. State Department. Prior to that she obtained her M.A. in Anthropology and Education from Columbia University Teachers College.

“It was truly an honor to be recognized as a McCarry Leadership Awardee. I appreciated the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference, connect with so many of my inspiring colleagues in the industry, and hear from expert panelists on the trends and challenges facing the world of exchange programs. At the same time, the breakout sessions catered to more niche interests and allowed for in-depth conversations on topics to support our day-to-day work (from promoting diversity to marketing). Following the conference, I felt renewed in my commitment to our field and passion to increase access to quality exchanges.”