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OPE: Office of Postsecondary Education
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Staff Biographies
International and Foreign Language Education Service


Picture of Mohamed Abdel-Kader, Deputy Asst Secy for Interntl and Foreign Language Education

Mohamed Abdel-Kader is the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the office of International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) at the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Postsecondary Education. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of IFLE, Mohamed will “have responsibility for encouraging and promoting the study of foreign languages and the study of the cultures of other countries at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels in the United States; and coordinate with related international and foreign language education programs of other Federal agencies,” as established in the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act. He will be leading the work of IFLE in administering the domestic programs authorized under Title VI of the Higher Education Act and those overseas programs under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange (Fulbright-Hays) Act that ED administers.

Prior to joining us at ED, Mohamed served as the Director of Development for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and also managed the university’s advancement strategy in the Middle East region, where he focused on major gifts and strategic engagement. Previously, while at George Mason University, Mohamed led donor development efforts for the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and set international strategy for partnerships in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has advised a variety of clients on organizational strategy, doing business in emerging markets, intercultural communication, and cultural competency in international philanthropy. Additionally, he has advised organizations on strengthening fundraising operations domestically and abroad.

Mohamed speaks fluent Arabic and basic Spanish. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Clemson University, a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Lenore Yaffee Garcia is the Senior Director, in the office of International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, where she oversees administration of the Department’s HEA Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs and promotes the importance for students at all levels of learning world languages, studying abroad, and acquiring global competencies.

Ms. Garcia rejoined the Department in June 2013 after eight years at the Organization of American States (OAS), where she was Director of the Office of Education and Culture, which promotes policy dialogue and technical cooperation among the 34 OAS member states in the fields of education and culture. Her work at the OAS focused on policy and project development in the fields of early childhood education, strengthening the teaching profession, education for democratic citizenship, and education indicators, and on public policy initiatives that use the arts and culture to promote economic development and social inclusion, particularly for youth.

Before joining the OAS, Ms. Garcia was Director of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education, where she was instrumental in creating International Education Week, the APEC Education Forum, and the U.S.-Brazil Partnership for Education. Previously, as a senior policy analyst in the Department’s Planning and Evaluation Service, she worked on policy development as well as on design and implementation of evaluations of federal education programs. In 2004, as a fellow of the American Fellows program, she assisted the Ministry of Education of Chile as part of the Technical Secretariat of the National Commission on Citizenship Education. Recipient of a Fulbright scholarship for study in Quito, Ecuador, Ms. Garcia has worked as an educator and program administrator in Colombia and the United States and holds degrees in political science (University of Pennsylvania), Latin American studies (Georgetown) and economics (Delaware).

Michelle Butler serves in the International Education and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) front office, and provides substantive technical and administrative support to the Senior Director, and program officers using a variety of ED systems. She is well versed in the usage of CPSS, FMSS, GAPS (now G-5), GEMS, and E2Solutions. During her 24 years of service in international education, she has worked with all of the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs that comprise IFLE’s portfolio and she is very cognizant of the content and purposes of these programs. Additionally, she became a certified COR in August 2010 and is now applying her program knowledge to the work required to serve as Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for several contracts.

Advanced Training and Research Division

Carolyn Collins oversees the National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) programs for Latin America, Western Europe and Canada. She previously worked in the Cultural and Educational Services Department of the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., where she managed the Teaching Assistant Program in France, the French Language Teaching Assistant Program in the United States, and other initiatives promoting French language and culture at the K-12 and postsecondary levels in the United States. She has also worked in operations for an adventure travel company specializing in ecotourism and educationally-oriented trips in developing countries, and has taught English to elementary school students in the south of France through the French Ministry of Education.

Ms. Collins earned a Master’s degree in French Language and Civilization from New York University in Paris, and a Bachelor’s degree from Colgate University with a major in French Literature and a minor in Art and Art History. She has significant experience studying, working, and traveling abroad. Ms. Collins speaks French fluently and is a lifelong enthusiast of international languages and cultures.

Dr. Tim Duvall joined the International and Foreign Language Education office after 15 years as a professor of political science and a small business owner. He earned his B.A. from The College of William and Mary, his M.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. He taught at the University of Arizona and at St. John’s University in New York City where he earned multiple teaching and research awards. He has owned and operated a small construction company and he has written successful multi-million dollar grant proposals for international development projects.

With the Advanced Training and Research Division in the office of International and Foreign Language Education, Tim oversees the NRC/FLAS programs for the Russian/East European/Eurasian and African regions and oversees the Centers for International Business Education and Research. He also serves as the Evaluation Team Lead for IFLE.

Cheryl E. Gibbs began her career at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) in 1984 after a former career as an English teacher in her home town of Sharon, Pennsylvania. She holds the distinction of the first African-American secondary school teacher hired by the Sharon School District in 1973.

Seventeen of her 29 years at ED have been engaged in administering international education programs. She is a senior program officer in the Advanced Training and Research Division (ATRD) in the office of International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE), where her responsibilities include National Resource Centers and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships team lead, the Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia/Pacific Island grant projects, and oversight of the American Overseas Research Centers program projects. She also is the IFLE Title VI programs coordinator responsible for ensuring that activities for the domestic international programs are conducted effectively and efficiently.

Ms. Gibbs received a Bachelor of Science in English from Clarion University and a Master of Education in Curriculum Development and School Supervision from Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Stephanie McKissic recently joined the Advanced Training and Research Division (ATRD) and is responsible for the administration of the National Research Centers/FLAS for Africa, the Middle East, and International regions. Previously, she was an academic advisor at Trinity Washington University where she provided comprehensive/proactive academic guidance and retention services to 200+ undergraduate, graduate, and nontraditional students. Prior to that Stephanie was with the University of Maryland - College Park as the Faculty Development Program Manager. In this capacity, she developed and implemented training programs on hybrid online instruction, information technology, initiatives of entrepreneurial programs, and other professional seminars. She also has over 20 years of experience in museum education, coordinated a state-wide effort with local and state officials to evaluate K-12 civics education in Pennsylvania, and conducted quantitative and qualitative evaluations for primary and secondary school initiatives. Dr. McKissic received her Ed.D. from Drexel University, Pennsylvania in Educational Leadership and Management, Master’s from Howard University in African Studies; and B.A. from the University of Maryland - College Park in Anthropology.

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International Studies Division

Maria Chang oversees the Seminars Abroad Program, which provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities to improve their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. She previously served as a Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA member to alleviate poverty by leveraging the resources of higher education institutions. During her two years of national service, she focused on educational opportunity that developed, supported, and deepened campus-community partnerships that concentrated on the success and year to year persistence of students at every level of the pre-K-16 spectrum.

Ms. Chang speaks fluent Korean. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from University of Rochester, and studied abroad at the University of Oxford.

Michelle A. Guilfoil serves in the International Studies Division (ISD) within the office of International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office, which is located in the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) at the U.S. Department of Education. As a senior program officer administering projects with the Title VI Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) Program, she provides programmatic, budgetary and technical guidance to institutional grantees working on international education topics. In addition, she administers grants under the FIPSE U.S.-Brazil Education Consortia Program, coordinating the administration of student mobility programs, curricula and mutual recognition of credits, as well as the development of institutional linkages and creation of memorandums of understanding between U.S. and Brazilian institutions. Ms. Guilfoil holds a dual role as Team Coordinator for Outreach and Public Relations in IFLE. She serves as a U.S. Department of Education mentor to federal employees, has experience with teacher quality issues, and has provided grant oversight and technical assistance to a variety of international and domestic education programs within the U.S. Department of Education. She is currently a Fellow with the Council for Excellence in Government.

Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Guilfoil spent several years in the private sector planning, administering, and monitoring educational programs for high-level individuals and multinational delegations on a variety of topics for international professionals visiting the United States with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. She is a former Peace Corps volunteer, has planned and instructed workshops on a variety of cross-cultural and educational topics, has professional knowledge of French and Sango, and holds a Master’s degree in Intercultural Management. She has also served as a group leader and cultural interpreter for U.S. and international student and professional groups traveling both domestically and abroad.

Dr. Pamela Jefferson Maimer is a senior program officer in the International Studies Division (ISD) within the office of International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education. She provides programmatic assistance for multiple grant programs in international education and is responsible for the Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad – Short Term and the Title VI International Research and Studies Programs.

Before joining ISD, Dr. Maimer served as a Policy and Budget Analyst for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education, Policy, Planning, and Innovation, Policy and Budget Development staff. Dr. Maimer has 15 years of experience in postsecondary education policy issues, including budget formulation, research, and policy development for low-income, first-generation college students. She was the policy lead for low-income and disadvantaged populations in higher education programs including TRIO, GEAR UP, Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, Jacob K. Javits Fellowships, and other higher education programs. She was the lead analyst in the formulation and presentation of the $4.1 billion program budget for the Office of Postsecondary Education. Among her accomplishments at the Department of Education, she drafted legislation and regulations for the TRIO, GEAR UP, and Migrant Education programs. Dr. Maimer created, implemented, and maintained two new Web-based statistical analysis tools for Equity in Athletics Disclosure and Campus Crime Act that allow public to access departmental data for research.

Pamela holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s of Social Welfare from the University of Kansas. She completed her Ph.D. in Social Welfare at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio.

Reha Mallory oversees the Group Project Abroad-Short Term and Seminars Abroad programs. Previously, she worked in the public and charter school settings. For over 14 years, she has instituted programs geared toward preparing middle and high school students for postsecondary education. Reha was instrumental in developing a college going curriculum for Detroit area high school students that garnered a 90 percent graduation rate and 2.4 million dollars in scholarships for the graduating class. Ms. Mallory will earn a juris doctor from Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2015 and majored in Communication Studies at California State University, Northridge. While in undergraduate school she studied abroad in France and in China studying the education system. Ms. Mallory attributes both of those experiences for enhancing her passion for international education.

Tanyelle Richardson is a Senior Program Officer in the International Studies Division at the office of International and Foreign Language Education. In this capacity, Ms. Richardson serves as team coordinator and competition manager for the Fulbright-Hays programs. Ms. Richardson also oversees projects in the Business and International Education (BIE) program, Group Projects Abroad – Advance Language Program, National Resource Centers (NRC) and Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) programs. She frequently represents the U.S. Department of Education at national conferences.

In 2006, NASBITE International (National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators) named her “International Trade Educator of the Year.” Before joining the staff in the Office of International and Foreign Language Education, Ms. Richardson was a program officer for the Division of Higher Education Incentive Programs. During her tenure, she administered fellowships and grants to institutions of higher education under the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need, the Law School Clinical Experience and the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship Programs, respectfully.

Ms. Richardson’s has pursued studies in business, administrative management, and the liberal arts. She received a Master’s degree in Administrative Management and Public Policy from Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland, and a B.A. in Law and Society from Hood College, Frederick, Maryland. She also attended the American University in Washington D.C. while completing her internship with the Association for Public Administrators.

Carla D. White began her career at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, in the grants administration office before she joined the Center for International Education many years ago, now known as the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office. Prior to serving as a program officer in the International Studies Division, Carla was a program specialist for the Advanced Training and Research Division where her administrative portfolio included planning technical assistance meetings, entering grant data into the Department’s G5 grant administration system, processing administrative actions, no-cost extensions; and project director changes for the Title VI, National Resource Centers and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships programs, and the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad program. Additionally, Carla was responsible for coordinating grant close-out activities, including reviewing performance reports for compliance. Carla also works with the outreach team. Carla’s hobbies include, but are not limited to event planning and graphic design.

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Last Modified: 01/30/2015