Carol Jenkins

Carol Jenkins is the CEO of World Learning Inc., which encompasses three distinct branches: The Experiment in International Living; School for International Training, which includes SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate Institute; and the nonprofit global development and exchange unit World Learning. Jenkins also serves as president of the global development and exchange division, where she oversees programs in more than 30 countries.

Jenkins has served in multiple positions at World Learning over more than a decade. She first joined in June 2007 as senior director of international programs after a 16-year career in humanitarian aid and development. She spent seven years at the organization, including three years as head of its International Development and Exchange. In 2014, after nearly a year working on business and program development for World Vision in East Africa, Jenkins returned to World Learning.

Under Jenkins’s leadership, World Learning’s development portfolio has seen revenue increase by 14 percent with continued anticipated growth. She oversaw the merger of World Learning’s three development and exchange offices into one location, leveraging the assets of more than 100 staff members. She was named CEO in February 2018.

Prior to joining World Learning, Jenkins was director of program development for International Medical Corps, where she managed a team of technical business development professionals to improve the quality of field programs and expand the coverage to project recipients. She also previously spent 12 years working for World Vision, including a period during which she was posted in Southern Africa.

Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Messiah College in Pennsylvania. She was a fellow at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at University of California, Los Angeles, in 2012 and a participant in the Leadership Program at the International Civil Society Center.

Lynne Maguire

Lynne Maguire joined World Learning Inc.’s Board of Trustees in 2014 and became board chair in October 2016.

Maguire is the head of innovation strategy for Columbus Regional Health, based in Columbus, Indiana, where she has worked for more than 25 years. During that time, she also served as the organization’s director of marketing, and vice president and chief strategy officer, helping to transform the hospital into a national role model for excellence in community health systems.

Maguire currently serves on the boards of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Brooklyn Museum, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Heritage Fund, and is board chair of the Irwin Sweeney Miller Foundation. She is a founding board chair and board member emeritus of kidscommons, Columbus’ Community Children’s Museum.

Maguire has received a number of awards for her work including the Distinguished Hoosier Award, the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, the Athena Award, and the Beacon Award.

Maguire holds an MBA from Stanford University.

Dr. Sophia Howlett

Dr. Howlett comes to SIT from Kean University in New Jersey, where she was Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. She holds a PhD in European Renaissance Philosophy and Literature from York University, UK, and a BA in English Literature from Cambridge University. She has extensive international experience in more than 40 countries. During the past two decades, she has taught, researched and written in philosophy, literature, and comparative and international higher education policy.

In 1997, Dr. Howlett became director of the External Higher Education Co-operation Office at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She founded the school’s Special and Extension Program focusing on international higher education development for emerging democracies, and was its Dean from 1999 through 2012. There, she developed the first international program providing access to graduate education for Romanies; oversaw human rights activities across the region including the creation of the first LGBTQ network for Eastern Europe; and developed faculty support programming recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

She has served on the boards of NGOs including the Civic Education Project. She was an Open Society Institute Fellow, a visiting scholar at Harvard University, and a consultant, trainer and evaluator with Open Society Foundations, Amideast, Institute of International Education, the Academic Training Association, the Swiss Development Agency, and others.

She worked at the ministerial level to support higher education in Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia and the Palestinian territories. She has conducted policy briefings for NGOs and research on Renaissance philosophy. Her most recent work, Marsilio Ficino and His World, was published in 2016.

Allen B. Cutler

Allen Cutler is a private investor residing in New York. From 1983 to 2012, he worked as investment banker for Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, retiring as a managing director. Over the course of his investment banking career, Cutler held senior positions in New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong with responsibility for advising governments and companies on a broad array of capital raising and corporate finance transactions.

In addition to serving as a trustee of World Learning Inc., Cutler is a member of the New York Angels, an investor consortium focused on start-up enterprises in the New York area.

Cutler is a graduate of Amherst College, where he majored in political science.

Paul Muther

Paul Muther’s trusteeship began in May 2010, when World Learning Inc. acquired the International Honors Program (IHP) comparative study abroad curriculum. Muther had been on the board of IHP since 2003. He was elected chair of World Learning’s Finance Committee in October 2010. In 2008 and 2010, two of his children were Experimenters to France.

Muther’s 30-year career in corporate banking encompassed numerous international posts in Hong Kong, Seoul, Toronto, Chicago, and Sydney. He retired from JPMorgan Chase in 2004, where he served as senior vice president and managing director.

Muther spent six years on the board of the Hong Kong International School as vice chair and head of the Finance Committee. After retiring in Toronto, Muther has given his time to local youth sports programs as coach, division convener, director of the North Toronto Soccer Club, and treasurer and board member of the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association. Muther is a trustee and treasurer of the Toronto-based Korean Canadian Children’s Association, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of Canadians who have adopted Korean children.

Muther studied abroad with IHP after his junior year at Harvard, and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in social relations in 1967. After graduating, Muther served three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Field Artillery. In 1974, he graduated from Stanford University with MBA and JD degrees.

Melissa Oppenheimer

Melissa Oppenheimer is the vice president for Global Programs. In that capacity she manages global development and exchange programs, as well as program monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Oppenheimer further provides oversight of the technical quality of international development business acquisition. Through a career of 15 years at World Learning, she has served in various program implementation and management roles for projects funded by the U.S. Department of State and USAID. Oppenheimer has also served as an assistant education advisor at the Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange between the U.S., Belgium, and Luxembourg. Earlier in her career, she was a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) at the U.S. Department of Education overseeing grants and acting as a liaison with state education officials. Following the completion of the PMF Program, she remained at the Department of Education, holding various analytical positions in budget policymaking and planning and evaluation in the Office of the Under Secretary. Oppenheimer holds a bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and world affairs from Occidental College and a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Georgetown University.

Cheryl Winter Lewy

Cheryl Winter Lewy has served on World Learning Inc.’s Board of Trustees since 2000. As co-chair of the Campus Planning Committee, she had a direct hand in developing a new master plan for the Brattleboro campus. Most recently Lewy acted as chair of The Experiment Taskforce and the Alumni Engagement Taskforce.

While mayor of Larchmont, New York, from 1992 to 2002, Lewy supervised numerous municipal design projects and initiated a comprehensive review and update of the village’s master plan: Larchmont 2020. Currently at the helm of the Westchester County Planning Board as board chair and a member of the Inter-County Tappan Zee Bridge Task Force, she brings solid urban planning, landscape conservation and design, and “smart growth” skills to her trusteeships at World Learning Inc., the Harbor Island Conservancy, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She initiated and is overseeing a Westchester 2025 visioning project for Westchester County, which was a natural extension of her work guiding the creation of an online web planning site and toolkit for local municipalities.

Lewy’s experience in government also includes financial oversight, capital budgeting, extensive negotiation with labor unions, emergency services, and public utilities. In 2010, she completed a Japanese Garden Intensive Seminar at Kyoto’s University of Art and Design, and in 2006, she earned a design certificate at the New York Botanical Garden. An alumna of Smith College, she has regularly participated in the Alumnae Association’s campaigns, projects, and committees since the late 1970s.

Lewy received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, and her MLS at Columbia University.

Richard Adler

World Learning Inc. named Richard Adler to its Board of Trustees in 2010. His wife is an alumna of The Experiment in International Living, and his daughter attended SIT’s Cameroon program in 2006.

Adler is a founder of European Investors, a 28-year-old investment advisory firm out of New York City with offices in Singapore, Amsterdam, and Munich. Prior to founding his firm, he was vice president of International Securities Sales at Goldman Sachs, where he acted as liaison between its research department and foreign investors.

Adler earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale in 1968. He received an MBA in 1973 from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is also a former officer in the United States Navy.

Jenny Backus

Jenny Backus joined World Learning Inc.’s Board of Trustees in 2016. She is the owner and president of Backus Consulting LLC, a strategic communications firm specializing in strategy development, campaign and project management, and intergovernmental consulting for corporations, media outlets, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and political campaigns and committees.

A nationally recognized spokesperson and expert on strategic communications and partnerships, Backus has worked for Fortune 500 companies, national trade associations, and NGOs and in the political arena serving in leadership positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and on presidential campaigns, including managing more than 40 presidential primary debates and forums and events for the national media in the 2004 and 2008 presidential cycles.

Most recently Backus served for three years as a senior policy advisor and head of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement for Google, where she developed Google’s state-by-state public affairs teams and strategic plans, managed all Google’s U.S. NGO and third-party relations and oversaw a multimillion dollar public affairs and policy budget. Prior to that, her company, Backus Consulting, was one of Google’s top U.S. consultants from 2013 -2015, managing key coalitions and campaigns.

Backus also served in the first two years of the Obama Administration as the acting assistant secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA) and the principal deputy assistant secretary for Strategy & Planning at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), working closely with then-Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the White House. She managed communications activities for HHS and all their operating and staff divisions and, during her tenure, grew HHS ASPA from a $6 million to a $20 million department; she also expanded web and new media capabilities and supervised and managed more than $250 million worth of communication contracts across HHS.

During her time as ASPA, Jenny managed communications and marketing efforts around the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the creation of a new consumer website,, and a multimillion dollar communications contract for online and new media advertising around key benefits of the new law. She served as the lead U.S. government communications official for the H1N1 Pandemic, managing the creation of with Google’s Flu Vaccination locator and under her leadership helped make possible the first-ever U.S. Government YouTube contest on flu prevention.

In addition to running her own consulting business, Backus also serves on several boards, including as chair of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and as nominations chair for the DC Public Library Foundation Board. A graduate of Brattleboro Union High School and Brown University, Backus lives in Washington, DC, with her husband Ed Pagano and son Jack.

Michael Clarfeld

Michael Clarfeld joined the World Learning Inc. Board of Trustees in 2016. He studied abroad in Bolivia with SIT in 1997. As part of his SIT experience, Clarfeld conducted an independent study project focused on the role that three women played in launching a grassroots movement in the late 1970s that ultimately led to the downfall of the military dictatorship.

Clarfeld works in New York as portfolio manager for ClearBridge Investments. Along with his partners, he manages two suites of portfolios: one focused on diversified dividend payers and the other on energy infrastructure companies. Clarfeld started his finance career at Goldman Sachs and has worked in the industry for more than 15 years.

Clarfeld and his wife, Tamar, live in Brooklyn with their two daughters. In addition to World Learning Inc., his family actively supports Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal rescue and advocacy group with animal shelters around the country. Tamar has been on the board of Farm Sanctuary since 2012.

Lawrence S. Cooley

Larry Cooley began his term on the World Learning Inc. Board of Trustees in October 2011. He has worked in more than 50 countries across Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, North America, and the Middle East in strategic management, public sector reform, and international development.

Cooley is the founder and president of Management Systems International (MSI), an international development consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC. Prior to establishing MSI, he worked with the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, Practical Concepts, and Lesotho’s Ministry of Planning as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

He is a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow, a member of the Governing Council of the Society for International Development, and member of the boards of the United Nations Association, ELMA Philanthropies, the Coalition of International Development Companies, Bretton Woods Committee, the International Honors Program, and the Professional Services Council. He chaired the Development Management Network of the American Society for Public Administration and was a member of the Rockefeller Commission Study Group on Future U.S. Foreign Assistance.

Cooley holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology from Colgate University, a master’s degree in economics from Columbia University, an MPA in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, and an M Phil in management and enterprise development from the Cranfield School of Management in the UK.

Thomas Hiatt

Thomas Hiatt joined the World Learning Inc. Board of Trustees in 2010. He previously served as board chair from 2014-2016, chair of the Advancement Committee, and as a member of the Academic Affairs and Investment Committees. He is a strong advocate of the value and importance of study abroad experiences and of international exchange programs.

Hiatt has worked with entrepreneurial growth companies and held leadership positions in nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years. As a founding partner of Centerfield Capital, one of the largest private equity firms based in Indiana, he has raised and invested capital in a number of privately held firms across a wide variety of industries. In the process, he has served as a director of a number of private and publicly held companies, including firms in the financial services, health care, manufacturing, information technology, and business services industries. Prior to establishing Centerfield, Hiatt founded and served as president of a venture-backed biotechnology company based in Palo Alto, California. He also worked for Eli Lilly and Company in the U.S. and Europe for five years, and, prior to that, for the Ford Foundation, working on international technical assistance programs, principally in Pakistan.

In addition to his work with World Learning, Hiatt has been involved with a number of other nonprofit organizations. He is currently chair of the Board of Governors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. He is the founder and former chair of the Advisory Board of Grameen Indianapolis, a nonprofit which provides microloans to women living below the poverty line. He is a past chair of the Board of Governors of the Small Business Investors Alliance, a national industry association, and the past president of the Midwest Region of Small Business Investment Companies. He is a life trustee of the Indiana Nature Conservancy. He has twice served as president of the Indiana Venture Club. He is the founder and a former board member of Friends of Holliday Park.

Hiatt is also a director of Lake City Bank, a publicly traded financial institution based in Warsaw, Indiana, and chairs the bank’s corporate risk committee.

Hiatt graduated magna cum laude from Wabash College where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a MSc from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he served as editor of the Sloan Management Review. Hiatt is an alumnus of the International Honors Program (1968–69) and edited a book, The Young Internationalists, about the experience with Mark Gerzon. He also lived in Austria for a year as a high school exchange student.

Richard Keim

Richard Keim joined World Learning Inc.’s Board of Trustees in 2015. He was an Experimenter to Spain and a charter member of the World Learning Inc. Global Advisory Council.

Keim founded Kensington Management Group in 1986 and is currently managing director of Kensington Partners, LP. Prior to founding his firm, he was a founder and served as executive vice president of the Buckingham Research Group Inc., a registered broker-dealer, and executive vice president and chief investment officer of Buckingham Capital Management. He started his career as a banker in his native town of Chicago.

Keim received his BBA from the University of Wisconsin and his MBA from the University of Chicago. He is a Senior Security Analyst, a Chartered Financial Analyst, a member of the Economics Club of New York, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Financial Analysts Federation. Keim is active in various organizations including World Learning Inc., New Pond Farm, the Big Apple Circus, and the Mark Twain Library in Redding, Connecticut, where he maintains a second home.

Virginia Loeb

Virginia Loeb has served World Learning Inc. as a board member since 2005. She was an Experimenter to France in 1970, and three generations of her family have participated in The Experiment in International Living.

Loeb has a private counseling practice that focuses on teenage girls and women. She has served on the boards of the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Crittenden Women’s Union. Loeb has had a long association with Feeding Ourselves, an organization that promotes healthy relationships to food and body image. For the last 12 years, Loeb has been on the board of Cambridge College, an undergraduate school for working adults with campuses in California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Puerto Rico.

Loeb earned a bachelor’s degree at Tufts University and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Lesley University. She did additional graduate work in art history at Brown University and serves as a volunteer undergraduate admissions interviewer for Tufts University.

Charles MacCormack

Charles MacCormack was president of World Learning from 1977 to 1992 and joined its Board of Trustees in 2010. He was a director of the master’s degree program at the School for International Training and an Experimenter to Spain in 1965.

From 1993 to 2011, MacCormack was president of Save the Children, a nonprofit that serves children in need worldwide. He was on the board of the International Save the Children Alliance from 1993 to 2010, which serves more than 120 countries and manages $1.3 billion annually.

MacCormack sat on advisory committees for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and he was president of the NGO Committee on UNICEF. He was selected by the United Nations Secretary General for the Founding Committee of the United Nations University. MacCormack is on the board of InterAction, a national association of more than 160 U.S. international humanitarian and development organizations. He co-chairs the boards of the Basic Education Coalition and the Campaign for Effective Global Leadership, he is a founding board member of Malaria No More, and he’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

MacCormack holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. He attended Columbia University for his master’s degree and Ph.D. He was a National Science Foundation Fellow at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and a Fulbright Fellow at the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

Laura Roos

Laura Roos joined World Learning Inc.’s Board of Trustees in October 2016. She has been in public accounting since 1991 and serves a variety of not-for-profits, including universities, research organizations, foundations, and social service organizations.

Roos is a partner at Moss Adams and a CPA. She has significant experience conducting audits in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and the Single Audit Act. She provides training on accounting and auditing topics for Moss Adams professionals as well as clients and industry organizations.

Roos leads the Moss Adams Not-for-Profit Practice in Southern California and has overseen its growth and development. She’s also a member of the firm’s Not-for-Profit & Government Executive Committee and participates in firm-wide training internally and externally.

In May 2010, Roos was appointed one of 17 members of the brand-new FASB Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee (NAC). The NAC will serve as a standing resource for the FASB in obtaining input from the not-for-profit sector on existing financial reporting guidance, current and proposed technical agenda projects, and longer-term or pervasive financial reporting matters affecting those organizations.

Roos holds a bachelor’s degree in business from San Diego State University.

Emilie M. Ogden

Emilie Munger Ogden joined the World Learning Inc. Board of Trustees in 2006. She was an Experimenter to Switzerland in 1976.

Ogden was an associate with the law firm of Perkins Coie in Seattle, where she did environmental law counseling and litigation. In 1993, she moved to Boston and received a certificate in Negotiation from the Harvard Negotiation Project in 1994. In the 1980s, Ogden worked as an editor/reporter for the Daily Journal of Commerce. Currently, she co-directs the North Ridge Foundation.

Ogden received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in human biology with a concentration in neurobiology and behavior. In 1989, she returned to Stanford Law School to earn her JD.

Michael Siegal

Michael Siegal joined World Learning Inc.’s Board of Trustees in October 2016. He has been practicing internal medicine and cardiology in Manhattan for more than 30 years. A figurative and literal child of the New York City Public School System (which he attended, in which his mother taught, and of which his father was Assistant Superintendent), Siegal graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he concentrated in chemistry and physics. He spent several undergraduate summers studying and working in France and traveling throughout Europe; during the 1968-1969 academic year he participated in the International Honors Program, studying sociology and political science in seven countries.

Siegal went on to complete MD and PhD degrees at Columbia University. During the early years of his medical practice, he participated simultaneously in medical administration, holding positions as a hospital division and departmental chair, as a hospital medical director, and as an HMO medical director.

In addition to being an experienced clinician, Siegal is a teacher, strategic thinker, and communicator. For the past 15 years, he has been a consulting medical strategist with Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, a subsidiary of WPP, involved in multiple aspects of medical communications—professional and direct to consumer advertising, payer marketing, and patient and professional medical education. He also consults in medical management with several health care delivery entities.

Siegal is a member of the Century Association and sits on the boards of the International Friends of the Lyric Arts Festival of Aix-en-Provence, the French Institute/Alliance Française, and Beth Morrison Productions.

Carole Wood

With more than two decades of experience in fundraising, nonprofit management, and government relations, Carole Wood provides the vision and oversees execution of National Louis University’s fundraising, alumni relations, and governmental relations operations.

Prior to her current role, Wood served as Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement at City Colleges of Chicago. From 2005-2010, Wood served as Director of Local School Council Relations, providing strategic guidance to senior leadership in policy, budgetary, communications, and external affairs decision making. Previously, Wood has held positions of increasing responsibility at Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and at the Chicago Community Trust.

Wood has a bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago. She has also received certificates in advanced philanthropy, business administration and sports/events management.

Phyllis Watt Ingersoll

Phyllis Watt Ingersoll, a beloved trustee, alumna, and supporter of World Learning, passed away peacefully at her home in Massachusetts in April 2020. Perhaps no single human being embodied the spirit and history of World Learning better. Phyllis was the proud daughter of Donald and Leslie Watt, co-founders of The Experiment in International Living, and traveled to Mexico, France, Guatemala, Austria, Germany, and Yugoslavia with The Experiment. Three of her four children also went on to become Experimenters.

Read more about Phyllis Watt Ingersoll’s life and legacy in our 2020 Impact Report.