Leticia Barr founded her award-winning Tech Savvy Mama site to empower parents raising a digital generation of kids. Since 2008 she’s used her background in child development, psychology, and education to advise parents and tech companies about current technology and trends. Leticia received an Iris Award for her ongoing philanthropic work in Haiti and invited to the White House Travel Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship as one of the top 100 travel and education bloggers in the US. Leticia’s Tech Savvy Mama site was also Parents Magazine’s Editors’ Pick for Best Tech Blog.
Gabby is a 23-year-old creative who has had writing featured in Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and Matador Network. In 2013, she launched Packs Light to inspire and empower her younger peers to see the world, which includes advocating for education abroad and scholarships. At the end college, Gabby won the national Boren Language Scholarship to study Middle Eastern Studies in the UAE for an academic year. In total, she won over $40,000 in scholarships to fund the venture. As a recent college grad, Gabby continues to travel the world while helping students—from middle schoolers to Ph.D. candidates—explore unique ways to fund international travel during their studies. Follow her @packslight.
Juliana, “TravelingJules,” is a 10-time Heartland Emmy Award winning Travel Video Journalist–a producer, shooter, writer, editor and host! Her work has been featured on CNN, PBS, Travel Channel, Lonely Planet, USA TODAY, Matador, Viator and, of course, her TravelingJules travel vlog! Jules is on a mission to share amazing “things to do” around the world, inspiring travelers to discover new experiences and document them, too. Jules serves on the Board of Governors for the Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and is a chapter leader for Travel Massive Colorado. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
Laura Brown is the Director of Strategy for Lonely Planet’s research and development team, which is focused on understanding and serving products to global citizens. She believes society’s greatest challenge is how to build a more sustainable future. To that end, she is currently researching the sustainability of media business models at Middle Tennessee State University. She was named to FOLIO’s 30 under 30 list of innovators in 2015, and currently resides in Nashville, TN.
Pete is a 20-year veteran of venture businesses with a focus on the distribution of content in B2B applications for the targeted distribution to end consumers. Currently the CEO and co-founder of Steller, the world’s largest travel storytelling platform and community reimagined for today’s mobile-first travelers, he is passionate about the power of storytelling and the mobile-first digital native generation. With his experience in the storytelling and travel business, he combines his expertise with excitement bringing these two avenues together.
Lawrence is the founder and CEO of Street Soccer USA, a leading organization in the use of sport for social change. Lawrence was recognized with the 2017 NYU Sports & Business Society’s Philanthropy Award, was selected to the inaugural class of AMEX Ashoka Emerging Global Leaders in Social Entrepreneurship. He has also been honored by People Magazine, being named a Hero Among Us in 2009 and as the 2010 winner of the Kuykendall Award for Community Service by his alma mater, Davidson College. Lawrence is an MBA graduate of Columbia University, where he spent time planning the growth and development of Street Soccer USA as a social enterprise.
Matthew is Vice President at HVS Executive Search based in New York City. Matthew specializes in senior level search advisory within the hospitality, restaurant, and education industries. Prior to joining HVS, Matthew was based in Singapore working with a global talent solutions and executive search company specializing in international leadership and recruitment. Having graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, he has experience working for iconic hotels including The Waldorf=Astoria New York and The Banyan Tree Hotels Group across South East Asia and has developed expertise in the wine & spirits industry.
Kevin Collymore traveled to Shanghai, China, in 2017 to explore cross-cultural counseling, thanks to an Explore the World travel scholarship from Hostelling International USA. The course helped him earn his Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from NYU, ultimately preparing him for his current role there as Assistant Director for Advisement and Student Services at the Graduate School of Public Service. Previously, Kevin worked for Barnard College of Columbia University, working primarily with first-generation, low-income students of color. Kevin is passionate about improving college readiness, affordability, diversity, student success, fellowship and global learning.
Dr. Amelia Dietrich
Dr. Amelia Dietrich is the Director for Research and Resources at The Forum on Education Abroad and Interim Editor of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. Amelia’s work focuses on data collection and research efforts in the field of education abroad. She uses that information to develop practical resources that help professionals in the field offer their students safe, high-quality educational experiences abroad. Amelia studied abroad in Italy and Argentina and has traveled throughout Europe and the Americas. Before The Forum, Amelia taught Spanish and conducted research on bilingualism and second language acquisition at Penn State University.
Danielle is a 19-year old, first-year college student majoring in Environmental Studies from Long Island, NY. She is a freelance writer and an advocate for youth empowerment and youth involvement within the environmental realm. Danielle recently traveled to India for a semester during her gap year to study the effects of pollution within the vicinity of the Ganga river, as well as climate migration.
Jordan is the Director of Marketing at Steller. Jordan has impacted all divisions at the company, from harvesting strong, invested communities to working with industry-leading creatives. He also manages campaigns with Fortune 500 companies, guiding them with a creative strategy to achieve industry-leading success. Jordan is also an award-winning entrepreneur and has a real pursuit of all things photography, which goes hand-in-hand with always remaining current and competitive in today’s creative industry.
Andrew Gordon is the founder and CEO of Diversity Abroad. As an international education expert, he has written and spoken extensively on topics pertaining to access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in international education. Andrew founded Diversity Abroad in 2006 with a simple vision: for the next generation of young people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and global acumen to thrive in our interconnected world and global marketplace. Andrew is responsible for the daily operations at Diversity Abroad and serves as the chief national advocate for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in international education and cultural exchange.
As vice president of government relations, Erik Hansen leads the development of U.S. Travel Association's domestic policy agenda and represents the travel community before the Executive Branch and Congress. With previous experience on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and working for several members of Congress, Hansen specializes in issues related to aviation, surface transportation, infrastructure and federal travel. He also served as general manager of the Connecting America Through Travel conference, which convened travel industry leaders, transportation experts and policy influencers to help shape the discussion on revitalizing America’s travel infrastructure.
For nearly 30 years, Russ Hedge has been serving the youth travel sector. Since 2000, Russ has been the CEO of Hostelling International USA (HI USA), the nation’s leading hostel brand and a nonprofit with a purpose to create a more tolerant world. As a thought leader within the global travel industry, Russ serves on the Boards of the UN World Tourism Organization, the US Travel Association, and the Alliance for International Exchange. He is Board Chair for the World Youth, Student and Educational Travel Confederation, and also serves on the US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. Russ is frequently sought after to speak at conferences and events around the world for his expertise on youth travel, sustainability, and transformative travel.
Since 2003, Zak has served as the Executive Director of the CUNY Athletic Conference (CUNYAC), after 13 years of working for the conference in different capacities. Under his leadership, CUNYAC has become the most advanced and innovative Division III conference in the country. Its membership consists of 15 institutions that compete in 24 NCAA and NJCAA men’s and women’s sports. Zak also oversees CUNYAC’s Goodwill Tour, bringing scholar-athletes, student leaders, coaches and administrators to different countries to partake in study abroad service trips. In addition to demonstrating and teaching their respective sports, participants perform humanitarian work and engage in cultural exchanges while they develop leadership skills.
Natalie is a professor, media professional and human rights advocate. She has served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA and penned the column "Travel Mirror” for The Daily Muse, focusing on best practices in volunteering and international development. She serves as the Editor of Shatter the Looking Glass, an online magazine that focuses on ethical travel. Natalie is a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand researching stateless Hill Tribes and examining the origins of human trafficking. The work led to a partnership with Shine Global, an Oscar Award-winning non-profit production company, on the documentary film The Wrong Light. In 2019, Natalie launched Global Elective, a travel and learning platform that encourages students and lifelong learners to travel ethically and gain access to the world.
A travel entrepreneur passionate about storytelling and sustainability, Kelley is the founder of Impact Travel Alliance, a nonprofit and community aimed at teaching travelers how to spend their money mindfully so that they have a positive impact on our world. She also runs Elsewhere Agency, a boutique creative agency for travel/impact brands. She has held several keynote speaking positions, and presented at the United Nations, MMGY’s Vail Summit and the NTA’s Travel Exchange. Kelley has been interviewed for the New York Times, Fast Company and Forbes, and won the 2019 Bessie Award for Social Impact from the Women in Travel Summit. She is based in Brooklyn, and you can follow her on Instagram @kelleytravels.
Luisa brings over 15 years of tourism industry experience and currently serves as the Director, Global Tourism Development for BSE Global. Luisa leads the global tourism marketing and sales tourism strategy for Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets, NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Webster Hall. In her first year she successfully positioned the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center as a must-do “authentic Brooklyn experience” in NYC to a worldwide audience and has established key partnerships with travel partners. Luisa has also served as Senior Director of Tourism Development for Latin America, Spain and the US Hispanic Market at NYC & Company.
Mark is the Vice President of External Affairs at InterExchange. After studying abroad in France and teaching English in China, Mark was hooked on cultural exchange. He’s worked in the international exchange field for nearly 15 years. Prior to joining InterExchange, Mark served for seven years as Deputy Director at the Alliance for International Exchange in DC, advocating for the health and growth of exchange programs. He's also worked as the Director of College Communications at Georgetown University and the Program Associate for Communications at Global Ties U.S.
Tinabeth Piña (Emcee – Day 1 & 2)
Tinabeth is an EMMY award winning broadcast journalist and travel vlogger who has worked in front of the camera and behind the scenes for ABC, FOX, A&E, The History Channel & Oxygen, to name a few. When she isn’t vlogging at TinabethTravels.com, Tinabeth is the creator and executive producer of Globe Scholars, a travel show and web series that follows students on their study abroad trips around the world. Tinabeth is also the Managing Editor at CUNY-TV in New York City and the author of CHA-CHIING! The Unemployed's Guide to Finding Your Next TV Production Job. Follow her @tinabethpina.
Stephen Revetria oversees the strategy and vision for Giants Enterprises – the entrepreneurial arm of the San Francisco Giants and one of the top hospitality, event, entertainment and sports consultancy teams in the world. Now serving as President, Revetria joined the company in 1999. Under his leadership, Giants Enterprises hosted Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, featuring 40 teams from 28 countries, making it the largest and most highly attended rugby event ever to be held in the U.S. Among his many roles, Stephen is on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Travel Association and Meeting Professionals International, as well as on the U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
Brooke is creator and host of The New Dorothy Show, a podcast and video show sharing interviews and stories of brazen careerists, audacious entrepreneurs, and badass adventurers. She's a 15-year veteran of the study abroad and youth travel industry, 4x entrepreneur, and a TEDx speaker. She's the co-founder of The Study Abroad Journal, a practical field guide for savvy study abroad students and a #1 new release on Amazon. Formerly, she was SVP of GoAbroad.com and founder of Inside Study Abroad. Brooke teaches the next generation of thought-leaders how to build a business, grow their impact, and earn a location-independent income. Follow her on Instagram @thenewdorothy.
Beth Santos (Emcee – Day 3)
Beth Santos is founder and CEO of Wanderful, a global community that connects over 40,000 women together through events in 45 global cities, an international homesharing network, dynamic online content and forums, and inspired, focused campaigns with international travel brands. She is the creator and host of the Women in Travel Summit, a leading event for women travel influencers and industry members, happening on two continents each year, and co-founder of #AtTheTable, a national dinner series and community for female founders. She is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management and Wellesley College, and is an acclaimed thought leader in entrepreneurship and travel. She lives in Boston.
Talia has more than dozen years of experience in tourism, social media marketing and content strategy. She is the principal of The Urban Nomad, a boutique digital marketing and tourism consulting firm helping travel organizations connect with their target audiences through compelling content. She works with such clients as the World Bank, George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism Studies, Arlington County Convention and Visitor Service, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Prior to consulting, she worked as Manager of Social & Content for Brand USA. During her tenure, Talia directed the global content strategy for the brand’s 15 country digital presence.
Andrew is senior enterprise editor at travel industry intelligence platform Skift, where he works on high-impact projects. Throughout his decade-long career in travel journalism he's covered subjects including tourism, business travel, travel marketing, hospitality, technology, and the intersection between government policy and travel. His Skift feature on tourism growth in Iceland helped launch the travel industry's debate on the impact of overtourism on destinations around the world. He lives in New York City.
Michael is an Industry Manager at Facebook in New York where his team manages relationships with Facebook’s largest travel advertisers. Prior to Facebook, Michael worked at Twitter, McKinsey, and American Express as well as an online-recruiting startup in New York. He has an MBA from MIT Sloan and an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. Michael lives in Westport, CT with his wife and two children.
Eric is a travel and hospitality technology veteran. His travel startup TRILL, which turned social content into bookable travel experiences, was recently acquired by Lonely Planet. Eric now acts as VP of Lonely Planet Ventures. Eric was named Phocuswright 35 under 35 for most influential people in travel technology in 2017.
Netanya is the co-founder and organizer of the Study Abroad & Global Citizenship Influencer Summit, an event with its roots at the White House that has received international accolades and recognition. As the Director of Communications & PR for Hostelling International USA, she collaborates with influencers, the media, and partners who share our purpose to create a more tolerant world as a means to grow our reach and impact. Netanya has spoken at the UN, earned HI USA recognition as a National Geographic Leader in Sustainable Tourism, and helped HI USA earn a quarter million dollar sustainability grant from Booking.com.
Ilir is the Executive Director of the Alliance for International Exchange. The Alliance serves as the collective public policy voice for the exchange community. In addition to congressional advocacy, the Alliance organizes program impact reports, conducts media outreach, develops best practice workshops, and hosts an annual public policy conference. Ilir has served as the head of three other organizations. He gained policy and political experience working on Capitol Hill, on presidential campaigns, and as a political appointee. He is the author of Winning the Inside Game: The Handbook of Advocacy Strategies. Ilir is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Virginia School of Law.