NAIS Global Ambassadors Advisory Working Group

The NAIS Global Ambassadors Advisory Working Group is a group of experts and stakeholders from NAIS member schools who serve as advisers to NAIS on global education and international student programs at U.S. independent schools. As a cohort during the 2021-2022 school year, the NAIS Global Ambassadors will engage independent school educators in discussions on global education and international student topics; share their stories and expertise with our community; and assist with identifying as well as creating products and resources for day and boarding schools.


The objectives of the NAIS Global Ambassadors are to:

  • Serve in an advisory role to NAIS on trends, emerging markets, and topics related to international students and/or global education.
  • Engage the NAIS Connect Admissions and Global Education communities in discussions related to international students and/or global education, and respond to any inquiries posted in these communities.
  • Serve as a resource to NAIS member schools.
  • Develop thought-pieces, resources, and tips and/or present an NAIS online webinar or podcast.
  • Advocate for international students and/or global education through a variety of means:  NAIS Connect, articles, etc.
  • Promote global education approaches, mindsets, competencies, programs, and skills-building.
  • Provide input on NAIS surveys.  
  • Share relevant research done by other organizations or groups, such as resources that NAIS can include in the monthly NAIS Global Watch blog.
This year’s theme is “Rebuilding for 2022,” and topics explored will be related to:
  1. International Student Recruitment and Retention and Student Support
  2. Global Education (DEI, Travel/Experiential Education, and Mission and Identity)

NAIS Global Ambassadors

The following experts are participating in the 2021-2022 NAIS Global Ambassadors Advisory Working Group:
  1. Karina Baum: Director of Global Education, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Cambridge, MA
  2. John Hughes: Director of Experiential Education Programs | History Department | The Joshua L Miner Ropes Course Director | Executive Director of The Lawrenceville School Camp, The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ
  3. Christa Knudsen: Director of International Programs, Marshall School, Duluth, MN
  4. Jane Lacoste: Assistant Director of Admissions, International Admissions, Lake Ridge Academy, North Ridgeville, OH
  5. Kelly Neely: History Department Chair | Director of Global Studies | Winterim Coordinator, Brimmer and May School, Chestnut Hill, MA
  6. David Thompson: Director of International Programs, Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT
To view a list of NAIS Global Ambassadors from previous years, click here

Focus of Work

The global education group’s work this year will aim to:
  • Improve global learning and teaching programs to better prepare students for a changing world.
  • Demonstrate how global education contributes to the school’s value proposition.
  • Build students’ global and intercultural competencies to meet school mission goals.
  • Stay up to date with global education trends on student and faculty international travel, exchanges, and partnerships to build better programs.
  • Improve faculty and administrators’ knowledge about global and intercultural competencies to help them become more effective educators.  
  • Connect with others in similar roles. 
The international students group’s work this year will aim to:
  • Stay up to date on trends affecting international student recruitment and enrollment.
  • Improve international student retention practices.
  • Monitor the F-1 visa policies and requirements.
  • Improve international student support as well as learning during the pandemic and into the future.
  • Demonstrate how international student programs contribute to the value proposition of the school. 
  • Connect with others in similar roles.

Selection Criteria

Members of the NAIS Global Ambassadors Advisory Working Group: 
  • Have the ability to drive and create change in schools.
  • Are passionate about global education as well as the role that international students play in independent schools.
  • Have some experience working with NAIS in various capacities.
  • Have vast experience working with and advising international students, in an independent-day or boarding-school setting.
  • Have vast experience with global initiatives.
  • Are knowledgeable on a variety of topics as they relate to global education and international student programs.

Benefits of Participation

The NAIS Global Ambassadors will have the opportunity to:
  • Engage, network, and collaborate with peers in NAIS member independent schools.
  • Be viewed as experts in the fields of global education and/or international student programs.
  • Serve in an advisory role to NAIS.
  • Initiate discussions and blogs as well as engage the community on relevant topics.
  • Present webinars and/or podcasts promoted by NAIS.  
  • Join a growing network of like-minded professionals that served as NAIS Global Ambassadors.
  • Have articles, blogs, advisory briefs, how-to guides, and/or tips published and distributed by NAIS.
  • Be recognized by NAIS through a variety of channels.
  • Receive a modest stipend of $700 to be issued at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, in June 2022.


To browse resources developed by past and present NAIS Global Ambassadors and other resources on global education and international student programs, click here.

Questions? Contact Ioana Suciu Wheeler, director of global initiatives at [email protected]

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