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Championing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in International Education - Speaker Bios

Bios of the speakers of the webinar "Championing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in International Education"

Championing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in International Education is part of the global webinar series Internationalization of Higher Education in the COVID-19 Era.

See the webinar program.
Headshot of Amy Henry
Amy Henry - Speaker

Amy Bass Henry is the Executive Director of International Education at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Office of International Education leads student-centered internationalization, serving education abroad students, international students, international scholars, and providing “global at home” and on-campus internationalization opportunities.

Amy majored in Sociology at the College of William and Mary and earned a Master of Science in International Affairs at Georgia Tech. She was selected to participate in the first cohort of the Women Leading @ Tech program, is a Georgia Tech Inclusive Leaders Culture Champion, and serves as part of the Transformative Narratives Steering Committee led by the Office of Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  She has served in various advisory and leadership roles in international education, including Global Leadership League Executive Committee, Trainer for the Management Development Program of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, planning committee for the International Engineering Colloquium, and Executive Committee of the Global Engineering Education Exchange consortium. 

Headshot of Tonija Hope
Tonija Hope - Speaker

With over 20 years of experience in the international exchange, international education, and management fields, Ms. Hope oversees the programs and activities at the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, including study abroad, global programming, comprehensive internationalization & collaboration with the Charles B. Rangel, Thomas Pickering and the Donald M. Payne Fellowship Programs.

Prior to joining Howard, Ms. Hope served as the Executive Director of the Baoba Fund for Racial Equity-North America, a Brazilian foundation, and before that at Phelps Stokes, a DC-based international NGO, where she focused on leadership development and educational access for Afro-descendant communities in the Americas. Ms. Hope received her BA in Latin American Studies/History from Macalester College in St. Paul. MN and her master’s in Tourism Administration with a specialization in International Education from George Washington University. Currently, Ms. Hope is a PhD student in Howard University’s Higher Education Leadership & Policy Studies program.

Ms. Hope has a keen interest in and passion for facilitating relationships between and among people of diverse cultures, and particularly for creating opportunities for travel and education abroad for young people from underserved communities. Ms. Hope speaks Spanish and Portuguese. 

Headshot of Itonde Kakoma
Itonde Kakoma - Moderator

Itonde A. Kakoma serves as a member of the Leadership Team and Director for Global Strategy at CMI - Martti Ahtisaari Centre. Kakoma joined CMI in 2014, initially serving as Head for Sub-Saharan Africa before being promoted as Programme Director responsible for Africa (Sub-Sahara, Sahel, North Africa and The Red Sea).

Prior to CMI, Kakoma was the Assistant Director, Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center, managing a portfolio of the Center’s peace initiatives and supporting President Carter’s diplomatic efforts in and between Sudan and South Sudan. He was an international observer for The National Referendum on the Right to Self Determination for the People of South Sudan in 2011; and served as an advisor and report writer for the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, specifically on the role of traditional and religious communities during the civil war and in peacemaking.

Kakoma is an experienced facilitator of and advisor for high-level political and security dialogue fora; and has expertise in negotiation, peace process design, transitional justice, and an advocate for gender and inclusion. Kakoma is a frequent moderator for both closed-door and public platforms on matters of global peace and security and currently an Executive-in-Residence within the GCSP Global Fellowship Initiative. 

Kakoma is a member of the Fulbright Finland Foundation Board of Directors.

Terhi Mölsä
Terhi Mölsä - Opening Remarks

Terhi Mölsä is CEO, since 2016, of the Fulbright Finland Foundation -- a Helsinki-based, private, not-for-profit organization that collaborates with a range of government, foundation, university and corporate partners on both sides of the Atlantic to design and manage study and research scholarships, leadership development programs and internationalization services. With a life-long passion for diplomacy through education, science, and the arts, she draws on 35 years of experience in higher education internationalization and exchanges. She began her career working at the Office of Academic and International Affairs at Tampere University, Finland, where she helped launch the university’s first European mobility programs, and worked on Ministry of Education funded national initiatives. Preceding her current position she served most recently as the Executive Director of the Finland-U.S. Educational Exchange Commission.

Terhi Mölsä has worked internationally as a consultant, trainer, and curriculum developer on strategic leadership in international education, and as an author, most recently contributing to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education (2020). She has served in professional leadership positions, among others in NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and is currently Member of the Advisory Council of the John Morton Center for North American Studies, and Board Member of ISEP. She holds an M.Soc.Sc. in International Relations and a B.A. in Russian from Tampere University, and certificates from, among others, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government Executive Education.

Headshot of Heidi Manley
Heidi Manley - Opening Remarks

Heidi Manley is the Chief of USA Study Abroad, part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), serving as the lead for American student mobility within the State Department.

She oversees two of the Department’s leading programs to support American students, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, which she launched in 2006. Heidi also has the lead for creating and overseeing a number of capacity-building initiatives to increase and diversify American student mobility, including the Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad for accredited U.S. higher education institutions, also known as the IDEAS Program, and Study Abroad Engagement Grants for U.S. Embassies and Fulbright Commissions worldwide. Heidi previously served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Global Educational Programs and in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs, where she worked on a number of initiatives under the Fulbright Program.

Leasa Weimer
Leasa Weimer - Moderator

Leasa Weimer is the Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives for the Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki. In addition, she’s a Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä and a member of the Finnish national team conducting an international comparative study with IIEP-UNESCO on flexible learning pathways.

Weimer has over 20 years of experience as a scholar/practitioner in international higher education, previously she served as Knowledge Development Adviser for the European Association in International Education and president of the global Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association. Bridging research with practice, she has edited several international volumes, authored journal articles, book chapters, and commissioned policy papers considering the intersection of the political economy, policies, and the implementation of international higher education.

Weimer holds a PhD in higher education from the University of Georgia, U.S. and an Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree in European higher education from the University of Oslo, Norway; University of Tampere, Finland; and University of Aveiro, Portugal and a Bachelor's double degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, U.S.