IES Abroad Names New Director of Diversity to Focus on Underrepresented College Students Studying Abroad

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Leading U.S. Study Abroad Provider Elevates Commitment to Diversity in International Education

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Gretchen Cook-Anderson named new Director of Diversity at IES Abroad

IES Abroad is highly committed to ensuring that its student population studying abroad will reflect the diverse mosaic of the U.S. population in a sustained way.

IES Abroad has named Gretchen Cook-Anderson as its new director of diversity recruiting and advising. Headquartered in Chicago, the not-for-profit is a leading national provider of study abroad programs for U.S. college and university students and boasts one of the largest enrollment ratios—20.3 percent—of traditionally underrepresented students of any organization in the study abroad field.

Cook-Anderson will focus on further increasing enrollments and enhancing the study abroad experience of underrepresented students. She will also seek additional funding for scholarships and programming for IES Abroad’s diversity initiative.

“IES Abroad recognizes and embraces the increasing diversity of American college students. The organization is highly committed to ensuring that its student population studying abroad will reflect the diverse mosaic of the U.S. population in a sustained way,” Cook-Anderson said.

Cook-Anderson, a Washington, D.C. native, understands the study abroad experience from both a student perspective—having completed the 1988-89 academic year at IES Abroad’s Nagoya, Japan center—as well as a university administrator’s perspective. She facilitated volunteer, intern and work-abroad opportunities for students at Howard University in Washington as associate director of the institution’s Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center. She speaks fluent Japanese, basic Spanish, and reads Chinese.

Cook-Anderson most recently served in public affairs senior management at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Previously, she worked at the Washington, DC, office of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, and at Discovery Channel in Maryland.

She holds a dual M.A. in International Economics/Japanese Studies from Johns Hopkins University’s Washington-based Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. She also completed a year-long Thomas J. Watson Post-Graduate Fellowship in Japan and India in 1991, and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Spelman College in Atlanta.

IES Abroad, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, is a global, not-for-profit academic consortium offering study abroad programs to more than 5,500 U.S. college students each year who participate in 100 programs at 32 international locations. IES Abroad offers programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America.

In October of 2010, IES Abroad received the prestigious Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) designation from The Forum on Education Abroad for meeting the highest standards for study abroad programming and evaluation in the nation.

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Carol Jambor-Smith
IES Abroad
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