AIEA Secretariat 

AIEA Secretariat - photo of exterior of secretariat headquarters

Darla DeardorffDr. Darla K. Deardorff, Executive Director

Darla K. Deardorff is Executive Director of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). In addition, she is a research scholar at Duke University's Social Science Research Institute and holds faculty positions at universities in several countries, including as UNESCO Chair of Intercultural Competences at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), as a research associate at Durban University of Technology and Nelson Mandela University (South Africa), Meiji University (Japan), Shanghai International Studies University (China), and York University (Canada). She has served on the faculty of Harvard University's Global Education Think Tank and as faculty for Harvard's Future of Learning Institute as well as the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication in Portland, OR and adjunct faculty at several institutions including North Carolina State University. With over 20 years of experience in international education, she has also held national leadership positions with NAFSA and with Forum on Education Abroad. Author/editor of 12+ books and over 70 book chapters and articles, her publications include The Sage Handbook of Intercultural Competence (Sage, 2009), Sage Handbook of International Higher Education, (Sage, 2012), Building Cultural Competence (Stylus, 2012), Demystifying Outcome Assessment for International Educators (Stylus, 2015), Intercultural Competence in Higher Education: International Approaches, Assessment and Application (Routledge, 2017), and Leading Internationalization: A Handbook for International Education Leaders (Stylus, 2018). One of her most recent publication is an open access book entitled Manual for Developing Intercultural Competencies: Story Circles (Routledge/UNESCO, 2020) available in 6+ languages at She regularly gives invited talks, trainings and workshops around the world on intercultural competence, international education assessment, and global leadership and serves as a consultant and trainer on these topics, including with UNESCO and OECD. The intercultural competence models developed from her research are being used in numerous countries, and she is the recipient of several awards related to her work. Founding President of the World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence, her areas of specialty include cross-cultural training, assessment and evaluation, teacher/faculty preparation/development, curriculum internationalization, global leadership, and intercultural coaching. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees from North Carolina State University.

Katy Rosenbaum, Associate Director

Katy Rosenbaum is Associate Director at AIEA. Katy holds a Master in International Studies with a focus on international higher education from North Carolina State University and an undergraduate degree in history from Agnes Scott College. Katy has been with AIEA since 2013. She spent over four years in Morocco, first as a rural health education Peace Corps volunteer and then creating and facilitating short-term study abroad programs as Project Manager at Morocco Exchange, in addition to holding previous positions in public health community outreach.  She is passionate about social justice issues, the ethics of internationalization, and decolonizing higher education. 

Mel Simmons, Assistant Director 

Mel Simmons is the Assistant Director at AIEA. She has an extensive background working in international education both in the United States and abroad. She has worked in international higher education in China for eight years, where she coordinated international programs and taught Business English. Mel has conversational proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. For many years, she has served as a global volunteer traveling throughout Africa and Asia facilitating intercultural learning and promoting cross-cultural awareness. She devotes her expertise in literacy to non-profit youth organizations supporting children in the areas of reading and writing. Mel received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. 

 Leydi Lucas Photo Leydi Lucas, Communication and Outreach Coordinator

Leydi Lucas is the Communication and Outreach Coordinator at AIEA. Leydi has worked in lower education for the last 3 years, first as an administrative assistant and then teaching third grade for two school years. She is a native Spanish speaker and holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. 



Jensine Lee Photo

Jensine Lee, Administrative Assistant

Jensine Lee is the Administrative Assistant at AIEA. Jensine studied Psychology and Political Science at North Carolina State University and received her Master in Industrial Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP). She is passionate about employee engagement, training and development, and creating a positive environment inside and outside of the workplace. Some of her hobbies are traveling, photography, and watching semi-thriller shows. 


AIEA Associates

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