In July, CIEE program Directors from around the globe congregated in Portland for the annual Worldwide Directors Meeting, flying a collective 200,000 miles in order to join colleagues for a week of discussion and exchange. The event is an important occasion in the CIEE calendar, featuring a full schedule that includes training for new Directors, followed by a full meeting to cover topics critical to the delivery of CIEE programs.
Our CEO Jim Pellow, Ed.D., opened the meeting with a presentation reminding the group about the history and the mission of the company, and a look forward based on industry trends and international education trajectories. A vigorous session on “Diversity and Inclusion: Institutionalizing CIEE’s CORE Values” was led by Dr. Keshia Abraham, Director of Strategic Initiatives. Bill Bull, Vice President for Risk Management, offered a session on “Emotional First-Aid Training,” supported by a mental health expert from P3 Consultants. Dr. Alexandra Wood, Vice President for Academic Affairs, delivered a workshop on faculty development and academic policies, underlining CIEE’s commitment to academic excellence. The digital marketing team provided guidelines for Directors to get their local stories across to prospective students. And, on the final day, Directors broke into small discussion groups to discuss and explore programs and initiatives and generally build connections among colleagues distributed around the globe.
It being Maine, there was even the opportunity to enjoy a lobster bake, a first-time event for many meeting participants. The lobster and blueberry cake dinner was followed by the CIEE House Band playing classic American rock and several international numbers to support dancing into the night on Peaks Island, off the coast of Portland. Finally, staff flew the return 200,000 miles to continue their on-site work to deliver experiences that change students’ lives.