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NAFSA selects foreign policy expert to be CEO

Fanta Aw and Marlene Johnson at the NAFSA conference this year in Denver. Photo: The PIE News

“She is the right leader at the right time"

Brimmer, who is currently a professor of practice of international affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, will succeed Marlene Johnson, who has been the association’s executive director and CEO since 1998.

Brimmer also serves as a senior advisor at McLarty Associates and as a senior fellow for international institutions at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“I am deeply honoured to be selected by the Board to be the next executive director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators,” she said.


“I look forward to working with the membership and the staff to continue NAFSA’s long and distinguished history of advancing the exchange of students, scholars and ideas.”

Brimmer has previously worked in three different roles within the US Department of State, including as the assistant secretary for International Organization Affairs.

Fanta Aw, president of NAFSA, commended Brimmer as a “highly respected leader and diplomat who has worked globally to address a range of issues, including global education, international affairs, multilateralism and peacekeeping.”

“She is the right leader at the right time,” she said.

Marlene Johnson, who has served in this role for 18 years, said: “Esther Brimmer’s rich experience in the broader field of international affairs will be a tremendous asset to NAFSA, and I look forward to working closely with her to ensure a successful transition.”

Esther Brimmer will take up the role of executive director and CEO on January 1, 2017.

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