Dan is a veteran program director with a record of building and optimizing international programs for world-renowned universities. He has a talent for capitalizing on opportunities to expand a university’s reach and overall impact on the student educational experience. With a solid business acumen and relationship-building skills, he works to ensure behind-the-scenes operational and financial success.
With extensive background in international education, research, and training initiatives, his work has spanned the AMER, APAC, and EMEA regions. A graduate of Michigan State University (MSU), Hester has managed national and international initiatives at the University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, MSU’s Center for Advanced Study of International Development and the Close Up Foundation in Washington, DC. He also co-founded and served as the Executive Director of Key to Europe, a Brussels, Belgium based non-profit association that provides education, training, and research on European cooperation and integration.
While completing his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University, Dan Hester had the opportunity to intern for a congressman in Washington, DC an experience that not only sharpened his professional skills before entering the workforce but was foundational in shaping his career as a higher education and non-profit administrative manager. It proved to be an experience that changed his life and charted him on a course to provide experiential learning opportunities for individuals worldwide.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
A Washington, D.C.-based educator and consultant, Selby has been an instructor and director of professional development for Michigan State University’s Washington Semester program since 1998. He also coordinates professional development workshops for the University of California’s Washington, D.C. program (UCDC) and has managed 16 policy immersion programs in Washington for social work graduate students from the University of Southern California. Selby helped create and lead a week-long program in Washington for 45 PhD students, primarily from Africa, studying under the Borlaugh Fellows Program, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiative in coordination with multiple universities.
Following work with the Close Up Foundation, Selby served as Federal Liaison Coordinator at AmeriCorps, serving on the inter-agency task force on environmental justice. He was then hired by legendary political consultant Bob Squier to work on issue campaigns and national conventions. Selby brings more than 25 years of practical experience in strategic communications and advocacy to his work advising students on career paths. A native of California, Steve is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz.
An educator and consultant, Steve Selby has coordinated numerous policy immersion programs in Washington, D.C., for the University of Southern California, Washington University in St. Louis, and Michigan State University, as well as the U.S. Agency of International Development. Steve served as an instructor and director of professional development for Michigan State University’s Washington Semester Program, and as coordinator of professional development workshops for the University of California’s D.C. program. Steve brings more than 25 years of experience in providing strategic council, message development, grant writing, and speechwriting services to nonprofit, political and business clients.
Fernando Lopez-Alves, PhD
INTERNATIONAL OUTREACH & STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fernando Lopez-Alves is the Director of Global and International Studies at the University of Salamanca, Spain*, and a Professor of Sociology, Global and International Studies at the University of California (emeriti). A PhD in political Science from UCLA, for five years he directed the University of California Washington Center (UCSB Program). He has founded and directed Research Centers, Graduate Schools, and Think Tanks in Europe and Latin America. He has been a researcher and a visiting faculty in several universities including Princeton University, UCLA, University of London, University of Salamanca, George Washington University, Oxford University, University of CEMA Argentina, University de los Andes Colombia, and the Institute of Latin American Studies, London.
He is the author of ten (10) academic books published by prestigious presses in the United States, England, and Latin America (Princeton University Press, Duke University Press, Cambridge University Press, Sudamericana, Santillana, and MacMillan) as well as four (4) monographs, and more than fifty (50) academic articles in peer review journals. He has also published sixty (60) articles in printed media and worked as a foreign correspondent for several media outlets. Lopez Alves has been the recipient of 3 Fulbright awards, 1 Endowment for the Humanities Grant, 2 U.S. Institute of Peace Fellowships, 1, OAS Grant, 2 UCLA Distinguished Scholar Awards, 1 University of London Fellowship, and 1 University of Salamanca Distinguished Fellow Award. He also serves as an adviser/researcher for several international organizations and as President and/or Member of the Board in several non-profits.
See Professor Lopez-Alves’ Linkedin Profile
After completing his PhD in political science at UCLA, Fernando Lopez-Alves became a full professor at the University of California Santa Barbara. He published 7 books in academic presses and several articles in social science journals. He was an OAS Fellow and the recipient of 3 Fulbright grants. From 1999 to 2003 he directed the UCSB Washington Program in Washington D.C., which shaped his future career and motivated him to pursue different and innovative avenues of teaching and research. He designed several graduate programs for different universities around the globe and is currently the Director of the Masters in Global and International Studies at the University of Salamanca, Spain.
University of Salamanca, School of Law
Department of Sociology
University of California Santa Barbara, UCSB
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Sergio D. Jalil
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Miami Beach, Florida
Sergio D. Jalil holds B.A. degrees in Political Science and International Relations from the Catholic University of Cordoba, and a M.A. degree in Arab Studies from the Center of Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He is a member of the Argentine National Academy of the Arts and Sciences of Communications and actively linked to several study and academic groups focusing on the Middle East. He has alternated his academic career with a vast experience in the business and financial world. From 1990 until 2005 He worked for Bank Audi (Interaudi Bank) in New York where he was Senior Vice President for International Business Development. After 2005 he started and presently manage and direct private companies in the fields of financial and business consulting, real estate development and hospitality management as well as in the retail sales of natural gas for vehicles in Argentina, Brazil and the United States.
His academic interests and research concentrate on the studies of minorities, nationalism, conflict resolution and geopolitics focusing the Middle East and has vast experience in subjects related to Lebanon and its Diaspora. He has an extensive experience lecturing in seminars, symposiums, conferences and teaching in different universities in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil and the US.
Sergio D. Jalil is the founder and Executive Director of CELIBAL – Centro de Estudios Libaneses para America Latina (Latin American Center for Lebanese Studies).
“I Lived in Washington for three years while pursuing a master’s degree at Georgetown
University. Being exposed to the cosmopolitan and diverse character of the city was the perfect setting for my studies in international relations, while taking advantage of the unique networking development opportunities that served me throughout my career.
Washington was the perfect springboard to acquire my skills in getting a competitive job that
eventually took me to New York City to work in the financial world. It also helped me develop a first-hand understanding of how the interaction of politics, economics, business and diplomacy”
work in the US.
San Antonio de Arredondo, Argentina
Lucas Jalil has an extended international management experience in diverse business environments. Having worked since the year 2000 in the US, Brazil and Argentina in multiple companies, while pursuing higher education studies. He completed 4 years of course work in International Relations at Universidad Católica de Córdoba and 3 years in Business Administration at Universidad Siglo XX! In the city of Córdoba, Argentina.
He founded a start up in IT products and service retail and since 2020 he owns and manages a High-End gourmet store in the city of Carlos Paz in Argentina and currently is the manager of two companies in fuel and gas retail in the cities of Cordoba and Rosario.
Since 2015 he has been a partner and General Manager in an Hospitality Service company in Buenos Aires with subsidiaries in Miami Beach and Salvador (Brazil)
He has developed a proprietary online management and control system for business that allows him to efficiently run and operate companies remotely.
Alejandra holds B.A. degree in International Relations at Catholic University of Cordoba, Argentina,
and a Post Graduate Certificate in Pacific Rim Studies (Latin American and South East
Asian States Political and Economic Issues) at University of California San Diego with a
Strategic Analysis Specialization at Jose Maria Campos War School, at the Ministry of
Defense of Argentina.
She has also obtained certificates with concentration in International Studies, International
Criminal Law, Military History and Project Management at the Argentine Council of
International Relations, Catholic University of Cordoba, the Argentine Military History
Institute and XXI Century University.
From 1990 until 2007she worked in the Private Sector in the following companies: DU
PONT as Foreign Trade and Logistics Assistant (Argentina), Logistics and Export-Import
Dept at LA INDUSTRIAL ALIMENTICIA SA (ARCOR GROUP – Argentina) where she
was Operations Assistant and she run the Foreign Trade Office at SOINCO SACI in
Argentina (an international argentine company with branches in the American Continent and
From 2007 to 2021, she worked In the Public Sector, in the Defense Ministry of Argentina
where, as a political and international conflicts analyst for the Argentine Army.
She also worked in the Education Sector , teaching social Sciences in the Secondary an
Tertiary Level in Argentina.
She worked for the Cordoba Catholic University at the Graduates Department, in charge
of developing relations between Alumni in the University and is Community.
She also worked at the Bank of Materials for the Catholic University of Cordoba which
develops construction Projects to provide homes to local vulnerable sectors, involving
families, students and Professors in the project.
In 2021 she retired from the Public Sector and is currently advising a National Senator for
the Province of Cordoba .
PROGRAMS ENROLLMENT AND CLIENT SERVICES SPECIALIST
Melody has over 30 years of experience in higher-education student services, including experiential program development and management, and student academic affairs. Most recently, she assisted in development of the Masters in Global and International Studies MA at the University of Salamanca, Spain, where she currently serves as Registrar. At the University of California, she served as Management Services Officer, Campus Program Manager, and Registrar. Throughout all her positions Melody has coached thousands of undergraduate and graduate students and working professionals in their internships and other professional development efforts. She also provided key program support and management to various universities’ faculty and alumni engagement initiatives. Regarding global education programs, Melody’s portfolio also includes developing international academic exchange programs with France, Australia, and Latin America.
Gateway Consultants and Specialists
Joel Clark, PhD
EXPERIENTIAL PROGRAMS CONSULTANT
Joel is a higher education professional with over 25 years of experience in university teaching and research, program creation and administration, and student professional coaching. A U.S. Army veteran with a doctorate in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Clark has devoted much of his energies to helping students explore and apply their academic learning to specific strategies for early-career success.
Administratively, Clark was instrumental in creating and implementing several academic internship programs, including for the University of North Carolina system (14 participating campuses), University of Mississippi, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Salamanca, Spain.
Trained as a political scientist, Joel has worked in experiential education for 25 years as a program designer, director, faculty member, and professional development coach. He has personally helped place over 1000 students in Washington, DC internships. Joel is the author of two books, ‘Intern to Success’ (Houghton Mifflin) and ‘Careers in Political Science’ (Longman), and multiple articles on career development. Joel’s current research and program innovations focus on students’ individualized branding and the use of professional portfolios to demonstrate applied skills and experiences.
INTERNATIONAL PROJECT CONSULTANT
Javier Sierra holds a Ph.D. in Economics and a MA in Evaluation of Legal Issues and Public Policies. He has been visiting fellow at the Center for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi) at the Université de Mons (Belgium) and has fieldwork research experience in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. His research focuses on the evaluation of microfinance; development public policies; Global Studies; sustainability; and educational innovation. He is an educator and researcher at the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Salamanca, and he has been teaching at several universities in Spain, Colombia, Guatemala, and Slovenia. He has worked as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank and for the private sector in Spain. He is a Spanish and Catalan native speaker, and he is fluent in English, French, and Italian.
Je-Hoon Lee, PhD
INTERNATIONAL PROJECT CONSULTANT
Dr. Lee is an Endowed Professor at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea. Previously he served as the Executive Director of the Network of Korean American Leaders Inc. (NetKAL) until August 2019. He oversaw programs that promote an understanding of the social, economic, and political challenges facing Asia and that cultivate an intercultural exchange among leaders in the United States and Asian-Pacific countries. Dr. Lee founded the NetKAL Inc. and created the NetKAL Fellowship Program, a unique elite leadership training, and networking program for 2nd generation leaders in the Korean American community with the aim of cultivating mainstream leaders with Korean heritage in a variety of disciplines. He is currently the Executive Director Emeritus of the NetKAL Inc.
Before establishing the NetKAL Inc. as an independent non-profit organization in 2017, Dr. Lee served as the Director of the Center for Asian-Pacific Leadership at USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Prior to joining the USC School of Social Work in 2004, Dr. Lee was an assistant professor and program director of the Global Studies Initiatives at Michigan State University. While there, he designed several new global outreach projects, including the Visiting International Professional Program, the Global Applications interdisciplinary master’s degree programs, the “Global Emerging Civic Engagement Leaders Workshop,” and “The Korean Community in the United States: A Century of Engagement.”
His educational background is the University of Seoul (BA), Seoul National University (MUP), Ohio State University (MCRP), and Michigan State University (PhD).
IT, PROGRAMS SPECIALIST
Los Angeles, California
Responsible for implementing and executing the technical aspect of applications programs, statistical software, and website design. Well versed in creating applications and applicant review systems, Christy has worked on the management and fine-tuning of graduate university programs focused on government, welfare, and human rights aimed to immerse students in international levels of government and social programs.
Christy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Business Administration from the University of Southern California and currently acts as Manager of Customer Success at a international information technology and services corporation working with top Fortune 500 companies.