Facilitators

*Please click on the arrows on the right side to read each person's biography.

Nini Forino

Director, Office of Alumni Affairs

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

U.S. Department of State

Nini Forino is the director of the Office of Alumni Affairs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Immediately prior to this position, she was the director for press and public diplomacy for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. She joined the State Department as a foreign service officer in 2000, and has served overseas in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Ho Chi Minh City. In Washington, Nini has served in the offices of Japan and Korea Affairs and Regional Security and Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and in the office of Regional Strategy in the former Bureau of International Information Programs.

Prior to joining the foreign service, Nini worked for the State Department at U.S. Embassies in the Philippines and Thailand. She has received several State Department awards, including Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards, as well as the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association award for her work leading the State Department’s participation in the 2012 Yeosu Expo in the Republic of Korea. She speaks Mandarin, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Tagalog, and holds advanced degrees from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Paul Garr

U.S. Alumni Coordinator

Office of Alumni Affairs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

U.S. Department of State

Paul Garr is a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. He currently works in the Office of Alumni Affairs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, serving as U.S. alumni coordinator, providing professional development and small grant opportunities to U.S. citizen members of the international exchange alumni community.

Paul joined the Office of Alumni Affairs in July 2020, and was previously posted in Krakow, Poland and Guangzhou, China. Paul has professional work experience as an English teacher in South Korea through the Korean government’s EPIK program and has completed internships in Seoul at the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights and in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He completed his B.A. degree in international relations at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.A. degree at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

Payge Jennings

U.S. Alumni Coordinator

Office of Alumni Affairs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

U.S. Department of State

Payge Jennings joined the Office of Alumni Affairs in August 2021 as a U.S. alumni coordinator. In her role, Payge works on Alumni Affairs' professional development and small grants programs, and alumni engagement strategy. Prior to working at the Department of State, Payge was a national fellowships coordinator at the University of South Carolina. In that role, she advised students on nationally competitive international exchange award applications such as Fulbright, CLS, and Gilman. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Salisbury University and a master's degree in international training and education from American University. Payge is also a part of the International Exchange Alumni network, having served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in South Korea during the 2016-2017 grant year.

Jessica Mead

Senior Program Officer

World Learning

Jessica Mead is a senior program officer at World Learning. She has served as the project manager on Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminars (Alumni TIES) since October 2015. Prior to Alumni TIES, for eight years Jessica managed academic and professional exchange programs funded by the U.S. Department of State and USAID, most notably the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD). In addition to her work in global exchanges, Jessica developed the Advancing Leaders Fellowship program for alumni of World Learning programs.

Prior to World Learning, Jessica was an English professor in Santiago, Chile at DuocUC, an account executive in the international division of Powell Tate|Weber Shandwick, and a major gifts officer at the New England Regional Anti-Defamation League. She has a M.Sc. degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. degree from Sarah Lawrence College.

Ashley Henry

Senior Program Associate

World Learning

Ashley Henry is a senior program associate at World Learning and joined the Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminars (Alumni TIES) team in October 2018. Ashley supports the implementation of the Alumni TIES program as well as the administration of the Alumni TIES small grants program.

In 2016, Ashley graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. degree in international economics with a focus in German. During her time there, she studied abroad for five months at Heidelberg University in Germany. Prior to World Learning, Ashley worked as a business development manager at Collage Group, where she helped clients to better understand and successfully market to U.S. multicultural and youth consumers through market research.