International Education Leadership (IEL)


Policymaking in International Education: The View from Washington

Wednesday, May 31
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
LACC, Room 404

This session deconstructs the federal policy climate for international education and exchange and the impact of recent political activity on programs of concern to international education professionals. Join four policy experts as they discuss funding on a tight budget, immigration reform, the new administration and Congress, and more.

Learning Objectives:

Lisa Heyn

Associate Director for Government Relations
Alliance for International Exchange

Lisa Heyn serves as Associate Director for Government Relations at the Alliance for International Exchange. She joined the Alliance in 2010 as Policy Fellow, and later served as Policy Specialist and Senior Policy Specialist.
Lisa is originally from Germany, and holds a Masters Degree in Regional Sciences North America, Scandinavian Studies, and Public Law from the University of Bonn, Germany.


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Rachel Banks

Director, Public Policy
NAFSA Office Public Policy

Rachel Banks is director for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Her portfolio focuses primarily on advocating for U.S. government policies that attract international student and scholars to study or conduct research in the United States. She has experience working on Capitol Hill and holds a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan.


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Carl A. Herrin

Assistant to the President for International, Community & Governmental Affairs
Worcester State University

Carl A. Herrin is the assistant to the president for international, community, and governmental affairs at Worcester State University. He has worked in the field of international education and exchange since 1980, with a focus on government relations since 1983. He is founder of Global Education Solutions LLC. Herrin has served as chair of the NAFSA Education Abroad Knowledge Community, a founding board member of the Forum on Education Abroad, working chair of NAFSA's Strategic Task Force on Education Abroad, and chair of the Interorganizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad. Prior to forming his own consulting firm, he worked at the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, the International Exchange Association (IEA), and in government relations at NAFSA. He began his career with the International Student Exchange Program at Georgetown University, and earned his BA there in 1981.


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Ilir Zherka

Executive Director
Alliance for International Exchange

Ilir Zherka is the Executive Director of the Alliance for International Exchange. The Alliance serves as the collective public policy voice for the exchange community. In addition to congressional advocacy, the Alliance organizes program impact reports, conducts media outreach, develops best practice workshops, and hosts an annual public policy conference. Ilir has served as the head of three other organizations. He gained policy and political experience working on Capitol Hill, on presidential campaigns, and as a political appointee. He is the author of Winning the Inside Game: The Handbook of Advocacy Strategies. Ilir is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Virginia School of Law.


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