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News - Youth For Understanding USA

Latest news about Youth for Understanding USA student exchange programs worldwide – Events – Partnerships.

New President & CEO Chosen for YFU USA

Jennifer McKendree


Hill assumes duties at leading international cultural exchange organization on June 3

(BETHESDA, MD – May 3, 2013) The Board of Directors of Youth For Understanding USA has chosen an experienced international non-profit executive as its new chief executive officer.  Michael Hill assumes his duties on June 3.

Hill joins YFU from United Cerebral Palsy’s international office, where he currently serves as Senior Vice President of External Affairs.  In that role, he leads international public education, fund-raising, communications, marketing and branding efforts for one of the world’s largest health care charities.

“After an extensive and thorough search involving many excellent candidates, Michael was the unanimous choice of Board's Search Committee,” said Daryl Weinert, Chair of YFU’s Board of Trustees, in announcing the appointment. “Not only does he bring the skills needed to ensure a strong future for YFU, he also brings a deep understanding of the role that international cultural exchange can and should play in the overall development of young people.”

Prior to joining UCP, Hill served as Executive Director for External Relations at Washington National Cathedral, where he oversaw the national development, communications and volunteer efforts for the “nation's church.”  He has also directed a $125 million effort to expand the historic Arena Stage, securing the largest single gift ever made to a theater in the United States. He has served as Executive Director of St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, where he oversaw the construction of a new museum complex, the renovation of a historic theater, the addition of an artist residency center and the quadrupling of programming at the multi-venue arts complex.

Starting his career as a journalist, Hill served as a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Fellow and as a Staff Correspondent for the Courier-Observer. He holds a B.A. in journalism from St. Bonaventure University and an M.A. in nonprofit arts management from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

An international educator, he is a founding faculty member of the Master of Arts Management program at George Mason University, where in 2011, he was named faculty member of the year.  He has also given lectures on the non-profit sector to groups from France and China in his work with George Mason University and as a visiting lecturer for Georgetown University.

In 2012, he was selected as one 12 American Express NGen Leadership Fellows in the United States.  He is a member of St. Bonaventure University’s National Alumni Board and serves in various capacities for cultural and children’s charities in the Greater DC area.

“I’m incredibly honored to be chosen to serve as YFU USA’s next President & CEO,” Hill said. “Our world is increasingly interdependent, and YFU’s programs help young people make vital international cultural connections that provide the character, courage and confidence to make them important global citizens in years to come.

“I’m excited to work with YFU’s international partners, our dedicated Board of Trustees, volunteers and staff to build on the rich legacy of Rachel Andresen and all those who contributed to more than 60 years of excellence in serving young people.”


Youth For Understanding (YFU) advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect, and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities.   The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 60 different countries, is united by the belief that full cultural immersion is the most effective means to gain the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly multicultural, interconnected and competitive global society.

YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs for more than 60 years because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services. Backed by a global team of volunteers, YFU provides cultural education and guidance to all participants. Selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange program, YFU is the only organization awarded full-listing for J-1 inbound, outbound and short term exchange by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET)

Through creating global learning opportunities, YFU has promoted international understanding and world peace to more than 250,000 students and their host families. Thousands of parents across the globe trust YFU with their teenagers every year, and thousands of students every year choose YFU to help them discover their inner selves.