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News - Youth For Understanding USA

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

YFU USA Welcomes Two New Trustees & Names Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer McKendree

YFU USA Welcomes Two New Trustees & Names Chief Operating Officer

Newly elected leaders bring diversity of experience, wide-ranging philanthropic knowledge to role as stewards of intercultural understanding

Washington, DC (January 11, 2016) – Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) is happy to announce the appointment of two new members to its Board of Trustees. Bay Fang and Gloria Garcia will each begin a three-year term on the organization’s governing body beginning this month.

Currently Managing Director of Radio Free Asia, Fang supervises coverage in Northeast Asia. A longtime journalist and former diplomat, she served in the Obama administration as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, overseeing public diplomacy and public affairs for Europe and Eurasia. She comes from an 11-year career in journalism, most recently as the Diplomatic Correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Prior to that, she covered the wars in Afghanistan (2001-2002) and Iraq (2003-2004) for US News and World Report magazine. She started her career as the Beijing Bureau Chief for US News and World Report, where she won the Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for her story “China’s Stolen Wives.” Fang earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard University, was a visiting fellow at Oxford University and a Fulbright scholar in Hong Kong. She is also a YFU alumna who studied abroad in Finland in 1990.

Garcia serves as Vice President of Strategic Communications and Events for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, overseeing branding, marketing and communications for an organization that forges a critical pathway to educate, empower, and connect future Latino leaders in the United States, creating a transformative and lasting impact on Latino youth and the nation. Prior to her work at CHCI, was Director of the American Society of Landscape Architects; and Director, Latin America, for Cotton Council International. Garcia holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service, both from Georgetown University.

"YFU is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of Trustees to provide oversight and leadership to our mission,” said Michael E. Hill, YFU’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “The addition of Gloria and Bay bring key strengths in international relations, communications, strategic planning, educational leadership and civic engagement to an already outstanding Board of Trustees.  I’m looking forward to working with them and harnessing their incredible talents for the good of YFU and those we serve.”

As part of an overall strengthening of its leadership and in line with a new Succession Plan for the organization, YFU also has appointed Scott Messing, currently serving as YFU’s Vice President of Administration and the Exchange Experience, to Vice President & Chief Operating Officer.  In this redefined role, Messing will still oversee both units but will take on expanded duties in day-to-day management of the overall organization.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Scott, whose leadership over the past two years has been instrumental in shaping YFU’s administrative and exchange experience divisions. I have no doubt he will thrive in this new role as Vice President & Chief Operating Officer,” Hill said.

View the bios of YFU USA’s entire Board and leadership team at:

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About YFU
For learners of all ages who want a life-changing cultural exchange experience, Youth For Understanding (YFU) offers a wide range of opportunities to see the world up close. The global YFU network, consisting of partners in more than 70 different countries, is united by the belief that curiosity about the world expands cultural awareness and acceptance of other ways to live, which leads to broader perspective and greater understanding. YFU’s unique intercultural exchanges open minds and hearts, enable learning that transforms lives, change the way you see the world and help to overcome stereotypes. Selected to administer more government and corporate scholarships than any other high school exchange program, YFU has remained a trusted leader of intercultural exchange programs since 1951 because of its commitment to safety, reputation for quality, and exceptional support services. 

YFU advances intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchanges for youth, families and communities.