Executive Team

John Christian

John Christian

John has a longstanding history in the field of international education spanning more than 25 years. He has been an active and contributing member of the international education industry including NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, and Forum on Education Abroad.

He began his international education career as a Foreign Student Advisor for the State University of New York at Oswego in the Office of International Education. He attended graduate school at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies where he completed a master’s degree in Area Studies: China. During this time, John was also the Executive Director of the SUNY Oswego London Center which led to the development of CAPA’s first program center in London.

As an entrepreneur and leader, John continues to evolve and support the field of international education. He strives for new and innovative ways to enhance the student experience in academics, personal and professional development, and cultural exchange using state-of-the-art technology to create globally collaborative communities across the CAPA network of programs. His entrepreneurial approach to learning takes students to places they never knew they could go and prepares them to function and compete in an increasingly interdependent global landscape.

Currently, John sits on the Fund for Education Abroad’s Access Advisory Board, the Advisory Council for Diversity Abroad, and the Development Board of the California Innocence Project.

Michael Woolf

Dr. Michael Woolf
Deputy President for Strategic Development

Michael has spent much of his career in an international context. Prior to working in mainstream international education, he taught American Literature at the universities of Hull, Middlesex, Padova, and Venice, and worked as a researcher-writer for BBC radio. Michael has held leadership roles with FIE, CIEE, and Syracuse University. He has also consulted for New York University, Brethren Colleges Abroad, Warwick University, and is an adviser to the President of Tamagawa University in Tokyo.

He serves on a number of boards and committees including the Curriculum Committee of the Forum on Education Abroad, the Editorial Boards of Frontiers and the Journal of Studies in International Education, EAIE’s Knowledge Development Task Force, and Braun Stiftung für Internationalen Austausch. Michael was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Forum on Education Abroad from 2006 to 2012.

Michael holds a PhD in American Studies, an MA in Literature, and a BA in History and Politics. He has written widely and has published extensively on international education and cultural studies. Most recently, he published work aimed at critically reviewing the core assumptions of study abroad. You can read a sample of Michael’s short essays in his monthly blog column Thoughts on Education Abroad

Catherine Colon


Catherine Colon
Vice President of Global Operations

Catherine began her career with CAPA in 1995. Her passion for study abroad developed as an undergraduate student at Santa Clara University when she spent her third year studying at Durham University in the north of England. After completing a BS, Catherine returned to the UK and earned an MA in Sociology and Social Policy at Durham University. Following a few years working in the US, including at the Museum of Tolerance in West Los Angeles and CAPA's former California office, Catherine returned to the UK in 1999 and has since been based at CAPA’s London center. As a member of CAPA’s Executive Team, Catherine’s primary areas of focus include assessment and quality assurance, new product development, and the administration of CAPA’s global corporate affairs.

Jodi Melichar

Jodi Melichar
Vice President of US Operations

Jodi is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the Enrollment and Advising Department. She joined the CAPA team in 2006, as the Manager of US Program Services. Since then, she has held a variety of leadership roles including Director of Pre Departure Services, and Vice President of Global Program Services. Prior to joining CAPA, Jodi worked for STA Travel serving as a manager for The George Washington University and Boston University branch offices. In addition to this, she spent four years leading tours in India, Nepal, and Vietnam for Intrepid Travel, an Australian based adventure travel company. Through her studies in India as well as her own travel, and experience as an international tour leader, she learned firsthand the importance of thorough advising and pre-departure preparation to set the framework for a culturally rich and safe time abroad.

Melissa Hardin


Dr. Melissa Hardin

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Melissa oversees all aspects of CAPA’s academic affairs, working closely with our faculty and our institution partners to manage and further develop the quality of CAPA’s academic offerings.   

Melissa joined CAPA in 2019 as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. She has been an international education professional since 1997, most recently as the Assistant Dean for International Studies at Ursinus College where she oversaw all aspects of study abroad advising and managed relationships with program partners from 1997 to 2019. Formerly a member of the Academic Advisory Board for CAPA (serving as chair from 2012 to 2019), she has participated in or chaired five-year reviews of CAPA programs in Florence, London, and Sydney.  She is also a certified QUIP Peer Reviewer for the Forum on Education Abroad for which she has conducted external reviews of study abroad programs and offices in the US, Europe, and Latin America.

Melissa received a Fulbright Scholars Program grant for the International Education Administrators Seminar in Japan in 2013, and in 2017 the Pennsylvania Council for International Education (PACIE) bestowed upon her the David A. Portlock Outstanding International Educator Award. Melissa holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees along with a PhD in Spanish Languages and Literature from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Phi Beta Kappa), Middlebury College, and Washington University in St. Louis, respectively. 

Craig Kench

Craig Kench
Vice President of Internships

Craig is responsible for the direction and implementation of internship programs across all of CAPA's global locations and is heavily involved in CAPA’s development of frameworks for students' personal and professional development.

Prior to joining CAPA, Craig had managed educational facilities around the London area, worked for the UK government, and spent 10 years working and studying in the US. He holds an MA and a BS in Education from Walsh University. Craig is a former professional football (soccer) player.

Kevin Heimlich

Kevin Heimlich
Vice President, Finance & Controller

Kevin began his career with CAPA in the fall of 2018. As a member of CAPA’s Executive Team, Kevin is responsible for overseeing all of CAPA’s financial functions, including: financial reporting, monthly close processes, treasury/cash management, FP&A, lease negotiations, managing foreign currency exposure in CAPA’s international locations, coaching and developing staff on the CAPA Finance Team, and Board reporting.

Kevin comes with extensive financial management experience, including working as an audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PWC) in Boston. He has also held senior positions at Cognition Financial Corp (formerly First Marblehead Corp), Corporate Finance Group, Inc (CFGI) and, more recently, as a controller at Waypoint Capital Services, Inc.

He holds a BS in Corporate Finance & Accounting (Honors Program) and a master’s degree in Accounting, both from Bentley University in Waltham, MA.

Outside of work, Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife, Gia, and their three children (Kevin, Ben and Nicole) as well as visiting Wells Beach in Maine during the summer and playing golf.