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Executive Team

John Christian

 
John Christian
President/CEO

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 the Vice President of Global Operations, Catherine manages the operations of CAPA’s global program centers, including maintaining the standards for program and student services, relationship management with key overseas partners, and new center development. She is a co-editor of CAPA’s Occasional Paper series and provides leadership to CAPA's Health & Safety Committee which is responsible for the design, regular review and implementation of CAPA's practices and protocols.

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. Jodi also serves on CAPA's Health & Safety Committee which is responsible for all aspects of CAPA's practices and protocols. 

Since joining CAPA, 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.

 Craig KenchCraig 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.
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Shawna Parker
Director of Marketing

Shawna has worked in international education and related fields for more than 20 years. As the Director of Marketing for CAPA, she oversees all aspects of CAPA’s marketing activities and works closely with global teams on content and communication.

She has previously served as the Director of Marketing for World Learning, an international education and nongovernmental institution that is the umbrella organization for the School for International Training (SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate programs), and The Experiment in International Living. She holds a degree in Political Science from Smith College. In addition to her work in international education, Shawna has experience in sales and marketing consulting and as a book editor, designer, and publisher.