• Home
  • 2016 Presenter Biographies

Presenter Biographies


Dalia Abu Yassien

Dalia Abu Yassien grew up in Kuwait, with a Polish mother and a Palestinian father. Her resulting exposure to a multitude of perspectives, cultures and religions ignited a passion for her TCK society and a curiosity about TCK identities in our rapidly morphing world.

 Maryam Afnan Ahmad

Maryam Afnan Ahmad has had a creative career in training, teaching, writing and volunteering as a Pakistani diplomatic spouse and mother to two TCKs. She co-wrote 'Slurping Soup and Other Confusions: true stories and activities to help third culture kids during transition' with an intercultural group of expat moms and parenting trainers during her tenure in Beijing. She is currently a teacher for gifted children; an FIGT Board member and also conducts her own workshops for TCKs for groups like the World Bank Family Network.
 Torben Andersen

Torben Andersen PhD, is a professor at the Department of Leadership and Corporate Strategy, University of Southern Denmark. He has many years of diverse teaching experience, from undergraduate studies to executive MBA programs. He has been visiting professor at San Francisco State University and University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is the regional editor Northern Europe for the European Journal of International Management. Torben’s research has concentrated on structural and strategic aspects of International HRM.

(top of page)

Ann Baker Cottrell

Ann Baker Cottrell, Ph.D., is professor emerita at San Diego State University in sociology where her teaching and research is comparative and/or focused on people whose lives are cross-national in some way. She has conducted a large study of Adult American TCKs who lived abroad between the end of WWII and the end of the Cold War; and continues to write and present on TCK research. A founder of the TCK Research Network, she actively encourages TCK and expat research and mentors new researchers. As an adult, Ann has lived in India, Italy, England, Scotland, and had summer work experience in Switzerland and Ivory Coast.
Mary Bassey

Mary Bassey is a multiethnic (Efik & Igbo) Nigerian-Canadian-American ATCK who currently resides in Southern California. She is a biochemistry graduate who advocates for diversity in STEM fields. She is the creator of Verily Merrily Mary where she encourages thinkers, writers, and influencers to be culturally engaged difference-makers. She co-hosts a bimonthly Twitter chat called #TCKchat, which unites Third Culture Kids from around the world to talk about various aspects of the nomadic childhood experience. She is the current Ms. Efik USA and advocates for the Efik people.

Amanda Bate

Amanda Bate is an adult third culture kid with an avid interest in higher education, social justice and international affairs. She is the founder of Bate Consulting, a college admissions consulting firm with a special interest in global nomads. She co-launched TCKchat, an online Twitter community dedicated to discussing all issues related to TCK life. Prior to her college counseling career, Amanda held positions in several non-profit organizations that addressed the challenges of poverty, education and economic development in local communities. Amanda has an MBA from the University of Mary Washington and is currently pursuing an M.Ed in Counselor Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. In her non-existent free time, she is the founder/editor-in-chief of The Black Expat, an editorial startup focused on global mobility from a black perspective.

Ellen Beard

Ellen Beard was born in the United States, lived in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, and attended high school at the U.N. International School in Hanoi, Vietnam. Her current studies in psychology, art and humanities in Southern California and her intercultural focus have led to her involvement with her university’s international student body and TCK club, as well as her official role with the on-campus Center for Global Learning and Engagement. Her research interests cross disciplinary boundaries and methodologies and are expressed through academic and creative writing, as well as tangible artistic representations.

Kate Berger

Kate Berger, MSc is a Child and Adolescent Psychologist and certified mindfulness instructor located in The Netherlands. She is the founder of The Expat Kids Club, a private practice for children living in a non-native environment, and works in collaboration with Mindfulness International.

(top of page)

Alix Carnot

Alix Carnot is head of the International Careers Department at Expat Communication. Having moved 8 times in 15 years, following her husband’s assignments with their 4 sons, she developed an expertise on expatriate couples' issues and international dual careers. She is the author of “Chéri(e) on s'expatrie."
Trisha Carter

Trisha Carter works with people to help them build their cultural intelligence (CQ) and operate effectively in a global world. Expats and their families, multicultural team members and managers, CEOs and people working with diverse markets have increased their ability to adapt, live well and work well because of her training and coaching. Trisha has personal experience of moving around the world from New Zealand to China to Australia. She is an Organizational Psychologist who firmly believes we all have vital gifts that are essential to the global family.
Rachel Cason

Dr. Rachel Cason is a missionary Adult TCK from West Africa, now settled in England. At university she took dual-honors in French and Sociology. Her doctoral research was funded in full by the Economic and Social Research Council. Rachel also served on the EuroTCK committee for the 2013 conference, and currently serves for EuroTCK 2017. As a result of her research, Rachel launched Life Story, a therapeutic service that applies her research findings in a form especially suited to those with highly mobile backgrounds. 

Laia Colomer

Dr. Laia Colomer is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at Linnaeus University (Sweden). She received her PhD in Barcelona and MA from UCL, London. An archaeologist with an extensive professional and academic experience in heritage management, public archaeology and applied heritage, her current research focuses on the uses of heritage as a mean of cultural identity experiences for cross-cultural people in a globalised world.


(top of page)

Stephen Davies

Stephen Davies is an expat psychologist working in private practice around Amsterdam. In 2008, while studying at the University of Amsterdam his first child was conceived, inspiring him to carry out exploratory research into the possibility of postnatal depression developing in fathers. Attempts to research this phenomenon further in the Netherlands were unsuccessful. The developing role of the father and the positive and negative effects that this can have on all concerned, remains a topic of interest. He is now developing a support forum for expat fathers.
Elizabeth Douet

Elizabeth Douet is a Journalist, Intercultural Trainer and Communications Consultant working with clients in Europe. Over the past twenty years, she has partnered with organizations, individuals and intercultural leaders while living in six different countries to deliver innovative support programs and products. Currently based in Dublin, Ireland, she is Director of Global Training Specialists, an intercultural training, coaching and consulting company. She holds a MS in International Journalism, a MS in Digital Marketing and is a certified trainer, mentor & coach.

Tracey Ellis

Tracey Ellis, CEO of International Diagnostic Solutions (IDS), is an occupational therapist and disability analyst with an MPH from George Washington University. Tracey has provided evaluation and treatment to children for over 20 years, and serves on the Washington, DC Health Professional Licensing Board, Board of Directors for BCR for Veteran Wellness, and the University of New Hampshire College of Health & Human Services Board. Tracey has collaborated with Georgetown University's Center for Child Development and the Centers for Health Services Research & Policy, and speaks at conferences and universities. 

(top of page)            
 Lisa Ferland

Lisa Ferland has a Masters in Public Health from Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, GA USA and is Executive Editor of Knocked Up Abroad. She has lived in Sweden for over four years and has birthed two children -- one in the US and one in Sweden. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and other expat blogs.

Julia Puebla Fortier

Julia Puebla Fortier is Director of DiversityRx: Resources for Cross Cultural Health Care, a US-based NGO that promotes good policy, practices and research on healthcare for minority, migrant and indigenous populations. While living in Europe, she helped organize immigrant health projects sponsored by the European Union, the World Health Organization, and the International Organization for Migration. Now living in Japan, she conducts research on culture, health and care delivery from a cross-national perspective. She has worked with advocates, researchers and policymakers in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia while raising two multilingual children with her husband.

Elise Foxall

Elise Foxall is a middle school English Language Arts teacher at the American International School, Vienna. Elise, her husband and two children lived and worked in the US, India, Ecuador, Chile, Indonesia, and Pakistan. As a veteran educator, Elise experiences and learns from the many parents and students in transition between cultures. Supporting her own two children through 5 international moves taught her a great deal, but as her now-adult children reflect on their international childhoods, Elise learns even more.
 Lydia Foxall

Lydia Foxall confirms that parents and teachers don't see all, know all, or even understand it all. Her childhood was international, her teen years were back in her passport country, and when she began college, the rest of her family left the country again. Lydia is a junior at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work with a focus on guidance for TCKs. Lydia is a product of her global teaching family, her New England family, and her international school "family."
Grace Franklin

Grace Franklin’s personal and professional interests stem from her exploration of self and others, rooted in her upbringing in Taiwan by Americans, at an international school, alongside a twin brother. Moving to the United States for university, Grace proceeded to study abroad in 7 different countries towards a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies. Her Masters in Human Geography continued her exploration of time, space, and culture with a focus on mobile identities. Currently based in Australia, Grace has over 8 years of experience supporting students in cross cultural transitions.

(top of page)             
Marilyn Gardner 

Marilyn R. Gardner is an adult third culture kid who grew up in Pakistan and went on to live and raise her own TCKs in Pakistan and Egypt. Marilyn works as a public health nurse in underserved communities in the greater Boston area. She also volunteers with Conscience International assisting with the refugee crisis in Turkey and Iraq. Her first book, "Between Worlds: Essays on Culture & Belonging" came out in July 2014. Her writing also appears in the book "What a Woman is Worth" published 2014, Among Worlds Magazine, and A Life Overseas – The Missions Conversation .
 Adam Geller

Adam GellerLike many TCK’s, Adam’s first memory takes place at 40,000 feet. He and his siblings grew up in Australia in a house with other immigrants, making from scratch their international family where no more than three shared color, national origin, or religion. After returning to the U.S., he found himself happiest with broad-minded, wide-eyed, and confused cross-culturals. In the works of David C Pollock, Ruth van Reken and others, he found his “family” again, and finally stopped being confused. He is looking forward to meeting others at #FIGT16 that share his experience, and to connect with partners around his research, which is among the first to link the historical experience of colonialists with modern TCK’s.
Sarah Gonzales 

Sarah Gonzales works at Pepperdine University School of Law and is in charge of recruitment, marketing and admissions for their dispute-resolution programs. She has lived abroad in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Colombia and Ecuador prior to settling in the US. In addition to her work at Pepperdine, Gonzales serves the NAFSA Association for International Educators on their Training Corps team teaching Fundamentals of Intercultural Strategies. She also teaches Cross Cultural Negotiation and Conflict Management at Pepperdine as an adjunt faculty member and is Director of the FIGT Research Network.
Lucy Greenwood

Lucy Greenwood, Partner at The International Family Law Group LLP. IFLG specialise in International family law concerning personal and family relationships. IFLG want people to consider their rights (and sometimes significant loss of legal rights) financially and personally as they move countries with their partners and spouses. IFLG also advise on cross-border children matters like relocation and abduction. Lucy Greenwood is hugely experienced in jurisdictional disputes (where to separate/divorce)and regularly advises on pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements as well as family breakdown. She writes for legal journals, websites and has lectured in England and abroad to professionals and the public.

Ryan Haynes

Ryan Haynes is currently is a high school counselor at the International School Bangkok, Thailand and has also worked in Taiwan and Oman. He and his wife, Eleanor, an elementary classroom teacher, are raising two TCK/CCK sons. 
From Richmond, Virginia, Ryan Haynes earned his undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia and his Masters in Counseling Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. Ryan worked in Chesterfield County and Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia as a High School Counselor prior to pursuing a career in international education. 
Katie Holloran 

Katie Holloran has worked as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, and administrator in schools for 15 years. Additionally, Katie expanded her work once she earned her Board Certification in Behavior Analysis to become a home therapist, behavior coach for teachers, and sleep coach for families. She is passionate about educating children in a developmentally appropriate and supportive way. In her current role as Clinical Director, Special Educator and Behavior Analyst at IDS Alliance, she works with teachers and families to understand learning and behavior and to create results-oriented interventions utilizing research-based practices.
Katarina Holm-DiDio

Katarina Holm-Didio is a corporate trainer, consultant and writer. She specializes in the impact of change, externally or internally motivated, on people and organizations. In her work she supports global staff affected by organizational change, provides career development coaching to staff in international development and supports individuals going through life and career transitions, such as expat staff and their accompanying partners and spouses. Kat grew up in Finland, has Masters Degrees in Mental Health Counseling and in Political Science.
Jodie Hopkins

Jodie Hopkins, M.A. is an English as an Additional Language Specialist at the American International School in Vienna, Austria. She has worked internationally for over 30 years. Her experience includes work with inner city children in the United States, medical translation in many countries of Latin America and 8 years at the American School in Vienna. Jodie has worked to develop and support programs for refugees from South America, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and now Syria. Her expertise with refugees is in the area of educational programming and cultural transition.

Linda Janssen

Linda Janssen is a writer, speaker and Resilience & Cross-Cultural Transitions trainer. Now an entrepreneur, Linda has worked on international issues at the senior level in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Married to an adult TCK, she has lived in Mexico, The Netherlands and Italy, and traveled to 40 countries and a few disputed territories. Author of The Emotionally Resilient Expat, she also writes fiction, essays and memoir. She holds a BA and MA in International Affairs.

Amy Jung

Amy Jung is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies in Southern California. As a CCK-MK-TCK she learned early to navigate and integrate the complex cultural values expressed on Minnesota farms, California cities, Ghanaian villages, and the international missions community. She conducts qualitative and rhetorical research, and writes about intercultural communication from a multi-hemisphere and liminal perspective. She daily brainwashes her CCK kids with Tintin and Asterix comics, indigenous percussion instruments, and a variety of paradoxical paradigms.

Pamela Kefi

Pamela KefiPamela Bos Kefi is a Director at Jewish Family Service in Buffalo, NY where she oversees Survivors of Torture and refugee resettlement programs. Through her consulting business, Pam provides international relocation and cross-cultural services. Pam worked as Executive Director of Deaf Adult Services and the International Institute of Buffalo. She worked in Haiti for the Department of State and USAID, was a trailing spouse, is in a cross-cultural marriage, and is almost done raising cross-cultural kids. She served on the Board of an International School and was a Peace Corps volunteer. Pam has enough knowledge of French, Arabic and American Sign Language to make friends and buy food! She is interested in the use of technology and encourage employers to provide added supports for trailing spouses, as well as the greater integration of cross- cultural supports into refugee resettlement in order to mitigate feelings of estrangement, inadequacy and under-involvement in civic life often experienced by refugees.

Claudia Koerbler

Claudia Koerbler is the chair of FIGT membership, a dedicated Interpreter and cross-cultural communication specialist in English, Spanish, and her native language German. The Austrian-born global citizen has lived and worked in the US, Spain, and UK. Her professional career in the US is based in the diplomatic service. She has served the Embassy of Austria and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC with a focus on trans-cultural communication. Claudia currently works at the World Bank Group, where she works with the YIF to strengthen the implementation of development projects.

Claudia Landini

Claudia Landini is a cross-cultural trainer and mobile career coach. She has lived in nine countries over five continents. Eleven years ago she founded Expatclic and has since been writing about her life abroad and helping expat women to have rich and meaningful experiences. She virtually leads a team of nine creative expat women living in nine different countries over five continents. Claudia has several achievements under her belt, her two sons being the best of them. She is currently enjoying her empty nest in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Eric Larsen
Eric LarsenRaised as a military brat and missionary kid in Kenya, Australia (as the son of a TCK from India), Eric currently works globally, based in the USA. He founded GYFM (Global Youth & Family Ministries) in 2007. He enjoys teaching/investigating the intersection of glocalizing youth culture, adolescent development, and third culture dynamics, and implications for the rising generation of today's multi-local young people. His related book “MissionNext: How the Church Can Reach a Glocal Generation” will be released in early 2016. He earned a doctorate in Youth, Family and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary, and is an ordained Presbyterian pastor. He serves as Adjunct Professor of next-gen ministry at Covenant Theological Seminary (USA), San Pablo Seminary (Mexico), Christ Bible Seminary (Japan), and The Chalmers Institute (Scotland). He is a dedicated family man, married 23 years with four amazing adolescent daughters.
 Ute Limacher-Riebold

Ute Limacher-Riebold is an expat-since-birth and founder of the Ute's Expat Lounge website. She holds a PhD in Romance Linguistics and Literature and is a consultant, coach and trainer for accompanying partners. Passionate about supporting internationals, she developed the "Expat Training for the Accompanying Partners" course aimed at increasing their ability to adapt and thrive during their life abroad. 

Katia Mace

Katia Mace is working towards a PhD in Psychology and Education at the University of Cambridge. She studies identity and belonging amongst Third Culture Kids and Cross Cultural Kids (CCKs). Katia holds an MPhil in Psychology and Education from Cambridge and a BSc in Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method from the London School of Economics. She is a CCK who grew up between Russia, England, South Africa and Spain. She was a beneficiary of the TCKid Research Bridge Sponsorship program (2014) and a recipient of the David Pollock Scholarship (2013). Her research is funded by the UK's ESRC.
Ellen Mahoney

Ellen Mahoney is the founder of Sea Change Mentoring, an online mentoring program that helps Third Culture Kids ages 16 and up explore careers, prepare for university and adjust to the next big move. She grew up in Asia before moving back to the US to attend university. She studied counseling at George Washington University and has worked in adolescent development for 18 years. She is certified in Mentoring Supervision by Big Brothers Big Sisters and Fordham University's School of Social Work, is a 2013 David Pollock Scholar and the co-founder of the Twitter chat #TCKchat.
Emmy McCarthy 

Emmy McCarthy has been building communities across Europe for as long as she can remember. Bringing people together, finding those important connections and helping others thrive is one of her favourite things to do. In 2011, Emmy founded Stichting Amsterdam Mamas which has originally begun as a Facebook group for 6 friends in the city. Five years later and with nearly 10,000 members, Stichting Amsterdam Mamas is the fastest growing parenting community in the Netherlands.
 Ana McGinley 

Ana McGinley is an Australian living in the Netherlands. She has a Masters of Social Work, a Bachelor of Arts and over 15years experience advocating for the health and welfare of older adults. Ana has worked in hospitals, community health services, legal tribunals, memory clinics, and for the Alzheimer Association. She completed a 5 country research project analyzing differences in residential/community services for people with dementia; taught a course on human development to Singaporean university students; and consulted with Dutch architectural students on dementia design projects. Her book, "
Parental Guidance: Long Distance Care for Aging Parents," has just been published.
Susan Murray

Susan Murray, co-leader of Pioneers Japan, earned her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in professional development at Ohio University. She currently supports individuals and families who serve cross-culturally in missions. Her goal is to assist families as they learn the complexities of Japanese language and culture and then choose to call Japan their "home." She is also a homeschool mom of five TCK daughters. She and her family have lived in Hiroshima, Japan for the last 8 years.
Taylor Murray

Taylor Murray, a 17-year-old TCK, is passionate about supporting the globally mobile through her writing. She wrote Hidden in My Heart: A TCK's Journey Through Cultural Transition when she was 13 years old. The book shows the pain and raw emotions during cross-cultural transition. She currently writes from her own struggles to answer TCK questions on her blog, www.taylorjoymurray.com. She was a 2015 FIGT Parfitt-Pascoe writing scholar.

 Janneke Muyselaar-Jellema

Janneke Muyselaar-Jellema is a medical doctor specialized in the normal development of children and adolescents. Born and bred in Africa, Janneke is a TCK who transitioned at 19 years of age from Zimbabwe to the Netherlands for her medical training. She has worked in child and adolescent mental health for ten years, and in an asylum-seekers' center for seven years. She has also facilitated many parenting courses. Janneke loves reading and is passionate about raising kids in other cultures. She currently works in medical education and in a child rehabilitation centre and blogs on her DrieCulturen blog.

Jacinta Noonan

Jacinta Noonan is a coach, trainer and facilitator who has had to build a "Career in her Suitcase" which she carried from Australia to the Netherlands and Singapore before returning to the Netherlands. She is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential. Jacinta practices and believes in the power of community and collaboration to achieve business success.

 Megan Norton 

Megan Norton is a current MA Intercultural and International Communication graduate candidate at American University in Washington DC. Her research is centered on intercultural leadership development at higher education institutions. An expert on international travel as an ATCK, she has lived in 9 countries and 3 US States. Norton holds a Masters in Communication from the American College of Greece and a BA in Public Relations from Pensacola Christian College. She has presented at multiple conferences including: IMI, NAFSA, and CIES.
Doug Ota

Doug Ota is a child psychologist, consultant, presenter and author. His father is descended from Japanese roots, while his mother traces her ancestry to England. Both their union and separation taught Ota how to grow up between worlds. He has made a career out of wondering where he – and others – belong. Half of Ota’s professional activities are devoted to counseling children and adolescents, individuals, couples and families. The other half is devoted to consulting with international schools and organizations on how to build programs to address the challenges and opportunities of mobility. Ota is the author of “Safe Passage: What Mobility Does to People and What International Schools Should Do About it.”
Jo Parfitt

Jo Parfitt is a regular at FIGT and well-known for her work in portable careers. As the co-founder of this initiative she has written and taught on this topic for almost 20 years worldwide. Jo's Summertime Publishing has helped over 100 expats to publish their stories. Jo practices and believes in the power of community and collaboration to achieve business success.
Michael Pollock

Michael Pollock, son of TCK pioneer David Pollock, is founder and director of Daraja, a transition support and leadership formation initiative for cross-cultural young adults. Michael is a TCK from Kenya and the US, and was the founding-head for Cambridge School in Baltimore, MD. He and his family moved to China in 2003 where he created and directed Odyssey, a student development initiative, for six international schools after five years as Elementary Principal. He is a TCK coach, presenter, teacher and trainer. Michael and his family repatriated to a new culture in Michigan, USA, in 2012.
 Debby Poort

Debby Poort is an Integrative Therapist, born and raised in America and relocated to The Netherlands in 2000. Her journey into the field of mindfulness began in 2007 out of a personal interest in learning strategies to reduce stress and anxiety while improving emotional resilience. After extensive literature research into the scientific evidence behind mindfulness, she began meditating and discovered for herself the benefits. Debby began her training in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in 2010 and sees herself as a lifelong student, constantly learning new things through her daily mindfulness practice. Aside from teaching mindfulness, Debby also runs a private psychotherapy practice, Yellow Wood, established for the expat community in the Amsterdam, Amstelveen area.
Carolina Porto

Carolina Porto's passion is to help people overcome challenges and build their resilience. She became a relationship coach to assist people when they undergo changes, which allows her to share her expertise in family, relocation, career transition, and relationship counseling, helping them make the right choices for themselves during their key transition phases. Born in Brazil, Carolina has lived and worked in 4 continents and 8 different countries together with her husband and two young children. She is a globetrotter by choice.

Colleen Reichrath-Smith

Colleen Reichrath-Smith, co-founder of the Career in Your Suitcase Way, is a trained freelance career consultant with 18 years' experience supporting career journeys, first in Canada and since 2005 in the Netherlands. She believes that skills taught in the "Career in Your Suitcase" are essential for international career adventures. Committed to equipping people for their career transitions, Colleen believes in and practices the power of community and collaboration to achieve business success.

Julia Simens 

Julia Simens  has a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, California and a dual degree in Education and Psychology from Chaminade University, Hawaii. She currently travels around the world doing speaking engagements at a variety of locations. As an educator, speaker, author and consultant, Julia has a gold-medal global perspective on children and parenting.  Parents look for her for guidance because she has raised her own two children overseas while agonizing over about schools, medical conditions, friendships and loss of extended family contact. She has served on the FIGT Board since October 2013 and blogs at jsimens.com.

Anna Skoulikari

Anna Skoulikari is a final-year Economics student at the University of Bristol. Born in Germany to Greek parents, she was raised in The Netherlands where she attended an international school. Her goal in life is to make a positive difference in the world through ethical entrepreneurship. She is currently pouring her energy into establishing Third Culture Kid society and learning a lot doing so!

Kathleen Swords

Kathleen has 30 years’ experience in schools and is currently the School Counsellor at Doha College. She is a member of BACP, working therapeutically with children and adults on issues related to expatriate living. Kathleen holds an MA in Integrative Counselling and is undertaking her PhD at Bath University focusing on expatriate children in boarding schools (termed EXBOs). In 2014 Kathleen established the first BSME Pastoral Care, Counselling and Safeguarding Conference. This year, with Melissa Cochrane, she co-founded "The Expat Boarding and Student Alliance" aimed at developing proactive intervention programs to promote wellbeing through the understanding of expatriate needs.

Amy Clare Tasker

Amy Clare Tasker is a London-based theatre maker who believes stories have a unique power create community and inspire empathy. Born in Manchester, she grew up the San Francisco Bay Area from the age of five, and returned to England in 2013 - with an American accent, US passport, and minor identity crisis. She is currently directing a verbatim theatre piece made of real stories collected from Third Culture Kids. Using scripted dialogue alongside verbatim interviews, movement, music, and multi-media, “Home is Where…” explores the complexity, absurdity, and joy of our multicultural lives. (More at www.amyclaretasker.com/hyphenated). She is also developing a new initiative in London to create theatre with refugees, helping them gain confidence in English, meet others in their local community, and participate in the powerful act of sharing their stories.

Marian Van Bakel

Marian van Bakel is attached to the University of Southern Denmark, where she conducts research in international human resource management, particularly expatriation, and the role of contact with host nationals in terms of expatriate adjustment and performance. She received her PhD. in international business communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She has also done extensive voluntary work in the intercultural field for the Young Society of Intercultural Education, Training and Research (Young SIETAR).
Jacqueline van Haaften 

Jacqueline van Haaften is Managing Director of Global Connection, a company focusing exclusively on expat partner support for over 20 years. Company goal: to contribute to the well-being and mobility of spouses and consequently to the success of the posting. Partners of 80 nationalities in 140 countries are supported on basis of global contracts. All services offered are based on surveys. Organization: a core team of 30 staff and over 300 coaches worldwide. The importance of coaching is rapidly increasing. Jacqueline presented research results during the 2011 FIGT conference in Washington.

Ilaria Vilkelis

Ilaria Vilkelis is an international senior executive coach, business consultant and expat columnist for the online Magazine CULTURS. Italia native and long time expatriate, she has lived and worked in different countries. A coach in selected leadership programs at IMD Lausanne business school, she has developed and successfully tested a simple yet powerful coaching model to help expatriate families settlwith ease in their new hosting countries. A Law Graduate, Vilkelis holds an MBA, severalcoaching certifications as well as a Master Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Katia Vlachos

Katia Vlachos researches and writes on cross-cultural transitions and expatriate life. Greek by birth and perpetual foreigner by choice, she has lived in 8 cities and 7 countries in the last 20 years. In her blogs, and in a forthcoming book, she explores the challenges of finding home amidst the chaos of nomadic life. Katia is a researcher and defense analyst, with a Ph.D. from the RAND Corporation and Masters from Harvard. She lives in Zurich with her three children. Unfittingly for her location – but in harmony with her Mediterranean upbringing – she enjoys waterskiing more than snow skiing.

(top of page)             

Louise Wiles

Louise is Co-Director of Simpson Wiles & Associates and co-creator of ThrivingAbroad.com. Louise utilizes her experience and talents as a personal development and coaching professional to provide comprehensive support to international assignees and their partners. Louise holds a Masters in Occupational Psychology and is a Certified Personal Performance coach. Together with her business partner, Evelyn Simpson, she conducted research into ‘Career Choice and the Accompanying Partner’ 2012.


Rachel Yates

A former nurse and university lecturer, Rachel put her home, career and independence on hold to accompany her partner on a one year temporary assignment overseas. Fourteen years, 3 continents and 8 homes later, she has founded The Expat LifeLine, dedicated to providing information, resources and support to help women live a stronger, smarter and more secure expat life. She is also the co-author with Trisha Carter on "Finding Home Abroad: A Guided Journal for Adapting to Life Overseas."

Magdalena Zilveti Chaland

Magdalena is a psychologist born in France to South American parents. She has been living in California since 2004. Through her personal experience, professional practice and research, she has developed an expertise in the concept of cultural identity explained in her book, “Réussir sa vie d’expat.”

Site Search:

Mailing address:
Families in Global Transition

C/o Campbell Rappold & Yurasits LLP
1033 S Cedar Crest Blvd
Allentown, PA 18103


+1 (703) 634-7400
Skype: figt.administrator

© Families in Global Transition, Inc.