Commited, Passionate Leaders
Jennifer comes to OWN with nearly twenty years’ experience in non-profit management and development. Born in Seattle, Jennifer was inspired to become an advocate for social change after her first study abroad experience to Romania in the early 1990s. She went on to become an avid activist for rights and equality of Roma (Gypsies) in Eastern Europe, managing a wide range of international initiatives. She designed and managed programming for youth leadership and community development and facilitated collaborative work among organizations from over eight European countries. After many years working with grassroots organizations, Jennifer later joined the Open Society Foundations in Budapest. As part of a senior leadership team, Jennifer coached and supervised program managers on youth leadership, community organizing and organizational development. Her longstanding experience with non-profits, minority communities and social justice work also led her to serve as expert evaluator and strategist both for Open Society Foundations and other international donors over recent years. Jennifer completed an undergraduate degree in history at California State University, Chico, and later went on to pursue an M.A. in Politics of Alternative Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. She speaks Romanian and Hungarian languages fluently, and basic Roma (Gypsy) language. She brings her love of language learning, travel and international education to the organization. As OWN’s Director of Programs from 2007 to 2009, Jennifer oversaw all core programming and staff of the organization. She is passionate about OWN’s mission and thrilled to return and lead its work developing the next generation of global leaders.
Founder and Senior Advisor
Kristin was selected as an Ashoka Fellow “as a leading social entrepreneur whom we recognize to have innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society.” Her passion for cross-cultural understanding began with her one-year study abroad experience as a Rotary exchange student in South Africa at age fifteen. That experience changed her life and set her on a committed path to explore the world, challenge injustices, and pursue transformational learning opportunities for herself and others. Towards the end of the Cold War, Kristin began studying the Russian language in college and then lived in Moscow right before the break-up of the Soviet Union. She graduated with honors and a triple major in Soviet Area Studies, Russian Language, and International Relations at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kristin then became the International Projects Director for a Seattle-based, international events and consulting company called Bob Walsh Enterprsies, Inc., where she directed the operations of the Moscow and Tbilisi (Georgia, ex-USSR) offices. Kristin spent her twenties living and working abroad in Moscow, Paris, London, and Tbilisi, where she developed a passion for global thinking, international project management experience, and a keen appreciation for understanding other cultures. At the age of 30, Kristin moved back to the USA and Seattle and decided that after years of living abroad, it was time begin her life’s work by combining her passion for international understanding and commitment to social justice. In 2002, she founded OneWorld Now!, the global leadership program for undeserved youth. Just two years later, OneWorld Now! was recognized as “one of the nation’s most innovative after school programs” by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. OneWorld Now! is now a national model for international education that ensures access for historically underrepresented youth. Kristin was appointed by then-Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on the Board of Trustees for The Evergreen State College (2007-12). Kristin currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Fund for Education Abroad in Washington, D.C. She is also the Official Spokesperson for the Global Access Pipeline (GAP), a national consortium whose mission is to increase the representation, preparedness, and retention of underrepresented groups in the international arena.
Language Program Manager / Arabic Language Instructor
Rachid Rhenifel was born in the Moroccan city of Fes. He received his B.A. in linguistics from the University of S.M. Ben-Abdellah in Fes. He moved to the U.S. in 1998 and lived in Austin, Texas before moving to Seattle. He speaks Arabic, French, German, and English. Rachid has taught for OneWorld Now! for many years and is happy to be working with a great team and wonderful students. His hobbies include playing soccer and tennis.
Academic Program Manager / Arabic Language Instructor
Sarah Standish is an Arabic teacher native to the Pacific Northwest. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and learned Arabic in college while majoring in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College in New York, during which time she studied abroad in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. After completing her BA, she spent a year studying Arabic literature in Damascus, Syria, where she felt fortunate to be able to explore a beautiful country only a few years before it would be convulsed by civil war. She began teaching Arabic upon her return to the United States, where she was the founding teacher of the first Arabic program in a public school in Oregon, in addition to teaching a few classes at at the community college and college levels. Seeking a different challenge, she moved to Seattle in 2014 to work with OneWorld Now! and is excited to explore a new city and a new context for teaching Arabic. She is the author of Syria – Culture Smart!, a traveler’s guide to Syrian culture, and is currently writing a high school Arabic textbook.
Kirsten Rogers, MPA
Director of Development and Communications
After a two year hiatus, Kirsten returns to OneWorld Now! as Director of Development and Communications. In her former role as Events and Development Manager and Summer Programs Manager, Kirsten supported with fundraising, community and student events, as well as the Study Abroad Program and Summer Language Camps. In her new position, Kirsten looks forward to continue to grow awareness and support for the program and students and build the OneWorld Now! community. Kirsten’s passion is cultivating thriving communities through online engagement and communications strategies. Fostering authentic connections is one of Kirsten’s core values, something she has been doing for over ten years of non-profit and development work in international education, social and human services and health. Kirsten earned her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and served two years in Morocco with the Peace Corps’ Small Business Development program. She speaks Moroccan Arabic and hopes to master French and Spanish one day. Through her consulting practice as a Social Communications Strategist, Kirsten guided startups to successful launches and small businesses to build loyal and engaged customer communities. After her father was diagnosed with cancer, she took her passion for social entrepreneurship and helping others and found Chemo Bites, a business which provides gift packages of healthy snacks and nutritional resources to cancer patients. In her spare time, Kirsten appreciates travel, getting lost in book stores, taking photos, trying new restaurants, and playing with her dogs.
Operations and Student Outreach Manager
Jayanika is passionate about social justice and strengthening community. Jayanika grew up on the island of Guahan/ Guam and graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2011 with an emphasis in Political Economy. After graduating she volunteered with Winrock International Farmer-to-Farmer and US AID in Nepal, Bangladesh and Nigeria. She spent a year in Nepal reconnecting with family and learning to speak Nepali. Jayanika is committed to working and cultivating conscious leadership in youth and herself and has worked closely with Upward Bound and the Student Conservation Association. Looking to continue higher education, Jayanika moved back to the Pacific Northwest and is very excited to become more involved with the local community and be a part of OneWorldNow!
Chinese Language Instructor
Ms. Chia-Ching (pronounced “Jiajing”) was born and raised in Taiwan. She earned a Psychology degree from the University of Washington. Before moving to the U.S, she taught English as a Second Language to elementary and middle school students for several years. She has always been interested in the similarities and differences in cultures, and is passionate in teaching and learning languages. As a native Mandarin Chinese speaker, she has taught Mandarin Chinese to individuals and groups ranging from three-year-old adopted orphans to families planning to travel to China, from middle-school students to computer engineers. She also has experience teaching Chinese-related courses such as Chinese cooking classes, and Chinese calligraphy. She is an enthusiastic professional who offers strong skills, pays attention to the details of language acquisition, and who cares about the progress of the students. Ms. Chia-Ching holds the State of Washington Education Certificate, a Teaching Certificate specialized in world language instructions in immersion and student-centered classroom teaching techniques. Ms. Chia-Ching loves dogs and nature, enjoys cooking, making crafts, doing yoga, and traveling.
Korean Language Instructor
Kyung-Ja came to Seattle in 1997 from Seoul, South Korea. She holds a M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Seattle University, and a B.A. in French Language and Literature from Hanyang University in Korea. Teaching is Kyung-Ja’s passion. Previously she taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at private schools for several years in Korea. Since 2006, she has had a wide range of language teaching experiences as an ESL instructor at college and as a Korean instructor at various organizations. In the fall of 2015, she joined One World Now! and was thrilled to be part of the OWN language program as the Korean language instructor. She is excited about working with future global leaders, by helping them learn the Korean language and culture. Besides teaching, she is passionate about helping others in need. She is the founder and the President of Music for the People, a local non-profit organization. She believes in making a difference in the world.
Arabic Language Fellow
Adam grew up in Seattle and holds a degree in history from Gonzaga University. After spending a semester studying in Morocco, he returned to work in Rabat as an English teacher with AMIDEAST. Having recently returned to America, Adam is eager to share his passion with students of OWN.
Chinese Language Instructor
Laura came to Seattle from Missoula, Montana and received her B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature and Anthropology from the University of Washington. While at UW in 2008 she spent a year living in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China, as part of an exchange/research program at Sichuan University. Her research was focused on the process of identity formation of ethnic minority young women and migration. Laura returned to Seattle after a more recent stay in Beijing for the fall and winter of 2014 where she studied at Tsinghua University. Laura continues to work to support Chinese language and cultural activities in Seattle.
Chinese Language Instructor
Jin Chen earned M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction Chinese from Cleveland State University, and got Chinese Language Teacher License of the Ohio state. Before moved to the U.S., she was a principle and had four years teaching Chinese and management experience in her own school in China. Jin is also good at creating electronic comic books, audio books and videos. Incorporate technology into her mini-books for language teaching. Students are highly motivated and interested in learning Chinese.
Arabic Language Instructor
Eman was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. Before moving to Seattle, in 2014, she spent all her past life in Damascus with her family where she also worked in accounting. She is fluent in standard Arabic and most Arabic dialect languages. She has experience in teaching Arabic for the speakers and non-speakers of Arabic. She has joined our team this year and is very excited to continue doing what she loves the most, teaching Arabic. Additionally, Eman loves nature and outdoors. she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.
President of the Board of Directors
Herman Uscategui serves as the President of the Board of Directors of OneWorld Now!. He formerly served as Director of International Business Development for Starbucks Coffee Company, responsible for new markets development, including partner selection process, negotiations, and coordination of overall project deliverables. Prior to joining Starbucks, Herman was Director of Worldwide Projects at Westin Hotels & Resorts corporate offices in Seattle. He was responsible for international hotel management development and franchises agreements. Herman started his responsibilities at Westin representing then Westin’s parent company, Aoki Corporation of Japan in international business ventures. He started his business career in Tokyo, Japan with Aoki Corporation. He received a Master in Engineering from Saitama University/University of Tokyo and doctoral studies from the University of Tokyo in Japan. He also holds a Master in Economics from Temple University in Japan and is fluent in several languages.
Kay Bullitt was born and raised in Massachusetts. She earned her B.A. (with honors) in Government from Radcliffe College and taught in Cambridge before heading west in 1953. She picked Seattle as the place she wanted to live. During the past forty years, Kay raised six children and dedicated herself to civic activism. Through her leadership in numerous organizations she has promoted: quality integrated public education, civil rights, the history preservations of ships and buildings, and peace and international understanding.
Christina Dawson was born in Venezuela of a Spanish mother and Swiss father and spent the majority of her childhood in Spain and France. She holds a Master’s Degree in international studies from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and is fluent in several languages. Having worked in New York in finance and journalism, she moved to Seattle in 1991 where she has raised three children while being active with the Seattle World Affairs Council, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle School District. She is passionate about the importance of exposing young people to cultures and languages different than their own. She helped found a women’s bank at a time when women had difficulty getting credit. And as a Trustee of The Bullitt Foundation, Kay promotes environmental protection in the Pacific Northwest. As a result of her civic contributions, Kay Bullitt has received many awards. These include: The Jefferson Award for Public Service, the YMCA Milnor Roberts Award for World Peace Through International Understanding, the Partners in Public Education (PIPE) Katherine Muller Bullitt Award (named for her as its founder), the Ralph Bunche Award from the Peace Through Law Section of the Seattle Bar Association, the Paul Beason Award from Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility and the United Nations (Seattle Chapter) Human Rights Award.
CNN, Foreign Affairs Coorespondent
Jill Dougherty is an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union. In her three-decade career with CNN she served as Foreign Affairs Correspondent, based in Washington, D.C.,where she covered the State Department and provided analysis on international issues.Dougherty previously served as U.S. Affairs Editor for CNN International; Managing Editor of CNN International Asia/Pacific, based in Hong Kong; and CNN’s Moscow Bureau Chief and Correspondent.From 1991 to 1996 she was CNN White House Correspondent, covering the presidencies of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2013-14 Dougherty was a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where she pursued research on Russia’s mass media. She continued research on media and propaganda as a 2014-2015 Public Policy Scholar at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Jill Dougherty received her B.A. degree in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and her M.A. from Georgetown University where she researched Russia’s soft power diplomacy. She studied the Russian language in high school and college and pursued two courses of study at Leningrad State University. She continues to provide expert commentary on Russia and the post-Soviet region for CNN. Her articles have appeared in a wide range of publications.
Lin & Co., LLC
Robin Lin is a true global citizen, and is a passionate student of geopolitics, business, technology, global trends, and how to navigate international investment opportunities. Robin speaks 4.2 languages, has visited 21 countries, and lived in 6 of them, in his 16 years overseas. Robin’s business experience has also been global in nature, ranging from nearly 5 years with a large, multinational corporation in Singapore and The Netherlands, to 4 years as an entrepreneur and CEO of a start-up technology company in Taiwan. Outside of work, Robin enjoys golf, squash, fine foods, music and art.
Founder, Mendel Owns PS
Fraser Mendel is a business and technology lawyer, who has been representing clients for 19 years in the United States, China, and other countries around the world. He worked as a lawyer based in Beijing, China for 12 years, is fluent in Mandarin, and continues to travel to China frequently. He first traveled to China in 1986 as a student, and spent 5 years in Taiwan studying, working as a journalist and ultimately conducting graduate research. Fraser writes and speaks frequently on international technology issues and cross-border transactions. After practicing for years at multi-national law firms, at the beginning of 2014 Fraser set up Mendel Owns PS (formerly FM Legal Group), a boutique law firm located here in Seattle (www.mendelowens.com). Committed to building deeper and stronger international connections, Fraser is active as the Vice Chair of the Washington State China Relations Council, Chair-elect of the International Practice Section of the Washington State Bar Association and is on the Boards of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and the Washington Council on International Trade. A strong supporter of international education, he has been an adviser for the last 7 years to the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Washington.
Director at Deloitte Digital
Pat Ogawa is Director at Deloitte Digital, where he leads a team that works with start-ups and other enterprises on innovation, strategizing and planning. Prior to joining Deloitte Digital in early 2014, Pat’s previous work includes Senior Director of Retail Innovation at Nordstrom, and Partner at Infosys Consulting, in the Retail, Consumer Products practice and Head of Global Innovation. Pat was born in Hawaii and has a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in strategy and marketing from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii. Pat is passionate about supporting underserved populations and his own daughter’s study abroad experience affirmed his belief that such experiences should be available to all young people.
A & Y Property Investments
Faouzi Sefrioui is a well-respected businessman here in Seattle. Born in Morocco, Faouzi completed his studies at the UW Foster School of Business, and went on to become Founder/President of A & Y Property Investments, a real estate development and management company, and Co-founder/Director at Evergreen Point Development, LLC. Faouzi serves as Vice-Chairman of the CTED African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest and advises several African entities on low-income housing development. From 2005 to 2014, Faouzi served on the Washington State Housing Finance Committee. As a philanthropist, Faouzi established SB Foundation, which provides access to computers for impoverished schools in Africa.
President and CEO, Bob Walsh Enterprises
Bob Walsh has pioneered many major international events and has been honored for many prestigious awards. He is best known for his role in organizing the 1990 Goodwill Games with Ted Turner in Seattle. His citizen diplomacy in the former Soviet Union also led to several humanitarian efforts. As a result of these humanitarian activities, Walsh received the Supreme Soviet Award in 1988 from then-President Mikhail Gorbachev. Only three other Americans have received this prestigious award, including former Presidents Reagan and Bush. Walsh directed a portion of the Armenian earthquake relief effort for the Soviet government. The global humanitarian organization, CARE, credits him for introducing them to the former Soviet Union. After the break-up of the USSR, with the help of President Eduard Shevardnadze, Walsh arranged for the distribution of food and medicine to the Republic of Georgia. His years of humanitarian efforts and tireless promotion of the country of Georgia led to the award of Honorary Citizen of Georgia in 2002. and was given the 1990 World Citizen Award from the World Affairs Council.