Staff & Board
Our global staff, management team, board, and advisors are made up of passionate, talented individuals with a breadth of experience that ranges from multinational corporations to leading nonprofit organizations and academic institutions.
Global Glimpse is growing and we are looking for outstanding people to join our team! Check out our Careers page for the latest openings.
Leadership & Operations Team
Eliza Pesuit – Executive Director
Eliza is deeply committed to providing leadership, agency, and global perspective to youth from all backgrounds. Eliza built Global Glimpse’s first international programs in Nicaragua in 2008 and became the organization’s first full-time staff in the United States in 2009. Under her leadership the organization has grown more than ten-fold and expanded to serve over 1,000 students annually across 100 public high schools. She utilizes her extensive international and youth development experience to drive the organization’s strategy, lead development initiatives, and ensure program quality. Eliza Graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts, she is bilingual in Spanish and English.
Ben Polansky – Chief Operations & Growth Officer
Ben, a native to the Bay Area, has dedicated his professional career to empowering youth to live and fight for a more just and equitable world. He has 15+ years of leadership experience in education based non-profits and internet start-ups. Ben has worked with thousands of high school students and designed and delivered thousands of hours of experiential education. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and has been recognized for his work as an educator by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the San Francisco Giants. He is the founder of the Brave New Travelers Youth Scholarship fund and has traveled, lived, worked and learned on 5 continents and over 40 countries. He currently lives with his wife and young daughter in Oakland, Ca where he travels vicariously through the amazing students in Global Glimpse.
Marcela Berrios – Vice President of International Programs
Growing up in Nicaragua, Marcela had a first-hand view of the effects of poverty on young people and quality education. Creating an opportunity for young people to break through barriers of poverty, access and discrimination have built Marcela’s life work. Marcela has devoted most of her career to Global Glimpse and the young people we serve. Her success in managing our partner programs is fueled by her experience in working with diverse groups of young people, her cross-cultural community development experience and passion for global education. She joined Global Glimpse in 2012 as a Program Coordinator in Nicaragua and moved to California to manage the Bay Area partner school program and national college prep partnerships in 2012. In 2015 she became VP of Strategic Partnerships, managing all US school programs and partnerships from Global Glimpse’s NY office. She is excited to be working in her new role as VP of International Programs. Marcela holds a BA in Psychology and Behavioral Social Science from Ave Maria University in Nicaragua.
Brent Nichols – Senior Director of U.S. Programs
Brent grew up in a diverse neighborhood in San Jose, California, which led to his interest in different cultures and international issues. He has a BA degree from the University of California, Davis and a Masters degree from San Francisco State University in International Relations and has spent his years since working with youth in the United States and abroad. Brent has worked in various roles in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia and realizes that traveling abroad is one of the most inspirational things a person can do. He will bring his experience managing logistics with other educational exchange organizations to Global Glimpse where he is excited to help students enjoy the formative trips that lead to a lifetime of global learning and service.
Madai Baltodano – International Health & Safety Operations Manager
Madai joined Global Glimpse in 2009 as Program Coordinator in Nicaragua. Over the years, she has been promoted to various roles serving as the Nicaragua Country Director and then Director of International Operations. Today she is the International Health and Safety Operations Manager. Her extensive experience problem-solving a variety of incidents has led her to ensure that thousands of students have meaningful, safe, and secure experiences in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Panama. As a part of the Health & Safety team, Madai partners with our International teams to review Risk Assessment Management Plans for all host countries’ providers and partners, ensuring student’s safety for all activities. She is on call 24/7 during all summer trips to support with any Health & Safety reports ensuring all students complete their trip safely and successfully. Both Madai and her husband, Philip work in international healthcare. They have 2 children who also aspire to follow in their footsteps.
Yader Centeno – Director of International Finance
Yader has been working at the intersection of social justice and economics for five years. In his work at the Help in Action Foundation in Leon, he combined his passion for the pursuit of peace with his skills in accounting and working with local non-profits. Before that, he worked on strengthening the capacities of marginalized and vulnerable groups in society–including rural families, small business owners, and women–through coordinating trainings and developing projects with them. Yader is pursuing his combined interests and passions for social change and finance management in his work with Global Glimpse.
Will Smith, MD, Paramedic, FAEMS – Medical Director
Dr. Will, as known to his colleagues, joined Global Glimpse as Medical Director in 2019. He works very closely with the International Health and Safety Team ensuring the wellbeing and medical readiness of all the staff and students around the world. He is board certified in pre-hospital EMS and Emergency Medicine and has trained and traveled extensively around the world to over 20 countries. He lives and practices primarily in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and is an Associate Clinical Professor for the University of Washington School of Medicine. He also wears numerous other hats as Medical Director for the National Park Service as well as a Colonel in the US Army Reserve. COL Smith (Dr. Will) has practiced medicine around the world on 6 continents, from the ‘Baghdad ER’ to Easter Island. He has founded and runs Wilderness and Emergency Medicine Consulting (WEMC), LLC.
Felicia Ong – Senior Corporate & Community Engagement Manager
Felicia is inspired by the power of travel as a catalyst for relationship building in today’s world. Born and raised in the Bay Area by Burmese immigrant parents, she developed a strong cultural identity with the local Burmese-Chinese community. Having traveled to Matagalpa, Nicaragua with Global Glimpse in 2010, Felicia is a proud alumna of the program and has since been inspired to pursue a career that brings people together and builds bridges across sectors. She was the first in her family to attend college and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communication from UC Davis, and a certificate in Social Impact Leadership from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. With a background in PR and strategic communications at the intersection of the non-profit, private, and public sectors, Felicia brings a diverse array of experiences to her work with Global Glimpse’s incredible corporate and community partners.
Amy Ly – Finance & Operations Manager
Born and raised in the diverse and vibrant San Francisco Bay Area, Amy has always recognized the power of education, culture, and community. Having traveled internationally from a young age, she finds it to be one of the greatest joys in life. Inspired by the power of international and cultural education, Amy has worked with various international exchange programs to build sustainable, global relationships. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Davis, with minors in Chinese and Economics. Amy is delighted to support the Global Glimpse team in making travel accessible to students of all backgrounds and developing future generations of leaders.
Jonathan Kramer-Roach – Programs & Operations Coordinator
Ever curious and ready for exploration, Jonathan is excited to bring a background in experiential education and travel-focused programs to his work with Global Glimpse. After graduating from Northwestern University with a B.A. in philosophy, he helped lead growth and operations at Honor Flight Chicago, a nonprofit recognizing senior war veterans, and most recently Global Student Embassy, a high school travel program focused on environmental education. Having traveled to 5 continents and 20+ countries, Jonathan is passionate about bringing people together from different communities. He is deeply committed to the belief that every student deserves the opportunity to experience firsthand cultures outside their own and could not be more thrilled to be able to work with Global Glimpse toward this goal.
U.S. Program Team
Carissa Villafaña – Bay Area Programs Manager
A Southern California native, Carissa grew in a sunny beach town and later packed her book bags North to California State University, Sacramento, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies. Shortly after graduating from college, she joined Peace Corps, where she served in the Dominican Republic as a Primary Literacy Promoter. It was there, along the Southern border, that she fell in love with traveling and good coffee. Not long after her service, Carissa embarked on a new journey with Global Glimpse. Her position in the Dominican Republic allowed her the chance to show others the world that she had so deeply fell in love with. After running three summer trips in the Dominican Republic, she wholeheartedly accepted the position of Bay Area Program Coordinator where she now hopes to serve as a bridge to different soils.
Alex Fogel – Director of Northeast Programs
A passionate and experienced traveler, Alex has explored and learned in more than 30 countries. He knows that his experiences abroad have forever altered his perspective, teaching him the importance of pushing his comfort zone and staying positive no matter what life has in store. With a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Vermont, Alex has spent 5 years teaching English, Spanish, and Special Education in public schools in Spain and in his hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts. These different environments presented Alex the opportunity to work with diverse groups of young people, whose infectious personalities and ubiquitous brilliance fuel Alex to help make international travel opportunities accessible to all students, regardless of their financial realities. He is thrilled and honored to be able to combine his passion for education, travel, and youth development in his work with Global Glimpse.
Maria Cristina Núñez Santos – Dominican Republic Financial Manager
Maria Cristina was born and raised in Bonao, Dominican Republic. She has a university degree in Accounting from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, is a certified accountant and has her Masters in Financial Management. She brings nine years of experience in nonprofit organizations; supporting community development and financial management for organizations including Kolping and Oxfam, where she gained experience managing teams. Maria has participated in national and international seminars and conferences in her field in countries such as Mexico, Honduras, Peru, and Costa Rica. Maria joined Global Glimpse in 2016 as an administrative and tax consultant. She is thrilled to join our full-time staff because she believes action is needed to create positive change in the world and she is passionate about working with youth and communities towards mutual growth.
Javier Moraga – Ecuador Country Director
Javier, a native of Matagalpa, is passionate about cultural exchanges. Through his extensive translating experience, he has delved into the nuances that make Spanish and English unique, and through that has explored the differences and similarities among the different languages and cultures. Javier brings a strong sense of ethics and morals to every situation he encounters, and avidly believes in the power of clear communication to navigate any personal or professional challenge. He brings his experience as a Program Coordinator and Program Manager in Nicaragua to his role as Country Director of all of our programs in Ecuador.
In finding a love for technology and valuing the importance of effective communication, integrity, social interaction, and new ideas, Miguel obtained a degree in Computer Systems Engineering. He is passionate about working with youth and finds joy in teaching because it compels him to learn something new every day. He has over ten years of experience working with youth from all walks of life. What he has enjoyed the most about working with youth is seeing different cultures gathered together in one place for the same purpose of learning from each other and exploring new cultures together. This passion led Miguel to serve with many missionary groups in Nicaragua for the past five years. He is excited to join the Global Glimpse team and looks forward to using his passion and past experiences to impact the lives of our students and community partners. Miguel strongly believes that if we invest in the youth of today will be investing to change tomorrow.
Board of Directors
Jennifer Ogden-Reese, Board Chair
Jennifer believes strongly in the both the power of increasing global awareness of America’s youth and the value of learning through experience. Her passion for these two ideas stems from her international study in college and from her life now, raising three boys in a diverse multi-cultural community. Jennifer is an accomplished marketing and operating executive with deep experience connecting and engaging people with brands in a multi-platform world. She has extensive background leading consumer strategy for some of the most iconic and successful media brands in the world including PEOPLE, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, and Essence. She lends her content marketing expertise to help tell the Global Glimpse story to a growing audience of students, educators, and donors. Jennifer is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Michelle Patrick, Vice Chair
Like many of us, Michelle vividly remembers her first exposure to life in a developing economy as a teenager and the impact it had on her. She is passionate about Global Glimpse’s mission to bring that experience to today’s youth and develop a new generation of global thinkers. Since that first international trip Michelle has remained an avid traveler; she has visited more than 35 countries and lived abroad four times. After work in consulting and energy, Michelle now works in commercial real estate finance at Sunrise Mortgage & Investment Company. She holds in MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and a BA in Economics/Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
To Sharon, servant leadership is a way of life. Prior to joining the community affairs team at United Airlines she served as vice president of customer contact centers for the airline. In this role, she was responsible for all aspects of the contact centers, customer care and refunds for United. She oversees 5,000 global team members comprised in 15 centers in ten countries and remotely in over 35 states. Sharon has 20 years of accounting and auditing experience. Sharon received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bradley University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certified in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA). Sharon was a 2016 Fellow of Leadership in Greater Chicago and recognized as a Chicago United 2015 Business Leader of Color. A native Chicagoan, Sharon joined the Global Glimpse board in 2018.
Kristen is a communications and public affairs expert with extensive experience in media relations. She is the Managing Director of Communications at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she manages a portfolio of programs, including the Chicago Commitment and 100&Change, a global competition for a $100 million grant to solve a critical problem. Prior to joining MacArthur, Kristen served as Director of Corporate Communications at the global public relations agency Golin, where her clients included Dow, Humana, YMCA of the USA and Hyatt and she developed communications campaigns that enhanced brand reputation and relevance. Previously, Kristen worked as Director of Media Relations for the Cook County Health & Hospitals System and Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Cook County’s Board President. Kristen is a journalist by training and she was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post and Houston Chronicle. Storytelling is at the center of all of her work and she is committed to helping Global Glimpse identify compelling narratives that amplify individual and collective voices. Kristen received her B.A. from Emory University and her Master’s in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
The opportunity travel presents to experience different cultures and ways of life has had a lasting influence on Wailun both personally and professionally. Wailun’s interest in travel began at age 15 when his family made the life-altering decision to relocate from Hong Kong to Michigan and continues now as he shares his passion for traveling with his own family. Currently, Wailun is part of the rocket ship journey at LinkedIn, where in 2010 he was one of the first finance members and part of the core IPO team. Wailun leads the Global FP&A, International Finance, and Financial Planning Systems team. Over the past ten years, Wailun has had the unique opportunity to build, scale, and manage teams across the finance org as well as partnering closely with the executive team on defining and executing LinkedIn’s strategic plans. Prior to LinkedIn, Wailun gained 12 years of finance experience across various industries (tech, financial services, and CPG) at start-ups and Fortune 100 companies. Wailun will lend his expertise to reinforce Global Glimpse’s mission to teach the importance of travel and leadership development.
Cisca is Senior Associate General Counsel, Global Commerce, at Snap Inc., the camera company that owns the Snapchat, Bitmoji, and Spectacles brands. She loves building things and has especially enjoyed getting to play a part in helping Snap grow since 2015. Cisca believes deeply in the power of travel and human connection to change lives and increase our collective belief in each person’s ability to effect positive change. Having gleaned a unique view of cultural differences as an immigrant to the U.S. when she was a child, and having seen the way travel raises awareness and empathy in her own kids, she is committed to helping find ways for more students to be able to travel outside their home cities. Cisca earned her BA degrees in Mass Communications and in Dutch Studies, as well as her JD degree, from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dan is the Head of Global Content Strategy at LinkedIn Learning, which features over 15,000 courses across 7 languages. Before that he was a General Manager at O’Reilly Media and a Publisher at John Wiley & Sons. Long-time publishing types, Dan and his wife also run a small press called Long Sky Media. Having grown up partly outside of the US – a formative experience – Dan believes making it possible for more students to have an expanded view of the world is enormously important and impactful. He’s proud to be part of the Global Glimpse team.
Aisha Taylor, Secretary
Aisha is a Sr. Account Manager in the media & entertainment vertical at Google. She works with global publishers to reach and engage audiences across digital platforms. Aisha previously worked at GBCHealth as a membership advisor leveraging resources of the world’s leading companies to address global health and development challenges. She also organized the private sector delegation to the Global Fund Board. Because of the impact international exposure has had on her own life, Aisha is passionate about broadening the horizons of youth to ignite curiosity, empathy and a desire to make a difference, not just a living. Aisha holds a BA from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Selena is the Chief Marketing Officer at Away, a global lifestyle brand that’s transforming the entire travel experience. In her role, Selena drives the strategy for the Away brand and its marketing organization — directly overseeing Brand Marketing, Growth Marketing, Content, Communications, and Creative. Since joining Away in April 2018, she has championed Away’s brand-led strategy, leveraging its cohesive and integrated approach to brand development as a key driver of operational success and top line growth. After graduating from Princeton University, Selena started her career working on Wall Street before leaving to pursue her passion for understanding the drivers of culture, consumer choice, and brand love. Prior to Away, she worked at Diageo and later joined Anheuser-Busch. Selena received a B.A. in Art and Archaeology and a certificate in Finance from Princeton University, and she received an MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives and works in Manhattan.
Usman Nabi grew up between South Asia and the US and he is deeply passionate about inspiring international service in the next generation of leaders. Usman is a Director at H Partners, a New York based investment firm. He holds an MBA from Stanford Business School, an AB from Harvard University and is an alumnus of Phillips Exeter Academy. As a Senior Advisor, Usman supports Global Glimpse’s strategic growth.
Khori Whittaker began his career as an educator at Teach for America teaching fifth grade in the Long Beach Unified School District. There, he became engaged with issues of access and equity and degree completion. Khori is CEO of Lighthouse Academies, a national charter school network. Previously he served as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission at Stanford, Director of Recruiting at InsideTrack, and as a Training and Sales Executive for Decker Communications. Khori received a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University with certificates in Political Economy and Spanish Language and Culture. He also holds an M.A. in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach specializing in Political Theory and American Government and Law. As a Senior Advisor, Khori supports school partnership development.
Noah Yosha comes from a family of educators including a father who led a US-French youth exchange program. This background has grounded Noah in the need for future US leaders to engage with developing countries. Noah is the founder of Center Pond Management, a healthcare-focused investment partnership based in New York City. He holds a BBA degree from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. As a Senior Advisor, Noah is focused on development and ensuring the organization is financially sound for continued growth and impact.
Kendra Commander is a Senior Business Development Principal within the Access team at Google with a particular focus on connecting the next billion to the internet, primarily in emerging markets. Kendra previously worked at Nokia where she was the business lead on the launch and expansion of its mobile application store worldwide – eventually leading a global team focused on driving adoption of the entire portfolio of mobile services in key markets. Prior to joining Nokia, Kendra worked on special projects and business development efforts for the CFO and CEO at Sony Music. Kendra started her career at Credit Suisse where she worked as an analyst in Private Finance. She is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School. As a Senior Advisor, she works to support Global Glimpse’s international program expansion.
SF Bay Area Regional Leadership Council
Woodside High School
SF Unified School District
First Republic Bank
Dodge & Cox
Saskia van Gendt
New York Regional Leadership Council
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The Global Impact Investing Network
Gizmodo Media Group
The College Board
The Female Quotient
Anholt Services (USA), Inc.
Chicago Regional Leadership Council
Madison Dearborn Partners
Gray Matter Analytics
Mayer Brown, LLC
Noble Network of Charter Schools
Madison Dearborn Partners
Cressey & Company
Robert W Baird