The Forum Announces Melissa Torres as New President/CEO

Headshot of Melissa Torres

The Forum on Education Abroad’s Executive Search Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce Melissa Torres as The Forum’s new President and CEO.

According to Enda Carroll, Chair of the Forum Board of Directors: “Melissa brings an impressive breadth of experience and knowledge of the field to The Forum and we are delighted to welcome her to this pivotal role for our organization. I am certain that The Forum can look forward to a new level of inclusive membership and creative programming under Melissa’s leadership and direction.’’

Melissa Torres comes to The Forum with two decades of experience in higher education and program development. She has served as Vice President for Academic Programs at IES Abroad where she supervised 36 international study abroad centers in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Her campus-based experience includes leading a variety of international initiatives for three institutions, including Brown University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Ohio State University. She also worked as a change management consultant for Accenture. Most recently, Melissa has worked with a variety of colleges and universities to develop innovative, service-learning programs as Vice President of Institutional Relations at Global Vision International.

Melissa has created numerous education abroad programs focused on language, technology, and business, among other topics. She has chaired multiple committees to review faculty research proposals, developed the nationally recognized Ohio Export Internship Program, and has implemented more than 30 exchange partnerships around the globe. She has successfully competed for U.S. Department of Education grants for the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Ohio State and Equity Assistance Center funding at Brown. She is the recipient of a Commendation of Appreciation from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights for her work supporting immigrant families and fighting discrimination in public schools via the New England Equity Assistance Center.

Melissa has presented at numerous conferences and seminars, including The Forum, NAFSA, AIEA, and the Global Internship Conference. She served as Chair of The Forum’s Outcomes Assessment and Research committee for three years, is a member of NAFSA’s Work, Internships, Volunteering and Research Abroad (WIVRA) subcommittee and a founding member of the Business International Studies Network (BISNet) Business Colloquium. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Creature Conserve, an outreach organization dedicated to bringing artists and scientists together to foster sustained and informed support for animal conservation. Melissa holds a BA in International Studies from Stonehill College and a Master’s degree in Global Education from The Ohio State University. She considers herself an avid adventurer who loves to learn about new cultures and places, a strong advocate for animal rights, and a collaborative bridge-builder. She speaks Spanish fluently and has studied French, Irish Gaelic and Portuguese.

John Lucas, Forum Board member and Chair of the Executive Search Committee, is confident in this selection: “Melissa’s experience in the field of education abroad is both broad and deep. She brings a keen intellect, proven experience designing and building successful education abroad programs, and an ability to forge institutional relationships across cultures. Melissa’s experience and background speaks exactly to the kinds of experience and creative ideas the Forum membership told us they were looking for in the survey and during the interview process.”

Melissa states: “I am deeply honored to be selected by the Board to be the next President and CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad. I look forward to working with the membership and staff to ignite innovation, expand and diversify member institutions, and advance The Forum’s long and distinguished history of providing quality assurance for education abroad for all students.”

Melissa will officially join The Forum as President and CEO in early January. Please join us in welcoming and congratulating her on this appointment!