Message from The Forum’s President

Melissa Torres, Forum President/CEODear colleagues,

At the dawn of a new year and a new era for The Forum on Education Abroad, I am once again struck by the enormity of the work before us and the significant role of this organization. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and that is exactly what The Forum on Education Abroad was meant to do. In the same way that The Forum was founded—responding to a lack of national and international voices for outbound students from U.S. institutions—we must look for new ways to share our members’ challenges, discoveries, and strategies for expanding students’ worldviews.

I am excited to be able to contribute my own skills, experience and passion to this effort. Our success is dependent upon forging new partnerships within and beyond the education abroad community, energizing members around our strategic plan, and making sure that diverse voices are a robust part of every conversation and initiative. The Forum will be stronger, more efficient, and more impactful by partnering with complementary organizations, advocating for education abroad at all levels of education, government and the private sector, as well as with families and students from all backgrounds and academic disciplines. By expanding membership to the institutions that serve these students both within the U.S. and abroad and updating the Standards of Good Practice so that they remain current and relevant, we will build bridges and develop resources to benefit students no matter where their studies, careers, or life journeys take them.

Innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit are key attributes that The Forum’s Board, members and staff all share. We must continue to learn from and inspire each other, and also from colleagues outside our existing network, so that our impact is magnified and sustained. New technologies, evolving pedagogies and our interconnected world provide an unprecedented opportunity to expand our own relationships and knowledge so that we infuse our standards, programs, and learning objectives with the highest possible quality. I look forward to sharing this adventure/work with you!

Best regards,

Melissa Torres
President/CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad