Cultural Vistas Announces Leadership Change, Launches Search for President and CEO

Linda Boughton has been named Acting President and CEO, will serve as top official until successor is appointed

NEW YORK – After more than 20 years with Cultural Vistas and a predecessor organization, President and CEO Rob Fenstermacher has shared with the Board of Directors his intention to step down at the end of this year to pursue new career directions.

During Fenstermacher’s tenure, Cultural Vistas experienced significant growth in its international exchange programs, now collectively serving close to 6,000 people a year from the United States and more than 135 countries. Headquartered in New York City, Cultural Vistas recently opened new offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Germany.

Karl Geercken, Cultural Vistas Board Chair, said, “While Rob has chosen to pursue new opportunities and is eager to spend more time with his family, he will be greatly missed by the staff, Board, and partners alike. The Board of Directors is grateful for his leadership throughout this period of growth and for his commitment and passion to advancing Cultural Vistas into the leading exchange organization of its kind in the United States.”

In reflecting on his tenure, Fenstermacher said, “I am extremely proud of Cultural Vistas and grateful to the many talented individuals—past and present—that I have had the good fortune to work with. Our programs empower individuals and communities to work collaboratively in order to address global challenges. I am privileged to have been a part of an incredibly talented, passionate and committed group of people who are dedicated to changing the world, one person, and one exchange at a time.”

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Linda Boughton, Chief Operating Officer, will serve as Cultural Vistas’ Acting President and CEO until a successor is appointed. A seasoned executive and former exchange student herself, Boughton has played an important role guiding Cultural Vistas, overseeing the day-to-day management and operations and providing direct oversight of multiple operational departments.

Geercken added, “Together with the rest of our strong executive team, Linda will continue to be a tremendous asset as Cultural Vistas works to expand its impact on citizen diplomacy and cross-cultural understanding through a diverse portfolio of people-to-people professional exchanges. Linda is a strategic and mission-focused professional of the highest caliber and the Board is particularly grateful for her leadership during this transition and beyond.”

Cultural Vistas will commence a national search for a new President and CEO immediately and looks forward to filling the position in early 2017. Please visit the organization’s leadership and staff page for more information in coming weeks.

Finally, the Board of Directors would like to share its deep appreciation for the dedicated and innovative team of professionals who are Cultural Vistas. We are proud champions of their work and know that they—together with many longstanding partners worldwide—best exhibit the organization’s enduring mission to enrich minds, advance global skills, build careers, and connect lives through international exchange.

Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. It develops international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Every year, Cultural Vistas’ 30-plus unique exchange programs empower thousands of individuals and organizations in the United States and more than 135 countries to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society.