Alumni Network


The Cultural Vistas Alumni Network encourages alumni from across our programs to connect and engage in a truly global community. With over 150,000 members and counting representing more than 130 different countries, our past program participants truly span the world and an impressive variety of fields.

We’re committed to fostering a robust alumni network by providing a central hub to support alumni in leveraging their exchange experiences throughout their careers.

We look forward to getting to know you and the positive change your experience has brought to your life, your career, and your community.

Annual Alumni Awards

Established in 2018, the Cultural Vistas Alumni Awards are designated annually in two categories: Distinguished Alumni Leadership and Alumni Impact. These are the highest honors bestowed on our alumni community. Alumni awardees are given the opportunity to help shape the future of alumni programming and are showcased during our annual awards ceremony.

Learn more about our annual awards

Cultural Vistas Alumni Council

The Cultural Vistas Alumni Council is made up of a dedicated group of nine experienced and established alumni ambassadors who understand the critical importance of exchanging ideas and collaborating across national boundaries in today’s global workplace. The 2020-21 group represents five different Cultural Vistas-managed exchanges and spans four decades of U.S. and international programming. Read more about their vital role in guiding our Alumni Network

  • Mariana Martinez headshotMariana C. Martinez, Co-Chair

    Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange, 2017

    Mariana is the newly named Director of Civic Engagement Initiatives for the Michigan Nonprofit Association where she works on statewide initiatives such as the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission initiative amongst others. She previously served the office of Detroit Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López as the Chief of Staff. She has held roles at the Kresge Foundation, Global Ties Detroit, and the International Institute of Metro Detroit.

    A native of Mexico City and immigrant to the United States, Mariana is passionate about working for issues related to equity, social justice, and diversity. She currently serves as an executive board member at Global Ties Detroit. Mariana holds a Master’s degree in public administration/non-profit management from Oakland University and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Connecticut State University.

  • Ricardo Vanella headshotRicardo Vanella, Co-Chair

    International Visitor Leadership Program, 2010

    Ricardo is a strategic international consultant with more than 30 years of expertise in advising global corporations, institutions, and NGOs on business development, marketing, communications, and international engagement. He is an experienced speaker, speechwriter, author, producer and presenter.

    He is a member of The SPECTRUM Group which has supported diverse projects funded by the United Nations, European Union, U.S. Department of Commerce, USAID, and the Inter-American Development Bank. In addition to his consulting work, Ricardo serves on the boards and in the executive leadership of several professional member organizations in Argentina and worldwide. Among other distinctions, the Italian government awarded him Knight of the Star Order.

    Ricardo has a degree in Law from the National University of Cordoba (Argentina), obtained an MBA at Bocconi University in Milan (Italy), as well as specialized in International Business at The American University of Paris (France). He is a graduate of the Strategy and Defense Policy Program at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense University.

  • Liudmila Batista headshotLuidmila Batista

    Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, 2019-19

    Liudmila is a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of International Affairs. Prior to that she completed the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship in Germany with Transparency International. Previously she was an Associate at Montagut & Sobral, PC and a legal policy intern at the National Immigration Forum.

    Liudmila has a Master’s of Law in International and Comparative Law from The George Washington University School of Law and a J.D. from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, as well as a B.S in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville.

  • Cordell Carter, II headshotCordell Carter, II

    Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, 2007-08

    Cordell brings 20 years of experience as Executive Director of the Socrates Program at the Aspen Institute, a global leadership development forum for emerging leaders and with Expectant Advisory, a privately-held leadership consultancy. He has held previous leadership roles with the TechTown Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Business Roundtable, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the IBM Corporation.

    Cordell regularly consults organizations on leadership development, executive education and curating innovation communities. He is a member of several advisory councils and boards and speaks regularly at conferences, leads workshops, and moderates panels around the world. Cordell holds a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School, an M.Sc. in Public Policy and Management Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington.

  • Paul Coraggio headshotPaul Coraggio

    Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, 2013-14

    Paul is an Urban Forester with Casey Trees where he works to restore and protect the tree canopy of our nation’s capital. He has extensive experience in sustainability management and environmental education. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and is certified on sustainability reporting standards through the Global Reporting Initiative.

    Paul earned his M.Sc. in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management (SUFONAMA), a project of the European Union’s Erasmus+ program, at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Germany. He holds a B.A. in International Business from Ramapo College where he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship and the Pillars Award for student leadership.

  • Nancy Mancilla headshotNancy Mancilla

    Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, 1999-2000

    Nancy is CEO of ISOS Group where she has orchestrated 300+ Certified Trainings, co-taught MBA programs, regularly serves as a conference speaker and on industry roundtables and has led numerous micro-economic development projects related to biodiversity, agronomics and renewable energy. Her work has earned her a position in the 2016 Leadership California cohort and the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern California Sustainable Business Council.

    Nancy earned her B.A. in International Relations with a Minor in Environmental Studies from the U.S. International University in San Diego, California. She also holds a M.A. in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam, as well as an inaugural M.P.S. from the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas where she dedicated her work to issues of sustainability.

  • Bruce Marsh HeadshotBruce Marsh

    Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, 1995-96

    Bruce is Director of Corporate Public Policy with Deutsche Post DHL, a leading global logistics and delivery provider operating in 221+ countries. He has held previous management positions with the USPS Global Business Group and Office of Inspector General as well as served in various staff positions with the U.S. Congress.

    Bruce has leveraged his experience and language skills to launch a career at the crossroads of business and policy. He remains a strong ambassador for exchanges whether advocating for sustained and increased federal funding, to meeting with newly-arriving German students in the U.S. and helping American students prepare for their year abroad, or participating in selection interviews. He was the inaugural recipient of the Cultural Vistas Alumni Impact Award in 2018.

    Bruce holds an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. from Wake Forest University.

  • Sam Schatz headshotSam Schatz

    Alfa Fellowship Program, 2011-12

    Sam is Managing Director + Global Head of Farm Development for AeroFarms. The company operates the world’s largest vertical farm in Newark, NJ. Sam leads strategy and execution of the company’s expansion to new markets in addition to other strategic initiatives. Sam is also an Advisor to the St. Louis based-AgTech accelerator The Yield Lab and Founder and Managing Partner of Painter Hill Venture Partners, a New York-based VC.

    Previous experience includes Berlin based Wermuth Asset Management where he advised on investments into privately-held clean technology companies and London-based Active Earth Investments where he led investment into listed mining and mid-cap industrial companies with a focus on environmental stewardship and socially responsible business practices.

    Sam received his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics where he was the President and Founder of the Graduate Management Society and a B.S. from Columbia University where he served on the Student Advisory Board to the Columbia University Earth Institute.

    Learn more about Sam on our blog

  • John Schmitz headshotThe Honorable John P. Schmitz

    Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, 1984-85

    For 25 years, John has been the go-to political problem solver for leading U.S. companies facing legal and regulatory challenges in Berlin and Brussels. He has represented U.S. and European companies on complex cross-border transactions in politically sensitive sectors including media, energy and technology.

    John is fluent in German and has received several American and German awards, including the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit, First Class, from the Federal Republic of Germany, Deutsches Bundesverdienstkreuz, First Class. He was named Bosch Alumni of the Year in 2011.

    John is a graduate of Stanford Law School, he has an M.S. in Economics from the California Institute of Technology and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Georgetown University.

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