Cultural Vistas Alumni Council to Serve Vital Role in Building Worldwide Alumni Community

Cultural Vistas Alumni Council Graphic with Headshots of Each Member

Cultural Vistas Alumni Network Council

NEW YORK – Cultural Vistas, a nonprofit exchange organization with a vast network of 150,000-plus U.S. and international alumni representing over 130 countries, is pleased to announce its newly-expanded Alumni Council for 2020-2021.

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 group represents five different Cultural Vistas-managed exchanges and spans four decades of U.S. and international programming.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the ongoing support and commitment of these alumni,” said Cultural Vistas President and CEO Jennifer Clinton. “It takes a special type of individual to give back and volunteer their time and energy when our personal and professional lives have all been so disrupted, and everyone is working to navigate their new ‘normal’.

“Our need for community has not changed, however, the ways we experience it may forever be impacted. Together with this group, we have already begun exploring how we can most effectively support our newest alumni cohorts, those of disrupted programs. I couldn’t be any more excited to be working together with this dynamic and accomplished group as we advance our mission in new and purposeful ways that bring our alumni community together.

Cultural Vistas is pleased to welcome five new members to the Council this year in Liudmila Batista (Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, 2018-19), Paul Coraggio (CBYX, 2013-14), and Sam Schatz (Alfa Fellowship Program, 2011-12), as well as co-chairs Mariana C. Martinez (Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange, 2017) and Ricardo Vanella (IVLP, 2010).

“It is an honor to serve Cultural Vistas Alumni Council as the new co-chair for 2020,” said co-chair Mariana C. Martinez, who currently serves as Chief of Staff for Detroit City Council member Raquel Castañeda-López. “We are currently living in unprecedented times and this network of individuals is more important than ever to fostering global unity, collaboration and, most notably, support for one another. That is why it is crucial to highlight the importance of professional and cultural exchanges, experiences that help us share best practices and learn from each other. It is my honor to be able to contribute to this important cause.”

“A nonprofit like Cultural Vistas, which dedicates its best efforts to strengthen global collaboration and understanding plays a crucial role in the world,” said Ricardo Vanella, an Argentina-based strategic international consultant and fellow Council co-chair. “Exchange programs not only enhance person-to-person connections, but they have an impact on a wide range of people beyond the programs themselves.

“As an IVLP alumnus, I am a qualified witness to affirm that through international exchange, to a large extent, “the others” are no longer others, they are just ourselves. The pandemic and its multidimensional consequences have made this clearer than ever – we must come together. We look forward to helping do our part through the Council and fellow alumni around the world.”

Continuing their work with the body in 2020 are Bruce Marsh (CBYX, 1995-96), our inaugural Alumni Impact Award recipient, Cordell Carter II (Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, 2007-08), Nancy Mancilla (CBYX, 1999-00), and the Honorable John P. Schmitz (1984-85).

The Cultural Vistas Alumni Council was initiated in 2017 to strengthen the connections between the organization and its ever-growing American and international alumni communities, and to raise the visibility of the Cultural Vistas Alumni Network on a national and international scale.

The Council is an all-volunteer body with membership terms lasting for at least one year. Membership is reviewed on an annual basis, however, nominations and/or statements of interest from alumni are encouraged and reviewed on a rolling basis.

Learn more about the Cultural Vistas Alumni Network and the Council by visiting:

Meet Our 2020 Cultural Vistas Alumni Council

Liudmila Batista
Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice
Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program (2018-19)

Paul Coraggio
Casey Trees, Urban Forester
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (2013-14)

Cordell Carter, II 
The Aspen Institute, Executive Director, Socrates Program
Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program (2007-08)

Nancy Mancilla
ISOS Group, Co-Founder; President and Chief Executive Officer
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (1999-00)

Bruce Marsh
DP-DHL Americas, Director, Corporate Public Policy
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (1995-96)

Mariana C. Martinez | Co-Chair
Chief of Staff for Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López, Detroit District 6
Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange (2017)

Sam Schatz
AeroFarms, Managing Director, Corporate Development
Alfa Fellowship Program (2011-12)

John P. Schmitz
Managing Director, Prime Policy Group
Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program (1984-85)

Ricardo Vanella | Co-Chair
Strategic International Consultant
International Visitor Leadership Program (2010)