NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- World Education Services (WES), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals achieve their higher education and professional goals in the United States and Canada, today announced the appointment of new board leadership.

Hans de Wit, Director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, has been appointed chair of the WES board. De Wit takes the reins from departing board chair June Noronha, who contributed extraordinary time, effort, and vision to WES as a member and later as chair of the WES board.

“It’s an honor to chair the WES board and to have the opportunity to build on June’s strong legacy,” said de Wit. “I am especially excited to do so at a time when WES is expanding its focus on program and product innovations to help skilled immigrants, including refugees and other displaced persons, to obtain recognition for their academic achievements and to achieve their academic and professional goals.”

De Wit, who has a long record of service on the WES board, is an internationally renowned scholar actively involved in consulting on international education with global organizations, including the European Commission, UNESCO, the World Bank, and the European Parliament, among many others.

Joining him on the board’s leadership team as vice chair and secretary/treasurer, respectively, are Lynn Shotwell, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Outreach and Operations for the Society for Human Resource Management, and Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services.

“I am thrilled to have this new board leadership team taking the helm at this point in our organization’s history,” said Mariam Assefa, Executive Director of WES. “We have significantly expanded both the reach of our services and our mission-driven programming. Our new board leadership is perfectly composed to help move WES forward and continue to deliver innovative programs with great impact. I will always be profoundly grateful for the visionary leadership of our former board members who helped build and grow the organization to what it is today.”

World Education Services was founded in New York in 1974 as one of the first independent credential evaluation services in the United States. WES opened a Toronto office in 2000, and is now the top credential evaluation provider in the United States and Canada. Through the WES Global Talent Bridge program, the organization works with a range of non-profit and governmental partners to help ensure that skilled immigrants are able to fully integrate into the professional workforce in their communities of choice.

In the spring of 2018, WES began offering secure, shareable digital badges to help employers and others easily verify the academic qualifications of internationally educated applicants. In the fall, the organization launched the WES Gateway Program, to assess the academic credentials of eligible immigrants displaced by conflict, environmental disasters, and economic turmoil in their country of education. The program has already begun operating in Canada, and will launch in the United States in 2019.

Among other projects in 2019, the WES board will oversee the launch of a new USD$30 million philanthropic fund that will seek to find and support new ways of addressing an old problem: “brain waste” among skilled immigrants and refugees.

Also new to the WES board in 2019 are Shakti Jauhar, Senior Vice President of PepsiCo’s Global HR Operations and Shared Services, and Joanna Harries, Senior Vice President of expansion at Endeavor Global, a non-profit organization that accelerates the development of entrepreneurial businesses and networks in communities around the globe.

For more information, contact Ashley Craddock, Director of Strategic Communications, World Education Services T: 512.212.3998 E: acraddock@WES.org

About WES
WES is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping international students and professionals achieve their educational and professional goals in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1974, WES evaluates and advocates for the recognition of international education qualifications. For over 45 years, WES has set the standard of excellence in the field of international mobility with our credential evaluations, research and services, and ongoing support for international students and skilled immigrants. WES has provided credential evaluations to almost two million people worldwide. Our evaluations are widely recognized by more than 2,500 educational, business, and governmental institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada.