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AAIE’s New Executive Director

By Linda Duevel
AAIE’s New Executive Director

One of the outcomes announced at this year’s AAIE conference was the name of our new Executive Director, Yolanda Murphy Barrena. She was chosen following a search that attracted sixty-two candidates from throughout the international education constellation. The AAIE Board invited three finalist candidates to San Francisco for interviews and, following her unanimous selection by the Board, introduced Yolanda to the membership on the final day of the conference.
Yolanda is a U.S. citizen who now lives in Miami with her husband, a Spanish citizen. The previous seven years, she was an administrator at Frankfurt International School, and before that a building principal in several Minnesota schools. Yolanda’s academic background includes Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education and she is now a Doctoral candidate in Education.
She has particularly strong technology skills and has been a frequent presenter on that topic. As she wrote in her application, she has “a strong background in international leadership, community-building skills, creative marketing, online professional networking and a passion for teacher and leadership development.” She impressed the AAIE Board by convincing us that she could provide the “skill sets, optimism, and drive” that we were seeking.
One of her confidential references wrote the following: “Passionate, dedicated, extremely hard working, visionary, courageous, and connected are words people use to describe Yolanda and her leadership. She is a leader committed to building, expanding, and developing instructional and leadership excellence within the international school community… leading with optimism, respect and the belief that everyone benefits from challenge and strategic learning. She creates the common vision, structures, systems and financial conditions for success.”
The April 2015 edition of the AAIE InterEd publication will include more detailed information about Yolanda and she will share some initial ponderings in the Letter from the Director section on her hopes and dreams for the future AAIE.
The AAIE Board decided that Yolanda was exactly the right person to lead the organization into the next stage of its future. We are delighted that she has accepted our offer to join the AAIE community. She officially started in her new position on May 1st, but she has been working in advance of that date together with Everett McGlothlin, our Interim Executive Director. Everett, as many are aware, has done an outstanding job in his role as Interim Executive Director, stepping in during Elsa Lamb’s illness. We are grateful to Everett for his dedication to the organization and we continue to send our best wishes to Elsa as she bravely faces her extended medical treatment.

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