Thank you to our panelists and moderator Martin Austermuhle of WAMU for the excellent discussion on Economic and Workforce Development Impacts of Expanding Language Immersion in DC.

Sincere thanks to Goethe Institute for hosting us and to our panelists whose bios are below.


Panelists’ Bios

Libia Gil

President Obama named Dr. Libia Gil assistant deputy secretary and director of the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) on September 9, 2013. She is the principal adviser to Secretary Arne Duncan on all matters related to the education of English learners, now estimated to be about 10 percent of the total k–12 enrollment nationwide. Gil began her career as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District where she served as a bilingual-ESL coordinator, as a desegregation officer designing bilingual (Spanish, Korean and Chinese) magnet programs for voluntary desegregation efforts and finally as an elementary school principal implementing a Portuguese bilingual maintenance program.

Saikou Diallo

Dr. Diallo is the Associate Director for the Office of Labor Market Research and Information at the Department of Employment Services (DOES). Prior to joining DOES, he held several positions within the federal governments overseas: Policy and Data Analyst for the Department of Health Canada, Economist and Research Analyst for the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Social Researcher for the Ottawa Social Planning Council, Statistician for the National Bureau of Statistics of Guinea.

Bill Rivers

Dr. Rivers is the Executive Director of the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS). He has 20 years of experience in culture and language for economic development and national security, with expertise in research, assessment, program evaluation, and policy development and advocacy. He chairs ASTM Technical Committee F43, Language Services and Products and the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 232, Training in the Informal Sector.

Sylvia Stanfield

Ambassador Sylvia Stanfield is the President of Black Professionals in International Affairs (BPIA) and Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Ambassador Sylvia Gaye Stanfield was a career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service. In the course of her long diplomatic career, she assumed many high positions where she served both at home and abroad. Among her many years of services abroad, Ambassador Stanfield was the first African-American woman to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Brunei from September 1999 to September 2002. A native of Texas, Ambassador Stanfield earned a B.A. degree in Intercultural Studies from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio. As an East West Center grantee, she received an M.A. degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii and continued her studies at the University of Hong Kong School of Oriental Studies and Linguistics.

Sonia Zamborsky

Sonia Zamborsky is the Director of Product Field Support & Communications, where she helps optimize Marriott’s global eCommerce channels across a diverse portfolio of international products. She provides operations leadership for an extended team at HQ and around the globe. Sonia’s latest focus has been creating and refining a global operating model that examines the components of people, process, and technology to maximize product ROI.

Lynn Fulton-Archer

Lynn Fulton-Archer is a language educator with 20 years of experience in classrooms from Kindergarten through grades 16+.  She is passionate about giving students early language learning experiences and has spent more than half her career focused on helping schools and districts create such opportunities for all early learners.  Lynn is currently the Education Specialist for World Language Immersion at the Delaware Department of Education where she is working to coordinate and oversee implementation of a statewide network of Immersion Programs in Chinese and Spanish.  She has been active locally, regionally and nationally as a session presenter at numerous conferences, as a consultant for school districts, and as a member of the board of various language organizations, including the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.  She continues to work with administrators, teachers, students on a daily basis to create engaging learning opportunities that will lead students to high levels of proficiency.

Mary Levy

Mary Levy has studied DC public education for over 30 years. She has consulted in recent years for the DC Council, the DC CCFO, and public charter school organizations. As the director of the Public Education Reform Project at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs, she played a major role in developing the District of Columbia’s public school funding system. Since 1980 she has analyzed DC Public School staffing, budget and expenditures, and monitored the progress of education reform for parent advocacy and school reform organizations. She is a major source for fiscal, statistical and general information on DCPS for the media, government officials and non-profit, business and civic groups.

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