Board Members

Dr. Kristina Bendikas



Dr. Bendikas is a recently retired academic with over two decades of experience as a teacher and administrator in post-secondary education. After completing her education in Canada and the United States, she taught for twelve years at Eastern Connecticut State University, Bay Path University, and the State University of New York at Albany. In 2010, she joined the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), serving first as Associate Dean for Assessment and Planning and later as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. While at MCLA she led the office of Institutional Research and Planning, Chaired the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and served on numerous academic committees. In 2016, she returned to the State University of New York (SUNY) System as an Assistant Provost of Academic Programs and Planning, where she managed a portfolio of twenty-two campuses, including community and technical colleges, and a doctoral center. Dr. Bendikas was a Teagle Assessment Scholar from 2011-2018 and in 2018 completed the SUNY Strategic Academic Innovative Leadership (SAIL) program on academic leadership.  She continues to teach workshops on leadership for the SUNY System. She holds a Ph.D. in Drama and an M.S. in Higher Education Administration and Policy

Robin McLay



Robin is a leading expert in the field of higher education working with many of the world’s leading universities, think tanks, and scholarship granting foundations. Robin currently serves as the Chair of the Fulbright Canada Advisory Board and Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of Fulbright, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious scholarship and research granting organizations with more than 160 offices in 52 countries.

Prior to Robin’s current roles, he was leading the Province of British Columbia’s work on social Innovation as it’s Executive Director of Social Innovation.  Prior to that role, he served as the Head of Research and Strategy at The MasterCard Foundation – a private foundation with assets of more than USD 25B that supports some of the world’s leading universities through its University Scholars Program. Before joining the MasterCard Foundation, Robin was the Executive Director of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development. He also worked for more than a decade at Canada’s International Development Agency as its Director of Research and Director of Democratic Institutions and Conflict. Before his work at CIDA, he served as the Executive Director of Harvard University’s Native American Program. He has held senior-level positions with the Federal Government and also served as the Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the APEC 97 Organizing Committee overseeing the relationship with key trading partners. Robin also headed up the Government of Canada’s School of Public Service’s Pacific and Yukon Regional Office and directed the Canada School’s International Partnership Program.

Robin is a Founding Member of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Leadership Council, Senior Associate with the MIT-Tufts University Lean Research Initiative, Research Affiliate with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Senior Advisor to the Boston based Consensus Building Institute (a Cambridge, MA-based non-profit that is affiliated to the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program), Advisory Board member for McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development, Chair of the US-Canada Fulbright Foundation’s Advisory Board and Board Director of the Fulbright Alumni Association, Board Director for the Walrus Foundation and member of the National Advisory Council for the Walrus Magazine, and Board Director for the Washington DC-based SEEP Financial Inclusion network that includes more than 100 organization members from more than 150 countries. Robin has also worked as a mentor and advisor to President Obama inspired Mandela Scholars program and volunteers to support global think tanks through his affiliation as a Senior Advisor to the Partnership for Economic Policy, a think tank that supports researchers in the global south. He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Africa Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), one of Africa’s leading policy research think tanks based in Accra Ghana, and Washington DC.

Robin pursued his Masters in public administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Fulbright Scholar and as a Government of Canada SSHRC Science Policy Scholar. He also holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics where he graduated with Distinction. Robin earned his undergraduate degree in IR from McGill University where he graduated at the top of his class with High Distinction and as a McGill University Scholar.

John P. Ryan

KStG, C.GES, C.GIS, ICD.D, C.Dir, A.S.C., A.C.C. H.R.C.C.C.



John has enjoyed a diversified career that includes International experience as Corporate Director, Senior Manager, Public Servant, and Entrepreneur.

John served as the Chair and the  CEO of the Regulator of Canadian Immigration Consultants, served as an Instructor with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants e-Academy, and now serves as the CEO of the Institute of Global Specialists.

As a public servant, John has had the privilege of serving Canada as Senior Immigration Officer, Customs Inspector, and a Commissioned Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Imran Qayyum




Imran has been a practicing immigration consultant for over 26 years and specializes in family, skilled worker, and business class immigration. He has been a strong advocate for the promotion and enhancement of the Immigration Consulting profession. He participates regularly in consultative meetings with Citizenship and Immigration Canada on matters involving immigration policy and operational procedures and has been invited on several occasions to appear as a witness in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) to give testimony on issues pertaining to Canada’s immigration system being examined by the Committee. In addition, Imran contributes regularly on immigration matters for Canadian media.

Throughout his career, Imran has been closely involved with the progression of Canada’s Immigration Consulting profession and firmly believes that in order to provide competent service, all immigration professionals must undergo a formal education program of immigration studies in order to gain the core competencies needed to understand Canada’s complex immigration laws and policies. Imran currently serves on a number of not-for-profit boards where he’s actively involved. He also holds all of Canada’s professional designations in Corporate Governance.

Shaun-Teka Joyner



Shaun‐Teka Joyner has over 15 years’ experience assisting students with getting into and paying for the college of their dreams, both as a nonprofit leader and education consultant. As a creative problem solver, Shaun‐Teka specializes in creating dynamic programming for “at‐promise” youth, developing scholarship programs and collegiate preparatory programs, improving nonprofit governance and accountability, program planning, development and innovation, and increasing student, volunteer, and donor engagement. She assists executive directors, colleges, school districts, non-profit organizations, and their boards, increasing their programs’ effectiveness.

Shaun‐Teka is the former Executive Director of the All Ways Up Foundation, a national organization dedicated to empowering individuals striving to improve their standard of living by bridging the gap between their ambition and their opportunity to achieve. During her tenure at All Ways Up, she created two nationally recognized programs, the Up Through Education Summit at UCLA, a dynamic five‐day, four‐night retreat designed to assist low‐income, first‐generation, and recently graduated high school seniors make a transition into and successfully complete college, and the Bridging the Gap Awards (BGA), a grant program that invests capital into smaller‐sized nonprofit organizations.

She is also the former Director of Connecting Communities to UCLA (CCU). CCU was a multi‐faceted program established in 2007 to connect community groups, faith‐based organizations, and local schools to UCLA. At CCU, she facilitated college access matriculation among underserved youth. After leaving, she continued to work with UCLA as an Undergraduate Admissions Reader, analyzing prospective college students’ qualifications by assessing their academic and personal achievements and submitting recommendations. Throughout her career, she has read and made recommendations for over 6,000 college applications. She now uses her wealth of insider’s knowledge to create programs that give youth the tools to overcome obstacles and view education, their circumstances, successes, and failures in a new light.

Shaun‐Teka is a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC) with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) with an emphasis on nonprofit management. In addition to her professional experiences, Shaun‐Teka is the author of Don’t Get Rejected: How to Get into the College of Your

Dreams, a comprehensive education guide that helps students in grades 6‐12 their parents understand what it takes to become a competitive college applicant. Her dedication toward ensuring the success of youth is infused into everything she does. Shaun‐ Teka will continue to work to ensure that all students are given an equal opportunity to excel in college and beyond.

Dr. Michael Hawes



Dr. Michael Hawes is a professor of political science, a tireless advocate of international education, and a proud alumnus of the Fulbright program. He is President and CEO of the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America.

He joined the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University in1985. During the 1999-2000 academic year Michael was the J. William Fulbright Distinguished Professor of International and Area Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. In the Spring of 2010, he was Visiting Research Chair and Professor at the Center for Public Diplomacy in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He has also held posts as a visiting scholar at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico in Mexico City, the Political Science Department at the University of British Columbia, the Swedish Institute for International Affairs in Stockholm, the department of International Political Economy at Tsukuba University in Japan, and the International University of Japan in Niigata Japan.

Michael holds a Ph.D. in political science from York University, an M.I.A. in international affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, and a B.A.H in economics and history from the University of Toronto. He has published widely on foreign policy, political culture, international economic relations, regional integration, and related subjects. He currently chairs the International Advisory Board of the Institute for Studies in International Development at McGill University, is an executive committee member of the Board of Directors at Canada World Youth, and a member of the Editorial Board at the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal.

His most recent books include 1968 in Canada: A Year and its Legacies, with Andrew Holman and Christopher Kirkey (University of Ottawa Press, 2021), Canadian Public Diplomacy, with Nicholas Cull (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2020), and Canadian Foreign Policy in a Unipolar World, with Christopher Kirkey (Oxford University Press, 2018).

In 2016 Professor Hawes was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) from the State University of New York. In 2019 Professor Hawes was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from Vancouver Island University.

Matt Clemons



Matt is an experienced higher education professional with over 25 years of experience in teaching, admissions, and enrollment management. He started his career by working for two years as an English teacher in Busan, South Korea. Upon his return to the U.S., Matt began his career in admissions and enrollment management. He has worked for five different universities in four different states: Oregon, California, New York, and Massachusetts. Most recently, he served as the Director of Admissions at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to working for Harvard, Matt was the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York City.

Matt’s career has focused on helping students explore their potential and connect to educational opportunities. He has worked in more than 30 different countries, visited hundreds of colleges and universities, and met with high-level government officials, business executives, and non-profit leaders.

In addition to his administrative duties, Matt has frequently been invited to speak at a variety of professional conferences focused on matters pertaining to admissions and financial aid and served in the role of chairperson for the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. He has also led seminars on management and professional development for college students and young professionals.

Board Contacts

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