Who We Are

Our Team

Lisa Purdy, President and CEO - Contact Lisa

Ms. Purdy has worked at Council of International Programs USA (CIPUSA) since 1997.  Under her leadership, CIPUSA has grown to an organization with five affiliate offices around the country that creates professional training opportunities and programs for over 300 people annually from countries around the world.  Lisa has designed and managed programs funded by the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency of International Development, Congressional earmarks, World Learning and Soros/Open Society Institute, as well as those funded by private institutions and individual donors. She has cultivated and developed cooperative partnerships with universities, foundations and nongovernmental organizations from around the world. These partnerships have involved the creation of workforce development strategies, women’s leadership, criminal justice systems, schools of social welfare, children’s development services, small business development and most recently mediation through the arts. Lisa has traveled to over 20 countries and has extensive experience in working with Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkey and South Korea.

Kate Windle Cohen, Director of Programs - Contact Kate

Ms. Cohen joined CIPUSA in May 2006 as Director of Programs. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Marietta College and a M.A. in Community Counseling from John Carroll University. Her international experience includes working with people from all over the world. She has traveled extensively in the U.K., Israel, Turkey & Canada.  In addition to her responsibilities as an Alternate Responsible Officer for the U.S. Department of State’s J-1 Training and Intern Visa programs, Kate recently administered the Russian Peer-to-Peer Program with Volgograd State SocioPedagogical University and John Carroll University.

Melissa Zwick, Director of Program Development and External Affairs - Contact Melissa

Ms. Zwick joined CIPUSA in September 2012.  She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and English Literature from Franklin & Marshall College.  Melissa toured Ecuador on a four-month Culture and Development program, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia, and lived in China as a WorldTeach Volunteer for four years.  She currently administers all of CIPUSA’s Open World Programs, serves as an Alternate Responsible Officer for the U.S. Department of State's J-1 Training and Intern Visa programs, and manages the P3 Visa program.

Lindsey Walsh, Marketing Manager - Contact Lindsey

Ms. Walsh joined CIPUSA in June 2014.   She holds a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Florida.  She enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures.  As a student, she visited Spain, Southern France, and Italy with EF Educational Tours.  Lindsey currently works part-time managing all marketing efforts for CIPUSA.

Christine Maharg, Finance Manager - Contact Christine

Ms. Maharg has been with CIPUSA since January 2014.  She handles all accounts payable and receivable as well as compiles budget information for grant applications.

Linda Zwick, Administrative Assistant - Contact Linda

Ms. Zwick assists with U.S. Department of State compliance measures for CIPUSA's J-1 Training and Intern visa programs.

Libby Ellis, Development Specialist

Ms. Ellis has worked for CIPUSA for the past eight years.  Currently Ms. Ellis researches and develops grant programs for CIPUSA.  With over 30 years of experience in grant writing, monitoring, and evaluating grant programs, she brings a wealth of knowledge in program development and grants management to CIPUSA.  Ms. Ellis has worked for Oberlin College and various nonprofit organizations as a grant writer, planning specialist and fundraiser.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Ellis established her own 501(c)(3) providing housing for the homeless.

Paul B. Klein, CIPUSA Field Agent 

Mr. Klein serves as liaison between CIPUSA headquarters and host training sites in the western and southern United States, conducting site visits and ensuring the quality of our programs.  He has an extensive background as an international workforce development specialist.

Claudia Williams, United Nations NGO Representative 

Dr. Williams LCSW - R holds a PhD in International Education from New York University.  She is CIPUSA's NGO Representative for the United Nations Economic and Social Council.  She is an alumna of the CIF Exchange Program in Finland.

Parthener Pinder, M.D.,  New York Field Agent 

Dr. Pinder did most of her post-high school studies outside of the United States in Mexico and Nevis. Since such time, she has had the opportunity to experience the public health systems in Jamaica, Greece, and Guyana. Dr. Pinder earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from American International School of Medicine in 2017 and recently earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from New York Medical College in May 2018. Dr. Pinder serves as liaison between CIPUSA headquarters and host training sites in New York and New Jersey, conducting site visits and ensuring the quality of our programs.

Katie Burke, China Field Agent 

Ms. Burke earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Decision Information Sciences from the University of Florida and her international MBA from Purdue University (Hannover, Germany campus).  She has lived in or traveled to over 30 countries throughout Europe, East Asia, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East for work or volunteerism.


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