zhaoXiao Yin Zhao
Executive Director

Xiao Yin joined WAC in October 2010 as the Visitor Program Manager. Prior to joining the WAC, Xiao Yin focused her work on corporate social responsibility issues, first as a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School for Public and International Affairs, and later as a corporate compliance analyst and consultant at Jones Apparel Group. Her studies and work experience has taken her to China and Hong Kong numerous times, working with professionals engaged in managing and monitoring social compliance in factories along the supply chain, as well as exploring ways for companies to be responsible corporate citizens. Having studied and worked on global issues throughout her academic and professional life, Xiao Yin strongly believes in the soft power of international cultural exchange and its transformative effect on those engaged in it.

Xiao Yin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College, Columbia University.

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Laura Duncan
Visitor Program Manager

Laura Duncan re-joined WAC in July 2017. She had previously interned with WAC with the International Visitor Program and later served as the Program and Communications Coordinator from 2014-2015 when she departed for a position in Los Angeles with the University of California.

Most recently Laura was the Assistant Director at Beaded Treasures Project and maintains a passion for being part of the international non-profit community in Louisville. She has wide-ranging experiences working across cultural barriers, from refugees to international diplomats, through her work with UCLA, Beaded Treasures Project, New Americans Initiative and WAC. Laura truly believes that WAC is positioned at the center of Louisville’s international community and is the at the forefront of our region’s identity abroad.

Laura holds a B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Political Science from Indiana University Southeast.

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Ayako Nakajima
Japan Outreach Coordinator

Ayako Nakajima is the Japan Outreach Coordinator based at the World Affairs Council. Ayako is from Fukui, Japan, and have worked previously as a cultural representative for Walt Disney World in Florida. She hopes to increase interest in Japan and her primary work will involve programs and workshop on Japanese culture, such as pop culture, business manners and Origami. (Click here to download a brochure of interactive workshops and presentations offered).

The Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI : http://www.laurasian.org/joi) aims to promote awareness and understanding of Japan in regions of the United States with relatively few Japanese activities. Its goal is to provide opportunities for exchange and also nurture new leaders in collaboration. This program is jointly administered by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) and the Laurasian Institution (TLI).

Bachelor of Art, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Kyoto

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Samantha Risen
Global Education Program VISTA

Samantha Risen joined WAC in August of 2018 as the Global Education Program VISTA. Prior to joining the WAC she interned with Inspire Kentucky and the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. She was a 2017 Summer of Defiance Fellow in conjunction with Planned Parenthood, Grassroots Voter Outreach, and Change Corps. She currently serves as the Director on the Big Leadership Team of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.

Diplomacy, advocacy, and youth issues are her biggest professional passions and she believes WAC and the Global Education Programs are at the vanguard of educating the next generation of global leaders.
Samantha hold a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Relations from Indiana University Southeast.

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Meagan Shaver

Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

Meagan joined WAC in January 2019 as the marketing and communications coordinator. Prior to WAC she worked for Raycom Media and Gannett in advertising and marketing. She hopes to increase the awareness about WAC by engaging the community with the services that are offered.

Meagan believes in helping others and wants to make a huge impact in her community.

Meagan holds a masters in Digital Media from Bellarmine University.

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Lydia Lewis 

Events Coordinator 

Lydia joined WAC in February 2019 as the program and events coordinator. She has previously worked at Louisville Grows, the Sierra Club, Engineering World Health, and the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky where she assisted and developed communications, development, and volunteer programs. She is excited to continue this work at the World Affairs Council.

Lydia is passionate about building community, strengthening international connections, and learning from different cultures. Her international background includes extensive travel and studies in England (Oxford University), Scotland (University of St Andrews), and most recently in Switzerland for her master’s degree.

Lydia holds a B.A. in History and International Relations from Sweet Briar College (Virginia) graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 2015. She completed her MA in International Development with a concentration in sustainability in spring 2017 from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

Contact Lydia