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 of Events 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.

Contact Samantha