Sandra Barkan (Sandy) became a Program Officer at Meridian International Center in late January 2008. She had moved to Washington from Iowa City, Iowa where she was a university administrator and professor at the University of Iowa, and where she had been president of the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, a partner of the Iowa City CIV, as well as a member of CIVIC. At the time she left Iowa she was an Associate Dean of the UI Graduate College and a professor of comparative literature specializing in African literatures. Previously she was the Interim Director of the International Writing Program, and the Executive Director of the University of Iowa Honors Program. In addition to her experiences at Iowa, she has also taught at Middlebury College, the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the University of California at Irvine. She did her undergraduate work at Cornell University receiving an A.B. in French Literature; she received an M.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles in French, and a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in Comparative Literature. She also studied French language and literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, and African Studies at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Sandy has lived and worked in Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa), India, France and the UK.