Thea Richard

Program Officer @ Meridian

Thea Richard is the Project Director for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellowship Program in Meridian’s GlobalConnect Division. This White House Initiative will bring 250 young social and business entrepreneurs from Latin American and the Caribbean to the U.S. Prior to this position, she worked as Deputy Project Director of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) for Pakistan at IREX, an international non-profit organization. For over a decade, she worked at the Graduate School USA's International Institute, where she managed the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), including developing and implementing professional exchange programs, ensuring budget and grant compliance, and leading multiple program teams.

Additionally, Ms. Richard worked on professional exchanges at Phelps Stokes, taught English and Spanish with Berlitz, focused on alumni engagement at the Fulbright Association, and interned at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. In 2007, she participated in the U.S.-Spain Young Leaders Program—a one-week trip to Madrid and Barcelona to discuss Spain's political, economic, social and cultural situation. She participated in the 2015 Mujeres de HACE cohort, a women’s leadership program. Ms. Richard earned an MA in International Affairs from American University and a BA in both Government and Spanish from The College of William and Mary. For 19 years she lived in Puerto de Santa María, Spain. She speaks Spanish fluently and French proficiently; and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia, and has begun exploring Africa and Latin America. She serves on the Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors.