Global Citizens Network


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I took each of my two granddaughters on a trip when they turned 13, as a rite of passage. It was tremendously bonding for us. It deepened our love and our relationship, but it also sensitized the girls to different cultures and helped them gain an understanding and empathy for others.

- Anonymous

 Alain L. Thiry is the President and CEO of GCN-ISE 

Contact Alain -     612-436-8291

The GCN and ISE Boards of Directors released the following statement upon naming Alain as the President and CEO of Global Citizens Network and Intercultural Student Experiences: “We are extremely excited about our new leader. We believe that he offers our organizations new possibilities for visibility, leadership and growth. Alain brings outstanding leadership qualities and extensive professional experience in the nonprofit and for-profit worlds. In addition, he brings a deep, personal commitment to the missions of our organizations, his life having been significantly affected by the same types of programs that we offer.”  

Thiry’s passion for cross cultural education, international travel and the notion of “giving back” was reignited in 2009, when he was selected as President and CEO of Up With People—the organization where he first traveled as a foreign exchange student. He spent the next five years bringing the company back to financial health by creating new product offerings, securing academic accreditation for the UWP study abroad program, and re-engaging the alumni base through increased financial donations, event sponsorship and student recruitment. He drove organizational growth and stability by rebuilding management teams in the USA, Asia, Mexico and Europe. These accomplishments led to five consecutive years of positive financial results. Please click here for Alain's full biography.


Judith Dorin is the Spanish Language and Cultural Events Manager

Contact Judith -  612-436-8279

Judith was born in Lima, Peru and studied Linguistics at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, where she completed research and her master’s on the native languages of the Peruvian Amazon region.  She has published several papers about the Urarina Language, and her thesis was the Phonological description of this language.  Her direct work with these native communities proved to be very enriching to her professional and personal growth. 

In 1990, Judith moved to the U.S. to attend the University of Minnesota and obtained her master’s degree in Hispanic Linguistics.  Since then, she has taught Spanish for more than 15 years at different institutions including the University of Minnesota, University Language Center, the International School of Minnetonka, Spanish Institute and, most recently as adjunct professor at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.  She also worked as CFO for several years for a software development company.  

Grace Janssen is the International Programs Manager

Contact Grace -  612-436-8273

Grace recently returned home to Minnesota from her Peace Corps experience in Paraguay. There, she served as an Environmental Conservation volunteer in a Japanese-Paraguayan colony. She established a local high school youth group that focuses on finding creative solutions to environmental issues, started school gardens and tree nurseries, and helped educators incorporate educational practices in their classrooms. Before the Peace Corps, she worked as a Wilderness Trip Leader at Camp Birch Trail for girls, where she got to canoe the Boundary Waters and hike Isle Royale. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies and did a study abroad program in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala where she was able to volunteer with local NGOs. In her free time she enjoys: reading, mountain biking, running, gardening, drinking mate and terere, cooking new vegetarian dishes, and practicing yoga. She is excited to be working for GCN because their programs align with her values and her passion for global community development. 


Theresa Heath is the International Education Partnership Manager

Contact Theresa -  612-436-8274

Theresa earned her BA in History and Spanish from the University of St. Thomas, where she first experienced studying and volunteering abroad. While there, she studied for a semester in Spain, four weeks in Egypt, and volunteered for a month near Lake Atlitlan in Guatemala. Following her graduation, she moved to Guatemala where she volunteered with a non-profit organization for two years, working as an intermediary for communication and information between the offices and program sites in U.S. and Guatemala. After returning to the U.S., Theresa worked in educational outreach with the Minnesota Historical Society in Minneapolis and St. Paul public school districts and as a Spanish medical interpreter.

Theresa studied international education and intercultural communication with an emphasis in social justice at the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont, earning her MA in International Education. As part of the program, she completed her practicum on the U.S./Mexico border working in immigration education; coordinating a semester away program for university students and short-term experiential-based programs from universities and other institutions. In her most recent position at the Carlson School, Theresa worked with Global Executive MBA programs in Guangzhou, China and Vienna, Austria, where she worked closely with faculty, students and staff from around the world. She is a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and taught an on-line course designed for Carlson students studying abroad to critically reflect on their experiences and ultimately develop intercultural competence and other leadership skills.

Theresa is excited to join Global Citizens Network in creating intentional, cross-cultural experiences for both community members and participants. She believes strongly in the impact these experiences and relationships can have in creating lasting and positive change in both individuals returning to their home communities as well as in the communities where they visit.


Laura Johansson is a coordinator of Team Leader Development & Native American Partnerships

Contact Laura -  612-436-8293

Over the last 25 years, Laura Johansson has helped organizations and communities realize their strategic visions in the U.S. and abroad. Currently, Laura is a facilitation, training and organizational development consultant specializing in strategic thinking, effective engagement and change initiatives.

In addition to traveling extensively, Laura has lived abroad over the span of nine years in Venezuela, England, the Dominican Republic and Chile. She has worked independently and participated in programs ranging from Fulbright, CIEE, AFS and Peace Corps. Her cross-cultural and sustainable development work includes serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, training Peace Corps Volunteers, and doing leadership training and capacity-building work with Latino and Somali families in Minnesota. She is fluent in Spanish.

Laura also has extensive leadership experience. She has served as executive director of two multicultural non-profits in Minneapolis and has been a member of the board of directors of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Laura has done leadership and facilitation training in Spanish and English. She is knowledgeable in the areas of education, early education and organizational and community development. Currently, she enjoys coaching, leadership development and capacity building with clients to help them realize their goals.

Laura holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, and has a Master of Science degree in organization development from American University. She is a Certified Technology of Participation Facilitator (CTF) and a qualified trainer through the Institute of Cultural Affairs.