IES Abroad is pleased to announce the appointment of our very own Gretchen Cook-Anderson to the position of Associate Vice President, Assistant to the President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism.
In this new role at IES Abroad, Gretchen will continue her valuable and highly successful leadership of IES Abroad’s underrepresented student recruitment efforts with the Diversity Relations team. She will bring her incredible skillset to this key leadership position and will continue to strengthen organization-wide efforts to increase diversity and inclusion.
“This new position is a natural progression of Gretchen’s valuable and highly effective leadership of IES Abroad’s underrepresented student recruitment efforts. Her leadership in the field has driven continued growth in both numbers and percentages of underrepresented students studying abroad on our programs,” remarked President and CEO, Dr. Gregory Hess. “This expanded role allows Gretchen to also serve in a key leadership position that further strengthens all of the organization’s work to increase diversity and inclusion—work that IES Abroad considers an inextricable part of our mission to educate successful and empathetic global leaders.”
An IES Abroad Nagoya alum, Gretchen joined IES Abroad in 2011 as the Director of Diversity Recruiting. She was then promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President, Diversity Recruiting and Advising. A self-described “evangelist for study and travel abroad,” Gretchen has developed a reputation as one of the study abroad field’s most respected voices in diversity and inclusion.
“I joined IES Abroad almost 10 years ago and it’s been wonderful to have the support from the leadership level down and across the organization,” says Gretchen, “Working with my IES Abroad colleagues from around the world and with our partners and friends within the study abroad field has been extremely rewarding. It has been invigorating to witness how genuinely the critical work of furthering diversity and inclusion has been embraced by IES Abroad and the field.”
An award-winning international education professional, Gretchen and her team have increased enrollment of ethnically diverse students by 151% since IES Abroad established the diversity initiative more than 10 years ago. In 2019-20, their efforts led to ethnically diverse students making up 27% of the IES Abroad student body just prior to the pandemic.
In addition to her work at IES Abroad, she is also well known in the study abroad field and within her local community. She hosts webinars, town halls, and trainings on topics such as achieving equity in virtual global learning, exploring the intersections of diverse identities abroad, and connecting students at Historically Black Colleges & Universities with tools and information for studying abroad.
We heartily congratulate Gretchen on her new role and look forward to her continued leadership at IES Abroad.
To learn more about Gretchen and the work of IES Abroad's Diversity Relations team, visit our Diversity Commitment page.