Patrick joins VIA after managing international partner relationships for several years at a U.S.-based cultural exchange organization. Prior to moving to San Francisco he taught English in Hunan Province, China. Previously, he's worked for the International Crisis Group, U.S. Department of State, and the Peace Corps. Patrick received his BA and MA degrees in International Affairs from American University's School of International Service and has lived in or visited over forty countries. Patrick is based in San Francisco.
Brooke worked as a Bay Area journalist for nearly 10 years before joining VIA in 2009 as a volunteer in Western China's Qinghai Province. After three years teaching and working with local NGOs there, she has returned to the Bay Area to join VIA's staff. She is also the founder of Plateau Learning Projects, an organization dedicated to funding educational projects on the Qinghai Plateau.
After studying U.S.-China relations at Stanford, Cliff served as a VIA volunteer, first teaching in a Taiwanese community center for industrial workers and then in a Beijing university. This experience inspired him to contribute 17 years as a staff member of VIA’s Asia Programs, Stanford Programs, and as the Executive Director. He returns as our Executive Director after nine years in Chicago working in nonprofit organizations and completing his MS in management and organizational behavior.
Dwight, while serving as Stanford’s Dean of Freshmen Men, took 23 Stanford students to Hong Kong volunteer assignments in the summer of 1963. That experience led to the formation of Volunteers in Asia (now VIA). He served as VIA’s president during its first forty years, a period which saw the organization expand its volunteer work and, beginning in 1977, offer short-term, focused study programs bringing Asian students to the United States. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between California and Asia. In addition to remaining an advisor to VIA, Dwight leads two Learning Across Borders study programs for Asian students each year: a February program from Japan to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and a September program from Japan and Taiwan to Burma (Myanmar).
Born in the Netherlands to a Dutch father and American mother that trace themselves ethnically to eight nationalities combined, Kent’s first language was Dutch, and by the time he was four, had circumnavigated the globe three times. Not hanging up his passport after his fourth birthday, when he graduated from Thunderbird with an MBA in international management, he had circled the globe five more times, lived in seven countries, visited over 30, learned to speak English and Spanish fluently and has a solid understanding of exactly how difficult speaking Japanese can be. Kent has over 20 years in the private sector in disparate areas that include international and domestic small business and operations management, technology & web development, international trade, and six years consulting in multi-national financial and reporting systems design and development for both the for and non-profit sectors. Kent brings to VIA an enthusiasm for cross-cultural communication and development, a solid skill set in business, financial and operations management, combined with a strong desire to make the international non-profit realm his new home.
Wesley is originally from Westerville, Ohio. He graduated from Tulane University in 2006, after being involved extensively in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. He has spent the last five years in Southeast Asia working in rural development and education. Wesley was a VIA volunteer from 2008 to 2010 in Myanmar and Cambodia. He speaks Vietnamese, Khmer, and Spanish. He is also the founder and director of the Sarus Exchange Program, the first volunteer exchange program for Cambodian and Vietnamese students. Wesley is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Kazutoh was a participant in the 1991 American Language & Culture (ALC) program and also in the 1992 Southeast Asia program, which greatly broadened his perspective on various issues in the United States and Asia. As Senior Stanford Programs Director at VIA, he specializes in cross-cultural and foreign language education. He received his Phd degree in East Asian Languages & Literatures (Japanese pedagogy) from the University of Hawai'i. His personal interests include watching movies, hiking and traveling. In addition to his fondness of Asia, he loved traveling to Tanzania and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Natalie graduated from Stanford in 2010 with a B.A. in International Relations. She has been a part of the VIA China program for the past two years, first as a Dr. C.J. Huang Fellow in Hunan and then as a translator and teacher in Nanjing. In the future, she would like to go to graduate school to pursue a masters in International Relations and hopes to continue working in China. She enjoys listening to music, speaking Chinese, and writing songs in her free time. Natalie is based in Nanjing, China.
David earned his degree in Sociology from Washington State University, before finding his home in Burma, where he has resided for the past three years. Since 2010, David has assisted numerous NGOs, businesses, and embassies in the placement of foreign staff in Myanmar; coordinating official registration, private and public transportation and housing issues with local agencies and beneficiaries. Previously, David created diversified ESL programs and curriculum and taught adults and children in a variety of environments; including International Schools in Yangon, rehabilitation centers for women in Bangkok, and government programs for low income groups in Israel. David is based in Yangon, Myanmar.
Izzy was a 2009-2010 VIA volunteer in Yangon, Myanmar. Before joining VIA she was a Fulbright Fellow in Indonesia where she researched indigenous land tenure practices. Izzy has several years experience working with local and international NGOs in Myanmar, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Izzy has a B.A. in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College and recently completed her M.A. from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Izzy is an Indonesian speaker and frequently serves as an Indonesian-English translator/interpreter. Izzy is based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
After earning a BA in Human Biology at Stanford University and coordinating two VIA Exploring Health Care Programs, Jonathan Tran decided to take some time off before medical school to become a Director at VIA Programs. Also a Manager for Pacific Free Clinic and a research assistant in the Penn neonatology lab, Jonathan looks forward to developing a successful Medical Exchange and Discovery program.
Yi brings to VIA a passion for cultural exchange and social innovation which she is excited to combine as the director for the Stanford social entrepreneurship programs. Her interest in social entrepreneurship was sparked while volunteering in West Africa and solidified while organizing the MIT International Development Design Summit that brought participants from 20+ countries. After obtaining her B.A. from Wellesley College, Yi worked briefly with a China-focused social enterprise and helped develop the "Design for Social Entrepreneurship" curriculum at the Rhode Island School of Design. She moved to the Bay Area as a Resident in Social Enterprise with New Sector Alliance and most recently worked on partnership development for Upwardly Global, helping immigrant professionals rebuild their careers in the U.S.