Meet our Team Natalie Smith Director of Operations & Partnerships Seldom few things are truly important to me; of those I hold dearest there are more obvious ones such as family and friends, a good coffee first thing in the morning, Detroit teams (GO BLUE!) and waking up before the alarm goes off. Once I’m fully caffeinated my mission is to influence the future leaders of tomorrow. Though WLSA I hope to make empathy, sustainability and cultural understanding mainstream in all facets of education, and that those students from the most privileged to the most at risk find their own unique voice. Karen Schweigler Business Assistant She brings strong administrative experience for organizing events as well as working on projects assisting with coordination, administration and finance. She thinks pro-actively, is internationally oriented and speaks Dutch and English fluently. Karen is also the mother of two grown children and in her spare time enjoys playing tennis or taking long hikes through Holland’s forests or along the seashore. Cristina Rosu Marketing & Communications Coordinator I was born in Romania, raised in Toronto and recently moved to Amsterdam after a three year stint in Michigan. I have a BA in International Development Studies and a law degree, both of which influenced my decision to pursue international non-profit work. I'm very happy to help WLSA facilitate increased interconnectedness in the world of East to West education, and to make a tangible difference in the lives of so many students. Myrle de Swart Events & Programmes Coordinator Since graduating with a degree in Chinese Studies at Leiden University and Beijing Language and Culture University, I have worked in different education related non-profit organizations. I love to see how students can grow from out-of-the-classroom experiences! At WLSA Foundation I can combine my passion for China with my experience in organizing and administration. When I’m not at work, I spend my time cooking, travelling and visiting concerts. Jessica Rangel Marketing & Events Assistant My journey has taken me all over the world, from Colorado to West Virginia to Italy and Ireland. Most recently, following the completion of my Masters Degree at the University of Colorado, I moved to the Netherlands to begin a new journey. My studies centered around intercultural communication, with an emphasis on internationalization in higher education. Through my position at WLSA, I am able to use communication to combine my never-ending curiosity for exploring cultures around the world with my devotion for furthering international education. I revel in strolling through new cities, tasting local dishes and having a dialogue with those I meet along the way.