Kate Simpson

President Academic Travel Abroad


Kate, daughter of an American diplomat, spent most of her youth in France, where she was born. Fluent in French, Kate settled on a more “exotic” language in college, where she fell in love with Mandarin and all things Chinese. Kate has lived and studied in Australia, Algeria, Ireland and Taiwan. Kate graduated from Yale with a degree in East Asian Studies and pursued a post-graduate fellowship in Chinese Literature at Taiwan National University before settling in Washington, D.C.

After stints in public relations and working on the Hill for Senator Harry Reid, Kate began her career at Academic Travel Abroad, Inc (ATA) in 1988 as the China Program Manager and is now a proud owner of the business, along with her partners, Chase Poffenberger and Mark Lenhart. In 2008, Kate completed a three-year executive education program for owners and presidents at Harvard Business School. Kate serves on a Leadership committee for the NTA (National Tourism Association) and is a one of the founders and board member emerita of the Fund For Education Abroad.