Jan Kieling currently serves as a member and officer of the Board of Trustees for the Institute for Study Abroad. She joined the IFSA Board in 2011. She also is on the Board of Directors for the Mindspring Foundation which develops sustainable education platforms for children in under-resourced communities throughout the world. Mindspring’s education projects encourage communities to succeed at reconciling their way of life with the natural and cultural heritage of their region. In 2013, Jan spent two weeks in Bhutan to observe Foundation projects.
Jan grew up in a military family, always fascinated by foreign languages and people from other cultures. At 16, she spent a summer at Durham University which sold her on the idea of a year of study abroad in college. She spent her junior year at the University of Padua in Italy and returned to Berkeley to graduate with a degree in Journalism.
Jan has worked in international education since 1974. Her career began as the student adviser in the Office of International Education at the University of California, Berkeley. As programs, student enrollments, and staff expanded, Jan was promoted to Assistant Director and then Administrative Director of Berkeley Programs for Study Abroad. She retired from Berkeley after 35 years of service in 2009. She was honored as the recipient of the NAFSA Education Abroad Leadership Award at the annual conference in Los Angeles in 2009. She stays connected to the field through her service on the IFSA Board, and attends the Forum, NAFSA, and CIEE annual conferences.
Throughout her career, Jan has been a vocal and effective advocate for increased access to education abroad opportunities for under-represented students. At Berkeley, she assisted in raising and then managing over $500,000 in grants and scholarship funds from alumni donors, and then coordinated financial aid awards for students with the Office of Financial Aid. Jan’s advocacy helped change UC policy to allow full funding for study abroad programs for financial aid recipients.
Jan has been active in the NAFSA Rainbow SIG since its creation in 1993, serving as Co-Chair and remains on the SIG Advisory Board. She takes a special interest in the Rainbow Scholarships managed by FEA, as a donor and most recently, established her own FEA summer scholarships for LGBTQ Rainbow scholars. Jan has served for several years on the FEA Scholar Gala host committee, and is currently chair of the Board’s Development and Marketing Committee and is on the Executive Committee. She carries the message of FEA’s mission wherever she goes and is always looking for opportunities to inform and engage with new supporters.