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International Institute Alumni Career Panel: Life After UCLA

Hear about the diverse career paths of International Institute alumni

Monday, November 16, 2020
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

This event is organized by Academic Programs.

As part of International Education Week at UCLA, we will be presenting the 2020 International Institute Alumni Career Panel to which you are cordially invited to attend!

  • Hear from International Institute alumni who are established professionals - in international organizations, non-profits, finance, and more - about their career paths and current positions.
  • Learn how to successfully leverage a UCLA education - academics, internships, travel study, etc. - to pursue diverse career paths.
  •  Network with Institute alumni who are willing to share information about their professional journeys and guide future alumni, i.e., YOU!

The speaker line-up will include:

Stasi Baranoff
Director of Global Operations and Sourcing, Uncommon Cacao
Global Studies Major, 2009

Stasi is the Director of Global Operations and Sourcing at Uncommon Cacao, focused on sourcing high-quality, fully transparent cacao from supply partners and ensuring social and economic impact in our supply chain. Before Uncommon, Stasi was the Program Director for Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importer’s NGO in Rwanda, helping to build women’s coffee cooperatives, processing centers, and an international market for high quality, women-produced, Rwandan coffee. She holds a BA in Global Studies and an MA in International Development, and has been working overseas in international development for the better part of the past 10 years, in microfinance, women’s economic opportunities, coffee, and cacao. 

Rachel Gandin Mark
Program Director, American Film Showcase & Director of International Programs, USC School of Cinematic Arts
International Development Studies Major, 2000

achel Gandin Mark is Director of International Programs at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she oversees two U.S. State Department grant programs. She is the Program Director of the American Film Showcase (AFS), the largest arts exchange program of the American government, and the Co-Principal Investigator of the Middle East Media Initiative, an innovative diplomacy program training TV writers and producers from across the Arab World.

Previously, Rachel was the sole producer of Disney’s first Arabic-language feature, The United, released internationally in 2013, served for many years as Creative Consultant for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab in Jordan, and founded the Arab Film Festival in Los Angeles. Rachel regularly speaks on film and TV diplomacy, including at the Paley Center for Media, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the International Documentary Association, and Comic-Con. She received an M.A. in Arabic from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, a B.A. in International Development from UCLA, and lived in Cairo, Egypt for many years. She is a Truman National Security Fellow. 

Brenda Herrera
President/CEO, The Herrera Agency
Latin American Studies Major, 2001

Brenda Herrera began her entertainment industry career at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) where she assisted with the production of the 2000 GRAMMY Awards, coordinated talent for the inaugural Latin GRAMMY Awards, and was instrumental in developing the Latin GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 2001. As Latin Heat Entertainment’s Marketing Director, she produced a variety of special events including film screenings, workshops and panels with leading Latino entertainment figures, and popular music festivals.

As an experienced film publicist, Herrera has successfully executed campaigns resulting in increased opening weekend box office attendance. Her most notable campaigns include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Men in Black 3, Puss in Boots, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Wall*E, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. 

In 2016, The Los Angeles Times named Herrera as a Top 100 diversity candidate for membership into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her influence as one of Hollywood’s leading publicists and strong cultural connection were cited as reasons for making this one-of-a-kind list. Herrera is a voting member of The Television Academy, a Board Member of the Hispanic Public Relations Association and the Latino Heritage Foundation, and an Advisory Board Member of Farmworker Justice. 

Sofia Van Cleve
Senior Analyst, Blue Garnet
International Development Studies Major, Global Health Minor, 2017

Growing up internationally, Sofia developed a passion for cross-cultural learning and social change early on. This led her to study International Development Studies and Global Health. At UCLA, she was actively involved in TEACH (public health mentoring to under-served kids in West LA), Cru, and Bridges International. She also did internships in Washington D.C., at the Corporate Council on Africa, and in rural Ecuador, helping a farmer's coop develop a business plan for sustainable coffee growth.

Since graduating in Dec. 2017, Sofia has been working at Blue Garnet, a social impact consulting firm based in LA. Blue Garnet partners with social change organizations to help them define, measure, and tell their impact story. They work along the intersection of strategy and evaluation, partnering with organizations ranging from local nonprofits to family foundations to global automobile companies. She has now been with the company for almost 3 years, currently as a Senior Analyst.

This event will be offered via Zoom. Register to attend here.

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