Classical Mediterranean Cruise: Malta, Sicily & Tunisia, MAY 7 - 15, 2024

Trina Medarev

Trina Medarev is the Executive Director & CEO of the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville. Under her direction, the Council has grown from a small organization sponsoring a modest speaker program, to reaching thousands of individuals every year through several acclaimed speaker series, educational programming, special events and an expanding network of young professionals. She has enjoyed serving on the nominating committee, as well as the planning committee for the annual World Affairs Councils of America National Conference in Washington, D.C. This gathering connects Council members throughout the U.S. with leading international policy-makers and experts. Engaged in the First Coast community, Trina is a 2021 Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence honoree and was named the 2020 International Individual of the Year by the JAXUSA Partnership for support of international business growth in the seven counties of Northeast Florida. With a passion for learning about the world and its people, Trina enjoyed leading the Israel: Land of Cultural Treasures Tour in March 2020 via the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia’s Travel the World flagship program, exploring the multicultural traditions of the Israeli people, the ruins of ancient civilizations and the natural beauty of a land steeped in history. A proud “Longhorn,” she earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea, JUL 22 - AUG 1, 2024

Derrick Olsen

Derrick Olsen is President of WorldOregon, and a former Foreign Service Officer. Derrick was the Vice President of Regional Strategy at the regional economic development nonprofit Greater Portland Inc (GPI) where he led the implementation of Greater Portland Global, the region’s Global Trade and Investment Plan developed as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint program of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. Previously, Derrick managed international trade and investment issues for over four years with Business Oregon (the Oregon Business Development Department). In 2013, Derrick participated in the U.S.-Spain Council Young Leaders Program. Derrick also has over 13 years of experience managing political and economic issues as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State in Latin America, Asia, and Washington, DC, with four overseas tours including as Chief of the U.S. Embassy’s Political Section in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Fluent in Spanish, he has a Bachelor of Arts in Government and History from Dartmouth College and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

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Tanzania Adventure, OCT 6 - 19, 2024

Patricia Preston

Patricia Preston is the President and CEO of the Vermont Council on World Affairs, Patricia has been at the forefront of promoting international cooperation and cultural exchange for over a decade. Having personally explored over 45 countries, Patricia brings a wealth of firsthand knowledge and an appreciation for different cultures and societies. Patricia has traveled to Tanzania on multiple occasions, having run a Changemakers Summit for young leaders in Dar es Salaam and working on curriculum development in a rural village near Lake Victoria. Tanzania feels like a second home to her. Patricia's travels have not only broadened her perspective but also equipped her with the ability to curate immersive experiences that capture the essence of each destination.

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Andalucía in a Parador, OCT 31 - NOV 8, 2024

Ambassador Heather Hodges

Ambassador Heather Hodges became the President and Ambassador in Residence of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs in November 2011 after 31 years in the Foreign Service. She lived in Spain many years before joining the Foreign Service. She studied in Madrid (M.A. from NYU), worked there, and traveled throughout the country. Assignments in the Foreign Service included Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru. Heather was able to return to Spain as consul general in Bilbao (1999-2001) and as deputy chief of mission at the embassy (2000-2003). The Government of Spain awarded her the Spanish decoration of "Isabel la Catolica – Encomienda de Numero" for her contributions to U.S.-Spanish relations. She was Ambassador to Moldova from 2003-2006 and was Ambassador to Ecuador from 2008 to 2011.

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