Meet the Vice President of Travel

Shoshana Altrichter

Vice President of Travel

ext. 209 | saltrichter@wacphila.org

Shoshana has been with the travel department at the World Affairs Council for over sixteen years. Prior to joining the Council, she worked for the Jewish Federation in Philadelphia. Shoshana received her B.S. from Drexel University in Film & Video production with a minor in Political Science. She worked in the local film industry for a few years, before shifting her focus to the non-profit sector. Shoshana has traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East and has led many tours for the organization.

Japan: Land of Cultural Treasures, March 17 - 29, 2022 led by:

Liz Brailsford

Liz Brailsford is President & CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, joining the office from the World Affairs Councils of America, the umbrella organization in Washington, DC, where she served as chief operating officer. Liz’s career has crossed all sectors: nonprofit, private, and public. Her love of all things international began after undergrad during her years in the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Program, a Japanese government program that places native English-speaking teachers in public schools across the country. Following Liz’s time in Japan, she led the international department at Relocation Today, a global mobility firm, where she headed operations, business development, client relations, and staff management of the department. After Relocation Today, she served as a consultant to Panagora, a DC-based implementing partner of USAID, and the USDA’s Food for Progress Program, responsible for communications at the former and research and analysis at the latter. Liz currently serves as an international task force member of the Dallas Regional Chamber and an advisory committee member of the U.S. Global Leadership Commission of the Southwest region. In the past, Liz served on the boards of multiple Japan-related nonprofits, such as the Japan America Society of Minnesota, the JET Alumni Association of Minnesota, and the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee. Liz is currently a member of the Women's Foreign Policy Group, the UN Association of the U.S., League of Women Voters, the DC JET Alumni Association, and a sustaining member of the U.S. JET Alumni Association. She holds an M.P.A. in global policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School and a B.A. in media arts from the University of South Carolina.

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Circumnavigating Iceland, July 24 - August 1, led by:

Jim Falk

Jim Falk, retired in March 2021 as president of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth; he is now its president emeritus. Currently, he is serving as interim Executive Director of the Santa Fe Council on International Relations. Jim’s interest in travel and global affairs grew from his years spent in Tunisia where he attended a French lycée. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and earned his MA in Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia with a focus on international law and Middle East politics. He has been especially eager to visit Iceland, given the dramatic impact of climate change and the country’s important geostrategic position. He has led numerous WAC-Philadelphia trips including Tunisia, Morocco, and Mediterranean and European river cruises.

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Adriatic and Aegean Odyssey, September 22 - 30, 2022 led by:

Mimi Gregory

Mimi Gregory has been actively involved in international affairs for the better part of 35 years. Her affiliation with the World Affairs Councils began in Boston where she served as an active member of the Program Committee and served as its Vice-President. Since living in Naples she has been involved with the Naples Council on World Affairs, served as President for three years and continues as Program Chairman. She was appointed and remains Vice-President. Mimi was also appointed to the National Board of the World Affairs Councils of America, and was elected to serve on the Executive Committee. Mimi has been twice decorated by the French Government, most recently as “Commander of the National Order of Merit” in 2012, by decree of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Mimi has traveled extensively in Europe, has participated in Council Leadership Missions to Germany, Lebanon, Kuwait, Israel, Egypt, Taiwan and Iraq. She has also traveled to Afghanistan and Iran. Mimi has led two Council trips to France, three to the Danube and a trip to Iran.

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Paradores & Pousadas, May 9-23, 2022, led by:

Matthew Hughes

Matthew Hughes joined the International Relations Council in Kansas City as executive director in July 2016. A K-12 teacher for six years and fluent in Spanish, he has worked with students ranging from age 4 through adult learners. Matthew worked for three years with People to People International, supporting the development of international understanding in schools and communities around the world. He has served as board member and committee chair for a variety of organizations, including the World Affairs Councils of America, the Sister Cities Association of Kansas City, and the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City. Matthew relishes the chance to travel – six of seven continents and 49 of 50 U.S. states so far – and has experience living internationally, including in South America and on the U.S.-Mexico border. Matthew holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts degree in Global & International Studies from the University of Kansas.

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Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords, June 3 - 10, 2022, led by:

Lise Kristiansen

Lise Kristiansen is the President & CEO of the Alaska World Affairs Council. She was born and raised in Alaska and holds a degree in Economics and Accounting from Claremont McKenna College. She worked as a CPA in Seattle, Washington and Zurich, Switzerland. She then helped establish a Financial Analyst Group for the Energy Division of a major oil company in Oslo, Norway. As a dual Norwegian and US Citizen, her interest in world cultures has taken her to many exciting places, including her return to Anchorage, Alaska where she is the Royal Norwegian Honorary Consul for Alaska. Lise is a member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Athena Society and was named one of Anchorage’s Top 40 Under 40. With close ties to the local community, she was recently appointed as the Honorary Commander of the F-22 fighter unit, known as the Dicemen. Lise has a passion for sports, music (including playing the piano), and has participated in 6 Ironman Triathlons.

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Swiss Alps & the Italian Lakes, July 6 - 16, 2022 led by:

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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The South Caucasus, September 11 - 22 led by:

Norm Olsen

Norm Olsen is a former Senior United States Foreign Service Officer. He served for 26 years. His professional skills and experience include negotiations, contact work, team-building and management, economic development, USAID project monitoring, peacekeeping, and award-winning political, economic and security analysis, in both benign and hostile environments. He has served in Europe, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, and the Middle East, where he served for nine years in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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Legends of the Nile, Feb 15-26, 2022, led by:

Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan is the volunteer President and founder of the Tennessee World Affairs Council. Following a Navy career, he ran an editorial consulting firm specializing in global affairs newsletters, web sites and social media. At age 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served a 26-year career, assigned first in the Persian Gulf followed by assignments in the Submarine Service where he attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Patrick completed a BA degree at the University of South Carolina, in 1981, majoring in International Studies followed by commissioning in the Navy. He served aboard numerous ships, headquarter staffs and overseas assignments before retiring in 1998 as a Lieutenant Commander. Among his assignments were the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, the Center for Naval Analyses, and US Central Command headquarters. He has lived and worked in Bahrain, Italy and Japan and has traveled to about 50 countries for work and leisure.

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Discovering Eastern Europe, June 28 - July 13, 2022 led by:

Dr. Carla Thorson

Dr. Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President, Programs at World Affairs in Northern California, leads program design and management, including over 100 global policy forums each year, the global philanthropy forum and an education program for high school and college students. Prior to joining World Affairs, Dr. Thorson taught political science at UCLA and worked for the UCLA International Institute's Center for European and Eurasian Studies. As a consultant at the RAND Corporation and analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Inc. she focused on democratization processes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics, and while working at IREX, she helped establish one of the first US nonprofit offices in Moscow in 1989-90. Thorson got her PhD in political science at UCLA, an MLitt at the University of Oxford and a BA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a world traveler, Dr. Thorson enjoys sharing her experiences with World Affairs members and has led several Council tours, including Cuba, Russia and Central Asia. She has also lectured on cruises to the Baltics, Antarctica and Iceland, and most recently on our 2019 trip to Tanzania.

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Enchanting Ireland, July 31 - August 12, 2022 led by:

Dr. Pamela Zeiser

Dr. Pamela A. Zeiser is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno, and both a Masters degree in International Studies and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Zeiser teaches courses on International Relations and Europe, generally, with special interests in foreign policy and the European Union. Dr. Zeiser has lectured for previous World Affairs Council programs in Europe, including two previous programs in Germany and the Czech Republic, and has led student study abroad groups to Central Europe. She is a member of the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville, where she volunteers as liaison between the Council and the University of North Florida.

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