A.C.E. Senior Advisors

A.C.E. Senior Advisors provide consultancy services and advice on global markets in their regional areas of expertise. They advise the marketing team on agency relationships, group program proposals, international conferences, and other areas of interest to A.C.E.

Mark Cleland Senior Advisor, Middle East

Regional Expertise: Middle East

Mark has worked in international education and training since 1980 when he joined the US Peace Corps and served in Thailand. He moved to the UK for 2 years, and then to Mexico City where he acquired his TEFL Certificate and began his ESL career. Upon returning to the US in 1985 Mark taught ESL at WESL Institute, Western Illinois University, for 13 years, and earned his MBA at WIU. In 1997 he became the Center Director at ELS Language Centers in Houston. In 2005 he became an ELS District Director and supervised 13 Centers throughout the US. Mark was instrumental in building the relationship between IELTS and ELS. In 2010 Mark moved to the UAE where he worked in a start-up ESL program, and then as the Test Center Manager for IDP IELTS Middle East. He oversaw the expansion of IDP’s Middle East test center network from 1 to 12 centers, including personally opening the centers in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat. After four years he left to become a consultant based in Dubai, and has since been instrumental in developing training programs for IDP ME, for the Sharjah Education Council, and the Dubai Police Academy. In addition, he regularly conducts seminars and training programs in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman on a variety of business and education topics.

Thomas Goetsch Senior Advisor, Central Asia

Regional Expertise: Kazakhstan, Central Asia

Tom is co-founder and president of E2 Educational Services. Over the past 37 years he has lived and worked in Japan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan catalyzing and developing educational programs and for-profit as well as not-for-profit businesses. He has a BA in ESL and English from the University of Northern Iowa and an MA in Intercultural Communication from Wheaton College. From 1994-1996, he positions at both the A.C.E. Japan summer institutes and Korean business programs. In 1997, Tom was part of a group invited by Kazakhstan's Minister of Education to help universities develop American business and law education. In 1999, E2 was formed as a collaborative partnership to develop leaders renewing nations. E2 graduates are already leading renewal in Kazakhstan's business, education, and government sectors.

Dr. William Harshbarger Senior Advisor, ESOL Program Design

Dr. William Harshbarger has taught in and directed English language programs for over 40 years. He has an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from the School for International Training, (SIT) and a Ph. D. in Intercultural Communication from Penn State University. Dr. Harshbarger has directed programs at the University of Washington, Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, and International Christian University (ICU) in Japan. He has also lived and worked in England, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and India. Dr. Harshbarger is a past president of the Washington state TESOL affiliate (WAESOL), as well as past president of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) in which capacity he helped establish the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). He is a recipient of the ATESL Certificate for Dedication and Service from NAFSA Association of International Educators. Dr. Harshbarger has taught graduate courses for the University of Washington and International Christian University, including courses on language teaching methodology, second language acquisition, intercultural communication, writing for researchers, and language program administration.

Howard Kwon Senior Advisor, Korea

Regional Expertise: Korea

Howard graduated from Meijigakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, with his BA degree and from California State University, Fullerton with his MS degree. Since then, he has served as teacher, administrator and school board member for ABC Unified School District in Cerritos, California, before joining A.C.E. Howard has been instrumental in organizing study programs with the Ministry of Education in the Kyung Ki Province and with groups of nursing and nutrition students. Click here for Howard's agent page.

Samuel M. Shepherd Senior Advisor, Japan

Regional Expertise: Japan

Sam Shepherd has returned to Associates in Cultural Exchange as Senior Advisor. From 2004-2009, he was President of the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS) and based in Washington, DC. From 1994 to early 2004 Shepherd was Executive Director/CEO of the Tokyo-based Japan- United States Educational Commission (Fulbright Japan). Prior to assuming this position, Shepherd was Senior Vice President of Associates in Cultural Exchange. In June of 2004, the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, & Technology awarded Shepherd a Commendation of Merit for his contributions to international education. In November 2010, the Japanese Government announced that His Majesty the Emperor of Japan had decorated Shepherd with The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in recognition of his "contribution to strengthening of the relations between Japan and the United States through educational exchanges and internationalization of education in Japan." To date, Shepherd has spent over 30 years in Japan including 15 of his first 19 years.

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