Global Exchange is a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic, and environmentsl justice around the world.

Derek Poppert

Derek Poppert

Derek Poppert is the Director of Latin America and World Reality Tours at Global Exchange. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and Europe, spending time in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica, and the majority of Western Europe. He found a particular affinity for the country and people of Brazil, and lived in Rio de Janeiro for four months during 2013. Prior to joining Global Exchange, Derek played professional baseball in the Seattle Mariners minor league system. He walked away from his professional baseball career in order to travel and pursue a career in international affairs. Derek has a B.A. in International Studies from the University of San Francisco with a double minor in Latin American Studies and Psychology, graduating Magna Cum Laude.

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Andrea Hightower

Andrea Hightower

Andrea “Drea” Hightower Cuba Reality Tours, Media Relations Andrea “Drea” Hightower, is a native of Tempe, Arizona who joined the Global Exchange family in 2007. Before becoming the Cuba Program Coordinator, she was acting Media Relations Director and Volunteer Coordinator. Drea’s role at Global Exchange includes doing guest lectures at local colleges in areas of Globalization, Human Rights & Latin America. Drea graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American Studies and International Studies with an emphasis in Global Politics, a minor in history and a certificate in Public Service. Upon graduation she was awarded the University Life Award for Outstanding Student Leadership and the Inspiration and Community Empowerment Award from the Latin@ Recognition Committee. Drea is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. Outside of Global Exchange, Drea is an active member of the Bay Area Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) and has now begun to do Palestinian solidarity work. She has also dedicated time to the Food Justice movement in Oakland, California. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the United Nations Association of San Francisco and Co-chaired their Young Professionals sub-committee. For fun, Drea enjoys hiking, bike riding, black and white photography and especially backpack travel. Some of her travels have taken her to Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and most recently Palestine.

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Rebekah Olstad

Rebekah Olstad

Rebekah Olstad is the Cuba Custom Reality Tours Director at Global Exchange. Originally from the Boulder, Colorado area, Rebekah has worked in experiential education as an outdoor and international trip leader. She has lived in Cuba as a student researcher, and completed a senior thesis examining issues of isolation, connection, and travel/emigration in post-revolutionary Cuba. Rebekah is pleased to be coordinating intelligent and respectful trips to Cuba for Global Exchange.

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Admin

Admin

When you see the blog author "Admin" listed who (or what) do you picture? In case you're wondering, Admin refers to our communications team. Usually blog posts written by "Admin" mean that the post was a group effort, a collaboration, if you will. Consider the mystery solved! And if you'd like to contact the elusive Admin bloggers, email communications(at)globalexchange.org.

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Tex Dworkin

Tex Dworkin

Tex runs Do Good Biz, providing content and marketing support to socially responsible businesses and organizations. Tex Dworkin previously served as the Director of Social Media for Global Exchange and before that, Tex was the Global Exchange Online Fair Trade Store Manager. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Thought and Political Economy from UMass in Amherst, and over 20 years of communications and marketing experience. Tex has traveled to many parts of the world on direct buying trips, delegations, and educational speaking tours, meeting with artisans and students, vendors and producers. Tex is passionate about helping and encouraging those involved in socially responsible business to achieve success. Her work in Fair Trade, e-commerce, and cause-based marketing continues to inspire her to work on expanding the socially responsible business movement. She can be reached at tex at dogoodbiz dot com.

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Kirsten Moller

Kirsten Moller

Kirsten Moller transitioned out of her role as Executive Director of Global Exchange on Oct 1, 2011 and is now enthusiastically embracing her new job as the Director of Organizing. In this new role she works with campaigners to engage members across the country. She is most inspired by the direct actions of ordinary folks who come to believe, to know, that they can make a difference when they connect directly with their neighbors in their own communities and around the world. She believes whole-heartedly that we all can resist injustice, envision alternatives and take action together.

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Corina Nolet

Corina Nolet

Corina Nolet is a Seattle, Washington native who began her journey at Global Exchange in 2007. She is currently the Latin America Program Director for Reality Tours where she organizes public education delegations throughout the Americas. Underscoring issues of human rights and social justice, Corina manages programs in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. In her downtime, Corina enjoys road trips to the Redwoods, cooking vegetarian food, gardening and playing in the sun.

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Malia Everette

Malia Everette

From 1997-2012, Malía Everette was the Director of Global Exchange's popular and rapidly expanding Reality Tours program. During her tenure at Reality Tours she has overseen the growth and development of alternative travel programs, study seminars and fact finding human rights delegations to over 45 global destinations. From the US, to Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe and the Caribbean, Malía promotes in-depth experiential education and socially responsible travel as an alternative to the type of "sun and fun" tourism that often results in cultural homogenization and does little to benefit local communities and host economies. She has years of experience pioneering cultural and educational exchanges for other organizations, foundations, educational institutions, and families. Malía believes in the power of travel as a transformative tool for education and social change and sees how travelers have become citizen diplomats. Malía facilitates tours around the world focusing on international relations, human rights, political economy, sustainable development, women's issues and the resilience of indigenous cultures. Malía Everette has a Bachelors of Art in English Literature and a Masters of Arts in International Relations. She has written numerous articles about socially responsible travel and is a regular speaker and lecturer. Most recently she was a contributor to the The Blue Pages: A Directory of Companies Rated by Their Politics and Practices (2010) and the UNWTO’s “Religious Tourism in Asia and the Pacific” (2011). Malía is involved with many local environmental and human rights groups in the San Francisco Bay Area. She serves on the boards of the Institute of Agriculture and Food Policy (Food First), the Ethical Traveler, THRIVE-Gulu, the Respect Institute and Bay Area Green Tours. Over the past few years she has spent a lot of time supporting and building transformational advocacy delegations with organizations like the Women’s Earth Alliance and anti-human trafficking groups, like Not For Sale, ECPAT and MISSSEY. Malía also works as a consultant for established and emerging tourism companies. In 2013 joined the staff of SFSU in their Tourism and Recreation Management faculty and launched her next project Altruvistas, a business and foundation to promote transformation philanthropy in the travel industry. Perhaps most importantly, Malía is the proud mother of two intrepid, curious and very well traveled sons.

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Leslie Balog

Leslie Balog

Leslie Balog has lived the past 20 years in Cuba and worked at the island's international radio station. She has been arranging Cuba tours for Global Exchange since l993. She has also worked in the San Francisco Bay Area as an immigration and tenant's rights attorney.

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Carleen Pickard

Carleen Pickard

Carleen Pickard is the Managing Director of Global Exchange. From 2005-2010 she worked as Regional Organizer and Director of Organizing at the Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest advocacy organization, promoting and protecting public services, fair trade and climate justice. She holds a MA in Anthropology and Development from the University of Sussex, UK, and has worked in social justice organizations in London, UK, Chiapas, Mexico, Vancouver BC and Ottawa ON prior to moving to San Francisco in 2010.

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Carol Steele

Carol Steele

Carol Steele used to be the Global Exchange Director of Cuba Customized Reality Tours, until her 2012 departure. Carol is a world-renowned percussionist whose résumé reads like a who’s who of popular music. In 1974 she was brought to New York from her native San Francisco as a featured artist in Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría’s band. She then went on to play with master tres player Nelson González and his band during the 1970s salsa boom. Landing a gig in Las Vegas with Diana Ross in 1978, Carol began her career in popular music. Over the last 30 years, artists ranging from Peter Gabriel to Steve Winwood, Joan Baez, Annie Lenox, Vanessa Williams, Tears for Fears, Dar Williams, and Bette Midler, to name only a few, have continually sought Carol out for tours and recordings. In 1987, Carol made her first trip to Cuba, a journey that she will always say changed her life completely. Over the past 23 years she has continued going to Cuba to study and play as often as possible. Carol was the first American woman to play with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s most venerable professional folkloric groups. She has also had the honor of playing and singing on tour in the U.S. with Lázaro Ros and Amelia Pedroso, two of Cuba’s top Afro-Cuban folkloric singers. Carol’s love of Cuban music and culture has been a great advantage in playing popular music. Her studies and gigs playing with Cuban and Cuban-influenced artists have provided her with a treasure trove of rhythms to draw on; the genius and “flavor” of Cuban music infuse many of her recordings and live performances. Carol is currently working on a One Woman Show, entitled “My Daughter, the Bongo Beater”, to share her many escapades with the rest of the world!

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Pamela Montanaro

Pamela Montanaro

Pamela Montanaro, M.S., coordinated the nation-wide "Freedom to Travel to Cuba" Campaign for six years, on behalf of Global Exchange and a network of fifty other U.S. civil liberties, human rights, humanitarian, academic, environmental, and solidarity organizations. Ms. Montanaro has twenty years of experience in Latin America solidarity movements, working first in New England for Clergy and Laity Concerned, and then on the West Coast for Global Exchange. She is the co-founder of Eco Cuba Exchange, promoting interchange between U.S. and Cuban environmental scientists, policy makers and activists. Pamela writes about the extraordinary struggles and successes of Cuba's environmental scientists in Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development and how U.S. environmentalists can support and learn from them. She posts updates, as well, on the issue of travel to Cuba, the only country in the world to which the majority of U.S. citizens are denied their constitutional right to travel.

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Alessandro I.

Alessandro I.

Alessandro is the Reality Tours Director

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Zarah Patriana

Zarah Patriana

Zarah Patriana has worked as the Operations Manager of the Global Exchange Fair Trade Online Store and currently works as Global Exchange's Web Content Manager. She has been a Fair Trade advocate for several years and in the past has written about Fair Trade for Change.org and the Fair Trade Resource Network. On occasion, you can spot her around town dressed up as a Fair Trade Certified banana, you know, just because.

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