After 10 years as a Forum employee and many more years of service to the organization, Natalie A. Mello will be retiring from her role as Vice President for Programs, Training and Services on Friday, July 31.
“This past year has provided valuable lessons to me. After 10 years of a very satisfying tenure at The Forum, I have decided to retire from The Forum at the end of July.
Our field is a generous one, and I have reaped the benefits while working within it. I believe that I have had the opportunity to contribute to the field through my work at The Forum, but none of that would have been possible without you, my colleagues. While I am retiring from working at The Forum, I have no intentions of leaving the field, so I still have hopes of our paths crossing again.”
I am optimistic about the future of The Forum and wish it only success as it enters this new phase of its development.”
In her ten years with this organization, Natalie’s contributions have been varied and extensive. From leading the development of our Standards of Good Practice to creating the Forum’s Professional Certification program and numerous workshops, Natalie’s impact on the field of education abroad is incalculable. In particular, her expertise has been instrumental in establishing The Forum as the leading authority on crisis management planning, and prioritizing the health and safety of students above all else.
“I am grateful to Natalie for her commitment to keeping The Forum on solid footing during the transition to a new CEO and also during the pandemic,” said Melissa Torres, President & CEO of The Forum. “She is leaving us in the best possible position from which to lead our members in the restructuring of the field and will be sorely missed. Please join me in thanking Natalie for her service and wish her well in her future adventures.”
Natalie joined The Forum in 2011 after serving as Director of Global Operations in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). She also served as an onsite advisor for WPI students as they completed degree-required projects in Venice, Italy; San José, Costa Rica; and Washington, DC.
She has been involved with national education abroad organizations for many years, particularly in risk management, and was widely recognized as developing a model for responsible risk management for off-campus experiences. Natalie previously served as the Chair of the Advisory Council for The Forum on Education Abroad and chaired The Forum’s 2008 Annual Conference as well as co-chaired its first stand-alone Standards of Good Practice Institute in 2011. She contributed to the 2005 edition on NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators.
She has also published and presented in the areas of engineering education, education abroad and educational outcomes assessment. Natalie was a member of the NAFSA Trainer Corp, was a mentor in the first NAFSA Academy and sat on the Interassociational Task Force on Health and Safety in Study Abroad. She holds a B.A. in Art from Connecticut College, a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language and a Master of Liberal Arts from Clark University.
Congratulations on your retirement, Natalie. You will be missed by many!