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Mary M. Dwyer, Phd

Board Member 

Mary M. Dwyer, PhD, is president emerita of IES Abroad, one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most academically reputable not for profit study abroad program providers for U.S. and international college students.  For over 24 years she was president/CEO and oversaw the 260-member consortium of top tier colleges and universities.  IES has educated over 150,000 students in over 400 programs in more than 80 global cities, in 6 continents across 21 countries.

IES Abroad grew to an over $150 million operation at the rate of 14% annually compounded under Dr. Dwyer’s leadership.  She increased the annual distribution of financial aid from $200,000 per year to over $6 million per year.  She has been awarded numerous international and national awards for her leadership in diversifying study abroad student participation, establishing standards for the field, and her leadership across an array of initiatives, including initiating and completing 3 acquisitions. She was appointed by the U.S. Congress to the non-partisan Presidential Abraham Lincoln Commission.

Dr. Dwyer has served on or chaired over ten Boards of Directors and advisory councils.  A sampling includes her serving as the chair of the Rhodes Scholars Selection Committee for the Midwest for seven years.  She was a founder, vice-chair and chair of the Board of The Forum on Education Abroad, the international study abroad association.  Most notably, she now serves on the Boards of:  The Thriving Initiative, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Direct Relief, The Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, The Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation, the advisory council of the Akilah Institute in Rwanda, Africa, and is currently the chair of the Board of Directors of Pandemic Parenting.  She has consulted for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the World Health Organization, and various global ministries of health and medical schools. 

Dr. Dwyer previously served on the College of Medicine Faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was the campus Executive Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.  She consulted and taught in 7 developing countries.  She received her B.A. from Mundelein College, her M.Ed. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her PhD in public policy analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  The University of the South-Sewanee awarded Dr. Dwyer an honorary doctorate in civil law.   

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