world map.png

About Us

The World Affairs Council of Maine is a nonprofit and nonpartisan educational organization. Our mission is to connect Maine and the world, by engaging and educating people of all ages to become global citizens.


President: William Hall

Vice President: Andrea Stanley Hester

Treasurer: Maureen Hurley

Assistant Treasurer: Abigail Carroll

Secretary: Alexandra Wood

Assistant Secretary: Ross Hickey

Past President: Kathleen Sutherland

Interim Executive Director: Allison Hodgkins



ABDULLAHI AHMED, 2017: Abdullahi Ahmed is the Principal at Deering High School in Portland. From 2015-2019 he served as Assistant Principal. He taught physical science at Deering High School since 2005 and was the first certified public school teacher of Arabic Language in Maine beginning in 2013. He has also taught math, earth science, alternative education science, chemistry and physics at the middle and high school levels since 2003 in Portland Public Schools. Dr. Ahmed earned a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Maine where he conducted his dissertation research on Refugee Parental Involvement in Schools. He has his Masters of Science in Education from the University of Southern Maine, his teacher certification through the Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP), and his Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering from Pakistan. Dr. Ahmed was born and raised in Somalia, a small country in East Africa. He speaks Somali, Arabic, English, and Urdu. He is married and the father of four children.

DEBORAH BAROUCH, 2016: Deborah was president of the World Affairs Council of Maine from 2007-2009. Deborah spearheaded the idea of the first World Quest to the Board in 2001, and proceeded to implement it the following year. She was the recipient of the 2009 Bea Chapman Minott award. 

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA in Government and Politics, and studied at Santa Clara University in California. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Civic Leadership in 2010. She is a Broker with Keller Williams Realty and has been a realtor in Portland for 30 years. 

Deborah grew up in a foreign service/CIA family and spent her childhood in Nairobi and later Tehran. Her father was the first Chief of Mission in Nairobi, and later personal secretary to three CIA directors, and was one of the first 50 members of the CIA. Deborah is married to Sam Barouch, who was President of the Council from 1996- 1999. Their children are very engaged in International work, primarily in the wine and the pharmaceutical sectors. Deborah and her husband live in Yarmouth. 

ABIGAIL CARROLL, 2014: Abigail owns and operates Nonesuch Oysters, an award-winning, boutique oyster farm in Scarborough, Maine. An industry spokesperson, her speaking credits include a Sea State Lecture at Gulf of Maine Research Institute and a TEDxYouth talk. In 2014, she received a grant from Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center to participate in MCED's TopGun entrepreneur program; she recently launched a marine skincare brand.

Prior to becoming an oyster farmer, Abigail spent over a decade living in Paris, France where she traded stocks and worked in the start-up sector. A Maine native, Abigail holds an AB in French and Spanish Literature from Barnard College, as well as an MIA in International Banking and Finance from Columbia University. Former employers include the French Senate (Le Senat), Credit Suisse First Boston, and Church World Services. Abigail has been published in the UK's Daily Telegraph and she wrote features and a current events column ("Talk") for This City Paris. She has lived, studied, or worked in France, Ecuador, Spain, Poland, Germany, and Cuba.

JOHN DOUGHTY, 2012: John is Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at R.M. Davis, Inc., which he joined in 2002. Prior to that, John was a Vice President of Equity Research at Credit Suisse First Boston. Before joining Credit Suisse, John was a Vice President of Fixed Income Research at Bear Stearns. He also was a Senior Financial Analyst at Bath Iron Works from 1990-1991. John earned his B.A. (cum laude) in History and Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College and his MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. John also completed graduate course work in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. He is a member of the Economic Club of New York, Foreign Policy Association, CFA Institute, CFA Society Maine, CFA Society Boston, and the National Association of Petroleum Investment Analysts. John has served on numerous community boards. Presently, John serves on the Pine Tree Council's Investment Committee, the Maine Historical Society's Board of Trustees, the Camden Conference’s Board of Directors, and the World Affairs Council of Maine's Board of Directors. John grew up in Maine and now lives in Falmouth Foreside with his wife, Wendy, and their daughter.

HANS EYSENBACH, 2020: Hans is an attorney at Verrill in Portland, ME. He works on a variety of utility and energy matters before the Maine PUC, FERC, and FCC on behalf of energy, telecommunications, and water utility entities, among others. In his past career, Hans advised international development projects regarding their environmental regulatory compliance obligations to U.S. government donors. After entering Vermont Law School, Hans was an articles editor for the Vermont Law Review and a teaching assistant. Before joining Verrill, Hans served as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice Andrew Mead of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Hans spends much of his free time with his family, biking, skating, paddling, and sailing around Maine. He also enjoys adventure racing to raise funds and build camaraderie. As a near-fluent Spanish speaker, Hans volunteers in public school Spanish classrooms and at local organic farms to swap stories with students and farm workers.

CLIFFORD GILPIN, 2019: Clifford Gilpin, PhD was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He has a background in human resources. He was on the staff of the World Bank for 22 years and worked with countries in Africa and East Asia. From 1987 to 1992 he managed the Bank's human resources program in Indonesia and subsequently directed the Bank's internal learning and leadership program. He has a special interest in global energy supply and consumption. In 1996, he and his wife moved to Maine. Clifford is a trustee of the Falmouth Land Trust and former President of the World Affairs Council of Maine.

WILLIAM HALL, 2016: Bill retired from the U.S. Air Force and a subsequent career at Martin’s Point Health Care in Portland. He grew up in Virginia and received a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University and a master’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. He was an intelligence officer for the US Air Force, serving on active duty from 1969 until 1999. He spent almost 18 years of that time overseas in both Asia and Europe. Assignments in the U.S. included the National Security Agency in Maryland. Bill served as the Interim Executive Director from 2017-18 and currently serves as the president of the board of directors. Moving to Maine in late 1999, Bill lives on Peaks Island with his wife, Nancy. His international experience continues to be further refined and kept up to date by having a daughter-in-law from Kyrgyzstan and a son-in-law from Japan.

ANDREA STANLEY HESTER, 2014: Andrea serves as Vice President of WACM and chair of Academic WorldQuest. She is an instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine as well as Vice President of the Harvard Club in Maine. In her former life, she was an editor/writer for the President of Harvard University and administrator of the International Visitors Program in the Office of the University Marshal at Harvard. She has a bachelor's degree in modern European history from Tufts University and a Master's degree in Government from the Harvard University Extension School. Andrea and her husband reside in North Yarmouth with their two daughters.

ROSS HICKEY, 2019: Ross Hickey is Assistant Provost for Research Integrity in the Office of Research Integrity at the University of Southern Maine(USM) which has centralized oversight over all areas of university research compliance.  A member of the USM Research Council and Academic Affairs Leadership Team, Mr. Hickey serves as Chair of the Institutional Biosafety Committee and Director of the Maine Regulatory Training and Ethics Center (MeRTEC).  He was educated at the University of Maine School of Law and the University of Maine at Farmington and is admitted to the Maine Bar.

MAUREEN HURLEY, 2017: Maureen is the volunteer director of the Council’s International Visitors Program and served on the World Affairs Council of Maine’s board of directors from 2007–2016, including one year as President. Maureen retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2003 in which she served as a human resources and protocol officer. She has resided in the United Kingdom and the Azores, and also traveled and/or worked in Argentina, Barbados, Croatia, Dominica, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, and Uruguay. Since returning to Maine, Maureen has been an active volunteer with the World Affairs Council of Maine, Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers, and the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick. Additionally, she is a member of the Maine Development Foundation and Protocol & Diplomacy International/Protocol Officers Association for which she serves on the Education Committee.  Maureen has served as the volunteer Director of our Council’s International Visitors Program since 2006, has chaired the Council’s Nominating Committee and planning committees for two statewide summits on citizen diplomacy held in 2011 and 2014, and served on the program, finance, and executive committees for many years. She was the 2011 recipient of the Council's Bea Chapman Minott award and, in 2016, was awarded the Global Ties U.S. Outstanding Community-Based Member Programmer of the Year, a national award for her work with the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.  She received her B.A from Hillsdale College and M.Ed. from Vanderbilt University sometime in the last century. Maureen is also a 2012 graduate of the Institute for Civic Leadership and a 2019 graduate of Leadership Maine. 

ADRIAN KENDALL, 2016: Adrian Kendall is an attorney at Norman, Hanson & DeTroy. He provides strategic and tactical legal counsel to a wide range of business clients, from multi-national manufacturers to individual entrepreneurs requiring hands on guidance in forming and financing startups. Adrian's commercial law practice includes a strong focus on international commercial transactions. He advises both U.S. and international clients on maximizing foreign market opportunities, negotiating domestic and cross-border manufacturing, distribution and licensing agreements, and assuring regulatory compliance. 

Adrian has served as "Trusted Legal Counsel" to the German Consulate General in Boston since 2000 and in 2007 was appointed as the first Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany to Maine and New Hampshire by German President Horst Koehler. Adrian has advised the governors and international trade organizations of Maine and New Hampshire on official trade missions to Germany and other European countries, and most recently participated in the Gubernatorial Trade Mission to Iceland in 2014. Adrian was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Federal Order of Merit by German President Joachim Gauck in 2014 and received the national American Association of Teachers of German “Friend of German Award” in 2013. Adrian is also regular speaker on international trade matters and received the Maine International Trade Center “President’s Award” in 2016. 

Adrian lives in Cumberland with his two sons, where he has served on the town Board of Assessment and Appeals for 10 years and currently sits on the Central Fire Station Building Committee. Adrian earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Maine School of Law in 1992. He chairs the University of Pennsylvania Interview Committee for the State of Maine and is also fluent in German and proficient in French.

TONY KIEFFER, 2016: Tony Kieffer has more than 20 years of experience in international management and management consulting. His consulting experience spans the financial services, healthcare, environmental technology, energy, education and information technology industries. His work has focused on growth strategy, helping business organizations drive top line growth by focusing on new markets, new customers and new offerings and by adopting advanced technology solutions to create comparative advantage. 

Tony is the founding member of ArchSolar LLC, a company commercializing solar integrated clear span buildings, where PV is integrated into the structure itself. Tony has been a principle at MaineAsia, a Portland based consulting firm that helps clients to define and execute their strategies for the Asian market, and the Managing Director for Fair Isaac (FICO) in China, where he led the company’s effort to enter the Chinese market with its analytic modeling and decision management software. 

In addition to his consulting, Tony has held international business and market development positions covering Latin America, China, Japan and Europe. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Stanford University in East Asian Studies and a Master of Pacific International Affairs (Management Concentration) from the University of California at San Diego. He is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin.

CHARLES NORCHI, 2020: Charles is the Benjamin Thompson Professor of Law in the University of Maine School of Law where he teaches and researches international law, maritime law, law and science, international human rights, and international security.  He served as Fulbright Arctic Scholar in Iceland, is contributing editor to Global Geneva, a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a Fellow in the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, a director of the Harvard Club in Maine and co-President of the Arctic Futures Institute.  Dr. Norchi holds university degrees from Harvard College, Case Western Reserve School of Law and Yale Law School. He is a dual national of Ireland and the United States.

LUCY SOMMO, 2013: A native of Maine, Lucy lived and traveled extensively in Europe and Central Asia before moving back to her home state in 2012. She currently works as the Director of International Recruitment for the University of Maine, having previously held the position of International Trade Specialist at the Maine International Trade Center. While living in Europe, Lucy obtained her Master’s Degree in East European Studies from the University of Bologna, and worked as an editor for the leading English-language newspaper in south-east Europe, Balkan Insight. Before returning to Maine she and her husband completed a fantastic six-month self-supported bicycle trip through Russia and Central Asia. Lucy travels whenever she can, and speaks fluent French and German and conversational Serbian.

KATHLEEN SUTHERLAND, 2016: Kathleen served as the Council's president from 2016 to 2019, and serves as a member of the Program Committee. She was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, where her father was dean of the American University. She has conducted research in Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan on women’s status in these countries and served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Association of Cairo. She holds a PhD from Indiana University and a BA from Western College for Women in Ohio, and is Associate Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at USM. Kathleen served on the OLLI Board at USM from 2007 to 2013, and teaches classes and gives talks there on topics such as immigration to the U.S. and the politics of demagoguery. She is interested in watercolor/oil/pastel painting, drama, writing, and her family.

GAIL WITHERILL, 2015: Gail began her career as a clinical dietitian and nutrition educator after obtaining her degree in Dietetics at Michigan State University. Volunteerism has been a primary focus and Gail has served in various capacities for a number of organizations, including the Portland Symphony Orchestra, MSAD 51, Project Vote Smart, and for the Congregational Church in Cumberland.  She was also a former member and chairperson of the Board of MSAD 51. Past involvement with the World Affairs Council of Maine includes the Leadership Committee of 2008-2010, Great Decisions Dinners Coordinator, Chair of Academic WorldQuest, member of the Development, Program and Executive Committees, as well as an eleven-month stint behind the scenes running the office. Currently, she serves on the Marketing Committee.  She lives with her husband in Cumberland, has two children and two grandchildren.

ALEXANDRA WOOD, 2017:  In her most recent role as Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), Alexandra Wood led efforts to maximize student learning and to deliver high-quality academic experiences. Prior to joining CIEE, Dr. Wood was a Visiting Assistant Professor at New York University, where she received a Ph.D. in International Education. Dr. Wood also managed NYU’s Multinational Institute of American Studies, a six-week program for visiting international scholars funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Teaching and Learning and in the Department of Applied Statistics, Social Science, and Humanities at NYU Steinhardt. Dr. Wood holds a Bachelor's degree in Japanese and Interdisciplinary Studies, and a Master's degree in International Affairs, from the University of Pittsburgh.


Allison Hodgkins:  Allison comes to the Council from the American University in Cairo, where she was a member of the faculty in the School of Global Affairs. Before that, she was the Resident Director for CIEE's Amman, Jordan Study Center, and Academic Director for the School for International Training's Peace and Conflict Studies Program in Jerusalem. Allison has a PhD in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies. She is also a regular contributor to the Cairo Review of Global Affairs, and serves on the Board of the New England Arab-American Organization and the Editorial Board for Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad.  Allison has more than twenty years' experience living, working, and learning in the Middle East, which means she has reasonable fluency in Arabic, some Hebrew, and a significant attitude when it comes to hummus

Advisory Board

Ambassador Rick Barton

Janine Bisaillon-Cary

David Flanagan

Brenda Garrand

William Hall

Admiral Greg Johnson

Harold Pachios

Peter Plumb