Heather Barclay Hamir's headshot

Heather Barclay Hamir

President and CEO


Start Date

April 2015


International Educator • Insatiable Learner • Mom of Two • Horse Enthusiast

IFSA brings together the things I love best about education abroad: dedication to enhancing student learning, a passion to change the future through each life we touch, and the enthusiastic, innovative people it takes to achieve both. It's been wonderful to work with such a committed community of educators, both within and external to IFSA.

Prior to IFSA

Heather has worked in international education since 1997 at public and private universities, initially as an advisor and later at the director and executive director levels at public and private universities. Throughout her career, she has focused on increasing access for underrepresented populations in study abroad, and has been an active contributor in national discussions on this topic.


Heather received her PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she completed research on the correlation between study abroad, retention, and degree completion. She also holds an MS and MA from Oregon State University and a BA from Pomona College.

Service to International Education

Heather serves on Diversity Abroad's Advisory Committee, is an Emeritus member of the Fund for Education Abroad's Board of Directors, and served two terms on the Forum Council of the Forum on Education Abroad. In 2017, she completed her first book, Promoting Inclusion in Education Abroad: A Handbook of Research and Practice with co-editor Nick Gozik.

Travel Experience

As an undergraduate study abroad student in Edinburgh, Scotland, Heather first discovered her passion for global cultures and education. Following graduation, she spent two years teaching in Japan through the JET Program. Since then, she has traveled to numerous countries for work and fun, and she continues to rediscover her passion for the world, as well as her empathy for first-time travelers abroad.

Honors and Awards

During her tenure at The University of Texas at Austin, new initiatives undertaken by Study Abroad resulted in greater and more representative participation abroad, for which the university received both NAFSA's Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award and Diversity Abroad's Excellence in Diversifying International Education Institutional Award in 2014.

Did You Know?

In her free time, Heather can be found outside riding the family's horses with her husband and children.