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Naika Pierre Headshot.JPG

Naika Pierre


Headshot large.jpg

Blaine Johnson



Jack Anderson

Vice President


Sameera Ibrahim



Mark Sandel

Vice President


Melissa Doussard

At Large

Jenny Silver.JPG

Jenny Silver





Leadership Board Bios

Naika Pierre, President

CLS Chinese 2014

Naika graduated from Tufts University in May 2014 with a BA in International Relations and Chinese and went on to participate in the CLS program at Suzhou University in Suzhou, China that same year. Following CLS, Naika served as an AmeriCorps service member working with immigrants and refugees in the Boston community in the areas of employment, citizenship, and language education.

She left Boston to obtain her Masters of Arts in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University in February 2017, concentrating on development-induced displaced in China. While at Columbia, Naika worked also as an Administrative Associate at Asia Catalyst, an NGO working on strengthening civil society and advancing the rights of marginalized communities in Asia.

She currently works as a Human Rights Specialist at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, processing discrimination complaints and conducting complaint pre-interventions involving disability accommodation requests. Although Naika does not currently use her Mandarin professionally, she continues to meet with a tutor weekly and makes time to attend language meet-ups in the city.

Jack Anderson, Vice President

CLS Azeri 2013, 2014

Jack Anderson is an alumnus of the Azerbaijani CLS program, which he attended in 2013 and 2014. He has been the Partnerships Director for CLSAS since 2019. Since then, Jack has helped to build and manage relationships with the US Government, universities, NGO's and businesses to benefit CLS alumni. Jack holds a Master's degree in Cybersecurity from Georgia Tech and an undergraduate degree in Geopolitics from Washington & Lee University. Jack presently works for Mandiant. He previously worked for Phillips 66 and FTI Consulting. If you have partnership ideas or professional development needs, contact Jack at

Mark Sandel, Vice President, Founder

CLS Persian 2014

Mark graduated from The Ohio State University in 2016, where he studied International Studies, Farsi, and Social Psychology. In 2014, Mark became a CLS alum after he studied Persian-Farsi and Tajiki in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. When his CLS program ended, he continued to study Farsi during college and after graduating, thanks to multiple Alumni Development Fund grants (which he highly encourages you to apply for!) As a co-founder of CLSAS, Mark is extremely passionate about CLS and continuing to support alumni long after they have completed the program. 

Mark currently lives in the Washington DC area and encourages all CLSAS members in the region to reach out via email if they'd like to meet up for coffee or go for a hike! 

Jenny Silver, Secretary

CLS Indonesian 2016, 2017

Jenny Silver is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, where she studies labor migration and its literary expression in Southeast Asia. She holds master's degrees from the National University of Singapore and the University of Oxford, which she completed with the support of Princeton University's Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship. Jenny studied Indonesian in Malang, East Java under the Critical Language Scholarship in 2016 and 2017.

Blaine Johnson, At-Large

CLS Chinese 2012

Blaine Johnson is an alumna of the 2012 CLS Mandarin program in Shanghai, China, and now serves as the CLSAS Community Outreach Coordinator. Blaine works as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and runs NatSecGirlSquad’s weekly Mandarin conversations. Previously, she used her Mandarin language skills as China & Asia policy analyst on the national security team at the Center for American Progress.


Blaine has a masters degree from Fudan University's School of International Relations and Public Affairs and a bachelors degree from Dartmouth College. Blaine speaks Mandarin, Spanish, and almost enough French to read a menu.

Sameera Ibrahim, At-Large

CLS Russian 2014

CLS Persian 2021

Sameera is a third-year graduate student in Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she researches the connections between urban environments and refugee livelihoods in Istanbul, Turkey.

Melissa Doussard

CLS Persian (2013)

Melissa Doussard is an alumnus of the 2013 Tajikistan CLS program. She is currently the Command Language Program Manager for the USAF Air Education and Training Command where she assists with coordinating language training and professional development opportunities. In 2015, Melissa graduated from Webster University with an MA in International Relations. Melissa speaks Farsi, Dari, and Indonesian.


Tucker Boyce     |     Belle Cheves     |     Anesce Dremen     |     Ryan Etzcorn     |     Joey Kilpatrick 
Sanil Reddy      |      Kat Robison      |      Mark Sandel        |        Sana Choudhary       |       Aaron Yang
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