About IIE


The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the Language Training Center Program on behalf of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office.  IIE is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building international goodwill through educational and cultural exchange among nations. By enabling more than 18,000 outstanding men and women each year to study, conduct research, receive practical training, or provide technical assistance outside their own countries, IIE fosters mutual understanding, builds global problem solving capabilities, and strengthens the international competence of U.S. citizens.


Lawrence G. Mason (Director) - As Director for DoD programs at the Institute of International Education (IIE) Mr. Mason serves as the team lead for Project Global Officer (GO) and Language Training Center (LTC) programs in addition to working across the suite of DoD programs at IIE to support programmatic best practices specific to international programming.  In his over 15 years with the Institute, he has served in multiple team leadership and program management roles spanning scholarly exchange to international development initiatives.  From 2014 – 2017, he was Assistant Director for Fulbright Visiting Scholar Programs at IIE where he was responsible for program and team management for the core Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, Junior Faculty Development Programs, and the Fulbright Arctic Initiative.   Other IIE management roles have supported the MENA Judicial Exchange Project for Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI); the USDA-sponsored Leadership Training Initiative for the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock; the U.S. - Japan Fulbright Teacher Exchange for Education for Sustainable Development; and the USAID sponsored Egypt Development Training II Project.  Outside IIE he successfully launched and directed a U.S. Department of State J-1 designated sponsor organization and worked within the Investment Management Division of the World Bank prior to joining IIE.  Mr. Mason is a graduate University of California Santa Barbara with BA in Political Science/International Relations and a minor in Global Peace and Security Studies and has studied abroad in Spain and France.

Brian Cooke (Senior Program Officer) - Brian Cooke previously served as Program Coordinator for Project GO in 2009-2010. Following his initial time at IIE, Brian worked in several DoD program support and non-profit management roles, including most recently as Vice President, Operations and Strategy, at The Manufacturing Institute.  From 2013 to 2017, Brian served as Chief of Staff and later as Executive Director of the Armed Forces Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the physical, mental, and emotional wellness of military service members, veterans, and their families. Prior to that, Brian was a Senior Policy Analyst at The Charles Group, a government affairs consultancy, specializing in national security policy and DoD management issues. From 2005-2008, Brian served on active duty as a US Army Field Artillery officer.  He was deployed during this time to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a platoon leader and staff officer in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Brian is a 2005 graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he majored in International Politics and studied Russian. Brian also holds an MA in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University, earning honors for his thesis, “The United States Army and Counterinsurgency: History, Culture, Application, and Institutionalization.” Originally from Freehold, New Jersey, Brian has lived in Washington, DC since 2009. 

Meredith Schumacher (Program Specialist) -  In the role of Program Specialist for the Project Global Officer (GO) and Language Training Center (LTC) programs at IIE, Ms. Schumacher supports the management and administration of the Project GO Central Application system at and best practices for application and selection activities.  She also works extensively across both programs on the collection, analysis, and reporting of programmatic data. Prior to joining IIE she worked as a Senior Program Officer on the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders at IREX.  Ms. Schumacher has over 20 years of experience working in international education and development programs and received a MA in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Ariana Panbechi-Cole (Program Officer) – Ariana Panbechi-Cole serves as a Program Officer for Project Global Officer (Project GO) and Language Training Center (LTC) programs and is committed to supporting impactful language and cultural exchange experiences. Ariana has more than seven years of experience in developing and managing educational and cultural programs for international audiences at various institutions of higher education, including The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, where she supported academic and curricular operations for 3,300+ students as a Program Supervisor for Academic Programs. Ariana holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in the History of Art, with a focus on art and culture of the Islamic world, from The George Washington University. With a passion for international education and foreign languages, Ariana speaks English, Persian, and some Italian.

Janessa Schilmoeller (Program Officer) - As a Program Officer, Janessa Schilmoeller is dedicated to supporting the development of global leaders through meaningful language and cultural exchange. Over the past decade, Janessa has managed nonprofit and academic programs serving students from over 30 countries as an educator and program director. She has worked with both the administration and implementation of educational programs, including as the Director of Programs at the Louis August Jonas Foundation, where she managed full-scholarship residential leadership programs for international students in upstate New York. Janessa holds a BA in International Relations from St. Catherine University and a MS in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in International Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.