Washington, DC Staff

Dr. Dan E. Davidson

President Emeritus, American Councils for International Education, Director, American Research Center

Dr. Davidson (Ph.D., Slavic Languages, Harvard University) is Senior Academic Advisor and President Emeritus of American Councils for International Education (Washington, D. C.) and Emeritus Professor of Russian and Second Language Acquisition, Myra T. Cooley Lectureship, Bryn Mawr College. He is author/editor of 24 books and 67 scholarly articles focused primarily on Russian, second language acquisition and international education development, including an on-going series of empirical studies of advanced-level acquisition of Arabic, Chinese and Russian languages/cultures within the overseas immersion context.  His most recent study, “Transformative language learning in the overseas immersion environment: Mapping the relationship between language proficiency and intercultural development” will appear in Transformative Language Learning and Teaching, (eds. Leaver, Davidson and Campbell), Cambridge University Press, in 2020.

Davidson was named in 2015 to the Commission on Languages, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is an elected foreign member of the Russian Academy of Education, the Ukrainian Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, Vice-President of the International Association of Teachers of Russian (MAPRIAL), and past chair of the College Board World Languages Advisory Committee, the Joint National Committee for Languages, and the Alliance for International Education Exchange.  Davidson is co-founder of the American Councils for International Education and served as US co-chair of the Soros Foundation Transformation of the Humanities and Social Sciences Programs in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, as well as on the working groups of the US-Russia and US-Polish Bilateral Presidential Commissions on Innovation/Higher Education.  

Dr. Maria D. Lekić

Academic Director

(Ph. D. Slavic Languages, University of Pennsylvania), Associate Professor of Russian (ret.), University of Maryland, College Park, has served for the past 15 years as academic director and principal curriculum designer of the Russian Overseas Language Flagship.  Dr. Lekic is author or co-author of several of the major language textbooks used today in the U.S. at the college and pre-college level, including Live from Russia!, and V dobryj put’.  Professional Level Flagship Series. She served for eight years as editor-in-chief of the Russian Language Journal (2005-2012).   A recipient of the A.S. Pushkin Medal, and major service awards from both of the national professional associations in the Slavic fields, her most recent scholarly article, “Assessing Language Proficiency and Intercultural Development in the Overseas Immersion Context,” appears in the collection, Exploring the US Language Flagship Program. Professional Competence in a Second Language by Graduation. Eds. Murphy, D. & Evans-Romaine, K. Multilingual Matters, 2016.  

Dr. Alexander M. Groce

Program Manager

Dr. Groce (Ph.D. Slavic Languages, Harvard University) is an alumnus of the Russian Overseas Flagship Program (2005-6).  Before becoming Program Manager, Alex served as the Almaty-based Resident Director for three years.  During his time in Almaty, Alex worked towards intermediate-level competency in Kazakh and helped to develop the new Kazakh-language module now offered as part of students' immersion experience in Kazakhstan.

Sydney K. Stotter

Program Officer

Sydney is a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, where she received a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature. As a Boren Scholar, Sydney participated in the Russian Overseas Flagship Program 2017-18 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Prior to joining American Councils, she worked as a Student Program Coordinator at the Bryn Mawr Summer Russian Language Institute.