Valerie Gilpin is Chief of the Africa Programs Branch in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.  She manages the Fulbright Program with Sub-Saharan Africa, including scholar and student educational exchanges, regional program policies and budgets, and relations with U.S. embassies.  She has administered an extensive range of international academic and professional programs for over 30 years, including Fulbright, International Visitor Leadership Programs, and Eisenhower Fellowships.  Prior to joining the Department of State in 2005, she was Executive Director of Women In International Security (WIIS).  In that capacity, she directed leadership development programs for women professionals, policy forums and research projects on gender and international security, and the expansion of global WIIS affiliates.  Valerie previously served as Assistant Director of International Affairs at the University of Maryland, where she developed and managed international exchange agreements with universities around the world.  At Meridian International Center and Eisenhower Fellowships, she administered professional development programs for current and emerging global leaders.  Valerie holds an M.A. with honors in history and international relations from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and a Master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.