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JNCL-NCLIS Executive Director Transition Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON, DC., May 1, 2020 -- The Joint National Committee for Languages – National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS), the premier advocacy organization for America’s Language Enterprise—from language learning and preservation to professional language services—today announced leadership reorganization. Dr. William Rivers, who has served as the Executive Director of JNCL-NCLIS for the past eight years, will step down from his role in order to pursue other activities, effective immediately.

The Board of Directors has outlined a transition plan to manage the organization’s day-to-day operations until a new chief executive is appointed. This will follow a comprehensive strategic review that the Board has initiated to position JNCL-NCLIS for future growth.

Dr. Rivers reflects: “As I look forward to the next phase of my journey in the Language Enterprise, I reflect with gratitude and pride in the accomplishments of the Joint National Committee of Languages and the National Council on Languages and International Studies. Working together, the members, volunteer directors and officers, and staff of JNCL-NCLIS have collectively changed the conversation about America’s Languages in Washington, DC and in the nation. From the inception of the Commission on Language Learning of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, to the passage of the World Language Advancement and Readiness program and the establishment of the Congressional Caucus on America’s Languages last year, among many other concrete accomplishments, we have advocated and advanced a vision of America as a bilingual, biliterate nation. I have been honored to serve for these eight years, and I look forward to the continued growth and success of JNCL-NCLIS.”

Rita A. Oleksak, President of the Board of Directors of JNCL-NCLIS, notes: “We thank Dr. Rivers for his transformative service to the organization and look forward to the opportunity that this leadership change provides us. We will continue to build on past successes, expanding our advocacy efforts to include even more facets of the language enterprise and to extend our influence to the state as well as the federal level.”


Established in 1972, the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) represent the Language Enterprise to the US government and business community. Our membership includes over 130 organizations, which employ more than 300,000 language professionals globally. Together, we form an all-inclusive network and encompass all areas of the language field: exchanges, research, technology, translation, interpretation, localization, testing and more.

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