President CIF-USA

John George

  • Joined CIF in 1989

Positions held:
CIF-USA President - Elected July 2020
Member-at-Large - Cleveland 2007
Participated in CIF- Sweden 1989

Why he remains involved with CIF:
I have remained involved with CIF because I believe this is a good way to increase international understanding among different peoples. I learn about other cultures, meet new friends, and take all this back to enhance my social work practice.

A member of my family immigrated to the States and I was born in southwestern, Ohio. I started in community mental health in 1978. I enjoyed learning about Swedish social services from really good people when I in participated in the CIF Sweden program in 1989. I am currently clinical director of recovery services in a rural community mental health center. I live in northern Indiana and have fun reading (ancient and medieval literature), kayaking, and playing with my hyperactive dog.

Vice President CIF-USA

Nancy Sprynczynatyk

​​Why she remains involved with CIF-USA:

I reconnected with CIP and learned about CIF International at the CIP 30-year conference in Berea, Ohio. There I also saw some of my old CIP acquaintances and got excited about somehow becoming involved.

I have learned a lot at the conferences, and I absolutely loved the exchange experience in Morocco. I would love to participate in more, if given the opportunity. At the conference in Greece, I agreed to help and became the secretary for that period of time. I am still here hoping to be of service to CIF USA. I am still involved because of the people of CIF. I'm excited about sharing the world's struggles, challenges, and approaches to possible solutions. In addition to adding a personal touch to the connections one makes along the way, I want to build bridges of understanding and achieve professional growth.

CIF-USA Officers
President-John George (Indiana)
Vice President-Nancy Sprynczynatyk (South Dakota)
Secretary-Maria Caravaca-Zuniga (California)
Treasurer-Hiram Ruiz-(Florida)
Member At-Large-Louise Anderson (Minnesota)
Member At-Large-Marianne Lax (Ohio)

Treasurer CIF-USA

Hiram Ruiz

  • Joined CIF-USA 2015
  • Participated in the Professional Exchange
    Program CIF-Turkey 2015

Positions held:

  • Appointed CIF-USA  Treasurer 2016

Why he remains involved with CIF-USA:

My first direct involvement with CIF, participating in the Turkey program in March 2015, was the impetus and inspiration for becoming involved in CIF- USA. Apart from the opportunity to get first-hand impressions of social services in very different setting, the warmth with which CIF Turkey members embraced me, and the lasting friendships, I formed attested to how CIF helps build much-needed bridges across nations and cultures. Upon return, I committed to helping promote the goals of CIF through involvement in CIF-USA. I hope with others who have shared the PEP experience, we can continue to build bridges with like-minded colleagues worldwide.

Member At-Large CIF-USA

Louise Anderson

  • Elected Vice President in Turkey 2013
  • Joined Twin Cities International Program
    in 1986

Positions held:

  • Host Family
  • Board Member of Twin Cities International.
  • Participated in several Professional Exchange Programs, most recently CIF-Nepal 2012

Why she remains involved with CIF-USA:

I have always considered myself a citizen of the world with your community being my community. Participation in social work cultural exchanges have given me a greater appreciation of the complexities of the world, and have increased my knowledge of the depth of other cultures. My life has been enhanced by my involvement with CIF, and enabled me to make friends from around the world.

our team

Council of International Fellowship-United States of America

Secretary CIF-USA

Maria Caravaca-Zuniga

  • Participated in CIP USA 1977 Cleveland Program, hailing from San José, Costa Rica
  • Participated in CIF conferences in Finland, Turkey, and Greece
  •  Participated in the short-term program in  Morocco, spring of 2018

Positions held:

  • Elected Secretary at 32nd CIF International Conference in Kalamata, Greece 2017

Member At-Large CIF-USA

Marianne Lax

  • Joined CIF-USA 2016
  • Participated in the Professional
    Exchange Program CIF-NepaL 2016

Positions held:

  • Appointed  Member-at-Large June 2019

Why she remains involved with CIF-USA:

I remain involved with CIF CIP because of the opportunity to travel internationally and to meet people interested in the world from the same reference point. Providing professional opportunities to learn from and share experiences are also important aspects of the programs.

Professional & cultural exchange program for social workers and youth workers