John C. Bersia, special assistant to the president for global perspectives at the University of Central Florida, has been elected to the national board of directors for Global Ties U.S. in Washington. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on international exchanges, Global Ties has endeavored to build lasting links among government, business and civil-society leaders for more than 50 years.

Since 2001, Bersia has helped shape global initiatives at UCF. A year ago, he was invited by Global Ties to participate in its work, including strategic planning. He described those duties as “opening the door more widely to international-exchange planning and programming, access that will benefit UCF.”

UCF offices, departments, colleges and other units have been involved in hosting international, professional exchanges for years in cooperation with the local Global Ties affiliate, the World Affairs Council of Central Florida. Bersia has been chairman of the council since 2015.

Bersia, who is a Pulitzer laureate, has worked with international visitors more than 30 years – many of them from the fields of journalism and communication.

“Now that the Global Ties board has offered me the privilege of a seat at the national level, the opportunities are virtually unlimited – including for UCF as it strives to expand its international experience and affiliations. More potential partners will be introduced to us through Global Ties,” Bersia said.

The organization uses the international exchanges to take on the challenges of a rapidly changing, increasingly complex world environment. The goal of its exchanges is to build bridges across borders, diminish and eliminate stereotypes, and encourage connections that contribute to peace, security, stability and prosperity.

Global Ties maintains a network that coordinates international exchanges, and organizes visits to the United States by leaders from across the globe. Its partner organizations in 45 states and 13 countries, supported by 38,000 volunteers, facilitate these programs. The international visitors and the communities that host them learn from each other, develop mutual understanding and, ideally, forge enduring relationships.

At Global Ties, Bersia is joining a board of directors that is drawn from the senior ranks of business, academic and nonprofit organizations. His board term will begin in February.