Our team


Edward Pitcher

Managing Director
Edward Pitcher

Managing Director

Ed has been working for CRCC Asia since 2013. Originally from the UK, Ed spent 8 years living and working in Asia and has a passion for travel and different languages and cultures. Ed has completed studies at the University of Nottingham, Tsinghua University and the LSE. In his spare time Ed enjoys skiing and hiking in the mountains, keeping fit and discovering new food.

Van Pham

Operations Manager
Van Pham

Operations Manager

Van grew up in Hanoi, Vietnam and graduated from Hanoi University with a Bachelor degree in Accounting. She had then moved to Ho Chi Minh City to follow a career path in education and spent 6 years there working for different education organizations with various age groups and study objectives. Van always believes in providing a high-quality service to customers, as well as maintaining long-term and trusted relationships with partners and colleagues.

Van enjoys traveling, meeting and talking to people. In her free time, she spends time on studying Korean as she believes languages are such powerful tools in work and life.

Our Team Simona Lu Financial Operations Manager

Simona Lu

Global Finance Manager
Our Team Simona Lu Financial Operations Manager
Simona Lu

Global Finance Manager

In her role with the CRCC Asia Shanghai office, Simona coordinates budget projections, manages payments, and oversees other accounting processes required our internship programs in Shanghai. Simona is a fresh post-graduate from Ecust. She majored in Accounting for her Bachelor’s degree and decided to learn something new by studying International Politics for her Masters degree.

She has internship experience in different departments of foreign companies and domestic start-ups, such as HR, Admin. and Procurement; She is a self-described extrovert, tends to think about things from a different perspective, and is always willing to communicate with others to ensure a successful experience of planning activities between companies.

Maia Edmunds

Head of Admissions
Maia Edmunds

Head of Admissions

Tess Kim

Program Lead (Seoul)
Tess Kim

Program Lead (Seoul)

Mi Tran

Program Lead (Ho Chi Minh City)
Mi Tran

Program Lead (Ho Chi Minh City)

Mi was born and raised in Vung Tau, a beach city in Southeast Vietnam before moving to Ho Chi Minh City attending University of Social Sciences and Humanities in International Relations. Despite staying for only a short period, the studies had provoked her curiosity in cultures around the world and eagerness to learn and see things from different viewpoints. At 20, she moved to Finland pursuing BBA degree in International Business whilst fulfilling her dream to explore different parts of the country and travel around Europe.

Mi started her career at CRCC Asia as an intern supporting 2019 Ho Chi Minh City Summer Program where she met a lot of young internationals and gained valuable experience. After graduation, she decided to return to Vietnam and dedicate herself to bringing in the best international experience for students around the world.

Mi loves cooking and baking in her free time and has a deep passion for Korean cuisine and culture.

Alexander Lindow

University Partnership Manager (APAC region)
Alexander Lindow

University Partnership Manager (APAC region)

Jollie Lam

University Partnership Manager (UK region)
Jollie Lam

University Partnership Manager (UK region)

Jollie was born in Hong Kong but now based in Cambridge, UK. She has experience working as a student recruitment team leader, managing a team that is responsible for recruiting international students on MA programs on behalf of University partners. She enjoys working within the higher education/ University context, and interacting with students/ University Partners.

Jollie has a strong sense of duty and responsibility to society as a world citizen. She has a strong belief to help the underprivileged. After completing her Bachelors degree, She spent months in Cambodia contributing to a voluntary childcare program. She was also involved into different volunteer programs in Hong Kong.

Robert Rust

University Partnership Manager (North America region)
Robert Rust

University Partnership Manager (North America region)

My name is Robert, or Rob. I’m Norwegian-American, originally from Oslo, but have lived in New York, Beijing, and Shanghai. I spent the majority of 2012-2019 in China, interning in Beijing and Shanghai in fields from diplomacy to finance. I have a BA in International Relations/Chinese from the College of William and Mary, and an MA in Chinese Culture and Society from the University of Oslo. In my free time, I enjoy playing soccer, reading, and exploring my city.

Delaney Egan

University Partnership Manager (North America region)
Delaney Egan

University Partnership Manager (North America region)

Delaney grew up in a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois, USA and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for both her undergraduate degree in Theatre and Italian, and her graduate degree in Global Higher Education. She has worked in the international education field for the past 4 years, primarily in education abroad programs from the US to other host countries. As a study abroad student herself in Italy for an academic year, Delaney found a deep passion in supporting students through their international education journeys and decided to pursue a career in the industry because of her experiences abroad.

Sally Chu

Digital Marketing Specialist
Sally Chu

Digital Marketing Specialist

Harvey Tecson

Business Development Manager
Harvey Tecson

Business Development Manager

My Le

Admissions Advisor
My Le

Admissions Advisor

Chau Bui

Business Development Associate
Chau Bui

Business Development Associate

Kelsy Nguyen

Business Development Associate
Kelsy Nguyen

Business Development Associate

Born in HCMC, Vietnam, Kelsy has been studying, working and traveling across South East Asia and Europe. Accumulating 7 years working in the Business fields from various industries from Private to NGOs sectors in Netherlands, Denmark, Barcelona and Vietnam, she strongly believes in sustainably profitable partnerships for all joint stakeholders both at work and in life.

In the long-term, her life-long passion is to help close the gap between higher education’s knowledge and applicable business practices.

On a daily basis, she aspires to living by contributing added-value to the goals she sets her mind and puts her heart on.

In her spare time, you can spot her thinking out loud in English, chatting in Dutch, negotiating in Vietnamese, learning German and listening to French, Spanish while doing yoga or traveling.

Elisa Schmidt

University Partnership Associate (EU region)
Elisa Schmidt

University Partnership Associate (EU region)

Eduards Kuzmenko

Business Development Associate
Eduards Kuzmenko

Business Development Associate

Sanghwi Lee

Business Development Associate
Sanghwi Lee

Business Development Associate

Sammy Pham

Program Coordinator (Ho Chi Minh City)
Sammy Pham

Program Coordinator (Ho Chi Minh City)

An analytical, pragmatic, and intensely curious September Virgo. A perfectionist at heart. A dedicated and hardworking ISTJ who values traditions, structure, and consistency. Can sometimes be a blast—with mercurial wit, dry humor, and a bit of a wild side. Would like to regard my own self as a hodophile, an explorer, and a learner of life.

I recently graduated from RMIT University in HCMC, Vietnam with a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management. I have a passion for travel, culture, and particularly education, in every aspect of it. Before coming to CRCC Asia, I worked for a few study abroad offices at universities such as RMIT University Vietnam and HCMC University of Technology (also called as Bach Khoa University).

Eunbee Cho

Program Coordinator (Seoul)
Eunbee Cho

Program Coordinator (Seoul)

Throughout my professional life, I organized business programs with different people in Korea and Europe. Afterwards, I became interested in various fields of careers. One area I am very keen on is self-improvement in my personal and professional life. I'm always looking to challenge myself and are not afraid to learn new things.
I am passionate about exploring the world, traveling, learning a new culture, and meeting new people. I'm also thrived to bring good energy in connecting and interacting with people. I've lived in Australia and Chile for working holidays, studied as an exchange student, and interned in the USA. I've travelled across 25 countries and still have a list to explore more places world widely.
On a side notes, I'm passionate about cooking and treating people with my own-cooked food.

Thao Tran

Business Development Associate
Thao Tran

Business Development Associate

Thao recently came back from Japan after finishing her studies in Strategic Management. Officially the youngest member of the team, Thao likes reading horror novels in her spare time. Besides, Thao envisions that working for CRCC Asia will assist her with improving her competency in the Learning and Development field. Thao will be leveraging both her Japanese language skills and previous work experience in Japan in assisting CRCC Asia Business Development team with outreaching to help move Tokyo and Osaka host company onboarding strategy forward.

Hieu Dao

Program Coordinator
Hieu Dao

Program Coordinator

Originally from Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, Hieu started his journey abroad on Long Island, New York where he completed his high school program. Afterwards, Hieu graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Tourism and Events management. Throughout his time as a student in the United States, Hieu got involved in various internship opportunities and was able to explore different backgrounds.

Hieu is an Mediator at heart but can be adventurous at times. He is open to learning and experiencing new things in life. However, Hieu will never decline the opportunity to sit down and recharge. A cat lover, movie enthusiast, and a tea enjoyer is what people would describe Hieu as.

Our Team Luise Schafer OBE Senior Adviser

Luise Schafer OBE

Senior Adviser
Our Team Luise Schafer OBE Senior Adviser
Luise Schafer OBE

Senior Adviser

Luise Schafer is a senior international executive with 30 years’ professional experience of China. A literate and fluent Chinese speaker, completing postgraduate studies in Beijing in 1983, she is a sought-after commentator on China’s business environment. Her early career included positions at American and Japanese technology firms in Beijing, followed by a Consultancy role assisting British companies break into the China market. A stint as First Secretary, Commercial at the Embassy in Beijing in the 1990′s allowed Luise to lead on a broad commercial portfolio, building UK-China partnerships across a range of key industries and ministries. She successfully led on the visit of the British Deputy Prime Minister in 1996 in the run-up to Hong Kong’s handover and brought to signature an important bilateral maritime treaty opening up huge commercial opportunities to UK shipping.

Latterly head hunted into the Abacus Group, as Vice Chairman of Abacus’s China operations she grew the business and brand significantly over 15 years, in China and E. Asia, and in 2010 delivered on a new, larger greenfield design/manufacturing facility in Shanghai.

Luise is the immediate past-Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and has held a number of other board positions, in the past, including Vice Chair at The 48 Group. She was honored at the Chinese Embassy in London in 2010 with an award acknowledging her deep contribution to Sino-British relations.

Luise was honoured with an OBE in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List for services to British business in China.

Our Team Rachel Criso PHD Senior Adviser

Rachael Criso, PhD

Senior Adviser
Our Team Rachel Criso PHD Senior Adviser
Rachael Criso, PhD

Senior Adviser

In her role within the LSA Opportunity Hub at the University of Michigan, Rachael leads the Global Opportunities team that strives to provide quality international work and volunteer experiences for students enrolled in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Rachael sources international internships in over 20 countries, often connecting students with international UM alumni who serve as local mentors. Rachael is expanding the program to include: English as a Second Language training workshops, the Touchdown Series (survival language and culture instruction for departing interns), and Global Immersions (group visits to Global UM alumni in their workspace to learn about their industry). Rachael maintains strong ties with colleagues, partners, and UM alumni across the global in order to enhance the experiential component of the University of Michigan undergraduate experience.

Rachael has been placing UM students in international internships since 2001; 140 were placed summer 2016 and the projection for 2017 is 200+.  Having placed more than 500 students, she has witnessed how adaptable and effective liberal arts undergraduates can be in off-campus, out-of-country, out-of-comfort zone work situations; and how much they can learn from these transformative experiences.

Rachael also serves as a faculty member in the UM Romance Languages & Literatures department, teaching courses in Business French. In addition, she has developed the curriculum for two UM internship classes that prepare students to live and work abroad, connecting the practical experience they will gain with their undergraduate studies and career path.

Our Team Symone Sanders Senior Adviser

Symone D. Sanders

Senior Adviser
Our Team Symone Sanders Senior Adviser
Symone D. Sanders

Senior Adviser

Symone D. Sanders is a strategist who served as the youngest presidential press secretary on record for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. In recognition of her outstanding achievements, Symone was featured on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of 16 young Americans shaping the 2016 election. As a CRCC Asia Beijing Program Alumni, Symone has a deep understanding of the intern experience, providing key insight in her role as a Senior Adviser.

A communicator with a passion for juvenile justice, Symone is the former chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee and former member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice. While serving on the committees, Symone worked to bring millennial perspectives to policy conversations. Now, Symone draws from her experience on the national stage to provide perceptive analysis and results-oriented problem solving on political and social issues. Through her work, Symone challenges the conventional wisdom that strong communities are only defined by what we have in common. Instead, she outlines the way our differences contribute to effective social movements and impactful media narratives.

Symone has been featured on NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, BET, TV One and currently can be seen on CNN as a Political Commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, the New Yorker, ESSENCE Magazine and ELLE.

Daniel Nivern

Daniel Nivern

Co-Founder
Daniel Nivern
Daniel Nivern

Co-Founder

Daniel has a long held passion for foreign languages and culture, studying French and German at The University of Oxford, and spending a year living on the border of France and Germany, in Strasbourg and Freiburg. As his interest and attention turned to Asia, he completed a Masters Degree in International Management for China from the University of London (SOAS) and taught at a university in Hebei Province and a private school in Fujian Province.

Daniel co-founded CRCC Asia in 2006 and moved to China to launch CRCC Asia’s programs in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, overseeing the placement of 4000 students in internships in China between 2007 and 2012. In recent years, he has been located in the USA, where he works with the CRCC Asia teams globally to develop global partnerships and to refine best practises for running optimal international internship programs in Asia, helping students to improve their employability and enhance their cultural awareness. Daniel has helped to form lasting partnership programs with the Ministry of Education in China, The British Council and the Israeli Embassy in Beijing. He has been featured on CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Guardian and The Sunday Times for his work with China and has presented on the subject of internships in Asia at various conferences including NAFSA: The Association of International Educators, The Forum on Education Abroad, The Global Internship Conference and at The House of Lords (UK).

Daniel has acted in a number of voluntary roles, including being a UK Government connector, with the role of encouraging entrepreneurship amongst young Brits, the Vice President of the Oxford Cambridge Club Beijing, a founding member of the China Advisers Network and an early Founder of the China-US Entrepreneurship Club. He speaks French, German and Chinese, is a keen follower of international affairs and politics and enjoys all sports, most notably as an avid Manchester United fan, a boxing enthusiast, and a new convert to American football (Go Eagles!). Above all else, he most enjoys time with his wife Danielle and young son, Hugo.

Our Team Edward Holroyd Pearce Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Edward Holroyd Pearce

Co-Founder
Our Team Edward Holroyd Pearce Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Edward Holroyd Pearce

Co-Founder

Ed’s passion for travel and Asia started early – at age 8, his mother sent him to Greece unaccompanied to stay with a Greek family.  At 12, he started to learn Japanese, later switching to focus on Chinese which became his Major at Cambridge University. He still managed a GCSE in Japanese, and also speaks conversational Thai and fluent Spanish.  He later achieved a Masters of Science in International Management from the University of London (SOAS).

He has lived in several countries throughout Asia (and spent his honeymoon in Vietnam), and has a real passion for the culture, food and language of the many places he has visited.  He enjoys sharing his knowledge of worldwide cultures, and considering how they might improve the employability and global confidence of today’s students and graduates.

Ed co-founded CRCC Asia in 2006 and has been heavily involved in various M&A projects, company due diligence and strategic analysis.  He has been published in print and in media such as Businessweek, The Sunday Times and the BBC. Ed has undertaken voluntary roles at the Young Icebreakers, part of the 48 Group Club, improving understanding between China and the UK, and he has also been a trustee at the Karen Hilltribes Trust, working to improve education, sanitation and health in Northern Thailand. Ed is currently studying for an executive MBA at Cass Business School in London.

Our Team Marcus Shapiro Board Advisor

Marcus Shapiro

Board Adviser
Our Team Marcus Shapiro Board Advisor
Marcus Shapiro

Board Adviser

After practising as a corporate lawyer with CMS in London, Marcus Shapiro pursued a 25 year investment banking career with Charterhouse Bank, Crédit Commercial de France and HSBC in London and New York, and ran his own M&A advisory firm, Amethyst Corporate Finance, prior to immigrating to Canada in 2014.  Since then, he has pursued a variety of roles assisting growth companies achieve their objectives, including serving as Chair of fintech company, Katipult Technology Corp (TSXV: FUND), and serving on the Advisory Boards of Bit Stew Systems Inc. (sold to GE for $200mm), NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics and SHM Controls, and he is currently Chair of the Advisory Board of Sikeleli Africa Safaris.  In addition, he has operated as a Trustee of the West Vancouver Memorial Library and as a Director of the West Vancouver Library Foundation, among his voluntary roles.

Our Team David Armstrong Senior Adviser

David Armstrong

Board Adviser
Our Team David Armstrong Senior Adviser
David Armstrong

Board Adviser

J. David Armstrong, Jr. is the sixth president of Broward College, one of the largest and most diverse institutions in America, with 63,000 students across 11 campuses and centers in South Florida. With more than 33 years of experience as a state and national leader in higher education and economic development, President Armstrong recently celebrated ten years leading the College.

With a strong commitment to the community, a business owner’s understanding of the evolving workforce landscape and the changing role of higher education, President Armstrong has led a redesign of the College to focus on new programs that better address skills gaps for students and employers. Several workforce bachelor’s degrees, for example, have been added in the fields of information technology, nursing, supply chain management, education, and aerospace science.

President Armstrong serves in a variety of positions with non-profit, workforce and educational organizations. He is currently the co-chair for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Six Pillars Economic Program and serves on the Board of Directors for the Broward Workshop, the Broward College Foundation, and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), Fulbright Scholar Program. He is also past chairman of Leadership Florida and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

United States
Our Team Thomas Kirkwood Director

Thomas Kirkwood

Director
Our Team Thomas Kirkwood Director
Thomas Kirkwood

Director

Tom was born in Thailand in 1967 and educated in Singapore, Pennsylvania and England. He has an MA degree in Oriental Studies (Chinese) from Cambridge University and wrote his Master’s dissertation on “China’s Oil & Gas Development Strategy”.

Tom began his career at the emerging Markets Group of Wall Street investment bank, Wasserstein, Perella & Co. In 1991 he moved to China where he established several businesses in oil & gas, property, telecommunications and investment. He is the owner of Kirkwood & Sons LLP, a board member of Sino Geophysical, a shareholder in Yeepay and an adviser on energy matters to KW&Co.

Tom is fluent in written and spoken Mandarin Chinese and his interests include family time, oil and gas exploration, geophysics, fly-fishing, ice hockey and tennis. Tom and his wife Kate have been involved in co-sponsoring China’s first private charity for the blind (The Bright Angel Fund) and are active supporters of the Peace Corps and Special Olympics in China.


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