Global Playground Appoints Ryan Drysdale as Executive Director

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 29, 2019 – The Board of Directors of Global Playground, Inc. is thrilled to announced that it has appointed Mr. Ryan Drysdale as its next Executive Director.  Mr. Drysdale’s appointment is effective February 1, 2019.

Mr. Drysdale is not new to Global Playground.  In 2010, after graduating from the University of Iowa, Mr. Drysdale joined the organization as its first Teaching Fellow.  In that capacity, he taught English at Global Playground’s project sites in the mountains of Northern Thailand, in the country’s Mae Hong Son province.  After completing his fellowship, Mr. Drysdale returned to the United States, where he travelled on behalf of Global Playground to 30 schools in nine states to facilitate cross-cultural exchange with children at the organization’s project sites abroad.  From 2012 to 2013, Mr. Drysdale served on Global Playground’s Board of Directors.

Following his time at Global Playground, Mr. Drysdale launched a career as a bold, creative community and civic engagement professional, holding leadership positions at Operation Groundswell, AmeriCorps, and the Mae Lid Project.  In Fall 2014, Mr. Drysdale enrolled at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, from which he graduated in 2016 with a Master’s degree in International Relations. Since graduating, he has held positions at Inspire U.S. and recently joined Civic Nation in Washington, D.C., where he assists in the organization’s effort to promote civil learning and student voting on college campuses.  Concurrently, Mr. Drysdale will serve on a part-time basis as Global Playground’s Executive Director.

“We could not be more excited to have Ryan back,” said Doug Bunch, Chair of Global Playground’s Board of Directors.  “Ryan was a leader when he first came to Global Playground in 2010, and even then had a profound impact in shaping what the organization has become.  In many ways, he will now lead the initiatives he helped shape almost a decade ago.”

“The Teaching Fellowship in Thailand launched my career, and I’m honored to once again have the opportunity to serve the mission of Global Playground and lead the organization at a time when global educational infrastructure and especially cross-cultural dialogue are at a critical need, ” said Mr. Drysdale.  

Mr. Drysdale’s appointment also marks the end of Kendall Lorenzen’s term as Executive Director.  Ms. Lorenzen held a distinguished tenure at Global Playground, joining the organization in 2015 as its first Global Fellow, and then serving as Deputy Executive Director, Executive Director, and on the organization’s Board of Directors, on which she continues to serve.  Global Playground thanks Ms. Lorenzen for her deep commitment to the organization, and her strong and transformative leadership.

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Doug Bunch