Our Leaders

Outstanding leaders make great programs.

“Noah loved his leaders. Each played a different role and when he talked about the Foundations program, it was clear he bonded with each counselor. He knew personal facts about them and enjoyed their friendships. They were not like teachers with only rules and boundaries, but more like mentors.”

– Fonda & Charles Edelson, Beaverton, OR

Putney Student Travel leaders are chosen from a highly competitive pool of diverse and qualified candidates. We employ leaders with incredible experience in teaching, foreign language, international living, and world travel. They come from the nation’s top colleges and universities, and from prestigious positions with organizations like the Peace Corps and Teach for America. Putney rarely engages leaders who have not graduated from college, and in 2013 more than half of our leaders held or were pursuing graduate degrees.

Our family of leaders distinguish themselves in fields ranging from the arts and athletics to journalism, law, medicine, and international development. Despite the diversity of their experiences, they share a commitment to safety, a passion for exploration, and an enthusiasm for helping students make their own unique discoveries. They are not only advisors, guides, and mentors, but also good friends.

“Our leaders were amazing. Their biggest strengths were being able to completely immerse themselves in the community where we lived. They really seemed like they belonged in our project village – this made us all very comfortable to start our own lives in the village.”

– Cali Slepin, Urban School of San Francisco, San Rafael, CA


I have nothing but good things to say about my leaders. They were extremely helpful and worked hard to make sure we got the best experience that we could get.”

– Andrei Papai, Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn, NY


As a French speaker, I was absolutely blown away by the leaders’ fluency and native-sounding accents in French. Tim, especially, seemed to genuinely enjoy being with young people. All three of them had very impressive backgrounds and experiences for their relatively young age. Having spent a little more time with Tim, I have more to say about him—all positive: So professional and warm at the same time. We wish all three much success in their lives.”

– Judith Weinstein & Matthew MacCumber, Chicago, IL


“The leaders could not have been better. Eve told me that Fiona is an inspiration, for example, her combination of maintaining authority while being very caring, fun (her love of dancing, and she got the kids to love it too), and a good world citizen (speaking so many languages and being able to communicate with anyone). And Eve spoke of Jesus’ ability to keep everyone’s spirits uplifted with a perfect combination of action and humor. Their qualifications were impeccable.”

-Joanne Ahola, New York, NY


“I really, really enjoyed my leaders this summer. Nate was really a role model for me, and I hope that I will have another leader like him if I go on a Putney trip next year. We were amazed that he could speak so many languages!”

– Kelly McCoy, W.T. Woodson High School, Annandale, VA


Putney’s program and the staff both home and abroad were absolutely amazing. Thank you for this wonderful experience. My daughter came home with great stories and can’t wait to see her Putney friends.”

– David & Maria Susser, Old Westbury, NY

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