JNCL-NCLIS Staff Biographies

Dr. William P. Rivers, Executive Director

Dr. Rivers has 20 years of experience in culture and language for economic development and national security, with expertise in research, assessment, program evaluation, and policy development and advocacy. He chairs ASTM Technical Committee F43, Language Services and Products and the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 232, Training in the Informal Sector.

Before joining JNCL-NCLIS, he served as Chief Scientist at Integrated Training Solutions, Inc., a small business in Arlington, Virginia, where he focused on strategic planning, management, and advanced technologies for language and culture programs in the public sector. While at ITS, he served in a contractor role as the Chief Linguist of the National Language Service Corps. Prior to working at ITS, he was a founding member of the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) at the University of Maryland, and was a staff member of the National Foreign Language Center from 1994 to 2003.

During his career, Dr. Rivers has also taught Russian at the University of Maryland, worked as a freelance interpreter and translator, and conducted field work in Kazakhstan, where he regularly returns to teach at several universities. He received his PhD in Russian from Bryn Mawr College and his MA, BA, and BS from the University of Maryland. He speaks Russian and French. His email address is wrivers@languagepolicy.org

Maria Pulcini, Policy Analyst

Maria moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 2014 after spending four years in Rome, Italy living, working, and completing her undergraduate degree at the American University of Rome. During her time there, she traveled extensively through Italy, around Europe, and to parts of the Middle East. She received her B.A. in International Relations with a minor in Italian language. She began with JNCL-NCLIS as an intern in October of 2014 and was brought on as a Policy Analyst in January of 2015. She is fluent in Italian and currently learning Levantine Arabic and French. Her email address is mpulcini@languagepolicy.org

Valerie Turner, Policy Intern

Valerie graduated cum laude from Loyola University Maryland where she received a B.A. in Global Studies with a minor in Spanish. While pursuing her degree, she studied abroad in Bangkok, Thailand where she was able to live, teach, and travel throughout Southeast Asia. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is currently studying Egyptian Arabic and French. She joined JNCL-NCLIS as a policy intern in October 2016. Her email address is vturner@languagepolicy.org.