About Us

Our Mission: 

To create international leadership experiences

for young Americans to become collaborative and dynamic global leaders

Our Vision: 

We envision a generation of new leadership in America that approaches domestic and international challenges through an inclusive lens

The Exchanging America Story

Afters years of working in African countries and with international professionals in the United States, Kelly King, EA's Founder and Director started her own organization. After traveling to Tanzania on a service learning trip when she was 15 years old, Kelly became fascinated with Tanzania’s culture, history, and most importantly, people.

 

Years later, Kelly managed a program started by former President Obama, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, an exchange program for exemplary young African leaders to learn from accomplished Americans in the U.S. public and private sector at the US State Department. Throughout the program, Kelly realized that while it was beneficial for the African leaders to learn from American examples, there was a missed opportunity for Americans to learn from African best practices.

 

After she researched short-term exchange programs for Americans in Africa, it became apparent that there is a lack of programs available for Americans to travel to Africa that did not primarily focus on volunteering or going on safari. Africa has much more to offer than feel-good volunteer trips and breathtaking safari views, Africa’s economic, political, and social landscapes are among the most rapidly changing in the world. Many of the world's most innovative and effective solutions are originating from the African continent.  Exchanging America was created to provide Americans the opportunity to learn directly from not just Africa's, but the world’s most prominent leaders. Exchanging America alumni will implement best practices and solutions they observed while in Africa to address American challenges.

Our Team

Kelly King
Kelly King
Founder + Executive Director
Founder + Executive Director

Kelly has extensive experience working with international audiences and creating opportunities for individuals to collaborate, connect, and contribute to a greater good through virtual and in-person exchanges. She is also a Senior Advisor for International Programming at Generation Citizen, a U.S.-based civic education organization. Kelly has previously worked at the U.S. Department of State on President Obama's flagship program for African youth, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for African Leaders under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). As a Program Officer, she worked to empower innovative African leaders through leadership training at U.S. higher education institutions. Kelly previously managed a Tanzanian-based education-focused non-profit called the Olevolos Project.

 

Kelly first traveled to the African continent when she was 15 years old through a high school service learning program and has been traveling to the continent annually ever since. A lover of dogs, soccer, and African culture, Kelly is thrilled to create experiences for American young leaders to challenge their notions of leadership, modern Africa, and problem solving.

Kelly has extensive experience working with international audiences and creating opportunities for individuals to collaborate, connect, and contribute to a greater good through virtual and in-person exchanges. She is also a Senior Advisor for International Programming at Generation Citizen, a U.S.-based civic education organization. Kelly has previously worked at the U.S. Department of State on President Obama's flagship program for African youth, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for African Leaders under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). As a Program Officer, she worked to empower innovative African leaders through leadership training at U.S. higher education institutions. Kelly previously managed a Tanzanian-based education-focused non-profit called the Olevolos Project.

 

Kelly first traveled to the African continent when she was 15 years old through a high school service learning program and has been traveling to the continent annually ever since. A lover of dogs, soccer, and African culture, Kelly is thrilled to create experiences for American young leaders to challenge their notions of leadership, modern Africa, and problem solving.

Rita Sengupta
Creative Director

Rita Sengupta is the founder and director of ITM Studios, a brand strategy and production company based in Brooklyn, NY. As the Creative Director for Exchanging America, she is working to develop their brand identity and strategy. Through ITM Studios, Rita has worked with non-profit organizations, small business owners and solopreneurs to develop their marketing strategy and execute impactful promotional content.

 

Prior to starting ITM Studios, she led marketing strategy and content at Eone, an award-winning watch startup in Washington DC, and has managed multi-million dollar marketing budgets of major brands like Yoplait and Small Planet Foods. Rita is also an actor in New York City and has recently completed the Practical Aesthetics program at Atlantic Theater Company. When she's not performing she enjoys drinking craft and non craft beers, running, and playing guitar. @ritasengupta | www.itmstudios.com

Meet the Advisory Board

H.E. Amani Abeid Karume

Former President of Zanzibar

Britta Bjornlund

Branch Chief, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Saleem Sethi

Civil Servant, Government of Pakistan

Our Mission: 

To create international leadership experiences

for young Americans to become collaborative and dynamic global leaders

Our Vision: 

We envision a generation of new leadership in America that approaches domestic and international challenges through an inclusive lens

The Exchanging America Story

Afters years of working in African countries and with international professionals in the United States, Kelly King, EA's Founder and Director started her own organization. After traveling to Tanzania on a service learning trip when she was 15 years old, Kelly became fascinated with Tanzania’s culture, history, and most importantly, people.

 

Years later, Kelly managed a program started by former President Obama, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, an exchange program for exemplary young African leaders to learn from accomplished Americans in the U.S. public and private sector at the US State Department. Throughout the program, Kelly realized that while it was beneficial for the African leaders to learn from American examples, there was a missed opportunity for Americans to learn from African best practices.

 

After she researched short-term exchange programs for Americans in Africa, it became apparent that there is a lack of programs available for Americans to travel to Africa that did not primarily focus on volunteering or going on safari. Africa has much more to offer than feel-good volunteer trips and breathtaking safari views, Africa’s economic, political, and social landscapes are among the most rapidly changing in the world. Many of the world's most innovative and effective solutions are originating from the African continent.  Exchanging America was created to provide Americans the opportunity to learn directly from not just Africa's, but the world’s most prominent leaders. Exchanging America alumni will implement best practices and solutions they observed while in Africa to address American challenges.

Our Team

Kelly King
Founder + Executive Director

Kelly has extensive experience working with international audiences and creating opportunities for individuals to collaborate, connect, and contribute to a greater good through virtual and in-person exchanges. She is also a Senior Advisor for International Programming at Generation Citizen, a U.S.-based civic education organization. Kelly has previously worked at the U.S. Department of State on President Obama's flagship program for African youth, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for African Leaders under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). As a Program Officer, she worked to empower innovative African leaders through leadership training at U.S. higher education institutions. Kelly previously managed a Tanzanian-based education-focused non-profit called the Olevolos Project.

 

Kelly first traveled to the African continent when she was 15 years old through a high school service learning program and has been traveling to the continent annually ever since. A lover of dogs, soccer, and African culture, Kelly is thrilled to create experiences for American young leaders to challenge their notions of leadership, modern Africa, and problem solving.

Rita Sengupta
Creative Director

Rita Sengupta is the founder and director of ITM Studios, a brand strategy and production company based in Brooklyn, NY. As the Creative Director for Exchanging America, she is working to develop their brand identity and strategy. Through ITM Studios, Rita has worked with non-profit organizations, small business owners and solopreneurs to develop their marketing strategy and execute impactful promotional content.

 

Prior to starting ITM Studios, she led marketing strategy and content at Eone, an award-winning watch startup in Washington DC, and has managed multi-million dollar marketing budgets of major brands like Yoplait and Small Planet Foods. Rita is also an actor in New York City and has recently completed the Practical Aesthetics program at Atlantic Theater Company. When she's not performing she enjoys drinking craft and non craft beers, running, and playing guitar. @ritasengupta | www.itmstudios.com

Leadership Mentors

Leadership Mentors are hand-selected for their experience and excellence in their respective fields and serve as hosts to American Leaders.

Angelista Nashon
Civil Society, Tanzania

Angelista, also known as “The She Attorney” is a commercial and civil litigation attorney.  She concentrates her practice in business litigation, insurance coverage litigation, general torts, employment law and family law with a special focus on probate, divorce and custody matters. Angelista is active in various organizations committed to the empowerment of women, children’s rights and a wide variety of community service. She activated her leadership skills by taking higher leadership positions, including serving as the vice president of the Law School of Tanzania, vice president for Dar es Salaam University Students Organization, member of parliament for Dar es Salaam University Student Organization, and member of the East African Law Society, Tanganyika Law Society, Tanzania Women Lawyers Association, and Women's Legal Aid Centre, where she volunteers in providing free legal services to women and children. In 2015, Angelista vied for a member of parliament seat in the national election with the aim of being pushing the youth unemployment agenda. When she is not in court or engaged in any of these activities, she will be traveling or enjoying a play date with her beautiful daughter. Angelista is an alumni of the U.S. Department of State's Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Frederick Fussi
Business, Tanzania

Frederick Fussi is consultant with a professional expertise and diverse experience working in corporate environment and civic leadership with a background on senior leadership in Civil Society Organizations and Audit Firms. He is a founder and CEO of ChangeLab Consulting a firm providing consulting services on Policy, Governance and Advisory. Fussi also works on provision of professional services to Parliamentarians. Fussi has recently completed the consulting assignment for the role of Community Liaison Officer of CGG a Petroleum and Seismic Acquisition French company contracted by East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline Project (EACOP) for Geo-Physical Survey. He is currently a Consulting Associate at Baird’s Communications Management Consultants Limited. He was privileged to serve as the Board Member for the East Africa Regional Advisory Board of the Young Leaders Initiative (YALI 2016). He is also an alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. He worked as a due diligence consultant for the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), assessing financial, corporate and M&E capacities of grantees across rural and urban Tanzania. As part of his 10 years’ experience with the Civil Society, Fussi had worked solely on project and program design as the Executive Secretary of Tanzania Youth Vision Association, Secretary General of the Youth of United Nations Association of Tanzania, and the National Coordinator of UN Clubs Tanzania Network.

Meet the Advisory Board

H.E. Amani Abeid Karume

Former President of Zanzibar

Britta Bjornlund

Branch Chief, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Saleem Sethi

Queenstar Akrong

Education Access Specialist

Civil Servant, Government of Pakistan