Donald Back

Position: Language and Culture Institute director


Phone: 540-231-6963

Education: Ph.D. in planning, governance, and globalization, Virginia Tech; master's degree in international education, University of Massachusetts; bachelor's degree in biological sciences, Wright State University; 

More about Don: As director of the institute, Don manages an annual operating budget of more than $10 million dollars and oversees a staff of 75 employees. His responsibilities include initiating university partnerships, developing corporate contracts, and recruiting internationally. He has attracted more than $5 million in external funding in the past five years. Under his leadership, the institute has developed capacity-building projects in countries including Iraqi Kurdistan, Saudi Arabia, Haiti, Chile, Senegal, and China.

Don was formerly a district director and director of sales with ELS Language Centers, the leading private provider of English language training in the U.S. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, he has been active in international education for nearly 30 years and has worked in managerial capacities for more than 20 years.

He has served on a national level in the NAFSA: Association of International Educators professional association and is former president of the American Association of Intensive English Programs, the leading organization representing language institutes in the United States.