IFSA Butler





Heather Barclay Hamir, Ph.D.

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Our Team
  4. /
  5. Heather Barclay Hamir, Ph.D.

Heather Barclay Hamir, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Start Date

April 2015


International Educator • Insatiable Learner • Mom of Two • Horse Enthusiast

Headshot of Heather Barclay Hamir

“IFSA brings together the things I love best about education abroad: dedication to enhancing student learning, a passion to change the future through each life we touch, and the enthusiastic, innovative people it takes to achieve both. It’s been wonderful to work with such a committed community of educators, both within and external to IFSA.”


Heather earned her doctorate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she completed research on the correlation between study abroad, retention, and degree completion. She also holds a master’s of science degree and a master’s of arts degree from Oregon State University, and a bachelor’s of art degree from Pomona College.

Travel Experience

As an undergraduate study abroad student in Edinburgh, Scotland, Heather first discovered her passion for global cultures and education. Following graduation, she spent two years teaching in Japan through the JET Program. Since then, she has traveled to numerous countries for work and fun, and she continues to rediscover her passion for the world, as well as her empathy for first-time travelers abroad.

Did You Know?

In her free time, Heather can be found outside riding the family’s horses with her husband and children.


Heather Barclay Hamir, Ph.D., is President and CEO of IFSA (Institute for Study Abroad). She provides strategic leadership and direction for IFSA, a nonprofit company which provides full service and custom study abroad programs and operates in 18 countries. IFSA supports all students from finding their just right program, coaching with personal, academic and professional goals, to in-country guidance to provide an educational, intercultural experience.

While at The University of Texas at Austin, she implemented broad based, innovative strategies that resulted in increased participation in education abroad among multiple under-represented groups. UT was recognized by NAFSA and Diversity Abroad with the Simon Spotlight Award as well as the Excellence in Diversifying International Education (EDIE) Institutional Award for inclusive excellence. Barclay Hamir’s dissertation research focused specifically on the relationship between study abroad participation, degree completion, and time-to-degree. She has led multiple workshops and sessions on topics related to access and inclusion over the last decade and has been an invited speaker at universities and conferences on best practices to diversify study abroad participation.

Barclay Hamir is coeditor of two books: A House Where All Belong: Redesigning Education Abroad for Inclusive Excellence (2022) and Promoting Inclusion in Education Abroad: A Handbook of Research and Practice (2018).

She has served on Diversity Abroad’s Advisory Council, the Forum Council of the Forum on Education Abroad, and is a Director Emeritus of the Fund for Education Abroad. She currently serves on the NAFSA Board of Directors.

Barclay Hamir holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a master’s degree in College Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies from Oregon State University, and a bachelor’s in literature from Pomona College.