Our Team

Possessing rich and diverse knowledge, our management team delivers an unprecedented level of commitment and value to the missions we serve.

Maria Swihart​

President and Chair

Ms. Swihart is an experienced educator in arts. In her 22-year teaching experience, she taught thousands of children to embrace their individuality. In the 1990s, Ms. Swihart taught English in China and adopted two daughters there.

Ms. Swihart holds a M.A. in Library & Information Science from Trevecca Nazarene University. of commitment and value to the missions we serve.

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Chuck Yang

Program Director

After serving in the public sector for many years, Mr. Yang joined AIED in 2012 to oversee the design, development and implementation of various international education programs.

Before AIED, Mr. Yang worked in State University of New York (SUNY), the largest and most comprehensive system of higher education in the United States. He also had work experience with New York State government and the United Nations headquarters.

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Edd Zhou

Project Management Specialist

Edd Zhou obtained the Master of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

After graduation, Edd joined Novus Engineering where he worked as a mechanical engineer for two years. He has various project management experience and joined AIED Council in 2013 to lead the project management team. Edd always has a passion for education. He served as a volunteer math teacher in underprivileged area in Nanjing, China when he was in college.

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Ryan Allen

Communication Specialist

Ryan is a current Politics and Education MA student at Teachers College-Columbia University in the Education Policy and Social Analysis program.He also holds an MA from Yonsei University (Seoul, South Korea) in International Cooperation. While in Korea, Ryan worked as an English teacher and as an editor at Diplomacy Magazine.

Zhishen Yang

Chinese Program Coordinator

Zhishen Yang joined AIED in fall 2013 to assist with our China programs. Zhishen received a Masters of Public Administration from Cornell University and has experience in fundraising and project management with various organizations. Zhishen has a passion for working in a not-for-profit setting and dedicates to capacity building for nonprofit organizations as well as communities.

Jianqiang Shi

IT Specialist

Jianqiang Shi has a Master degree in Computer Science, and he helps with AIED's information technology needs. He develops and maintains AIED's website, our project management system, as well as our student information system (SIS).

Stephanie Realegeno

School Outreach Intern

Stephanie Realegeno received a B.A. in History from UC Riverside in 2010. She has previous experience working as a tutor, teacher assistant and office assistant.Currently, she is trying to obtain a M.A at Teachers College, Columbia University. Stephanie is excited to be living in New York and hopes to learn a lot from this experience.

Ben Flavin

Legal Counsel

Benjamin Flavin is a partner of Patel Law Firm LLP. Mr. Flavin is general counsel to several not-for-profit, international NGOs and limited equity housing corporations.

He advises start up companies and established businesses on corporate structure and regulatory compliance issues with an emphasis on strategic legal planning to ensure growth. Mr. Flavin is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

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Bernard Shapiro​


Bernard Shapiro, C.P.A. graduated from New York University's Stern School of Business and received a Masters of Finance degree from Pace University. After working with Pricewaterhouse for several years he went into practice for himself.

He has a broad range of experience working with many professions and industries ranging from medical practitioners, engineering firms, retailers, service companies, and manufacturers to marketing and public relations firms.

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