Christina V. Wood
Christina is the National Development Director for Stand for Children, an education equity and racial justice advocacy nonprofit. She formerly served in the Air Force as a Serbian-Croatian Cryptologic Linguist and language instructor working for the National Security Agency and the Defense Language Institute to teach the next generation of military linguists.
Christina is third generation Mexican American and first in her family to graduate from college. She has been a peace activist since eighth grade when she participated in her first sit-in in protest of the Gulf War and dreamed of exchange opportunities after her Spanish teacher shared her exchange story. However, Christina had to find other ways to advance her intercultural learning. Serving in the military as a linguist exposed her to the beautiful cultures of Balkan countries, and then Korea where she worked at Seoul American High School while earning her master’s in education leadership, and then Germany where her children entered the German public school system.
Christina, her husband, and their four children moved to Oregon in 2016 and hosted their first AFS exchange student for the 2017-18 school year. They have hosted many students short-term ever since, and the son (from Bosnia) and two daughters (from Belgium and Argentina) they hosted for full programs will forever be a part of their family.
In addition to advancing peace as a host mom and member of the AFS-USA Board of Directors, Christina is co-leader of the Portland Platoon of The Mission Continues and a member of the Oregon Governor’s Veteran’s Advisory Council. She strives to connect her professional life working to provide education resources to underserved students with her volunteer life engaging her veteran community as local leader and anti-war vet, and home life raising the next generation of global changemakers.