Chief Officer of Marketing, Customer Experience, and Strategic Advancement
International student exchange has been a part of Melvin Harmon’s life for more than 40 years, starting with his own AFS year exchange from the hills of western North Carolina to the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ever since that life-changing experience, he has been dedicated to the field of cross-cultural exchange, whether it be through high school exchanges, work abroad programs, internships, or university-level study abroad opportunities. Melvin started his professional life at AFS in 1986 and, after 8 years, he went on to spend 16 years at CIEE (Council for International Education and Exchange). In 2012, Melvin returned to AFS where he is now applying his knowledge of international education, participant support, marketing/communications, program development, and business management toward helping AFS-USA further its strategic objectives. Throughout Melvin’s career in student exchange, his family has served as a host family on more than seven occasions.
In his current role as Chief Officer of Marketing, Customer Experience, and Strategic Advancement, Melvin oversees the marketing of AFS-USA’s programs while also focused on delivering quality experiences to applicants, parents, participants, educators, and AFS-USA’s program partners. He has been one of the steering members of AFS-USA’s Diversity & Inclusion Group as well as the LGBTQ+ Exchange Group.
Although a southerner at heart, Melvin has spent most of his adult life in Boston, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and since 2012, in New York City, where he currently lives with his husband and their feral cat colony.