President and Chief Executive Officer
Robin Lerner, J.D.
Robin Lerner assumed the role of President and CEO of the Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) in September 2017. In this position, she oversees a unique state-based consortium of public and private universities who, together, work toward increasing campus internationalization. During her tenure, membership has increased in size by 55% and strategic reserves by 50%.
Prior to this position, Ms. Lerner served in the Obama administration as senior advisor and counselor to the ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, focusing on adolescent girls empowerment, women’s economic advancement, and gender-based violence. She also served as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In this capacity, she oversaw the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, a public-private partnership system that annually brings some 300,000 foreign citizens – mostly youth – to the United States to study, build skills, and teach through sponsored programs.
Before joining the administration, Ms. Lerner served as a senior counselor on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she led the Committee’s policy and budget positions regarding gender equality, human rights, refugees, migration, trafficking in persons, international education, and public diplomacy. While on the Committee, she was a leading voice on publicly and privately funded educational exchange programs and mechanisms, as well as virtual and digital educational and cultural exchange. She was the lead drafter of a number of human rights bills and resolutions on women and girls, trafficking in persons, and freedom of the press, among others.
Prior to the Committee, she served in a career capacity in the U.S. Department of State, including in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, and U.S. Embassies Cairo and Baghdad. Ms. Lerner, a lawyer by training, began her career as a legal and human rights advisor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Missions in Croatia and Kosovo, where she handled violence against women, human trafficking, and minority and property rights. Ms. Lerner spent a year as a staff attorney for the ACLU of Mississippi and was an election supervisor for Bosnia’s first democratic elections in 1997.
Ms. Lerner is committed to public service and civic affairs and currently serves on the Texas State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the advisory council for the Austin Monitor newspaper, and the board of directors of the Ann Richards School Foundation and Global Ties U.S., where she is chair of the external affairs committee.
When not working, Ms. Lerner enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband – a middle and high school STEM educator – their two daughters, and their beloved dog and TIEC mascot, Tenley.