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Our Team

Athena Lao Consultant

Athena Lao – Consultant

Sectors: Nonprofit

Specialties: Education; International Development;  Organizational Strategy and Development; Program Design and Implementation

Education: M.S.Ed. in International Educational Development from the University of Pennsylvania, B.A. in Classics from Harvard University

Professional Experience

Athena Lao serves as a Program Development Lead for the Institute of International Education (IIE), where she develops large-scale scholarship, exchange, and workforce development programs for U.S. and foreign governments, corporations, and foundations. Her career has included founding, leading, and growing successful nonprofits, as well as overseeing the implementation of multimillion-dollar international education programs.


Athena co-founded what is now one of the largest youth civic education nonprofits in the Balkans, serving 1000+ high school students in Bulgaria: she ran programs, raised $100,000+ USD in individual and government funding, and built a sustainable governance structure for the organization.


President, Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance
Alumna, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program
Alumna Interviewer/Application Reader, Coca-Cola Scholars Program
Alumna, Gates Millennium Scholars Program

Passion for Social Impact

Athena is dedicated to providing educational opportunity through equitable access.

Personal Interests

Running, traveling, reading, Bulgarian and Latin dance.

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