Our Leadership Team

Esther Benjamin

CEO and Executive Director, World Education Services

Esther T. Benjamin has been a global executive in the public, private, and civil society sectors for more than 25 years. Before joining WES as CEO and executive director, Esther worked with Laureate Education, Inc., a leading global higher education organization. Esther served as the Associate Director for Global Operations of the U.S. Peace Corps, and held senior management roles with the International Youth Foundation and the International Partnership for Microbicides.

Shamira Madhany

Managing Director Canada and Deputy Executive Director

Shamira Madhany joined WES in 2018 after more than two decades of public service. She has extensive experience working with licensing bodies, settlement agencies, and higher education and post-secondary sectors in Ontario. She served as the chief architect of several government programs that enable highly skilled immigrants to obtain employment in their fields. Shamira played a key role in the launch of WES Canada in 2000 during her tenure at the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration as Provincial Lead, Access to Professions and Trades.

Paul Feltman

Deputy Executive Director for Global Talent Policy and Programs

As Deputy Executive Director for Global Talent Policy and Programs for WES, Paul Feltman oversees the WES Global Talent Bridge Program and develops outreach and education programs, community partnerships, and policy initiatives focused on helping immigrants successfully integrate into academic and professional settings. He serves as the steering committee chair of IMPRINT, a coalition of organizations active in the field of immigrant professional integration. Paul also serves on the advisory board of the Massachusetts New Americans Integration Institute and the National Blue Rib­bon Panel of the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education.

Cheryl Cramer Toto

Chief Operations Officer

Cheryl Cramer Toto has spent over two decades in operational leadership and business transformation in the private sector and with non-profit organizations. Before joining WES as COO Cheryl served as President and CEO of the Marketing Science Institute. Cheryl also spent ten years at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt where she helped to turn a paper-based educational publishing house into one of the sector’s digital pioneers.

Astrid Vermeer

Chief Financial Officer

Astrid Vermeer joined WES as CFO in 2020 after more than two decades overseeing finance and financial strategy at leading non-profit and private organizations in the international development sector. Prior to WES, Astrid served as CFO at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and also held senior financial leadership roles with the American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund, and Abt Associates. Originally from Suriname, she has lived and worked in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe.