Our Leadership Team

Esther Benjamin

CEO and Executive Director, World Education Services

Esther has been a global executive in the public, private, and civil society sectors more than 25 years. Before joining WES as CEO and executive director, Esther worked with Laureate Education, Inc., a leading global higher education organization. She was Laureate’s CEO for Africa Operations and CEO of Monash South Africa, and then SVP for Global Public Affairs. 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. Early in her career, she served as a United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Officer, worked in management consulting with Grant Thornton, and was a White House Fellow. Esther holds a bachelor’s degree from North Central College and master’s degrees in International Affairs and Applied Economics from American University.

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.

Lisa Connors

Deputy Executive Director, CFO

Lisa Connors is the Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Executive Director of World Education Services. She has been with the organization since 2010 in various roles in finance and production. Lisa serves on the Board and chairs the Audit Committee of the Westchester Community College Foundation. She holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.