Armine Saryan, Senior Program Manager

Armine Saryan is the Senior Program Manager for the overseas Flagship, AFLI, and SAFLI programs. Throughout her employment at American Councils, Armine has managed the Arabic, Central Asian Turkic, Persian, Swahili, and Yoruba Overseas Flagship programs.  Currently she oversees the Swahili Overseas Flagship, French/Wolof, and Portuguese AFLI, and the Hindi and Urdu SAFLI programs. Armine has had extensive experience in the field of education, academic and cultural exchange, and project design and management through the Peace Corps programs, directing their TEFL, business education, health and environmental awareness programs. Ms. Saryan has previously worked as Director at Lado International College in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she headed a faculty of teachers providing instruction in English as a Second Language to foreign students.



Ashford Njogu, Senior Program Officer

Ashford Njogu is the Senior Program Officer for the AFLI, IFLI and SAFLI Flagship Language Initiative Programs.  He received his bachelors degree in education from Kenyatta University, Kenya and his M.A. from the University of Queensland, Australia.   Mr. Njogu taught at Kangaru High School and was also an examiner with the Kenya National Examination Council before he joined graduate school.  He also taught Swahili for a short period of time at the Institute of Modern Languages (IML) while studying at UQ. He then was a lecturer in the Department of African and African-American Studies at the University of Kansas prior to joining American Councils. Mr. Njogu is a certified Swahili Oral Proficiency tester with DLI FLC/ACTFL and has consulted for various organizations including ACTFL, Avant Assessment, NFLC, and Transparent Language, among others.  


Derek Groom, Program Officer                      

Prior to joining American Councils in February 2015, Derek Groom worked for several other non-profits in the Washington, DC area, including the Joint National Council for Languages - National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS) and the American Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation (ARCCF). As a Boren Scholar, Derek participated on the Russian Overseas Flagship Program in St. Petersburg, Russia (2012-2013), at the conclusion of which he tested at a general working proficiency in Russian. He is also an alum of the Russian Domestic Flagship Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he received a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature.