Peggy has been leading WorldChicago since 2001, meeting emerging leaders – young and old – from all over the world and sharing our amazing city of Chicago with them.
Before joining WorldChicago, Peggy worked at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs as Director of Development. While at the Department of Cultural Affairs, she earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Peggy attend Central College in Pella, Iowa which allowed her the opportunity to spend a year at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, the first of her many international travels. Peggy lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
Donna SadlickiBusiness & IT Administration Manager
Donna celebrates 25 years with WorldChicago in May 2023. In addition to financial reporting, technology, and oversight of the internship program, Donna has also headed up the following programs: Community Connections, Open World Leadership, and Shanghai Management Fellows.
Before and during her work at WorldChicago, Donna was the Artistic Director of The Opera Factory in Chicago. Her passion for WorldChicago’s citizen diplomacy mission has led her to travel extensively to international destinations such as Jordan, Israel, Georgia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Turkey, to name a few. As a classically-trained singer, she performed for the International Committee for Artists for Peace for honoree Carlos Santana and numerous US orchestras and opera companies. Donna majored in Music Performance at Eastern Illinois University.
Jennifer DixonVice President
Before joining WorldChicago, Jennifer worked or served in civic leadership roles for over 25 years for organizations such as Urban Alliance, Umoja, Girls on the Run - Chicago, and UCAN as well as founded and successfully ran her own business for 10 years.
Currently, Jennifer serves on the Board for CPS Lives, which places Artist in Resident Fellows in Chicago Public Schools. Her own citizen diplomacy travels have included trips to Sweden, France, Finland, London, Denmark and a Habitat for Humanity volunteer experience which served as her honeymoon. Jennifer and her family have also served as a host family to 20 international exchange visitors over the last 10 years and live in the Albany Park neighborhood. Her daughter served as a WorldChicago Youth Diplomat for 2 years.
Ben GrayDevelopment Manager
Ben happily joined the WorldChicago team as the Development Manager in 2022. He is responsible for producing fundraising events, writing grants, and soliciting donations from individuals and corporations. Ben has a wealth of experience in Chicago non-profit management with organizations, including the Jazz Institute of Chicago, Still Point Theatre Collective, and ArtReach at Lillstreet. Ben is an accomplished jazz drummer and avid cyclist.
Megan SpillmanProgram Manager, International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
Megan is the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Officer at WorldChicago. She develops, implements, and monitors local programming for short-term professional exchanges through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program on a wide range of topics, for visitors from every region of the world.
Prior to joining the World Chicago team, Megan managed the Chicago office of the Institute of International Education (IIE), where she led teams responsible for advising students and scholars participating in exchange programs, including the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program. She is a part of the worldwide community of consultants certified in the KonMari Method™ of organizing. She earned an MS in Public Service Management from DePaul University and a BA from Oklahoma State University.
Megan lives in Oak Park with her son.
Gloria LlenosProgram Manager
Gloria Llenos joined the WorldChicago team as a Program Manager in January 2022. After graduating with honors and a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Economics and Cultural Affairs from Valparaiso University,
Gloria has held multiple positions focusing on cross-cultural communications, international education, and global experiences, as she loves traveling and meeting people from all over the world. She worked in the study abroad office at her university and later served as a Designated School Official at Kaplan Test Prep, advising international medical graduate students on topics such as immigration compliance, cultural adjustments, and enrollment procedures. Prior to joining WorldChicago, Gloria worked in the travel industry for 5 years at National Geographic Expeditions designing bespoke itineraries for luxury clients in collaboration with Destination Management Companies around the world. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new places and restaurants, reading, and being active with her husky/lab puppy, Ace.
Kendall KartalyProgram Manager
Program Manager, Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Program
Kendall joined the WorldChicago team in November 2022 as the Program Manager for the Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Fellowship Program. She manages the U.S. Department of State’s flagship program that engages young European entrepreneurs in a series of professional development and leadership activities designed to strengthen transatlantic relationships.
Prior to joining the WorldChicago Team, Kendall worked in national fellowships and international education. She lived in Poland for three years, first as a Fulbright grantee and later as an English teacher working with students from over 30 different nationalities. Kendall has enjoyed creating spaces for exchange, from facilitating workshops with the American Corners in various Polish cities to working with a variety of artists and scholars collaborating on an artistic performance with Teatr Powszechny for World Refugee Day. She graduated from Valparaiso University as a Christ College Scholar with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education.
Julia SosnivkaProgram Officer
Julia first joined WorldChicago in January 2020 as a Program Assistant and has rejoined our team again in February 2021 as a Program Associate.
She recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Global and International Studies with minors in Mathematics, European Studies as well as Political Science. Throughout her young adult life, Julia has participated in numerous cultural exchange programs that took place in Taiwan, France, and Italy and has volunteered with local organizations that work to educate the youth about Ukrainian history, culture, and language. She has also volunteered with the Chicago Sister Cities International as a Committee Member to foster cooperation and understanding through citizen diplomacy between Chicago and Kyiv. Julia is excited to rejoin WorldChicago and form unique experiences for members in our communities as well as international ones. In her free time, Julia enjoys exploring new places, playing sports with her family, and learning new languages.
Michael MaProgram Coordinator
Michael joined WorldChicago in June 2022 as part of a one-year Fellowship through the Northwestern University Public Interest Fellows Program as a Program Associate and as of July 2023, is a full-time staff member. Michael graduated from Northwestern University in 2021 with a BA in Economics and a minor in Chinese language and culture. He was born in Liaoning, a northeastern province of China, and immigrated to the US when he was four, growing up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. As a hyphenated American, Michael believes in WorldChicago’s mission of attesting the power of the individual to create cross-cultural connections through citizen diplomacy. Through his experiences as a teaching fellow and studying abroad, he understands the remarkable influence and joy that these relationships can create. As a Program Coordinator, Michael is excited to advance growth and cultural understanding through meaningful programming. Outside of work, Michael enjoys any movement: walking, yoga, and triathlon sports (swimming, biking, running).
Alex GrahamProgram Fellow
Alex graduated from Northwestern this summer with a BA in political science and a minor in Chinese and legal studies. She is participating in the Northwestern Public Interest Program for a one-year term before going on to law school. Having studied Chinese since the age of 11, she has participated in virtual and in-person exchange programs in China and Taiwan. She has utilized her diversity of experience through past externships at Mayoral Offices and Federal District Courts. Throughout college and high school, she executively organized and spoke on various mental health panels and debates on foreign and domestic issues. Alex believes in WorldChicago's mission of citizen diplomacy, having witnessed the growth citizen-to-citizen dialogue can create. In her free time, Alex enjoys playing tennis, listening to classic rock music, and traveling to visit friends and family.
Emir Klebic - DePaul University
Maja MItrovic - DePaul University
Anna Donko - University of Chicago
Inga Usenko - Odesa University
Abby Joy Neptun - Gustavus Adolphus College
Manuela Tapia Sasot - Sciences Po/Northeastern University
Julia Gershberg - Dartmouth College
Sophia Pennex - Northwestern University
Maelys Bory - Northwestern University/Sciences Po
Malena Petronijevic - DePaul University
Jenny Uddenberg -Loyola University
Madeline Strasburg -University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Izzy Horio - DePaul University