The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) has appointed a new Executive Director, Ariel Foster, to lead its operations in the United States. She joins IELTS USA based in Los Angeles, CA starting May 5.
As Executive Director of IELTS USA, Ariel will be responsible for growing the number of U.S. institutions that recognize IELTS as evidence of English language proficiency, and expanding the IELTS test center network to increase access to the test across the United States. She will also work with IELTS stakeholders and international education professionals to further promote the importance of English language proficiency for the purpose of education, employment, professional accreditation and global mobility.
The mission of IELTS USA is to support individuals and organizations within the U.S. in evaluating English language proficiency, and to help ensure these candidates are able to communicate effectively once they enroll in a U.S. college or university.
Ariel describes the unique appeal of IELTS: "It is a truly international test, incorporating a range of global English, a wide variety of accents and ways of speaking, not just American English. This is vital as U.S. higher education becomes increasingly internationalized both in terms of enrollments and faculty. IELTS assesses four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking - in different contexts, meaning proficient learners are prepared to communicate effectively in English in the classroom and beyond."
Ariel has over 20 years of experience in non-profit and higher education, and previously served as Executive Director, Advanced Placement College and University Services and Executive Director of the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) at The College Board. She most recently worked for Cambridge International Examinations, a division of the University of Cambridge, focused on strategic planning and development for the U.S. market. Ariel brings a host of knowledge related to product development, international program development and strategic partnerships to her new role at IELTS USA.
Ariel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Tufts University, and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art Media Studies from Syracuse University. She also has a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) certificate and worked as an English teacher in the Czech Republic.
Founded in 1989, IELTS is the world's most popular English language test for higher education and global migration. It is currently accepted by over 9,000 organizations worldwide, including more than 3,000 U.S. institutions, and test takers can choose from over 50 testing locations throughout the U.S.
IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.