- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 5, 2003

Ula Marshall, the newest program director at a Washington translation services company, is getting a business exchange program off the ground this month.

Ms. Marshall, 45, joined the International Center for Language Studies (ICLS) half a year ago and recently emerged as the company’s director for the international exchange and business training program.

“It’s been a wonderful experience so far, and ICLS is finally in the position to bring over some foreign professionals” for the exchange program, Ms. Marshall said.

The program recruits professionals from countries such as Japan, Brazil, Costa Rica and Australia for a monthlong business-training class before placing them in apprenticeships in U.S. companies for five to 11 months.

Ms. Marshall said she expects the first wave of recruits, who would stay in the country on J-1 work visas, to come by December. About 60 U.S. companies have signed up, and Ms. Marshall said she has two agreements with Japanese organizations to serve as hosts to American employees.

American professionals also will have the chance to travel and work in foreign countries, but Ms. Marshall said that side of the exchange program would start later next year.

“The program is something I’ve wanted to head for quite a while, and I jumped at the opportunity,” she said.

Ms. Marshall, a Russian immigrant who is applying for U.S. citizenship, joined the company after working with the Eurasia Foundation’s Central Asian office in conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development. In that role, Ms. Marshall oversaw grants to nonprofit organizations and small-business groups in Russia.

She also has held positions with Winrock International, Voice of America and the Peace Corps.

Karen Decker, president of ICLS, said she brought Ms. Marshall on to head up the new program because of her “passion for language and cultural awareness.”

“Ula really believes in what this company is trying to achieve, and she has worked tirelessly with the State Department to make sure the application and screening process is in conjunction with immigration laws,” Ms. Decker said.

Ms. Marshall, who speaks English, Russian, Uzbek, Kazakh and French, lives in the District with her husband, Dana.

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