Who We Are
Who We Are


Chair, International Studies SIG 54

Elizabeth C. Reilly, Ph.D.


Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dr. Elizabeth C. Reilly is Chair and Professor of Educational Leadership and Administration for the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, USA. In the years preceding her appointments in higher education, Dr. Reilly served as a classroom teacher and educational leader in K-12 school districts. A recognized international scholar investigating women in educational leadership, with graduate students and fellow scholars, she presents and researches globally on leadership; organizational culture and change; and women in leadership. She works with leaders of multinationals, government, non-governmental organizations, and education on five continents. Her current comparative research investigation with scholars from the United Kingdom and South Africa examines black women principals’ leadership experiences and their historical intersectionalities with colonialism, apartheid, and slavery among the three countries. Her additional studies in Costa Rica (2019), Pakistan (2020), Rwanda (2017-present), and Senegal (2020), examine the progress, successes, and challenges of women leaders in education.

Dr. Reilly is author and co-author of numerous books, book chapters, and journal articles on educational pedagogy and on leadership in a global society. Her 2018 book, Women Leading Education Across the Continents: Finding and Harnessing the Joy in Leadership, co-edited with Rachel McNae (Rowman & Littlefield Education), features over 40 international scholars. In April 2016, AERA’s Leadership for Social Justice SIG honored Dr. Reilly as its recipient of the 2016 LSJ Bridge People Award. This award recognizes individuals or groups whose work “creates a bridge between themselves and others” through scholarship and research.

Dr. Reilly is the currently-elected Chair of American Educational Research Association’s International Studies Special Interest Group and the SIG’s past Program Chair (2016-19) and Secretary/Treasurer (2013-16). With the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), she serves as Plenary Session Representative for LMU and as a Jackson Scholar Mentor, supporting doctoral students of color who aspire to the professoriate.


 Program Chair

Victoria Showunmi, Ph.D.


UCL Institute of Education, University College London

I would describe myself as an academic who is able to draw on experiences gained in higher education, the public sector, and corporate organisations. My research interests and expertise are in gender, identity, race, and class. My current research focuses on 1) the notion of identity and leadership and 2) Black girls and Black young women and their well-being. The topics that I teach include research methodology, gender theory, leadership, and professionalism. 

I was previously Program Chair for the Research Focus on Black Education SIG (elected 2012), and the Nominations Officer for the Leadership and Social Justice SIG (elected 2013). These roles have given me an insight into SIG governance across different committees within AERA, and which therefore will help to inform my understanding and the ability to operationalize strategic governance as required by the SIG Executive Committee. 

Outside of AERA I have gained a wealth of experience, which includes leadership roles, chairing various committees, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses, conducting research and serving the academic community, all of which I believe will stand me in good stead to support the work of the International Studies SIG as Program Chair.



Julia Mahfouz, Ph.D.


University of Colorado-Denver, School of Education and Human Development


Julia Mahfouz is an assistant professor in the Leadership for Educational Organizations program, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado-Denver. She has a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Educational Leadership with minors in Comparative International education and Curriculum & Instruction. Her research agenda has been shaped by her educational work as an international educator in the capacity of high school teacher, department chair, principal (K-12), and curriculum director. 

Her research explores the social, emotional, and cultural dynamics of urban and rural educational settings and their effects on school climate and school improvement utilizing qualitative and mixed methodologies. Her work seeks to deepen our understanding of social emotional learning (SEL) through lenses of intervention implementation, school improvement efforts, and preparation of school leaders to create spaces equitable for all where all could flourish utilizing policy as a lever for change and as a powerful context that shapes education at multiple levels of the system. 

In 2019, she received the Don Willower Award of Excellence for her significant scholarly achievement in Educational Leadership. She is currently (2020-2021) the program chair of Social Emotional Learning Special Interest Group (SIG), Secretary/treasurer of International Studies SIG, and secretary of Leadership for School Improvement SIG under American Educational Research Association (AERA). She is also on the organization committee of the Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education (CSLEE)’s Values and Leadership Conference.  


Frank Torres Fonseca


American Institutes for Research

Frank Torres Fonseca is a Research Associate at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), where he has worked since February 2016. He provides research and technical support to the International Activities Branch of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in its administration of large-scale international studies, including the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) etc. He has expertise in the use of online data tools for doing comparative and international education research. 

Before joining AIR, Frank was a staff teaching assistant for two introductory psychology courses as well as a faculty research assistant at the Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research (CAPER) at the University of Maryland. Frank graduated with a Master’s (M.P.S.) in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in December 2019 and also earned a graduate certificate in Instructional Systems Development (ISD) at UMBC. In May of 2014, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. 


Newsletter Editor
Delois L. Maxwell, Ed.D.


St. Thomas University, Miami Gardens, FL, USA


Dr. Maxwell resides in Parkville, Maryland and currently serves as the International Studies SIG Newsletter Editor. She is Associate Professor in Educational Leadership at St. Thomas University, and has held research, administrative, and faculty positions at the U.S. Dept. of Education, Iowa State University, UCLA, UVA, Cornell, Towson University, Coppin University, Virginia State University, and Bowie State University. Dr. Maxwell holds a B.S. from Morgan State University, M.S. from Iowa State University, and the Ed.D from Morgan State University.

Dr. Maxwell has been a research fellow at UCLA, the U.S. Department of Education, the American Educational Research Association, the Renaissance Group, the National Science Foundation, and the University System of Maryland. Her skills and interest in educational research and development has enabled Dr. Maxwell to be awarded grants and fellowships totaling more than one half million dollars.

Dr. Maxwell has more than a decade of experience in online teaching at both undergraduate and graduate level and serving as chair and/or committee member to doctoral and master level students. She teaches courses in educational foundations, multicultural education, school-community relations, research methods, school finance, curriculum development, instructional leadership, professional development, learning theory, and classroom management.

Dr. Maxwell holds membership and leadership positions on national and international professional associations such as the National Council of Professors of Education Administration (NCPEA), the International Council for Education and Teaching (ICET), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and Phi Delta Kappa (PDK).


Dr. Maxwell has conducted, published, and presented research, locally, nationally and internationally, in urban education leadership, school climate, teacher retention, professional development, multicultural education, and teacher research/action research.Research focuses on urban education, culturally responsive teaching and leadership, collaboration, home-school and community relations, and administrator and teacher professional development.


Yuqi Liao


American Institutes for Research


Yuqi Liao is a Researcher at the American Institutes for Research. In this capacity, he provides support on several large-scale international studies and assists with the development, production, and dissemination of statistical products. Previously, Yuqi was a research assistant at the Center for Research on Children in the United States, and a research intern at the Brookings Institution. His area of interest includes data manipulation and visualization, photography, and the intersection between media and technology. Yuqi holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University.

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