Career Mentors

As an International Scholar, you will meet regularly with an experienced mentor who has worked with the State Department, been an executive with an international company, or a non-governmental organization official. 

Mentors will use the experiences they had while living and working all around the world to guide you as you develop wide-ranging and international perspectives, and ultimately help you be whoever you want to be.

Our mentors include:

  • Nella Barkley
    Founder of Crystal-Barkley Corporation and BestWork, Inc. The companies specialize in strategic consulting and planning for human resources. Nella is also the founder of South Carolina’s Educational Television Endowment. She has been awarded the State’s Order of the Palmetto and the David H. Wilkins Award for Excellence in Civic Leadership.
  • John Buggie
    Has over 25 years of professional experience serving senior management of large global corporations, including Fortune 500 companies in the US and Europe, on issues of strategy, organizational change, and marketing innovation.
  • Gerry Cameron
    Has over 10 years of executive search experience and more than 25 years of management and operational experience with a diversified global financial institution. He is currently a partner of Caldwell Partners in their Charleston office.
  • David Cohen
    Served as Dean of the College of Charleston’s School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs from 2006-2014. He is also Dean Emeritus of the CofC library, where he served as dean from 1982-2012. He has consulted for the Pennsylvania Commission for the Humanities, the Philadelphia Club, NetGen, and more than 15 universities. 
  • Peter Lehman
    Peter is currently the Director of Partner Relations for North America at Cruise Line International Association. He has previously worked for the South Carolina Port Authority in several executive roles. In addition, he has been an adjunct faculty member of Webster University, College of Charleston, Limestone College, Johnson and Wales, and The Citadel.
  • Phil Noble
    Founder of World Class Scholars. Phil was an early pioneer in internet and technology use in the civic sector, which lead him to start six digital companies and NGOs. He has been involved with over 350 public affairs projects and political campaigns in 40 states and 32 countries. In addition, he has been a guest lecturer at over 30 colleges and universities in the US and internationally.
  • Hilton Smith
    President and CEO of East Bay Co., LTD, and President and CEO of various real estate development and home building companies in Maryland, West Virginia, and South Carolina. He has served on numerous boards such as the Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust, Spaulding-Paolozzi Foundation, Hollings Cancer Center of the Medical University of South Carolina, and the South Carolina Aquarium.
  • Keith Weaver
    Keith is the Navy Programs Lead for the Defense and Space Division of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security and Environmental global business unit. Among his many distinctions, he served as the Senior Vice President for Operations and the Chief Operating Officer of the USO.
  • Loren Ziff
    Loren has over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate. He has started two companies, Ziff Properties, Inc., an investment business, and EastRock Properties, LLC, a private real estate investment, brokerage and consulting firm.

Student Experience 

Andrea Kimpson, '23

I had the opportunity to choose and connect with my career mentor this year and it has already been so fulfilling. I came into this program looking for an opportunity to learn from an established professional and to solicit feedback about my plans and goals. I really wanted someone I could look to for guidance and advice. From our first meeting, all of this and more came true. My mentor was so incredibly welcoming and appreciative of all my questions and immediately took interest in the plans I currently have. She has gone above and beyond to challenge me to consider new opportunities, while also helping me map out methods to explore new and planned avenues. Above all, my mentor has taken interest in me as a student, a professional, and as a person. This level of engagement has allowed me to begin forging a genuine relationship that I hope to carry with me even after my four years as a CofC student.