Director of International Relations
Alison Gardy has served as Director of International Relations at 92nd Street Y since 2001, when she became the director of a newly-created Department of International Relations. That same year, under Alison’s leadership, 92Y launched the Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of 92nd Street Y, which brings proven international community leaders from all over the world to 92Y for intensive management and leadership training. The fellowship, which has served 296 community leaders from 73 countries, has been recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the top management training programs in the U.S. During her tenure, Alison has also developed 92Y’s International Way, a display of international booths at 92Y’s annual fall Street Festival that began with one booth in 2003 and now boasts two dozen (from 15 countries and 20 international cultural organizations). Alison was instrumental in creating 92Y’s Diplomatic Outreach Program, engaging diplomats from more than 70 countries in initiatives including educational forums, program collaborations, and off-the-record dialogues. Under her leadership, 92Y’s diplomatic contacts have grown from a handful to more than 500, including ambassadors, consuls general, foreign ministries and grassroots organizations around the world.
Alison has served on the Fulbright Association Board of Directors, was President of the Greater New York Chapter of the Fulbright Association, and founded the Fulbright Youth Conference in 2001, which brought together hundreds of New York City high school students for training in peaceful solutions to conflict. She also served as a board member of the New Jersey Scholars Program (of which she is a graduate). Alison taught writing at New York University and English at The Bilingual Company, a Japanese language school in New York. In her 15 years as a journalist, she has written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NACLA Report on the Americas, National Geographic Traveler, Associated Press and Texas Observer, among other publications. Alison's penchant for start-up experiments led her to help found a web content provider, a Brazilian culture magazine, and several multicultural newsletters.
Alison received a BA in Comparative Literature in Spanish and Russian from Yale University and a MFA in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia University School of the Arts. She lived in Mexico for several years on a Fulbright Fellowship to research social change in Mexico, and has traveled extensively in Latin America. Alison speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French and Russian, and limited Hebrew. She would love to take her family cycling around the world once they all graduate from training wheels.