Rebecca Bell Meszaros
Rebecca Bell Meszaros is vice president for global programs at IREX. She leads more than 400 professionals globally to ensure innovative development programs translate to meaningful impact. She provides vision, leadership and organizational direction across four essential areas of empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions, and extending access to quality education and information.
Rebecca brings more than 25 years of experience in international education and development. Her work has spanned national-scale higher education reform, educator professional development, workforce development and leadership, youth, and civil society fellowship programs. Under her leadership as associate vice president of IREX’s education programs, she developed career centers that are bridging the gap between higher education institutions and the private sector to improve youth employment outcomes. She also expanded our work in pre-service and in-service teacher professional development to improve student learning outcomes through programs like Fulbright Teacher Exchanges. Rebecca has published opinion pieces on closing the STEM gap and has been interviewed by media outlets including NPR. Rebecca also served as a member of IREX’s 2025 strategic planning team.
Prior to her leadership of IREX’s education portfolio, Rebecca led the launch of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a high-profile Presidential initiative for sub-Saharan Africa and flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). She also led multi-country youth programs designed to develop the next generation of leaders in the public and private sectors. She has partnered with the United States Department of State, United States Agency for International Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Embassies, foundations and the private sector.
She is currently a board member of the Alliance for International Exchange, an association of 90 NGOs that gives a public policy voice to the international education community. She also served as a member of their Congressional appropriations task force for more than a decade.
She received her BA from American University in international studies with a concentration in peace and conflict resolution and has overseas experience in Moscow and Budapest. She also has a Specialization Certificate in Leadership & Governance in Nonprofit Organizations from the State University of New York and a certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University through eCornell.