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Meet the Staff

Julie Anne Friend



Julie Anne Friend has worked in the field of international education for over 20 years. As the Director of the Office of Global Safety and Security at Northwestern University, she is charged with developing a comprehensive, university-wide approach to international risk management.


Ms. Friend was named Technical Analyst of the Year in 2014 by the U.S. Department of State for her leadership in advancing the international safety and security interests of the academic community. In 2015, Michigan State University’s (MSU) College of Law featured her in an alumni profile.


In 2017, Ms. Friend contributed three chapters covering institutional liability, legal history and managing the death of a student abroad in Crisis Management for Education Abroad. Three year later, she contributed a chapter on international risk management for Undergraduate Research Abroad. Currently, she is working with a UCLA colleague on a textbook about legal issues in higher education and university-sponsored international travel inspired by three years of teaching a course on Law and Ethics in Higher Education for Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy.


For many years, Ms. Friend wrote regularly for NAFSA’s International Educator magazine about insurance and risk management. Her 2014 publication, “When A Student Dies Abroad: Preparing for the Ultimate Tragedy," includes helpful planning and response checklists. Later that year, she served as a guest author for NAFSA’s “Hot Topics” blog to discuss the threat (or lack thereof) of Ebola to academia. Her last IE publication, “Health Forms 2.0: Developing an Ethical and Effective Health History Disclosure Process for Education Abroad,” outlines a student-centered process to encourage pre-departure medical management planning (printed in the Nov./Dec. 2016 issue). In 2018, Ms. Friend collaborated with two colleagues to produce “Your guide to the new U.S. Department of State travel advisories.” That same year, “How sexual misconduct threatens the security industry: real and reputational risk” shifted discussion in the field from external to internal risks. Most recently, Ms. Friend collaborated with colleagues from industry and higher education to address the risks of climate change in “Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change: Reducing the Risks of International Travel.”

Travel and Education

Ms. Friend has traveled in over thirty-five countries and has lived in both France and Zambia. In addition to earning a Juris Doctor in Law and a Master of Arts in English from Michigan State University, Ms. Friend has a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications from Syracuse University, where she was also in the first cohort of Remembrance Scholars, a prestigious award in honor of the 35 Syracuse University students who lost their lives in the Pan Am 103 explosion over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988. She is a licensed attorney in the state of Michigan. For additional information and complete list of publications, contact Ms. Friend for a copy of her full biography.

Beth Osterlund

Assistant Director

Assistant Director

With over 20 years of experience in the field of international education, Beth Osterlund serves as the Assistant Director of the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS). In her role, she is dedicated to supporting both undergraduate and graduate travelers, focusing on essential aspects such as pre-departure medical management planning, traveler outreach, and the preparation and assistance of trip leaders.

Beth's professional journey began at The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, a renowned international non-profit headquartered in Evanston. For 12 years, she contributed significantly to one of the United States' largest privately funded international scholarship programs, facilitating study abroad experiences for more than 1,000 graduate students each year. Her responsibilities extended to overseeing Rotary's high school exchange program, ensuring the safety and well-being of high school exchange students within Rotary programs through the certification of volunteer leadership.

Beth is academically well-prepared, holding a Master of Science Degree from Northeastern University in Global Studies and International Relations, specializing in Global Student Mobility. Her educational background also includes a Bachelor of Arts in French from Miami University, where she gained valuable international experience through a semester in Aix-en-Provence, France, and participation in a faculty-led summer program in Dijon.

Outside of her academic pursuits, Beth and her husband have opened their home to serve as host parents for Youth Exchange students from Finland and Mexico, who attended Evanston Township High School through the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club's Youth Exchange Program.

Since joining the OGSS in 2013, Beth has become an integral part of Northwestern's Education Abroad Crisis Management Council. Furthermore, she actively participates in Pulse, a network of university international health and safety specialists. Beth is dedicated to the safety and well-being of Northwestern's international travelers. 

Andrea Mendoza

Program Coordinator | Data Analyst

Program Coordinator | Data Analyst

Andrea Mendoza works as the Program Coordinator|Data Analyst of the Office of Global Safety & Security. She manages the International Travel Registry, non-credit undergraduate student travel, and supports pre-departure requirements and travel outreach.

Andrea graduated from Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in Chicago, IL with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in Economics and a minor in Psychology. During her time as a student, she was a member of NEIU’s magazine Que Ondee Sola, a publication established in 1972 with the goal of covering social issues from across the world. She worked as Visual Arts Editor and Editor in Chief. Additionally, Andrea also worked as a Student Ambassador, providing guidance to prospective students and their families, as well as giving campus tours.

She Joined Northwestern University’s Office of Global Safety & Security in 2022.

Veronika Starodubets

Student Worker

Student Worker

OGSS welcomes Veronika Starodubets to their team as an Administrative Aide.  Veronica is from Brooklyn, New York, where she graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Veronika has a dance background and was formally trained in ballet at the American Ballet Theatre. She was a member of her high school’s gymnastics team and continues to pursue dance and gymnastics opportunities in Evanston and Chicago. In high school, she tutored Russian-speaking ESL (English as a second language) elementary school students, she also has experience helping international students from Eastern Europe apply for and secure jobs in the U.S. Veronika is currently a Northwestern senior studying Statistics. Her professional journey includes experience in digital marketing, gained through internship positions with Software as a Service based and startup companies.