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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.

In 2014, she was named Technical Analyst of the Year 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.

She writes 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 2017, she contributed three chapters to the recently published NAFSA text, Crisis Management for Education Abroad. Most recently, Ms. Friend collaborated with two colleagues to produce “Your guide to the new U.S. Department of State travel advisories,” but her ground-breaking essay, “How sexual misconduct threatens the security industry: real and reputational risk has generated more discussion in the profession than any other work.

Ms. Friend has traveled in over thirty 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. She is also a licensed attorney in the state of Michigan, and currently lives in Evanston, Illinois.  For additional information and publications, refer to Ms. Friend's full bio.                 

Jonathon Zinger

Assistant Director

Assistant Director

Jonathon Zinger joined Northwestern’s Office of Global Safety and Security in April 2017, where, among other duties, he monitors world events based on institutional exposure and works with travelers to mitigate risk.

Prior to assuming the Assistant Director position, Jonathon worked as an Intelligence Analyst at Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa. His main duty was to monitor risks (terrorism, crime, civil unrest, weather, natural disasters, public health, etc.) around the world and analyze how they could potentially affect business operations or personnel.

Before working at Principal, Jonathon served in a similar private sector intelligence role at the First Data Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia. He has also worked for a federal defense contractor in Herndon, Virginia, where he focused on maritime security risks and geopolitical events in the Middle East and North Africa.

Jonathon received a full scholarship to obtain his Master’s degree in the Department of Government at Uppsala University in Sweden. He studied international development and security, and wrote his Master’s thesis on the factors that make certain countries vulnerable to extremist activity. His analysis of why northern Mali was infiltrated by militant organizations was awarded the grade of “distinction” – the highest level in the Swedish academic system. As a student, Jonathon interned at several different institutions, including the U.S. Department of State, Express Media Pakistan, America Abroad Media, and the Africa Development Corps.

Jonathon received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Clemson University, where he graduated cum laude. He stays active with the school by donating to the IPTAY Scholarship fund and by rooting on his beloved Tigers. Outside of work, Jonathon enjoys being outdoors with his dog and traveling. 

Beth Osterlund

Program Coordinator

Program Coordinator

Beth Osterlund began her career at The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, an international non-profit headquartered in Evanston. She worked for 12 years for one of the largest privately funded international scholarship programs in the United States sponsoring over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students for study abroad each year. During her tenure at Rotary, Beth also worked on Rotary’s high school exchange program to help certify that volunteer leadership created and maintained a safe environment for high school exchange students in Rotary programs.

Beth graduated from Miami University in Oxford, OH with a Bachelor of Arts in French. She spent a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France and participated in a summer study abroad program in Dijon.

In addition to studying abroad, she and her husband have served as a host family for Youth Exchange students from Finland and Mexico attending Evanston Township High School through the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club Youth Exchange Program.

Joining the OGSS in 2013, she successfully completed the Institute for Study Abroad conference on Risk and Crisis Management and is currently in training as a member of the Northwestern’s Education Abroad Crisis Management Council.  Among other duties, Beth oversees all undergraduate non-credit travel experiences abroad and responds to inquiries related to Northwestern's international assistance and medical insurance carrier GeoBlue.

Glenn Xu

MSHE Summer Intern

MSHE Summer Intern

Glenn recently received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Japanese, and Computer Science from Northwestern, and he is currently pursuing a Master's degree in the MSHE program. Having been a participant of various study abroad programs with knowledge in multiple foreign cultures and languages, Glenn is excited about the related projects and opportunities in OGSS. Glenn also has many other interest, such as traveling, playing sports, and trying out delicious food.