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Dex Mandela Burns


Dex is CORLA’s co-founder, top leader, and spokesperson. He is responsible for the organization's vision and policy. He represents the board of directors and works closely with the CEO to implement goals and planned strategies. Dex leads and guides the organization's members to ensure all activity is aligned with CORLA's mission.

Meet Dex

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Dex Mandela Burns is an experienced social entrepreneur and nonprofit leader. In 2017 he founded, and led First Trip Inc., (now part of CORLA) an organization that awarded over 300 travel scholarships and free passport vouchers for underrepresented students to study abroad for the first time. He is a staunch advocate of national representation in international affairs and business and at age 25, became the youngest alumnus to establish a named scholarship at the University of Illinois for students underrpresented in study abroad. Dex has managed foreign affairs internship programs at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) and the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He is currently a Provost's Doctoral Fellow at the George Washington University, a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and lectures at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

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