Charles O. Mays has been appointed Executive Director of the Esperantic Studies Foundation, to take office on July 1, 2017. He will succeed Joel Amis, who is resigning to complete his studies for the Master of Divinity degree, leading to ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada.
Chuck Mays is an electrical engineer and project manager by profession, holding a degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. He is also an active speaker of Esperanto, having learned the language in 1986 and having developed a strong interest in language issues generally.
In the course of his career he has spent extensive periods of time abroad, including a year in Hong Kong and ten years in Australia. During his working career, he has traveled extensively to Europe and Asia and has visited South America and Africa.
Chuck has been active in ESF’s work for a number of years, arranging a multiyear home for NASK, the Foundation’s North American Summer Esperanto Institute, at William Peace University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and serving on the Foundation’s board, which he joined in 2013.
“We are fortunate indeed to have found a person of such wide experience to occupy the demanding position of Executive Director,” said ESF board president Humphrey Tonkin. “As our work in support of linguistic understanding and research continues to expand, Chuck will provide the right combination of vision, internationalism, and administrative competence to oversee this process.”
“ESF is known for investing in the future of Esperanto and linguistic justice generally through academic research and innovative projects like NASK, Lernu.net and Edukado.net,” observed Mays. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with an excellent board in the role of Executive Director as ESF continues to provide grants for important research and valuable programs and events.”
“We are sorry to see the completion of Joel Amis’s service, at least in his present role,” commented Tonkin. “Joel has helped strengthen ESF and prepared us for this next step. We wish him every success in the next stage in his studies and career.”
“It has been a great privilege working for ESF,” Joel Amis added. “Being so deeply involved in such a multifaceted organization, engaged both in the Esperanto community and in academia, has enriched me in many ways. Of course, I will miss working with the talented, interesting people at ESF – but though my professional career will take me on a different path, I will continue to be an enthusiastic supporter of, and, to the degree possible, collaborator with ESF. My most sincere thanks to ESF and all those associated with it, and my best wishes to Chuck Mays, in whose very capable hands I leave administration of the Foundation.”
With this new appointment, the center of the Foundation’s activities will move from Montreal, Canada, to Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
With a board drawn from the United States and Canada, and a worldwide advisory board, the Esperantic Studies Foundation works to further the understanding and practice of linguistic justice in a multicultural world. Through its grantmaking and other activities, the Foundation aims to develop and support excellence in scholarship, education, and interlingual communication.