Meet the Team
Roy E. Pietro, Ed.D.
Tel: (860) 486-4252
Roy is the Director of the Global Training and Development Institute (GTDI), which is located within the UConn Office of Global Affairs. GTDI (formerly known as the Institute for Public Service International). His academic background includes a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut. In addition, Roy has a Master’s degree in Education from Springfield College and a Doctor of Education degree in International Education from the University of Bath in the U.K., with research interests involving global citizenship education.
Roy currently serves as the principal investigator for several professional and academic exchange programs for UConn, funded by the U.S. State Department. He has also initiated academic partnerships and educational collaborations with various national and international higher education institutions, including the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS); the University of Maryland; the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel; Bahcesehir University, in Istanbul, Turkey; Hong Kong Baptist University, in Hong Kong, China; the University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa; and the UN-mandated University for Peace, in Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica. He has also established partnerships with several highly regarded international NGOs, including TechnoServe, Ashoka, the Junior Chamber International (JCI), and the Institute for International Education (IIE). During his 13-year tenure at UConn, Roy has led efforts to successfully secure approximately $10 million in federal and state contract awards. In 2008, he was selected as New England’s nominee for the prestigious Adelle F. Robertson Professional Continuing Educator Award.
Laura Labato, MA
Program Assistant II
Tel: (860) 486-0235
Laura has worked with noncredit programming at the University of Connecticut since 2004 and has been involved with the Global Training and Development Institute’s international programming since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on diversity issues, a Master of Arts degree in International Studies with a focus on Cultural Studies, and a Graduate Certificate in Human Rights from UConn. She enjoys learning about other cultures and working with the international participants involved in educational and professional exchange programs, which are funded through the U.S. Department of State and implemented by UConn GTDI.
Jack J. Barry, Ph.D.
A recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, Jack received his Ph.D. in political science in 2015. Jack’s areas of research are Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Human Rights, with a particular focus on Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). In his dissertation, I Want My ICT: Information Communication Technology, Governance, and Poverty in the Developing World, Jack addressed the impact of ICTs on the poor in developing countries, staking the claim that governance is the missing link overlooked in the literature. Jack’s scholarship has appeared in the journals Third World Quarterly and Contemporary Politics, as well as chapters in titles from Routledge and Cambridge University Press. He has taught courses at various institutions of higher education including the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, and Trinity College. In his current position as a postdoctoral fellow at UConn’s Global Training and Development Institute, Jack serves as the Academic Director for the U.S. State Department’s YSEALI and SUSI programs. Prior to this appointment, Jack served as an Academic Co-Director of UConn’s SUSI program for three years. A native Rhode Islander, Jack enjoys surfing and playing basketball in his free time.
Tel: (860) 486-0873
Kaitlin joined the Global Training and Development Institute at UConn in September 2016, after graduating from UConn with her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in May 2016 and traveling throughout Southeast Asia for three weeks in the summer of 2016. She provides program support for the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and the Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI), which are funded through the U.S. State Department and hosted by UConn GTDI. For the 22 Southeast Asian student leaders who come to learn about Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development each fall and spring, and the 20 North African student leaders each summer, she assists with preparations and logistics for the groups. She also enjoys interacting with the participants on a daily basis during the 5-week program at UConn and coordinating their activities. Kaitlin worked previously for GTDI’s YSEALI program and UConn’s Office of Early College Programs during her time as a UConn undergraduate student. She also spent a semester in Orlando, Florida, working at Walt Disney World with the Disney College Program. Some of Kaitlin’s interests include literature, social media, traveling, eating, cooking, and learning about other cultures.