Meet the Team


Roy Pietro

Roy E. Pietro, Ed.D.

Tel: (860) 486-4252

Dr. Roy Pietro has served as the Principal Investigator for numerous professional and academic exchange programs for UConn, funded by the U.S. Department of State. During his 20-year tenure at UConn, Roy has led efforts to secure approximately $20 million in federal and state contract awards, which promote GTDI's mission to provide transformational learning experiences to international participants. In 2008, he was selected as New England’s nominee for the prestigious Adelle F. Robertson Professional Continuing Educator Award.

Roy 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; Brown University; the University of Texas at Austin; 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).

Roy holds a Doctor of Education degree in International Education from the University of Bath in the UK, Master's degree in Public Administration from UConn, Master's degree in Education from Springfield College, and Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from UConn. His research interests include transformative global citizenship, critical service-learning, and sport for development and peace (SDP).



Laura Labato, MA
Program Coordinator

Tel: (860) 486-0235

Laura provides administrative and program support for the Global Training and Development Institute’s programming for international participants. She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Studies with a focus on cultural studies, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on diversity.  Additionally, she has completed three Graduate Certificate programs at UConn in Human Rights (2017); Culture, Health, and Human Development (2019); and College Instruction (2020). 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.



Caitie Goddard, MPP
Academic Director - YSEALI Program

Tel: N/A

Caitie serves at the YSEALI Program's Academic Director working with young entrepreneurs from 11 countries in Southeast Asia. She holds a Master's degree in of Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Detroit-Mercy. As an experienced facilitator and capacity development specialist, Caitie has 10 years of experience in international development and 13 years of leadership experience across several sectors. She spent three years in New Zealand running a global social entrepreneurship training program before redesigning the program to target youth leaders in Oceania. The Global Youth Ambassador Program trained 450+ young people to “think global, act local, and start personal.”
Since 2015, Caitie has served as an instructor at the University for Peace (UPeace) Centre for Executive Education where she teaches the capstone course for their Diploma Program in Social Innovation. In this role, she began her work with the SUSI and YSEALI programs in partnership with the University of Connecticut (UConn). Caitie has presented half-day design thinking trainings at UConn and served as a facilitator in Casablanca, Morocco, for the SUSI Program. Additionally, Caitie has facilitated and led site visits throughout Washington, D.C., introducing YSEALI Program participants to local entrepreneurs. As a social entrepreneur herself, Caitie is one of four women co-founders of GOOD Travel, an organization dedicated to making the travel industry one of the largest agents for social good.