Mr. Harris will receive the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Adelphi University’s 119th Commencement.

Mark Harris will receive the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Adelphi University’s 119th Commencement.

» Watch a video of the speech

Mark W. Harris is the president and chief executive officer of ELS Educational Services, Inc. In 1978, he joined Berlitz International, Inc., in Princeton, New Jersey; three years later, he became district director for 10 Berlitz Language Centers in California and Arizona. In 1984, he established Berlitz Languages Ltd. in South Korea.

In 1986, Harris was expatriated to Berlitz Regional Headquarters for Asia in Tokyo, Japan, as regional manager for new business development. Over the next seven years, he opened schools in Thailand, Berlitz Hong Kong, Ltd., and Berlitz International, Inc., and established Berlitz Study Abroad, an agency sending Japanese students to Europe and the United States for English language and higher education programs.

In 1993, he returned to the United States to become managing director of Berlitz On Campus, an ESL campus-based subsidiary of Berlitz. In 1997, he led the team that acquired ELS Educational Services for Berlitz and, as president and CEO, later merged Berlitz On Campus and ELS into one organization as 28 ELS Language Centers in 2000.

ELS Educational Services currently operates 58 ELS Language Centers in the United States. More than 650 universities in the United States, Australia and Canada accept the ELS Certificate of Completion for Level 112 in lieu of a TOEFL score as proof of English proficiency for admission. ELS is the largest official TOEFL iBT tester and the largest IELTS testing organization in the United States.

In 2007, Harris founded the ELS American Education Center in Shanghai, China. ELS has opened American Education Centers in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu, China; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Istanbul, Turkey. In 2010, ELS established an office in India to support recruitment of international candidates for higher education abroad—the ELS International University Counseling and Admission Services in Chennai.

In 2008, the ELS-American Education Center led its first cohort of 28 U.S. universities on a recruitment tour to promote Chinese student matriculation in American institutions of higher learning. Also in 2008, ELS brought representatives of nearly 80 such officially authorized foreign study agencies from China to visit campuses throughout the United States.

In 2010 and 2011, ELS acquired language centers in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada, and in Sydney, Australia, providing international students 50 new pathways to tertiary education in those countries. ELS currently operates 94 language centers in 14 countries around the world.

Harris, a member of the Adelphi University President’s Advisory Council, was awarded the President’s Medal of Merit in 2011 for leadership in internationalization of the University.

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