Keynote Speakers

Dr. Bill Rivers

America’s Languages, the Economy, and 21st Century Language Programs: How Curricula Must Meet Learners in Higher Education

Dr. Rivers has more than 25 years’ experience in culture and language for economic development and national security, with publications in second and third language acquisition research, proficiency assessment, program evaluation, and language policy development and advocacy. He is the immediate past and founding Chair of ASTM Technical Committee F43, Language Services and Products and chairs the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 232, Education and Learning Services. He serves as a member of the America’s Languages Working Group of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is an honorary member of the Association of Language Companies.

Before joining JNCL-NCLIS, he served as Chief Scientist at Integrated Training Solutions, Inc., a small business in Arlington, Virginia, where he focused on strategic planning, management, and advanced technologies for language and culture programs in the public sector. While at ITS, he served in a contractor role as the Chief Linguist of the National Language Service Corps. Prior to working at ITS, he was a founding member of the Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) at the University of Maryland, and was a staff member of the National Foreign Language Center at the University of Maryland from 1994 to 2003, leaving NFLC as Assistant Director.

During his career, Dr. Rivers has also taught Russian (beginning through advanced), language policy, and second language acquisition at the University of Maryland, worked as a freelance interpreter and translator, and conducted field work in Kazakhstan, where he regularly returns to teach at several universities. He received his PhD in Russian from Bryn Mawr College and his MA, BA, and BS (Aerospace Engineering) from the University of Maryland. He speaks Russian and French. He can be reached at


Dr. Lourdes Sánchez-López

“The State of LSP in American Higher Education: Reflecting on the First Decade of the ISLSP and Moving Forward”

Lourdes Sánchez-López, PhD. (Applied Linguistics, University of Jaén) is Professor of Spanish, Associate Department Chair, and Director of the Spanish for Specific Purposes program in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Sánchez-López organized and directed the I International Symposium on Languages for Specific Purposes (University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012). The I ISLSP helped launch a national and international collaborative movement of LSP scholars in the US and beyond, setting the path for a series of critical developments in LSP teaching and learning, and scholarship in American higher education. She is the editor of Scholarship and Teaching on Languages for Specific Purposes (UAB Digital Collections, 2013), a volume with selected peer-reviewed articles inspired by concepts discussed at the I ISLSP. She is also co-author of two Spanish textbooks, El mundo hispanohablante contemporáneo: Historia, política, sociedades y cultura (The Contemporary Spanish-Speaking World: History, Politics, Societies, and Culture) (Routledge, 2016), and Pueblos, Intermediate Spanish in Cultural Contexts (Cengage, 2006). Dr. Sánchez- López has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly articles and book chapters in LSP nationally and internationally


David Utrilla 

Honorary Consul to Peru in Utah, owner and CEO of U.S. Translation Company and CIBER keynote speaker

David Utrilla studied international business and economics in Peru and in the USA. In 1995 he founded U.S. Translation Company and currently serves as its CEO. He and his company have been given multiple awards including Utah’s Best of State, listed six times in the Inc. 500/5000 for fastest growing companies in America, Mountain West Capital Network’s top 100 fastest growing companies in Utah, and the Small Business Person of the Year by the SBA. He has completed  executive programs at Harvard Business School and Stanford University and been a speaker at the largest language localization world conferences LOCWorld, GALA and ALC. He has been the recipient of multiple awards from universities, chambers of commerce and the State of Utah for his entrepreneurial success and contributions to the community. He chairs and is a member of thirteen boards of directors, including financial institutions, universities, nonprofits, and international organizations. In 2009 he was appointed by the President of Peru as the Honorary Consul of Peru in Utah.
He currently holds this position and is also the President of the Utah Consular Corp.


Klaus E. Becker

Honorary Consul of Germany

Klaus Becker was born in Marburg in 1953, grew up in Germany where he studied business and national economics and has a master degree from Ruhr-Universität in Bochum. Since 1979, he has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he is entrepreneurially active in the international steel trade for the past 40 years. He presided over the Charlotte World Trade Association in the mid-nineties and was President of the German-American Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina for seven years. In January of 2014, he was appointed Honorary of the Federal Republic of Germany for western North Carolina. In this function, he founded The N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation which coordinates his consular activities.  It is one goal of the Foundation to put Charlotte and surroundings on the political maps of the German institutions in Washington, Berlin and the German States.  Further, the Foundation offers a wide array of aspects of German life to Charlotte and the region in artistic and cultural, journalistic and political, as well as historic and sports-related aspects (Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund played in Charlotte solely upon invitation of The N.C. Zeitgeist Foundation.