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Jake Strickler '17

Operations Manager (2016present)

Jake Strickler owed a great deal to Thunderbird decades before even setting foot on campus. His father, a T-Bird graduate of 1975, had made a career in global engineering projects. When Jake was born, in 1989, extended international postings had become second nature for the family. With Denver, Colorado, as a home base, Jake was able to accompany his father on jobs in Adelaide, Australia; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Accra, Ghana, developing his global mindset and passion for experiencing different cultures from a young age.

By the time Jake began pursuing a degree in Journalism at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, he had spent time in over twenty different countries around the world. After graduating, Jake spent four years running a small chain of Denver-area Cuban restaurants, discovering that he had a certain knack for business management. This combined with the love of travel acquired while growing up eventually made Jake decide to follow the advice his father had been giving him since the age of five and apply to Thunderbird.

At Thunderbird Jake has developed a strong interest in finance and political risk analysis; serves as editor-in-chief of Das Tor, the student newspaper; and was part of a consulting team for ESAN University in Lima, Peru, advising on a government-backed business innovation project.

Contact Information:

Office: +1 (480) 840-1224



Will Counts '09

 (2013 - present)

Will Counts has worked in Asia for the past six years for Foundation Services, based in Hong Kong, with a focus on real estate investment and development. His work to-date has focused on commercial property selection and development in the Philippines, Panama, New Zealand, and the United States. Prior to joining Foundation Services, Will worked for Thunderbird on a two-year contract to complete the restoration of the iconic Thunderbird flight tower. Prior to his degree at Thunderbird, Will also spent time working in Nairobi, Kenya as a business consultant.

Will grew up on a produce farm in western Missouri and attended the University of Central Missouri where he earned a degree in Marketing. While working on his undergraduate degree, Will started and operated a construction company focused on historic building renovations and custom home construction. Then, following his time in Kenya, he returned to the US and enrolled at Thunderbird and focused on international finance. Will graduated from Thunderbird in 2009. While at Thunderbird he, along with Andrew Burman and Rebecca Mitchell, started the project to restore the flight tower. Will served as Project Manager as well as fundraiser on the project. Through his diligent work and the generosity of hundreds of alumni including a cornerstone US$2M gift towards the project from Miriam Hinrich, wife of fellow alumnus Merle Hinrich ’65, they were able to see the project completed through to fruition.

Will is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, and has been an active volunteer with and substantial donor to TIAA since its founding in 2013.