Edelmira Nickels Ph.D.

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Edelmira Nickels Ph.D.

Partner Language Training Center Europe

Dr. Edelmira Nickels assumed the role of Director of the Partner Language Training Center Europe (PLTCE) at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in 2023. Leading a team of highly skilled professionals, Dr. Nickels oversees the delivery of language training to more than 400 U.S., NATO and Partnership for Peace linguists annually. She provides expertise for NATO Allies and worldwide partners in support of NATO language interoperability efforts. Dr. Nickels serves as the NATO Education, Training, Exercises and Evaluation (ETEE) Requirements Authority Representative for Language Standards.

From 2020 to 2023, Dr. Nickels distinguished herself as the Chair of the Strategic Languages Department at PLTCE, directing intermediate and advanced Language Enhancement Courses in critical languages such as Farsi, French, Levantine, Modern Standard Arabic and Russian. Additionally, she managed workshops on Advanced Consecutive Interpreting Techniques to enhance the readiness of government personnel for complex multilingual environments. Dr. Nickels also played a key role in advising the Director of PLTCE on matters related to adult foreign language acquisition and proficiency assessment.

Before joining the PLTCE team, Dr. Nickels served as the Chief of the English Language Testing Flight at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) in San Antonio, Texas. There, she was entrusted with the development, distribution and security of language proficiency tests crucial for Security Cooperation, military accessions and government sponsored exercise programs. Leading a dedicated team, she oversaw the creation of over 1,000 valid test items annually and the management of 261 non-resident test sites globally. Her tenure at DLIELC was marked by the yearly administration of 52,000 language tests and assessment instruments for various purposes. Her leadership extended to representing the U.S. government as a training facilitator in the NATO-accredited Language Testing Seminars at PLTCE and participating in three mobile training teams to the Middle East.

Before entering civil service, Dr. Nickels worked in academia, where she published several research studies in second language acquisition and in discourse analysis. At university, she taught ESL, Spanish and courses in linguistics. Dr. Nickels also brings extensive experience from years of working in language testing and assessment with U.S. local, state and non-profit organizations.

pltce.programs [at] marshallcenter.org