Inez Sepmeyer










  • Pioneer and mentor in credentials evaluation – established IERF, the 1st evaluation agency in the US
  • Co-author of formidable 1550-page tome, Educational Systems of Africa, from 1966
  • Also co-editor of the seminal 1971 publication, The Country Index
  • Recipient of Lifetime Membership Award from NAFSA


Inez Sepmeyer was a pioneer, having recognized the need for assistance in the placement of international students and having founded the first private credentials evaluation agency in the United States. However, her start in the field began much earlier than that.

In the late 1930s, Inez joined UCLA Admissions, and her career there lasted nearly 4 decades. While at UCLA, she helped develop a separate unit that would process queries and applications from international students. During this time, she also co-wrote a formidable 1550-page tome known as Educational Systems of Africa (1966). This publication was the authoritative source on Africa for admissions officers, and both its (sheer) size and content demonstrated Inez’s passion for, dedication to, and expertise in credentials evaluation.

Her unit at UCLA also provided community service, by offering evaluations to the public for a nominal fee of something like $25, which was actually at a loss to the university. Nevertheless, many relied on this service, including the Los Angeles Board of Education. Unfortunately, however, due to cuts in state funding, UCLA had to terminate this service, despite the great need for it.

This subsequently led to the co-founding of the country’s first private, independent credentials evaluation agency by Inez in 1969 – International Education Research Foundation (IERF), which still serves the international education community to this day. In 1971, she also co-edited the seminal publication The Country Index. Before then, there was no other resource like it – a compilation of summaries of educational systems that included educational structures, grading scales, and placement recommendations. At the time, this publication was regarded as the “bible” of the field.

Descriptions and recollections of her included “dynamic and enthusiastic mentor,” “a ball of fire,” and the “elder statewoman” of the field. Johnny Johnson, Professor Emeritus and Former Director of International Programs at Monterey Peninsula College, once shared, “Inez Sepmeyer was one of the early leaders in our field who paved the way for those of us who have followed her in this sometimes tedious, but always fascinating and satisfying work.” Gloria Nathanson, Former Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools at UCLA, also indicated, “I was most fortunate to receive my training in international education by one of the giants in the field…Inez opened a whole new world for me in international education, for which I am eternally grateful.”


  • The Country Index (1971) by Theodore Sharp, Inez Sepmeyer, and Martena Sasnett
  • The Country Index, Revised Edition (1986), edited by Inez Sepmeyer
  • Education in the German Democratic Republic 1949-90: A Guide for Credentials Evaluation and Historical Reference (1993) by Eric Stone and edited by Inez Sepmeyer
  • Electronic editions of these publications are available in the IERF Vault at https://ierf.org/for-institutions/ierf-vault/. Access is free and enabled through the creation of a login / account.