NAFSA Announces Global Dialogue Fellowship Program

First cohort of six fellows awarded support to increase international education capacity


Rebecca Morgan, 202.495.2553,
Katie O'Connell, 202.495.2559,

Washington, May 6, 2015 – NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the selection of the first six Global Dialogue Fellows from sub-Saharan Africa, the inaugural cohort of a new fellowship program for internationalization leaders in higher education institutions. This new program creates opportunities for dialogue among academic leaders from around the world to support the fellows in designing new and deeper international programs for students, scholars, faculty, and exchange visitors at their home institutions.

NAFSA will provide financial support to the African university leaders to attend NAFSA's 2015 and 2016 Annual Conference and Expo, to allow them to meet and collaborate with university leaders in the United States and other regions. At the core of the program is the partnering of each Global Dialogue Fellow with a U.S.-based international education leader for ongoing discussion and information sharing.

“NAFSA is deeply committed to providing opportunities for higher education colleagues from throughout the world to meet and consider ways to broaden international education opportunities for students and scholars wishing to explore world regions beyond traditional destinations,” said NAFSA Executive Director and CEO, Marlene M. Johnson. “This program will provide the fellows exposure to strategies that can strengthen the infrastructure of their institutions in hosting incoming students and scholars and in creating programs that will allow their own students and faculty to engage in exciting learning with the rest of the world. We in turn will be enriched by hearing their perspectives on international education and discovering new opportunities for collaboration with African institutions.”

The NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo is the world's largest gathering of professionals in international education with an expected 10,000 attendees from over 100 countries. With more than 200 concurrent sessions, 50 training workshops, eight faculty development colloquia, as well as plenary addresses by distinguished world leaders, networking receptions, and informal meetings, the conference offers countless opportunities for the fellows to engage with their peers on common issues, objectives, and program ideas.

The 2015 fellows and their respective U.S.-based dialogue partners are:

Global Fellow Partner

Desalegne Mengesha Degefaw
Academic Vice President
University of Gondar
Gondar, Ethiopia

Karen Brown
Assistant Vice President for International Scholarship
University of Minnesota

Zainab Ali Iddi
Assistant Lecturer
State University of Zanzibar
Zanzibar, Tanzania

Michele Petrucci
Assistant Vice President for International Education
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze
Department Chair
University of Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda

Joy Stevenson
Director Emerita
International Center
University of Central Missouri

Nadia Nintunze
Entrepreneurship Program Manager
Akilah Institute for Women
Bujumbura, Burundi

Mell Bolen
Director of Study Abroad
Princeton University

Anakalo Alfred Shitandi
Director and Registrar, Research,
Extension and Linkages
Kisii University
Kisii, Kenya

Charles Bankart
Assistant Vice Provost for International Programs
University of Kansas

Jane Wambui Njagi
University of Nairobi
Nairobi, Kenya

Elaine Meyer-Lee
Director, Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership
St. Mary's College

For more information on the NAFSA Global Dialogue Fellowship Program, visit