Presidents and Provosts Summit Speakers

Annual Conference & ExpoNAFSA 2019 Updates

May 29-30, 2019 | Washington, DC

University and college presidents, rectors and chancellors, and provosts from across the globe will convene for NAFSA’s Presidents and Provosts Summit during the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C. NAFSA thanks The Chronicle for Higher Education for its generous support of the Presidents and Provosts Summit Reception. Learn more about the NAFSA Presidents and Provosts Summit.

Opening Speakers and Moderators

Esther Brimmer, DPhil
Esther Brimmer currently serves as the executive director and chief executive officer of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Brimmer’s distinguished career includes three appointments within the U.S. Department of State, serving most recently as the assistant secretary for international organization affairs from April 2009 to 2013.

Prior to joining NAFSA, Brimmer was professor of practice of international affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where she served a two-year term as the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor. She was also an adjunct senior fellow for international institutions at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a senior adviser at McLarty Associates. She was previously deputy director and director of research at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) from 2001 to 2009, and was a member of the SAIS faculty. She also taught at the College of Europe in Belgium, and from 1995 to 1999, she was a senior associate at the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict. Earlier, she served on Capitol Hill as a legislative analyst for the Democratic Study Group in the U.S. House of Representatives. Immediately after earning her doctorate from Oxford University, she spent two years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.

Featured Speaker

Sylvia BurwellSylvia Burwell
American University
Sylvia Mathews Burwell is American University’s fifteenth president. Secretary Burwell served as the twenty-second secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services from 2014 until the conclusion of President Obama’s second term. Before that, she was the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Her prior government experience includes deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to the president, chief of staff to the secretary of the Treasury, and special assistant to the director of the National Economic Council. Secretary Burwell served eleven years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including roles as the chief operating officer and president of global development. After the Gates Foundation, she was the president of the Walmart Foundation and ran their Women’s Economic Empowerment efforts. Secretary Burwell earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and a BA in philosophy, policy and economics from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She lives in Washington, DC.

Presidents Panel

Marvin KrislovMarvin Krislov
Marvin Krislov is the eighth president of Pace University. He is deeply committed to Pace’s mission of Opportunitas—providing all students, regardless of economic background, access to the transformative power of education—and he is working to bolster Pace’s status as the nation’s leading four-year private college for driving economic mobility. Prior to Krislov’s appointment at Pace, he served for 10 years as the president of Oberlin College. Before that, he was vice president and general counsel at the University of Michigan. During that time, he led the legal defense of the university’s admission policies, which resulted in the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing the importance of student body diversity. Prior to entering academic life, Krislov served as acting solicitor and then deputy solicitor of national operations in the U.S. Department of Labor. He previously served as associate counsel in the Office of Counsel to the President under President Bill Clinton.

Provosts Panel

DeBrenna Lafa AgbenyigaDeBrenna Lafa Agbenyiga, PhD
DeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga, PhD, joined Bowie State University as provost and vice president for academic affairs in July 2018. She serves as the chief academic officer, responsible for overseeing the academic and research enterprise of the university, ensuring the quality of the faculty and student body, and maintaining educational excellence.

Prior to Bowie State, Agbényiga was vice provost and dean of the graduate school and professor of social work at University of Texas at San Antonio. She also previously served as associate dean for graduate studies and inclusion in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. She was the founding director of the college’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Academic Affairs.

Agbényiga’s research spans organizational culture, international social and economic development, community development and sustainability, women’s rights, children’s rights, gender-based violence, cross-cultural learning, and diversity. She has spent numerous years working globally, and more extensively in Africa, as a researcher and consultant to numerous ministries, nongovernmental organizations, and universities. Her research has been published in leading social work journals including the Journal of Social Work Education, Children and Youth Services Review, Administration in Social Work, and Advances in Social Work. She has coedited two books and several book chapters.

Agbényiga earned her doctoral degree in social work, MBA in strategic management, and a master of social work degree in social work-urban studies, all from Michigan State University. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina-Columbia.

Carol ErtingCarol J. Erting
Carol J. Erting is the provost at Gallaudet University and a professor in the Department of Education. During her administrative career at Gallaudet University, she has also served as associate provost for research and dean of the Graduate School, Continuing Studies, and International Programs; dean of the Graduate School and Professional Programs; and chair of the Department of Education. Erting was a faculty member in the Linguistics Department and a research scientist in the Gallaudet Research Institute for 15 years, serving as director of the Culture and Communications Study Program and program chair of the Deaf Way (1989), an international conference on the history, language, and culture of deaf communities. She currently serves on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement. In addition, she was selected as one of 32 provosts nationwide to participate in the Association of Chief Academic Officer’s)/Gates Foundation Digital Fellows Initiative from 2017 to 2019. Erting has a PhD in cultural anthropology from American University, a QE in social anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London, and BS and MA degrees from Northwestern University in communicative disorders.

Afternoon Luncheon Panel

To be announced.