Presidents and Provosts Summit Speakers

Annual Conference & ExpoNAFSA 2019 Registration

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 Navitas for their generous support of the Presidents and Provosts Summit and The Chronicle for Higher Education for their 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.

Fernando Leon GarciaFernando León-García, PhD
Centro de Enseñanza Técnica Y Superior (CETYS) University
Fernando León-García, PhD, has served as president of Centro de Enseñanza Técnica Y Superior (CETYS) University since 2010, leading the institution to institutional and program accreditation in the United States (WASC, ACBSP, ABET) and one of the highest study abroad rates among universities in Mexico. He was previously chancellor of City University of Seattle’s International Division, covering campuses, sites, and programs across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. León-García is president-elect of the IAUP, chair of ACE’s CIGE, and a member of different boards, commissions, and advisory councils such as WASC, CASE, AGB, HACU, CONAHEC, Universia-México, and FIMPES. León-García holds a doctoral degree in educational administration and policy analysis, an MA in international development education from Stanford University, as well as a BA in industrial engineering from CETYS University.

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 Program

Jorge GonzalezJorge G. Gonzalez, PhD
Jorge G. Gonzalez is the eighteenth president of Kalamazoo College, a position he has held since 2016. He previously served for six years as Occidental College’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. He was a member of the Trinity University faculty for 21 years.

At Kalamazoo College, Gonzalez has championed the value of a liberal arts and science education that is individualized, rigorous, and residential and includes life-changing experiential opportunities. At Occidental, he focused on providing strategic direction to the academic program, enhancing the academic policy structure, and working with external constituents to advance the goals of the college. At Trinity, he played an important role in the internationalization of the curriculum, the creation of faculty-led study abroad experiences, the development of an open-access policy for faculty scholarship, and the implementation of new interdisciplinary initiatives.

A graduate of the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey, Mexico, Gonzalez earned his master’s degree and PhD in economics from Michigan State University. He has published extensively on topics such as foreign investment, undocumented immigration, international trade in the Americas, the Mexican financial system, and the political economy of U.S. trade and immigration legislation. A recipient of Trinity’s top teaching award, he has taught courses in micro- and macroeconomics, international trade, economic development, and the economies of Mexico and Spain.

He is currently the president of the board of the F.W. and Elsie L. Heyl Science Scholarship Fund and serves on the boards of the Council of Independent Colleges, Bronson Healthcare Group, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Southwest Michigan First, and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Marvin KrislovMarvin Krislov, JD
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.

Jay A PermanJay A. Perman, MD
Jay Perman is president of the University of Maryland‐Baltimore (UMB), Maryland’s public health, law, and human services university. A pediatric gastroenterologist, Perman continues to practice medicine through his weekly President’s Clinic, where he teaches team-based healthcare to students of medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, social work, and law.

Deeply committed to UMB’s neighbors in the local community, Perman established an engagement office to support the scholarship and advocacy initiatives that are undertaken with west Baltimore residents. He inaugurated a mentoring program to inspire local students to pursue careers in the health sciences, and he opened a community center to provide services to residents and to partner with them in neighborhood-strengthening projects.

Perman first came to UMB in 1999 as chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. He left Baltimore in 2004 for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where he was dean and vice president for clinical affairs. He has served on faculty and in leadership positions at the University of California-San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Perman received a doctor of medicine degree with distinction from Northwestern University. He completed a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Harvard Medical School and at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston.

Andreas SchleicherAndreas Schleicher - OECD Briefing
Andreas Schleicher is director for education and skills, and special adviser on education policy to the secretary-general at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He initiated and oversees the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and other international instruments that create a global platform for policymakers, researchers, and educators to innovate and transform educational policies and practices. He has worked for more than 20 years with ministers and educational leaders around the world to improve quality and equity in education. Former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said about Andreas in the Atlantic (July 2011) that “[Schleicher] understands the global issues and challenges as well as or better than anyone I’ve met, and he tells me the truth.” UK Secretary of State Michael Gove called Andreas, who is German and lives in France, “the most important man in English education.” Andreas is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Theodor Heuss prize, awarded in honor of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany, for “exemplary democratic engagement.” He holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

Provosts Program

DeBrenna Lafa AgbenyigaDeBrenna LaFa Agbényiga, 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, PhD
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 Program

Stuart AndersonStuart Anderson
Stuart Anderson is executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, an Arlington-based, nonpartisan public policy research organization focusing on trade, immigration, and related issues. From August 2001 to January 2003, Anderson served as executive associate commissioner for policy and planning, and counselor to the commissioner at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Before holding those positions, Anderson spent 4.5 years on Capitol Hill on the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, first for Senator Spencer Abraham and then as staff director of the subcommittee for Senator Sam Brownback. Prior to that, Anderson was director of trade and immigration studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where he produced reports on the military contributions of immigrants and the role of immigrants in high technology. He has an MA from Georgetown University and a BA in political science from Drew University. Anderson has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and other publications. He is the author of the book Immigration (2010), part of the Greenwood Guides to Business and Economics series.

Francis J. RicciardoneFrancis J. Ricciardone
Francis J. Ricciardone was appointed as the twelfth president of the American University in Cairo and began his term in 2017. From 2014 to 2016, he was vice president of the Atlantic Council and director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He served as a foreign service officer from 1978 to 2014, including appointments as U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Turkey, and the Philippines, and chargé d’affaires and deputy ambassador to Afghanistan. Ricciardone was a distinguished scholar at the United States Institute of Peace from 2008 to 2009. After graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1973, Ricciardone received a Fulbright Scholarship and taught in U.S. international schools in Trieste, Italy, and Tehran, Iran. He speaks Arabic, Turkish, Italian, and French.

Luncheon speaker to be announced.