NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo

Join peers and experts at the premier global professional learning and networking event for all international educators and organizations that support international education for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo, "Global Leadership, Learning, and Change."

World mapWashington, DC
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Comprising Europe, Africa, and the Americas, countries that border the Atlantic Basin, while distinct entities, are linked by a rich history, culture, political and economic dynamics. This two-hour Forum will consider the nature of interaction and engagement throughout the region and the role that higher education and international student mobility play in regional identity and development. The Forum will focus on successful higher education collaborations and models for creative institutional partnerships. Expert speakers from the region will inspire a new geography of the mind and new ways to address common challenges and connections between countries, including the implications of emerging youth demographic trends, country development goals and the implications for higher education reform, student mobility, and workforce development.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. Welcome Remarks
Esther Brimmer, DPhil, Executive Director and CEO, NAFSA: Association of International Educators
9:05 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Panel 1: The Geography of the Mind (with Q&A)
  • Amb. Reuben E. Brigety II, Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Themis Christophidou, Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission
  • Moderator: Esther Brimmer
10:00 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. Panel 2: Successful Higher Education Collaborations and Models for Creative Institutional Partnerships (with Q&A)
  • Britta Baron, Head of Internationalization, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
  • Sukant Misra, PhD, Vice Provost for International Affairs, Texas Tech University
  • Angela Randolpho Paiva, PhD, Associate Vice-President for International Cooperation, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Moderator: Susana Carrillo, Assistant Provost for Global Education and Engagement, Radford University, and NAFSA Board Member
10:55 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Closing Remarks
Michael Kulma, PhD, Senior Director, Global Programs and Resource Development, NAFSA: Association of International Educators


Britta BaronBritta Baron
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Britta Baron has been in charge of international strategy and programming at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin since August 2018. She previously held the position of vice-provost and associate vice-president (international) at the University of Alberta for 12 years. With degrees in Italian, French, history, and German from the University of Göttingen, the University of Florence and the University of Bonn, Baron was appointed a visiting professor in modern languages at the University of Keele in the UK and has taught in a master's program at the University of London's Institute of Education. She is a member of the Governing Board of Bielefeld University (Germany), the Board of the German-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research and the Advisory Board of the Georgetown University BMW Center for German and European Studies. Together with Carl Amrhein, in 2013, Baron published the book "Building Success in a Global University". She is a former member of NAFSA’s Board of Directors.

Rueben BrigetyAmb. Reuben E. Brigety II
George Washington University
Amb. Reuben E. Brigety II joined the Elliott School in October 2015, having previously served as the U.S. representative to the African Union and permanent representative of the United States to the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Prior to that appointment, he served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of African Affairs with responsibility for southern African and regional security affairs. Brigety also served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. He previously served as director of the Sustainable Security Program at the Center for American Progress and as a special assistant in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID. Brigety is a trustee of The Carter Center, a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was named an adjunct senior fellow for African peace and security issues.

Themis ChristophidouThemis Christophidou
European Commission
Themis Christophidou is the director-general for education, youth, sport and culture of the European Commission, since March 2018. She is a civil engineer with 33 years of experience in private and public sector management. After having worked in the private sector for 15 years, Christophidou joined the European Commission in 2001. Having held various positions in the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, she worked as deputy head of Cabinet of Androulla Vassiliou, commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism, youth and sport in 2010-2011. From 2011 to 2014, Christophidou was the head of Cabinet of Maria Damanaki, commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries, and from 2014 to 2018, she was the head of Cabinet of Christos Stylianides, commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management. She is an alumna of the civil engineering faculty of the Metsovio Polytechnic University of Athens, specialized in transport infrastructure and urban transport. Born in Cyprus, Christophidou is trilingual in Greek, French, and English.

Sukant MisraSukant Misra, PhD
Texas Tech University
Sukant Misra is the vice provost for international affairs at Texas Tech University. His responsibilities encompass all functions of the Office of International Affairs, including the academic center in Seville, Spain. Misra is also responsible for the administration of the Texas Tech University-Costa Rica instructional site as the acting dean. Previously, he served as the associate dean for research for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) from 2002 to 2014. Misra has served Texas Tech University in various faculty and administrative capacities since his initial employment as a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in 1993. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, technical and invited papers, and book chapters and has received more than $2.2 million in external funding as a PI/Co-PI. Misra received his MS and PhD in agricultural economics from Mississippi State University.

Angela Randolpho PaivaAngela Randolpho Paiva, PhD
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Angela Randolpho Paiva is associate professor of sociology at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) where she teaches in the Graduate Program of Social Sciences (PPGCIS) at the Department of Social Sciences. She has been the associate vice-president for international cooperation of PUC-Rio since 2014, leading a staff that works for the internationalization of the university. Paiva holds a PhD in sociology and has done research on citizenship, race relations, and social movements.


Esther BrimmerEsther Brimmer, DPhil
NAFSA: Association of International Educators
Esther Brimmer currently serves as the executive director and chief executive officer of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. She is on the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council. Brimmer’s distinguished career includes three appointments within the US Department of State, serving most recently as the assistant secretary for international organization affairs from April 2009 to 2013. Prior to joining NAFSA, she 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. Brimmer 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. Brimmer 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.

Susana CarrilloSusana Carrillo
Radford University
Susana Carrillo serves as the assistant provost for global education and engagement at Radford University, leading all internationalization efforts. She was an adjunct professor at George Mason University. She served as the senior adviser to the International Department, Brazilian System for Workforce and Skills Development. She worked with the World Bank and the United Nations on institutional strategy, knowledge and learning, and managing large policy reform operations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. She has lived in West Africa, Europe, and Central and South America. Fluent in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, Carrillo obtained a BA (double major) in international relations and Latin American studies from George Mason University; a master’s degree in social and economic development from the Graduate School of International and Development Studies, Geneva (Switzerland), and a global master’s from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. She completed course work at the Graduate School of Economics, Birmingham University (United Kingdom) and obtained a joint executive degree from the Cheng Kuong Graduate School of Business (Beijing), the Indian Institute of Management, Skolkovo School of Management (Russia), and Fundacao Dom Cabral Graduate School of Business (Brazil). Carrillo is a member of NAFSA's Board of Directors.