Feigenbaum appointed senior international officer

Feigenbaum appointed senior international officer

Sonia Feigenbaum is the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s new associate vice chancellor for international engagement and global strategies. The appointment was announced May 23.

Feigenbaum, who is associate provost for global engagement at Brown University, will begin her new role Aug. 15, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

“Sonia will be a strategic advocate focusing on excellence in every aspect of our international engagement mission of the university,” Chancellor-Elect Ronnie Green said. “She is interested in bringing cohesiveness to our international programming, increasing our international reach and reputation, and fostering opportunities for increased global engagement for faculty, staff and students.”

Reporting to the senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, the associate vice chancellor is the university's senior international officer and works with university leaders to achieve success in international education and engagement, research and outreach.

“Sonia brings outstanding skills and experience to this important leadership role,” said Marjorie Kostelnik, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. “She is a recognized leader in the international arena whose knowledge, innovative ideas and commitment will have a positive influence on the university's global reach and impact.”

The associate vice chancellor is responsible for originating activities and programs to internationalize the faculty and academic units; building strategic international partnerships; developing programs and activities, internships and service learning for students; and supporting international students and visiting scholars and engaging them in the life of the campus and the community. The position includes overseeing all aspects of international engagement at Nebraska, including education abroad, Programs in English as a Second Language and the International Student and Scholar Office, as well as international research partnerships.

“I’m grateful to be able to serve the university and its global community in this new role, to build upon the university’s mission and enhance its tradition of international engagement,” Feigenbaum said. “I look forward to joining a Nebraska community that is dedicated to this vital pursuit.”

Feigenbaum joined Brown in 2013 after more than a decade of executive service in the federal government. Her academic interests include the intersection of music and literature in the contemporary Latin American novel, Mexican and Caribbean women writers, and she is a published creative writer, fluent in several languages.

At Brown, Feigenbaum collaborated with faculty and administrators across schools and disciplines to develop functional and sustainable partnerships, new academic programs and education abroad opportunities with higher education institutions and non-governmental organizations globally. She expanded the institution’s partnerships in Brazil, Vietnam, China, Korea and India and contributed to the development and implementation of global learning experiences in Korea and Cambodia for new Brown executive leadership programs in engineering and public policy. Feigenbaum also collaborated with faculty to raise funds for the expansion of the Korean Studies program, and to develop additional curriculum on Taiwan and an interdisciplinary center for excellence supported by the French government.

Before entering higher education, Feigenbaum was in executive leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She was director of the Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Strengthening Institutions and International Studies Divisions at the education department, where she formulated higher-education policy for postsecondary institutions and was responsible for the administration of over $300 million in Federal funds to institutions of higher education. Feigenbaum also was senior program officer and deputy director at the National Endowment Humanities in the Divisions of Education Programs and in Public Programs.

Feigenbaum earned a doctorate in Hispanic literatures and cultures, a master’s degree in Spanish and a bachelor’s degree in cello performance from Indiana University.

Feigebaum succeeds David Wilson, who returned to the faculty in late 2015. Tom Farrell, senior international adviser in the Office of the Chancellor, will continue to serve as the university’s interim senior international officer until Aug. 15.