Illinois International is guided by the leadership of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies and the directors of Illinois International's core service units.


Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela

Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies


Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela is the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies (VPIAGS) and Professor of Comparative and International Higher Education. Prior to joining the University of Illinois, she served as the Assistant Dean for International Studies in the College of Education and Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. Originally from South Africa, she received her BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She pursued and graduated with a Master’s in Labor & Industrial Relations and Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A former Fulbright New Century Scholar (2006), Professor Mabokela's research examines experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform institutional policies that affect these groups within institutions of higher education. She has devoted a significant part of her career studying higher education issues in developing and transitional countries. She is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of seven books and has published extensively in national and international journals.


Julie Misa

Executive Director for Administration and Management
Interim Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange

(217) 333-6104

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Julie joined Illinois International in July 2015 as Executive Director for Administration and Management. In this position she provides leadership, direction and oversight to the administrative services within the Executive Office, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and the Office of Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange. Prior to joining Illinois International, Julie was director of ISSS, where she was responsible for the leadership and overall management of the office. Julie earned her B.A. in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies and M.Ed. in Counseling and Human Development with an emphasis on bilingual counseling, both from the University of Iowa.


Tim Barnes

Director, Illinois Strategic International Partnerships

(217) 333-6104

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Tim Barnes joined Illinois International in 1998, and has worked in the offices of Overseas Projects and Foreign Visitors (OPFV), East Asian and Pacific Exchange Programs (EAEP), and Institutional and Faculty International Collaboration (IFIC) prior to assuming his current position as director of Illinois Strategic International Partnerships (ISIP). Tim now manages all formal institutional linkages between the Urbana-Champaign campus and international partners, as well as fostering increased international engagement among faculty and serving as the campus liaison officer for the Fulbright Senior Scholar program.


Becky Billman

Associate Director for Human Resources

(217) 333-6104

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Becky Billman joined International Programs and Studies in 1997. As Associate Director for Human Resources for Illinois International, she provides management and oversight of human resource related activities for all units reporting to the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies. She serves as a member of the Senior Management Team providing guidance to the VPIAGS on matters related to the leadership of Illinois International and internationalization of the campus, as well as serving as liaison for the VPIAGS to campus and university human resource office. She also serves as Affirmative Action Officer, Intake Specialist, and Departmental Classifier. Becky earned a BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Illinois-Springfield.


Grant Brewer

Assistant Director for Financial Management

(217) 333-6104

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Grant has been a member of the Illinois International since 2011. As the Assistant Director for Financial Management, Grant works with the Illinois International Business Operations (IBOPS) team to manage fiscal, operational, and business activities for all units and area centers. Prior to becoming the Interim Director of Financial Management in February 2015, Grant was an International Training Coordinator at Global Education and Training (GET), where he helped facilitate educational programs for international executives.


Cheryl Heck

Director, Finance and Human Resources

(217) 333-6104

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Cheryl joined Illinois International in March, 2015. Cheryl leads International Business Operations (IBOPS), a shared service center that provides financial, human resources, and administrative support to all Illinois International units and the LAS areas studies centers. The Director of IBOPS holds an executive leadership position in Illinois International with responsibility for fiscal and administrative activities and serves as a member of the Illinois International Senior Management Team, providing input and guidance to the Vice Provost on matters related to the strategic international goals of the units and the campus.


Martin McFarlane

Director, International Student and Scholar Services

(217) 333-1303

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Martin became director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in 2015. A former international student himself, he has been with the ISSS office for ten years where he has assumed responsibility as the office’s primary expert on student visa policies and regulations.


Veerle Opgenhaffen

Director, Global Communications and Protocol

(217) 333-6104

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Veerle first joined Illinois International in August 2014 as Associate Director of Advancement, a role that oversaw the unit’s communications, stewardship, and fundraising efforts. In February 2016, she was appointed as Director of Global Communications and Protocol, a leadership position that oversees international communications for the university; management of the University of Illinois’ China office in Shanghai and India office in Delhi; and strategic international travel for senior campus leadership. Prior to joining Illinois International, she spent seven years as the Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law, where she oversaw the Center’s operational management, fundraising, and communications efforts. Previously, she worked at the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York as a Communications Associate. Veerle earned her B.A. in International Affairs and Languages from Antioch College (1996) and her M.A. in International Affairs and Human Rights from the New School University (2003).


Matt Rosenstein

Director, Global Education and Training

(217) 244-5085

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Matt Rosenstein became Director of Global Education and Training (GET) in July 2015. Prior to joining GET, from 2010-2015 he was Senior Associate Director of the European Union Center (EUC) at the University of Illinois. Rosenstein also served as EUC’s Director of Graduate Studies for the Master of Arts degree program in EU Studies. Previously, Rosenstein was Associate Director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security (ACDIS) at Illinois from 2001-2010. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. degree from Duke University.