Leadership

Illinois International is guided by the leadership of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies, the Associate Provost for Illinois International, and the directors of our units.

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Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela

Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies


217-333-6104
mabokela@illinois.edu

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 Urbana-Champaign, 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 and Industrial Relations and Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois 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.


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Dr. Luis Canales

Associate Provost for Illinois International


217-333-6104
lcanales@illinois.edu

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Dr. Canales joined Illinois International in April 2021 and serves as Associate Provost for Illinois International. He provides leadership, direction, and oversight to the administrative services within the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies as well as its reporting units, including: Global Education and Training, Global Relations, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, International Safety and Security, and International Student and Scholar Services. Prior to joining Illinois International, Dr. Canales was Director of the Office of International Studies and Programs at Illinois State University. Dr. Canales received his B.A. in Psychology, Masters in Counseling and Personnel Services, and Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville.


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Andrew Collum

Director for International Safety and Security


217-333-6104
aacollum@illinois.edu

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Andrew joined Illinois International in 2017 as the Associate Director for International Safety and Security and assumed the role of Director in 2020. He develops and coordinates policies and procedures that support the safety and well-being of Illinois students, faculty, and staff traveling abroad for study or university business. Andrew also provides global emergency response services to travelers. Before working for Illinois International, Andrew served in the U.S. Army as a political-military specialist on Africa. He holds an M.A. in African Studies from Ohio University and a B.S. in International Relations from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.


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Denise Esworthy

Associate Director for Human Resources


217-333-6104
desworth@illinois.edu

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Denise joined Illinois International in September 2014. She serves as primary HR contact to Illinois International units and LAS Centers with dual reporting relationships with Illinois International, Diversity Advocate, Intake Specialist, Department Classifier, and back-up to the Associate Director of HR. Before joining Illinois International, she worked one year for FAA Shared Services and 14 years with University Payroll and Benefits, bringing with her experience in foreign national payment processing to support the campus internationalization goals.


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Sammer Saleh Jones

Director for Global Relations


217-333-6104
salehjo1@illinois.edu

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Sammer Saleh Jones is the Director for Global Relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she is responsible for developing and fostering University international relationships through engagement at the institutional, national and international level. She joined Illinois International Programs (IIP) in 2018 after her position as the first project coordinator for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Gifted Student Program (KGSP) under the Global Education and Training unit of IIP.

She completed her BS in Pre-Med/African American Studies from Simmons College, MPH in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Boston University, and MBA and PhD in Educational Policy Studies, both from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on nineteenth century educational history of Liberia, West Africa. Among her many credentials, her effectiveness as a teacher and mentor to undergraduate students has been demonstrated through her recognition across several semesters on the “List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent” at Illinois while she was a doctoral candidate.

Her multidisciplinary educational and professional experiences have afforded her the ability to work internationally in the fields of business, health and education in countries such as Liberia, South Africa and as well as domestically in various U.S. states.

Prior to her graduate studies at Illinois, Sammer worked at Harvard School of Public Health on violence prevention and at the MetroHealth Center in Cleveland on a longitudinal breast cancer study.


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Martin McFarlane

Director, International Student and Scholar Services


217-333-1303
mmcfarln@illinois.edu

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Martin became director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in 2015. A former international student himself, he had been with the ISSS office for ten years prior to becoming director, and held responsibility as the office’s primary expert on student visa policies and regulations. Martin earned his Master’s degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Aberdeen.


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Joy Phaphouvaninh

Director, Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange


217-333-6322
joypha@illinois.edu

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Joy began serving as the Director of IAGE in September 2017. She originally joined IAGE in 2013 as Assistant Director for Academic Integration. In her role, Joy collaborates closely with both on campus academic departments and international partners abroad to identify and develop study abroad programming that aligns with and complements academic learning goals. She also oversees the incoming exchange student program and study abroad academic processing teams for IAGE. Previously, Joy worked at the City University of New York in New York, NY, and developed a variety of study abroad policies for the university system. She has a background in refugee and immigrant services in government and non-profit sectors, and studied abroad in India. Joy earned her B.A. in Religious Studies and Asian Studies from Kenyon College and M.A. in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.


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Matt Rosenstein

Director, Global Education and Training


217-244-3312
rosenstn@illinois.edu

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Matt Rosenstein became Director of Global Education and Training (GET) in 2015. During Matt’s tenure, the Shanghai Office and the Intensive English Institute became a part of GET. 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 Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. degree from Duke University.


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Marta Schneider

Associate Director for Global Communication


217-333-6104
martasch@illinois.edu

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Marta serves as the Associate Director for Global Communication, where she manages and executes strategic communications to globally promote the university, its international initiatives and achievements, and the Illinois International units. She also manages Global Communication shared services, working closely with staff in each of the Illinois International units, the leadership team, and campus offices to ensure streamlined communication with both internal and external audiences. Marta has been with Illinois International since 2015, first as a Digital Communications Specialist and later as the Coordinator for Global Communication.

Prior to joining Illinois International, Marta worked in communications and outreach for several non-profit organizations in Japan, India, and the United States. Marta brings with her a strong background and enthusiasm for all things international. Although a native of Illinois, she spent many years living and studying in Japan. Marta earned her B.A. in Asian Studies and Economics from Knox College and holds an international liberal studies certificate from Waseda University.


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John Todd

Assistant Director for Finance


217-333-6104
johntodd@illinois.edu

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John holds a Master of Business Administration from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences with a minor in Sociology from the University of Illinois. He has worked at Heartland Community College for over 9 years bringing experience in planning fundraising events, developing policies and procedures for college grant office, writing and editing grant applications, overseeing Adult Education budget, fiscal and programmatic guidance, served on the college’s strategic and accreditation planning team, as well as provided one-on-one trainings.

As the Assistant Director for Finance, John will be responsible for managing and provide daily oversight of fiscal activity for Illinois International, including providing leadership of all financial facets, budget oversight, expenditure analysis, outreach and administer fellowships and awards, and ad hoc financial reporting.