About the Office

The UCLA Office of International Studies and Global Engagement, or the UCLA International Office, has a dual mandate: it champions the study of the world at UCLA and represents UCLA to the world.

Headed by the Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement, the office is responsible for UCLA’s global strategy and engagement. The office manages UCLA’s partnership agreements with foreign institutions, represents UCLA to international constituencies and organizations, hosts foreign delegations and dignitaries, promotes international education and exchange on campus and oversees the UCLA International Institute.

Global Engagement. The Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement functions as UCLA’s unofficial “secretary of state,” with a “diplomatic portfolio” that encompasses the many ways in which UCLA engages with the world. In consultation with faculty, departments and schools across campus, her office develops and implements UCLA’s global strategy and plays an important role in promoting and maintaining the UCLA global brand.

The International Office plans international trips for senior university leaders to strengthen and/or create research and education partnerships, recruit top-ranked students and faculty, cultivate supporters, strengthen and expand the UCLA global alumni community and fundraise on behalf of all UCLA divisions and professional schools. The Vice Provost works closely with the UCLA Europe Office (London), the UCLA Asia Office (Hong Kong) and the newly established UCLA Japan Center (Tokyo).

In addition, the office actively builds UCLA’s global presence by supporting overseas networks of alumni and creating new strategic international programs. Among its innovations are the UCLA Global Forums, networking and educational events that bring together Bruins and friends, university partners and local leaders in countries around the world to discuss issues of local, regional and global concern.

The International Office also manages the university’s more than 350 research, teaching and student exchange agreements with 200 institutions in 50 countries and regions. It also represents UCLA in major global associations, such as the Association of International Education Administrators and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, as well as at major international educational conferences.

The office facilitates requests to participate in international partnerships and initiatives and provides regional expertise and contacts to UC administrators and UCLA faculty upon request. And as a service to the university community, the International Office maintains the UCLA Global website: a one-stop online resource about the university’s international activities, faculty and students.

On campus, the International Office serves as UCLA’s gateway to the world, arranging campus visits of educational, cultural and political delegations. It regularly hosts senior foreign representatives, including heads of states, ambassadors and consuls general.

International Education. Given the increasingly interconnected nature of the world, international education is more important than ever. The UCLA International Office has a campus-wide vision to enable all UCLA students to graduate as globally proficient citizens. It works with the leadership of UCLA’s schools, divisions and professional schools to internationalize the UCLA curriculum to prepare our students to be successful global citizens in today’s complex world.

A major priority of the Vice Provost is to help as many UCLA students as possible gain international experience and a global perspective in their field of study. As part of the UCLA Centennial Campaign, she is actively involved in fundraising for study abroad scholarships and graduate fellowships.

Undergraduates may study abroad for a semester or an academic year, attend a summer travel study program or pursue an internationally oriented internship (for credit) with a business or nonprofit organization. They may also become fluent in a foreign language, learn about the cultures and histories of nations worldwide, forge friendships with international peers and participate in student organizations focused on global engagement.

Graduate students must frequently achieve proficiency in foreign languages and conduct research in those languages in countries and regions worldwide. They may also participate in summer research exchanges in another country or take courses that give them the intercultural communication skills needed to work in global teams.

The Vice Provost promotes study abroad and international internship programs and appoints the faculty director of the UCLA International Education Office (IEO). She also champions graduate fellowships, as well as the participation of international scholars in the activities of UCLA schools and divisions and campus life as a whole. The International Office, for example, hosts the Visiting Fulbright Scholar Enrichment Program for the Los Angeles metropolitan region and works closely with the UCLA Study Abroad/IEO and the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars.

Each November, the Vice Provost organizes a high-profile, campus-wide event at UCLA: International Education Week (IEW). Held on college campuses nationwide throughout the United States, IEW is a weeklong celebration of international education and exchange. From student performances to an information fair to an evening lecture by a leading international scholar, the week showcases UCLA’s considerable international education resources. It brings together study abroad and international students from across campus, as well as student groups, to learn more about UCLA's degree programs in international studies and internationally oriented centers.

Under the Vice Provost’s leadership, IEW creates partnerships among the International Institute, IEO, Dashew Center, Office of Residential Life and UCLA Library; the week is cosponsored by more than 18 schools, divisions and administrative offices at UCLA.

UCLA International Institute

The UCLA International Institute is the “jewel in the crown” of international education at UCLA. Managed by a Director/ Senior Associate Vice Provost who works closely with the Vice Provost, the Institute offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in international studies and global topics such as international development, promotes scholarship on the world’s diverse regions and serves as a campus and community resource.

With a history dating back to 1958, the Institute houses more than 28 centers and programs that support innovative multidisciplinary research on specific world areas, as well as pressing global issues. Its rigorous academic programs in global studies, international development, global health, international migration, and country and regional studies consistently attract top-notch students.

The Institute’s public events program — which offers roughly 500 public lectures, symposia, conferences and cultural events each academic year — gives both the UCLA campus and the global city of Los Angeles direct access to the latest research on global developments and regions. The breadth and depth of its research interests make the International Institute a valuable partner to its home city. The Institute has numerous links to Los Angeles, including close relationships with international organizations, businesses, Hollywood content creators and the many consulates general located in the city. The Vice Provost, for example, serves as an adviser to the nonprofit organization, Sister Cities of Los Angeles.

For more detailed information about the UCLA International Institute, please visit its website.


Message from the Vice Provost

I am committed to UCLA’s global mission and humbled to be the first woman and person of color to serve as the university’s chief international officer. 

My appreciation for a global perspective began in childhood. Raised by parents who were farmers in rural China, I was born in Hong Kong and received a British colonial education. I feel incredibly fortunate to be the first in my family to have gone to college. Undergraduate geography field trips to the Philippines and Japan, followed by the culture shock of being a Ph.D. student in Ohio, allowed me to experience the transformative power of study abroad. My education and the benefits of international study have enabled me to become a Vice Provost at one of the world’s great public universities.

At a time when nations throughout the western world are reacting to the forces of globalization, migration and technological change by strengthening barriers to immigration and travel, it is imperative to re-affirm the commitment of U.S. universities to international collaboration in service of the common good. 

International research and academic exchanges are vital to the intellectual vibrancy of universities in the U.S., long held to be the world leader in higher education. At UCLA, an important aspect of our global vision is to be a university where all Current VP Newsletter students have an opportunity to become globally proficient through study abroad and international experiences on campus. For UCLA students to become effective leaders and productive citizens — and to work with their peers from other countries to address the complex challenges that require global solutions — it is critical that they have an informed understanding of the world and its contemporary concerns and controversies.

April 2020. The global novel coronavirus pandemic is adversely impacting public health systems, economies and the social fabric of countries worldwide. Universities were among the very first institutions to close down day-to-day operations in the United States to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 infections. At the same time, UCLA’s commitment to international collaboration and exchange remains steadfast.

Our faculty and researchers are collaborating with colleagues worldwide on Covid-19 analyses, while developing programs to share cutting-edge research on the pandemic. (See, for example, LABEST Covid-19 Spotlight Series, Fielding School of Public Health lectures and UCLA Center for Global Management events.) Never has it been more important to educate culturally competent global citizens able to work with their peers worldwide. I sincerely hope that our partners and friends around the world are staying safe and healthy and that you will stay connected.

International exchanges also greatly enrich faculty, staff and communities. Scholars and students from abroad are among the top talents in this country — individuals who have contributed to advancing science, the humanities, arts, social sciences and above all, a global perspective that is essential for the U.S. to remain competitive in the world. 

Located in the global city of Los Angeles and at the gateway to Latin America and the Asia Pacific, UCLA’s global mission enriches and is in turn enriched by the diverse diaspora communities in our city, region and state, for whom my office and the UCLA International Institute are a natural first point of contact on campus. Together, we champion international education and facilitate international exchange and civic engagement in our classrooms, the greater Los Angeles community and the world. 

I invite you to join me and my team in advancing research on burning questions of the world, inspiring our students to gain global experience and providing them the means to do so, and continuing to forge partnerships across disciplines, borders and continents.

Cindy Fan
Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement
May 2019


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Bio of the Vice Provost

C. Cindy Fan

Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement
Department: Geography
11343 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Campus Mail Code: 148703
Phone: 310-825-4921
Email: cfan@international.ucla.edu
Keywords: China, Asia

Read the Message from the Vice Provost

As Vice Provost, Professor Cindy Fan is UCLA’s senior international officer (SIO) and responsible for the university’s global strategy, international partnerships and global engagement. She is the first woman and Asian American to hold that position, and she works closely with the UCLA Chancellor’s Office to strengthen the university’s relationships and partnerships with institutions all over the world.

As part of the UCLA Global Initiative that Vice Provost Fan created, she has spearheaded UCLA Global Forums, worldwide events that forge meaningful links among countries, foster UCLA’s international ties and networks, and address issues of global and local relevance. In addition, she provides strategic leadership for UCLA’s international programs, promotes international education and oversees the UCLA International Institute. The Institute, comprised of 26 interdisciplinary research centers and eight academic programs (M.A.s, B.A.s, and Minors) on world regions and global issues, advances multidisciplinary research, education and outreach on global and area studies at UCLA.

Prior to her Vice Provost appointment, Cindy Fan served as Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Chair of the East Asian Studies Interdepartmental Program, and Chair of the Asian American Studies Department. She was born in Hong Kong, received her B.A. from the University of Hong Kong in 1981, her M.Phil. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1984, and her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1989, after which she joined the UCLA Department of Geography as a faculty member.

Professor Fan is internationally known for her research on migration, regional development and gender in China and has published numerous articles. Her book China on the Move: Migration, the State, and the Household (Routledge, 2008) is a pioneering study on rural-urban migration and split households in China. She has co-edited two international, interdisciplinary journals: Regional Studies and Eurasian Geography and Economics. Her work was recognized with a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Asian Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers in 2017 and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Bristol in 2019.

A regular commentator for the New York Times, Professor Fan is also frequently interviewed by the media, including the BBC, China Radio International, National Public Radio, Tavis Smiley, and Bloomberg News. She has delivered numerous keynotes in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the U.S. She is a recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Asian Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, an American Council on Education Fellowship, an Andrew W. Mellon grant to innovate area and international studies, and major research grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and National Science Foundation.


Christopher Erickson

Christopher Erickson

Senior Associate Vice Provost and Director of the International Institute

Kathryn Paul

Kathryn Paul

Director for International Collaborations

Christine Larson

Christine Larson

Director of External Relations

Jamaica Villegas

Jamaica Villegas

External Relations Coordinator

Kevan Wilbanks

Kevan Wilbanks

Special Assistant to the Vice Provost

Ann Kerr

Ann Kerr

Fulbright Coordinator

Gohar Grigorian

Gohar Grigorian

Program Officer, International Visitors Bureau

Matthew Daines, Ph.D.

Matthew Daines, Ph.D.

Executive Director of Development, UCLA in Europe