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CIGE Staff Bios

December 30, 1899


​Patti McGill Peterson, Ph.D.
Presidential Advisor for Global Initiatives

Patti McGill Peterson oversees all of ACE's international initiatives, including the implementation of the Council's recent Blue Ribbon Panel on Global Engagement, Mapping Internationalization research project and the Internationalization Collaborative.

Patti most recently was a senior associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). Prior to joining IHEP, she served as executive director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) and vice president of the Institute of International Education (IIE) from 1997-2007. CIES, a division of IIE, coordinates international educational exchange with 150 nations and assists the U.S. government with the administration of the Fulbright Scholar Program. Previously, Patti was a senior fellow at Cornell University's Institute for Public Affairs where her work focused on the nonprofit sector and its role in shaping public policy in the United States and abroad.

Patti also is president emerita of Wells College and St. Lawrence University, where she held presidencies from 1980-96. She served on the faculty of the State University of New York, Syracuse University and Wells College and was senior fellow at Cornell University's Institute for Public Affairs.

Patti holds a bachelor of arts degree from The Pennsylvania State University and master of arts and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She did postgraduate study at Harvard University.

Brad Farnsworth
Assistant Vice President

Brad Farnsworth is the assistant vice president of the Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement.

From 1991 until joining ACE in 2012, Brad was director of the Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Michigan. The center's programs include faculty research grants, foreign language courses, study abroad, executive development programs, and student internships. Brad has taught courses on international management, the world economy, business in China and globalization to MBAs, undergraduates and executives.

From 1982 to 1991, Brad was associate director of the Yale-China Association, a century-old educational organization based at Yale University. During that time he developed one of the first management training programs with foreign cooperation in mainland China. He holds master's degrees in business and Chinese studies from Washington University in St. Louis, both awarded in 1981.

Barbara Hill, Ph.D.
Senior Associate for Internationalization

Barbara Hill is currently senior associate for internationalization, working with U.S. and international institutions to promote global learning and to help leaders think strategically about comprehensive internationalization.

Barbara has served as a senior consultant to the Higher Education for Development program (formerly the Association Liaison Office for University Development), working to develop organizational infrastructure to serve international development through university partnerships and organizing conferences to disseminate expertise in international development. She was a participant in the Visiting Advisors Program of the Salzburg Seminar, consulting with universities in Russia and Eastern Europe about governance, management, finance, academic structure and program quality. Barbara continues to moderate the Intellectual Renewal Seminars for Leaders, begun at Radcliffe College/Harvard University, which are seminars on leadership, ethics and the good society for various professional groups. She has also served as chair of the board of directors of the Maryland Humanities Council

Barbara earned a bachelor's degree in English literature with honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and master's and doctoral degrees in English literature from the University of Washington, Seattle. She has held senior level administrative positions at several higher education institutions, including acting director of admissions at Hood College (1979-1980), associate dean of the faculty at Barnard College/Columbia University (1984-86), provost of Denison University (1986-1990), and president of Sweet Briar College (1990-1996). Barbara was an ACE Fellow in 1979-80.

Robin Matross Helms, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Research

Robin has been at CIGE since March 2012, and currently focuses on CIGE's global higher education research initiatives, including the International Briefs for Higher Education Leaders series. Her previous experience includes international program management for the Institute of International Education, EF Education and CET Academic Programs, and faculty development program management at the University of Minnesota.

Robin has also worked as a consultant to a number of organizations in the international and higher education fields, including the World Bank, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, and the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her publications include Inhabiting the Borders: Foreign Language Faculty in American Colleges and Universities (Routledge 2005), "University Admission Worldwide" (World Bank, 2008), "New Challenges, New Priorities: The Experience of Generation X Faculty" (Harvard University, 2010), and "Overcoming Publish or Perish: Fostering Faculty Engagement in Internationalization through Tenure Codes and Other Employment Policies" (Institute of International Education, 2012).

Robin holds an AB degree in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, and an MBA and PhD in higher education administration from Boston College. She has lived in China and Japan and speaks French, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

Heather H. Ward

Senior Program Specialist

Heather H. Ward joined CIGE in 2014 as senior program specialist to develop programs that support U.S. and international institutions’ strategic goals for comprehensive internationalization. Heather previously served as associate director for internationalization and outreach at George Mason University and as director of international programs at Mary Baldwin College. Heather’s prior experience in international affairs and public policy involved work with the Vera Institute of Justice, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, U.S. Department of Justice, Americas Society, and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In 2012, she was selected to participate in the Fulbright-Nehru International Education Administrators seminar in India.

Heather holds a BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and an MA in international affairs from Columbia University. She has lived in Ecuador and participated in education abroad programs in Guatemala and Spain; she speaks fluent Spanish and conversational Portuguese.

Katie Weigel
Program Specialist

Katie has been at CIGE since June 2012, where she works primarily on the planning of the Institute for Leading Internationalization, Internationalization Collaborative, Washington International Education Group, and the visit program for international delegations to ACE. Her previous experience includes working in graduate admissions and exchange programs as well as academic program administration at The George Washington University. Katie also worked as a meeting planner for continuing medical education in Chicago prior to pursing her graduate education.

Katie holds a BA in Russian and Communication Studies from The University of Iowa, an MA in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MA in International Education from The George Washington University. Katie speaks fluent Russian and dabbles in Polish and Spanish. She has studied abroad in Russia and the Czech Republic and also attended the Davis School of Russian at Middlebury College. 

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