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CIGE Staff Bios

December 30, 1899


Brad Farnsworth

Interim Vice President

Brad Farnsworth is interim vice president of ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement.  He is responsible for several programs, including the Internationalization Collaborative, the Institute for Leading Internationalization, and engagement with the Washington-based diplomatic community.  He is also responsible for implementing the Center's fundraising strategy.

From 1991 until joining ACE in early 2012, Brad was director of the Center for International Business Education in the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan. The center's programs included faculty research projects, foreign language courses, education abroad, executive development programs, and student internships. The Michigan CIBE was known for its strong ties to the liberal arts; Brad helped to establish the program in international studies, serving as its director while developing and teaching one of its core courses. Brad also taught courses on international management, the world economy, and business in China to MBAs, undergraduates and executives.

From 1982 to 1991, Brad was associate director of the Yale-China Association, an educational organization based at Yale University that was established in the early 20th century. During that time he developed one of the first management training programs with foreign cooperation in mainland China. Brad has focused on China throughout his career, visiting the country frequently and serving as a faculty associate in the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan.

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 the  senior associate for internationalization at ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement, 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.

Robin Matross Helms is the director at ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement.  She joined CIGE March 2012, and currently focuses on CIGE's research initiatives, including the CIGE Insights and 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

Associate Director

Heather H. Ward is associate director at ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement. Before joining ACE in 2014, she 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. Heather was selected to participate in the Fulbright-Nehru Institute Education Administrators seminar in India in 2012, and the DAAD Germany Today program on higher education internationalization in 2015.

Heather holds a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a master of international affairs degree 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.

Ronna Eddington
Program Specialist

Ronna Eddington is the program specialist for ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement. Her work focuses on the Internationalization Collaborative, the Institute for Leading Internationalization, and the Washington International Education Group. Ronna also implements overall CIGE marketing and web strategy. Her previous experience includes nine years working with Higher Education for Development; another unit of ACE devoted to the strengthening of higher education in developing countries; where she coordinated daily operations and staff travel, and orchestrated international meetings. She has also served as a meetings coordinator for the ACE annual meeting.

Ronna holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and business management from York College of Pennsylvania and has attended The George Washington University for professional meeting management.

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