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Plenary Speakers

Opening Plenary Fireside
October 31 Plenary

Bakari Sellers speaking into a microphone
Bakari Sellers
Two-time NY Times best-selling Author, Civil Rights Activist, Attorney, Entrepreneur, Legislator, and overall Prolific voice of the Culture

Two-time NY Times best-selling Author, Civil Rights Activist, Attorney, Entrepreneur, Legislator, and overall Prolific voice of the Culture, Bakari Sellers continues to build upon the strong legacy he inherited as the son of Gwendolyn Sellers and civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers. While his dad helped shape movements working alongside Stokely Carmichael, Bayard Rustin, and Malcolm X, Bakari has come into his own helping to write the blueprint for today's movements with the likes of Rep. James Clyburn, Attorney Benjamin Crump, and President Barack Obama. Bakari forged his own path from very early on. He entered Morehouse College at the age of 16. He went on to become a graduate of the University of South Carolina Law School and he became the youngest legislator in the South Carolina state legislature at 22. He carries this mantle of success with the right balance of gravitas, style, generosity, and humility-a nod to his humble beginnings in Denmark, SC where "please and thank you" are the chief currency in town. In penning both his memoir My Vanishing Country and a children's book entitled "Who Are Your People?," Bakari pays homage to the working-class values that encouraged him to "dream with his eyes wide open" and that are the predicate for his persistent fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the US and abroad. A CNN analyst, Bakari also brings an ability to elevate discourse such that people always feel one step closer to a solution or resolution after he speaks. He combines these and many other talents in his new podcast, The Bakari Sellers Podcast which airs two times a week on the Ringer Podcast Network. Sellers has also been an attorney with the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. in Columbia, South Carolina since 2007, where he heads up the firm's Strategic Communication and Public Affairs team and the DEI Consulting practice. He is married to Dr. Ellen Rucker-Sellers and they are the proud parents of three children.

The Future of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in a Post-Affirmative Action Era
November 2 Plenary

France, Monroe - Headshot 20181105-1 (1)
Monroe France
Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ), Tufts University

Before joining Tufts, Monroe France served as NYU’s senior associate vice president for global engagement and inclusive leadership. In this role, Monroe was responsible for working with institutional leaders to enhance inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and access opportunities —throughout the University’s global network. Monroe France has more than 25 years of global experience as an educator, strategist, consultant, trainer, and presenter in the areas of inclusive and innovative leadership, transformation, and human rights. Monroe has provided DEI consulting for executive managers at American Eagle Outfitter (AEO), the executive team for American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, and the management team at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) in Washington DC. Monroe’s background spans across higher education, non-profits, corporate sectors, arts & creative industries, as well as social responsibility, humanitarian, & philanthropy initiatives. Monroe currently serves on the board for Global Black Pride and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy where he serves as lead strategist for DEI. Monroe is a member of Future Talent Council where he serves on their DEI Task Force, Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding, and Future Skills think tanks. Monroe is the lead instructor for NYU Global Inclusive Leadership and Management Institute and is the founder and co-principal for NYU Environmental and Racial Justice Network. He is an adjunct professor at the NYU Silver School of Social Work and for the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Communication’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program. He is also a faculty member for NYU Abu Dhabi’s January term.

Pauletter Granberry Russell
Paulette Granberry Russell
President, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE)

Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D., was elected president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education in March 2020. Granberry Russell is a leading national voice and sought-after presenter on issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in higher education and beyond. Her research interests include gender equity in STEM, campus culture and its impact on marginalized communities, and strategies for dismantling structural racism to create more equitable experiences for faculty, students, and staff of color. Granberry Russell has given presentations and advised institutions and NGOs in countries across Africa and in the U.K. on gender equity, affirmative action, implicit bias and discrimination, strategic diversity initiatives, and inclusive leadership. Granberry Russell retired in August 2020 from Michigan State University as senior advisor to the president for diversity, emerita. She first joined MSU in 1998 as its senior diversity officer and later worked as director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. As MSU’s senior diversity officer, Granberry Russell was responsible for leading and facilitating MSU’s efforts to advance a more equitable and inclusive campus community. She developed cutting-edge education and development programs, led campus climate surveys (quantitative and qualitative), monitored university efforts to increase diversity among students, faculty, and staff, coordinated community outreach efforts, and incentivized innovative DEI strategies through the office’s Creating Inclusive Excellence Grants. Granberry Russell received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University (MSU) and her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. She is a licensed attorney with the State of Michigan.

Dr. Lisa Coleman
Dr. Lisa Coleman
Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation at NYU

Dr. Lisa Coleman is New York University’s (NYU) inaugural senior vice president for global inclusion and strategic innovation. Reporting to NYU President Andrew Hamilton, Dr. Coleman works with the Office of the Provost, deans, and other senior leaders, internal stakeholders, external partners, and constituents to advance, promote, and build capacity for strategic global inclusion, diversity, equity, belonging and innovation initiatives across NYU’s global network. Prior to joining the NYU community, Dr. Coleman served as Harvard University’s first special assistant to the president and its first chief diversity officer. During her tenure there, she and her team developed some of the first initiatives focused on the intersections of technology and disability. Before her time at Harvard, she directed the Africana program at Tufts University and was later appointed as that institution’s first senior GID executive, reporting to the president. Dr. Coleman earned her doctorate in Social and Cultural Analysis, American Studies from NYU, and three master’s degrees from the Ohio State University in African and African American Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Communication Studies. Her undergraduate foci included sociology, anthropology, and computer science.

Benjamin A. Gilman Program 2021-2022 Top Producers PlenaryNovember 1 Plenary

PDAS Scott Weinhold
Scott Weinhold
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

Scott Weinhold joined ECA from the leadership team of the Department of State’s Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts (CARE). He served as Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan 2020-2021, where he managed the State Department team during the August 2021 civilian evacuation of over 124,000 people from the HKIA airfield. Mr. Weinhold joined the Foreign Service in 1992 and is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. He served as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey 2017-2019, serving concurrently as Minister Counselor for Public Affairs. Prior to that he was Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Shenyang, China. His previous positions include Public Diplomacy postings in Beijing, Tokyo, Canberra, Ulaanbaatar, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei and Chengdu. He is the recipient of the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award for his service in Kabul as well as multiple Superior Honor Awards. His languages are Mandarin Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese, Mongolian and basic Japanese. Mr. Weinhold is originally from Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1989 with a double major in African Studies and Asian History.

Quasay Hussein
Qusay Hussein
Gilman Scholar

Qusay Hussein was a 2018 Gilman Scholar from Austin Community College and studied abroad in Romania. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in social work at the University of Texas at Austin, where his current research focuses on migration experiences of refugees with disabilities. In 2006, Hussein was a victim of a suicide bomb in Mosul, Iraq where he suffered multiple injuries and lost his sight. After 62 reconstructive surgeries, Qusay was able to overcome this traumatic experience and used it to advocate on behalf of marginalized communities and individuals with disabilities globally. He sought medical treatment in Jordan and had the opportunity to serve as a patient-counselor for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. In 2012, Qusay resettled to the United States and integrated himself into the American society by quickly learning English. He earned an associate degree from Austin Community College before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and social work. He also received his master’s degree in social work at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is currently pursuing his PhD. Qusay currently serves on the Association Committee for Doctors Without Borders, the Advisory Committee for Refugee Services of Texas, and the UT Austin Student Advisory Committee for students with disabilities. Additionally, he served on the Board for the Austin Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (2015-2019), and on the Board of the Texas Association of Blind Students (2016-2018). He is also the co-chair of the Community Advisory Council for the Texas Center for Disability Studies (CAC). In July 2023, Qusay was selected to participate in the Gilman Foreign Policy in Focus Overseas Seminar, focusing on global migration and refugees in Amman, Jordan. In his free time, Qusay is a mentor and provides interpretation at a local refugee resettlement agency for newly arrived refugees.

Sustaining Diversity, Equity, and Belonging in Global Education: Especially Now
November 3 Plenary

Eduardo Contreras
Vice Provost for Global Engagement, Baylor University

Eduardo Contreras Jr., Ed.D. is the the vice provost for global engagement at Baylor University where he serves as the University’s senior international officer, overseeing the Center for Global Engagement, including Study Abroad, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Global Baylor, the Global Scholars Program and the Global Gateway Program.. Contreras is an educator with over 20 years of experience as a successful teacher, facilitator, curriculum developer, advisor and collaborative administrator. Throughout his career, he has been committed to upholding internationalization and inclusive excellence in U.S. public and private higher education. Contreras comes to Baylor from UP, a private Catholic university in Portland, Oregon, where he has served since 2015, initially as director of the Office of Studies Abroad before becoming assistant provost in 2018. Since 2021, he has served as UP’s first associate provost for international education, diversity and inclusion, where he leads Study Abroad, International Student Services, the Collaborative on International Studies and Global Outreach, diversity and inclusion and the Diversity Center. His broad UP duties include serving on the President’s Leadership Cabinet, Provost’s Council and co-chairing the internationalization and diversity section of UP’s Vision 2020 strategic plan and the subcommittee on diversity, inclusion and justice for UP’s current strategic plan, Hope, Renewal, Transformation (2022-2027).

Martha Johnson
Martha Johnson
Executive Vice President and Provost, CEA-CAPA

Martha Johnson is the Executive Vice President and Provost for CEA Study Abroad and CAPA: The Global Education Network combined organization. She has worked in education abroad since 1991, including onsite at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and as the Study Abroad Coordinator at Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds, England. She managed institutional relations for several U.S.-based educational organizations and consortia including Regent’s College in London and AustraLearn previous to going to the University of Minnesota in 2001. From 2009-2022, Martha served the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota and oversaw one of the largest education abroad offices in the U.S., sending over 4000 students abroad annually. She played a key leadership role in the highly successful and internationally recognized Curriculum Integration initiative, as well as developing the Career Integration project and subsequent conferences. Martha holds a PhD in American Studies with an emphasis in drama and the performance of gender, race, and cultural identity from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Martha has presented and chaired numerous sessions and workshops at national and international conferences, served on a variety of education abroad program boards, and authored articles and chapters for publications including Frontiers and NAFSA guides and resources. She previously served in leadership roles and chaired multiple committees in NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, Diversity Abroad, the Global Leadership League, and the Fund for Education Abroad. She is currently serving a term as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the Forum.

Mark Lenhart
Mark Lenhart
Executive Director, CET

Mark has worked for CET since 1990, when he began as Resident Director of CET’s Harbin Chinese Language Program. After nearly five years studying and working in China, he became CET’s Director in 1995, and he oversaw CET’s expansion from a small provider of two Chinese language programs to today’s much larger organization. Mark is a founding board member of the Fund for Education Abroad, and he continues to play leadership roles on FEA’s Board of Trustees. He frequently speaks at national conferences on topics related to study abroad safety, underrepresentation, CET’s local roommates, and the LGBTQ student experience. As a student, Mark focused on Asian Studies, Chinese language, and photography, and he has degrees from Bowdoin (BA), Harvard (MA), and the University of Maryland (MBA).

Special Guest Speakers

Marie Lynn Miranda
Marie Lynn Miranda
Chancellor, University of Illinois Chicago

Marie Lynn Miranda, a leader in geospatial health informatics, took office as the 10th chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago in July 2023. She also is a faculty member in the department of pediatrics and the department of mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Miranda previously served as provost at Notre Dame through 2021 and was a faculty member in its applied and computational mathematics and statistics department. As provost, she led Notre Dame’s academic response to the COVID-19 pandemic; helped drive efforts to increase faculty and student diversity, resulting in the most diverse first-year class in school history in 2021; started a transformational leaders program to provide resources to students from underserved backgrounds; and led a bottom-up strategic planning process that engaged more than 600 members of the faculty. Miranda is also director of the Children's Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), a research, education, and outreach organization committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. The initiative is best known for its work on childhood lead exposure — contributing to the CDC’s decision to set a more protective standard for childhood blood lead levels, developing strategies for combatting lead in drinking water, and identifying lead in aviation gasoline as a contributor to elevated blood lead levels. CEHI’s most recent work focuses on racial residential segregation and how segregated neighborhoods experience greater exposure to social and environmental stressors, which drives health and educational disparities. CEHI has moved to UIC. Miranda brings a focus on access, equity, and excellence and a wide range of other leadership experience at Rice University, the University of Michigan, and Duke University to her role as chancellor of UIC. Before joining Notre Dame in 2020, Miranda was provost at Rice University from 2015-19. She was responsible for all aspects of the university’s academic, research, scholarly, and creative programs, supported by a roughly $700 million annual budget. While at Rice, Miranda also led the planning and implementation of $230 million in investments focused on areas such as molecular nanotechnology, data sciences, neuroengineering, inequities and inequalities, and general research competitiveness. Her efforts at Rice also included providing a comprehensive set of programs for students from underserved backgrounds — an initiative that substantially closed graduation and time-to-degree gaps. At Michigan, Miranda was dean of what was then the School of Natural Resources and Environment from 2012-15, restructuring the doctoral program and improving degree-completion metrics; developing data systems to support evidence-based decision-making in admissions and advising; and reinvigorating the department’s alumni relations operation. Before her work at Michigan, Miranda spent 21 years as a member of the faculty at Duke University, including nine years as director of undergraduate programs for the Nicholas School of the Environment. She also was principal investigator of a research laboratory with roughly 30 full-time staff and 40-plus faculty collaborators. Over the course of her research career, Miranda has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over $75 million in research funding. Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned a bachelor’s in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a PhD and master’s from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Miranda is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.