The International Division at UW–Madison will be expanding its presence in Washington, D.C. through a new position dedicated to working on federal issues related to international programs and managing the internationally focused opportunities of the Wisconsin-in-Washington academic internship program. Cynthia Williams, PhD ’04 will serve as International Policy and Program Development Officer, based in the UW–Madison office in Washington, D.C., effective March 1, 2017. Williams has served as Director of External Relations in the International Division for the past 15 years. An Interim Director of External Relations will be appointed in the coming months.
“Cynthia’s presence in Washington, D.C. will enable the university to work more effectively with individuals and organizations involved with international policy and programming,” said Guido Podestá, vice provost and dean of the International Division. “The creation of this position is the next step in the university’s long-term plan to develop national and international opportunities and resources for students, faculty and staff. I am confident that Cynthia’s experience will enable her to succeed in this effort.”
A greater presence in Washington, D.C. will afford new opportunities for students, increased engagement with alumni and other key university advocates, and a front-and-center presence with policymakers, as well as national and international influencers.
Williams will work with the Washington, D.C. based Office of Federal Relations to maintain contact with administration officials, agency and Congressional staff and higher education associations related to international policy and programs. She will develop and maintain relations with a network of alumni, international institutions, think tanks, foundations, NGOs, and federal agencies in order to facilitate connections with UW–Madison faculty and staff interested in participating in international policy dialogues and research opportunities.
“UW–Madison is a leader in international education and research,” Williams said. “I want to facilitate the network of connections necessary to ensure that our faculty and staff are part of the policy discussions and research and engagement connected to critical issues facing our world today. I also look forward to working with the Wisconsin-in-Washington program, which will allow students to learn about international affairs first-hand.”
The international track of the new Wisconsin-in-Washington academic internship program is the evolution of the Washington Semester in International Affairs (WSIA) program Williams has managed since 2005. The new program, which will be overseen by Program Director Bola Olaniyan, is a combination of the WSIA and the Political Science Department’s Washington, D.C. internship program, which has operated in the summer for more than a decade.
The integrated program, managed by International Academic Programs (IAP), will feature international and domestic opportunities developed in cooperation with campus partners including the International Studies Major, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Global Health Institute. In her role developing international opportunities for the new campus Wisconsin-in-Washington program, Williams will support Olaniyan’s work through building a network of internationally engaged alumni and friends to cultivate international internships, academic content, field experiences and career opportunities for students.