Finalists announced for vice provost and dean of international studies

April 9, 2014 By Susannah Brooks

The next leader of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Division of International Studies will be chosen from among two UW–Madison faculty members and one from the University of Iowa.

“This is an exciting time for the Division of International Studies, one in which we anticipate finding new ways of strengthening the university’s global engagement,” says Provost Paul DeLuca. “I look forward to hearing each finalist’s approach to addressing these opportunities.”

The three finalists for the position of vice provost and dean of international studies are Guido Podestá and Bradford Barham from UW–Madison and Downing Thomas from the University of Iowa.

Podestá has held the position of vice provost and dean on an interim basis since June 2012, when Gilles Bousquet left to become interim chancellor of UW-Eau Claire.

Photo: Guido Podestá

Guido Podestá

Prior to his current role, Podestá served as associate dean of international studies and liaison to the International Institute. A professor and former chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, he previously directed the university’s program in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies.

Since joining UW–Madison in 1988, Podestá has received awards including a Romnes Faculty Fellowship, a resident fellowship from the Institute for Research in the Humanities and a senior fellowship from the American Council for Learned Societies.

Podestá received his doctoral and master’s degrees in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Minnesota, and his bachelor’s degree in literature from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Perú.

Barham is professor and former chair in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at UW–Madison. His international work focuses on poverty, trade, migration, and education outcomes in Latin America, as well as on sustainable agriculture and environmental issues.

Photo: Bradford Barham

Bradford Barham

Barham has chaired the University Committee and the advisory council for Administrative Excellence. He currently directs Educational Innovation for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and actively “inverts” his undergraduate courses on international development to improve learning outcomes. He has received a Vilas Associate Award from the Graduate School and the Pound Research Award from CALS.

Barham received his doctorate in economics from Stanford University and his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Thomas is associate provost and dean of international programs at the University of Iowa, as well as professor in the Department of French and Italian. Previously, he was associate dean for international programs, director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights and chair of his department.

Photo: Downing Thomas

Downing Thomas

Thomas has served on the Regents International Study Abroad Council (RISC). The French government has honored him as Chevalier in the Order of Academic Palms.

Thomas received his doctoral and master’s degrees in French literature from New York University and spent a year at the Graduate Research Institute of Columbia University, Reid Hall, in Paris. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis.

The finalists were recommended by a 12-member search committee, chaired by Richard Keller, a professor in the Department of Medical History and Bioethics.

All candidates will take part in public presentations, held in the Pyle Center’s Vandeberg Auditorium, Room 121, at 702 Langdon St. Sessions will be recorded for viewing later. Individuals may submit feedback on one or all of the finalists online.

The presentation schedule is as follows:

  • Guido Podestá: Monday, April 21, 2-3 p.m.
  • Bradford Barham: Thursday, May 1, 2-3 p.m.
  • Downing Thomas: Wednesday, May 7, 2-3 p.m.

The Division of International Studies engages with faculty, staff, students, alumni and university partners to promote international education, research and engagement, as well as strategic planning and coordination, across the UW–Madison campus.

Reporting to the chancellor and the provost, the vice provost and dean serves as the senior international education officer for the university and, as dean of the division, has direct oversight responsibilities for the International Institute, International Academic Programs (Study Abroad) and the International Internship Program.