Lee Sternberger Hired as Executive Director of Western’s Institute for Global Engagement

Lee Sternberger has been hired as executive director for Western’s Institute for Global Engagement.

Sternberger, hired following a national search, started work at Western on Jan. 2.  She succeeds Vicki Hamblin, who has retired.

“I am very pleased that Lee Sternberger is our new executive director of the Institute for Global Engagement. Her nearly two decades of experience at James Madison University, in a similar role at a similar institution, will greatly assist our work to help Western become more international, and her enthusiasm for internationalization is infectious. She is a great addition to Western,” said Brian Burton, associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

Western’s Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) coordinates the university’s internationalization initiatives, including the management and development of its institutional partnerships, education abroad opportunities, international student and scholar support services, and the International Studies curriculum.

“I’m delighted to join the Western and Bellingham communities. Under the direction of Dr. Hamblin and the talented IGE staff, and with the obvious support of the administration, Western already has established a strong foundation that we can build upon in the months and years to come,” Sternberger said. “By creating additional opportunities and connections at home and abroad, there is every reason to believe that Western can become a genuine leader in the field and profession of international education. The process of internationalization will have multiple benefits for Western’s students, faculty, institution and community.”

From 2003 until recently, Sternberger served as professor and associate provost of Academic Affairs and executive director, Center for Global Engagement, at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. In that position, she was responsible for coordinating and facilitating a prominent national and international profile for global education and international programs at James Madison University.

Sternberger has a master’s degree in Art and Architectural History from the University of Virginia. She also has a master’s degree in Psychology and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, both from Washington State University in Pullman.

She currently serves as the national secretariat for the University Mobility Asia Pacific organization, which is responsible for promoting U.S. participation in student and faculty exchanges, collaborative research projects, and curriculum development across Asia and Southeast Asia.  

From 2012 to 2017, she served as president, executive committee member and James Madison University representative on the International Network of Universities (INU), a consortium of 11 universities around the world. In addition to scholarly and grant-based work in the field of international education, she also has served as executive board member for the International Beliefs and Values Institute; annual academic conference chair and review panelist for the Forum on Education abroad, and conference program co-chair for the Division of International Psychology of the American Psychological Association, among under international leadership roles.

A reception to welcome Sternberger to campus will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23 in the Miller Hall Collaborative Space (ground floor).