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An educator with a 25-year track record of building relationships between universities and international partners is the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s first executive director of global engagement.

Dr. Gabriel A. Carranza will lead initiatives to enhance UL Lafayette’s international reputation. The new position also will centralize programs the University offers its international students and scholars, and create new ones as well.

Carranza has held similar positions before. He was assistant vice provost for global engagement at the University of North Texas from 2009 to 2016.

He was director of the Office for Latin American Programs at Texas A&M University from 1992-2009. During that period, he also served as executive director of the Texas A&M Center in Mexico, and was interim director of the university’s Institute for Pacific Asia.

“In each role, he worked with faculty to globalize the universities’ teaching and research agendas. He extended their networks around the world and developed new international programs,” said Dr. Fabrice Leroy, UL Lafayette’s assistant vice president for Academic Affairs.

The executive director of global engagement will supervise the consolidation of UL Lafayette’s Study Abroad Program and its Office of International Affairs.

The two offices currently are separate. Study Abroad develops overseas learning opportunities for students. The international affairs office supports students from other countries through orientations, advising, immigration services and outreach.

Carranza will manage the recruitment of international students; work to increase awareness of world issues on campus through programs and curriculum; and expand international research opportunities for students and faculty. 

“Instilling a global perspective in students is a critical component of a quality education,” Carranza said. “My goal is to enrich the lives of every UL Lafayette student by providing tools that will enable them to become global leaders.”

The search for an executive director of global engagement began after a University-wide task force identified the need to increase UL Lafayette’s international presence. 

Michael McClure, associate dean of the College of the Arts, chaired the 14-member selection committee. The panel of administrators and faculty considered more than 60 applicants from around the world. 

“Dr. Carranza comes to UL Lafayette very aware of our needs. He has a clear vision on how to consolidate our existing programs and to provide leadership to grow our international profile,” McClure said.

Carranza earned a Ph.D. in veterinary microbiology in 1989 from Texas A&M. He completed a doctorate in veterinary medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1980.

He is a visiting professor of environmental and sanitary engineering at the State University of Ponta Grossa in Parana, Brazil.

Carranza will begin his new position July 1. His appointment is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.


Photo caption: Dr. Gabriel A. Carranza