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Staff

Dévora Grynspan

Dévora Grynspan

Vice President for International Relations

Dévora was born in Israel, grew up in Costa Rica, and came to the US in 1972 for her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University (Economics, 1976). She received her PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University in 1982 with an emphasis on International Political Economy and Latin American Politics. She also has a JD (1995) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she taught Latin American Politics and was Associate Director of the Office on International Programs and Studies. Dévora has been working in international programs for more than 25 years, specializing in the development of interdisciplinary programs, global health curricula, study abroad programs, and grant writing and fundraising. Read Dévora's full biography.

 

Kim Rapp

Kim Rapp

Assistant Vice President for International Relations

Kim has worked in international programs in higher education for over 20 years. Before coming to Northwestern in 2014, Kim was Executive Director of Stanford University’s Global Studies Division. Kim has lived and worked in several countries including England, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Mali and Senegal. Originally from the East Coast, Kim completed her undergraduate degree in Communications and International Studies at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and her graduate degrees in African Languages and Literature (MA), Educational Administration (MS) and Higher Education Leadership and Policy Analysis (PhD) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her publications have focused on graduate education in the U.S., and her teaching experience has ranged from African literature to international research methods, but Kim remains most passionate about facilitating the international interests and research goals of others.

Responsibilities:

  • Faculty, Staff and Alumni Engagement
  • Grant Writing and Proposal Review
  • New Initiatives

Kim was recently featured on NUWorkWell — Northwestern's podcast for Work, Life & Wellness as a graduate student — where she offered some authentic and practical job search and interviewing tips, spoke about why she made some non-traditional career decisions and revealed how she manages the often tricky work-life balance.

Jennifer Gerrard

Jennifer Gerrard

Director of International Agreements and Visitors

  • 847-491-5242

Jennifer has spent the majority of her career in the field of international education and has held roles focusing on international student program management, academic advising, and educational development in conflict contexts. Before joining Northwestern in 2019, Jennifer was the Senior Director of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Community Programs department at New York University Abu Dhabi. Additionally, she spent seven years at Northwestern, where she directed the Kellogg School of Management’s Executive MBA Global Network and managed graduate programs at the School of Professional Studies. She has also worked on U.S.-government funded programs at DePaul University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the nonprofit AMIDEAST. She has lived in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Jennifer completed her BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies at DePaul University and her MA at the University of Chicago in Social Sciences.

Responsibilities:

  • Partnerships and Agreements
  • Visitors and Delegations
  • Liaison to Chicagoland International Community

 

Janka Pieper

Janka Pieper

Director of Communications

Janka is in charge of telling Northwestern's international story and developing communication plans for the university’s global initiatives and internationalization efforts. Before joining the Office of International Relations in 2016, Janka was Assistant Director of Communications at the former Office of International Program Development at Northwestern University, where she led integrated marketing campaigns,  primarily focusing on study abroad, institutional international partnerships, and global health. Prior to that, Janka was Manager of PR and Communications at the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest in Chicago. Janka is originally from Germany. She came to the U.S. in 2001 as an exchange student and stayed to pursue a BA in Mass Communication at Illinois State University (2004), where she also worked as an international assistant. She also has an MA in Communication (2006) with a focus on international public relations from ISU. 

Responsibilities:

  • Internal and External Communications
  • Northwestern in the World Resources
  • Telling Northwestern's International Story

 

Annie Lee

Annie Lee

Executive Assistant

Annie is an advocate for cultural exchange and all things international. Having grown up in New York City, she developed an avid interest in learning about other cultures and in traveling globally. She has studied French, Hebrew, and Russian, and is fluent in conversational Korean. She has hosted high school students in her home when her three children participated in the German Exchange Program through the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) at Evanston Township High School, and her children also traveled to Germany and stayed with their guests’ families. In her most recent role before joining the Office of International Relations, Annie worked as a financial and grants manager for a social networks lab at the McCormick School of Engineering and the School of Communication. Annie holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University and is currently working towards a Certification in Cross-Cultural Ministry, taking coursework in Intercultural Communication, Theological Foundations, and Contextualization in Global Settings at Wheaton College.

  • Assistant to Dévora Grynspan
  • Financial oversight of office budget
  • General office management

 

Licheng Gu

Licheng Gu

China Liaison

Licheng Gu joined the Office of the Vice President for International Relations in January 2019. Gu is also a Professor of Instruction in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, where he teaches courses on Chinese language and literature and focuses his research on teaching pedagogy. Gu has authored numerous books and articles. His latest book, An Analysis of Chinese Teaching in America: Its Past, Present, and Future, was published in January 2019 by Beijing Language and Culture University Press. He also leads the “NU in China” summer study abroad programs and was Director of Northwestern’s former Program of African and Asian Languages for ten years. Born and raised in Beijing, Gu completed his BA in Beijing and his master’s degree in Australia. He completed his Ph.D. in 1992 at the University of Oregon and taught at Princeton University before arriving at Northwestern in 1993.

Responsibilities:

  • Advises on strategic university initiatives and partnerships in China
  • Provides support for delegation visits to and from China
  • Assists with raising Northwestern’s visibility in China through various communication efforts


Murphy Sharp

Murphy Sharp

Graduate Intern

A first-year graduate student in the Higher Education Administration & Policy program, Murphy comes to Northwestern after spending time as an Americorps Education Fellow, tutoring and mentoring 7th-grade students in New York City. During her childhood in Ohio, Murphy was drawn to international education and cultural exchange ideals and put her interests into action as soon as she could, working and studying in many countries, including Vietnam, Spain, Italy, Uganda, and Uruguay, and earning a bachelor’s degree in both Communication Studies and International Studies at Loyola University Chicago. Murphy continues to enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures and is excited to increase her understanding of global exchange on an institutional level through her internship and the MSHE program. 

Responsibilities:

  • Research
  • Communication
  • Special projects