Office of Global Affairs

January 4, 2022

Meet OGA’s new Director of Global Engagement, Chrishon Blackwell

Chrishon Blackwell will lead key initiatives for the Office of Global Affairs focused on building community and broadening what it means to be global.

Chrishon Blackwell

Chrishon Blackwell

The Office of Global Affairs (OGA) welcomes Chrishon Blackwell, as our new Director of Global Engagement. Chrishon joins OGA at an important point in its history as it reimagines and reframes global engagement at UW. As Director of Global Engagement, Chrishon Blackwell manages new and existing international initiatives that support research, teaching, and global engagement among students, faculty, and staff.

Chrishon joins OGA from George Washington University (GW), where she oversaw summer at-large initiatives that supported the university’s broader strategic priorities of enhancing student success, retention, diversity, and internationalization.


Q: What background and perspective do you bring to this new role?
I have 20 years of professional experience working with international populations, 14 of which are in higher education administration. I am TESL/FL certified, hold two undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Business Management, a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, and am currently pursuing a doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning in the Executive Leadership Program at GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

My professional experience includes international recruitment, teaching and curriculum design, operations, and program management. I think the variety of academic and professional experiences that I have will bring unique and creative ways of approaching global engagement.


Global Engagement Task Force Recommendations

Five key recommendations guide OGA forward, shaping our vision for global engagement at the UW.

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Q: What excites you about serving as our first Director of Global Engagement?
I am excited to leverage my professional background and academic experiences to cultivate relationships across culturally diverse backgrounds and create partnerships across local, national, and global spaces.

Over the past year, OGA’s Global Engagement Task Force met with 100+ stakeholders across our campuses and schools, and reimagined the role we could play in facilitating global engagement for the UW. As our new Director, I am thrilled to bring this vision to life, expanding our programming to support faculty and students of all different backgrounds.


Chrishon along the river in Kowloon, Hong Kong

Q: How does your research inform and connect to the work you plan to do as Director of Global Engagement?
I have spent the past several years exploring the connections between cultural competency, comprehensive internationalization, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Throughout my career, my work has often required close collaboration with faculty and the offices that support academic success and retention such as the registrar, student affairs, multicultural services, international students and scholars, health and wellness, and career services. As such, I recognize and appreciate the importance of each of these offices working together to support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution.


Q: How do your own experiences align with the mission and work of the Office of Global Affairs?
The Office of Global Affairs vision aligns with my personal and professional goal to create opportunities and spaces that support global research, teaching, and community engagement. I think that there are so many ways to contribute to student success through global engagement efforts whether that is through supporting campus-based initiatives aimed at increasing access and retention, facilitating cultural competency development among faculty, staff, and students, and/or promoting cross-border activities that advance pedagogy and research.