University alumna appointed new vice provost for international affairs and global strategies

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The University appointed a new vice provost for international affairs and global strategies Thursday, according to a press release.

Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, assistant dean for international studies in education at Michigan State University, will start her new position at the University before the start of second semester, pending approval from the Board of Trustees at its Nov. 13 meeting.

This is a homecoming for Mabokela, as she received two degrees from the University. In 1994, she received a master’s degree in labor and industrial relations, and in 1998, a doctorate in educational policy studies.

Mabokela began her career at Michigan State as a visiting professor in 1999, and became a full professor with tenure in 2010. She was also named a Fulbright New Century Scholars Fellow in 2006.

“Professor Mabokela is a proven scholar with academic and administrative expertise in higher education and an incredible level of involvement in the global community,” Provost Ilesanmi Adesida said in the press release. “She is exactly the right person at the right time to lead our strategic efforts forward.”

Additionally, Mabokela serves as co-director of the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, and is co-investigator of a $24 million dollar research project addressing critical global food problems.

The project is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development and concentrates on the effects of climate change, population growth and rapid urbanization and how to develop and train the next generation of global problem-solvers.

Pending approval of her appointment, Mabokela is expected to start her new position on Jan. 16, 2015.