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OVPIA Leadership

Nishi Dhupa

Nishi Dhupa, Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs

As associate vice provost, Nishi Dhupa works closely with the vice provost, the International Council, and the directors and leadership teams of Global Cornell's units to provide strategic leadership, support fundraising efforts and stewardship, align infrastructure to support the global activities of faculty and students, increase coordination of internationalization efforts across campus, and improve student access to global experiences by addressing financial and informational barriers. She oversees human resources, finances, administrative functions, and the use of resources across all Global Cornell units within OVPIA.

Dhupa also serves as executive director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

Dhupa holds a veterinary medical degree from the University of Nairobi and is a Diplomate of the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

At Cornell, Dhupa was appointed to the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, developing Cornell's first academic program in veterinary emergency and care. Subsequently, she moved into administration, first at the veterinary school and then at the Einaudi Center and Provost's office. Prior to arriving at Cornell, she was on faculty at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Elise Gold

Elise Gold, Director of Marketing and Communications

As the director for marketing and communication, Elise Gold leads strategic planning and communication efforts to connect the organization’s mission, goals, and priorities to further the international mission of Cornell.

Gold came to Cornell in 2008. As director of communications for the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning she led a redesign of the college website and biannual magazine. Before coming to Cornell, she worked for Gannett, Inc. at the Ithaca Journal, moving from print to online as the internet became part of newspaper culture. Gold started her professional career as a fourth-grade public school teacher in Brooklyn, New York.

Gold holds a BA in studio art and political science from Binghamton University.

Ying Hua

Ying Hua, Director, Cornell China Center

As director of the Cornell China Center, Ying Hua works to develop and execute the university’s China strategy and provide academic and programmatic direction for the center in Beijing. She chairs the China Center Faculty Advisory Committee and works closely with the Cornell China Advisory Board.

Hua is an associate professor in the Department of Human Centered Design and a faculty member of the graduate fields of design and environmental analysis and real estate. She is a faculty fellow of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures, a core faculty member of the Cornell East Asia Program of the Einaudi Center, and co-director of Cornell’s International Workplace Studies Program. She is also a member of China's Green Building Council.

Hua holds a PhD in building performance and diagnostics from Carnegie Mellon University and an MEng in building science and technology and a BArch, both from Zhejiang University, China.

Brandon Lanners headshot

Brandon Lanners, Executive Director, Office of Global Learning

As executive director for the Office of Global Learning, Brandon Lanners provides leadership and vision for the university in the areas of Education Abroad and International Services.

He leads a staff of 25, helping manage operational planning and fiscal oversight. He serves as the face of Global Learning on campus, advancing best practices from the fields of education abroad, immigration services, compliance, and risk management. He also enhances study abroad program review and development, advising and support services for international students and scholars, and cross-cultural training for faculty, staff, and students. And he liaises with outside collaborators and policymakers.

Lanners holds an EdM in higher education policy, a BS in psychology, and a BA in political science, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Christine Potter wearing a black jacket and white shirt.

Christine Potter, Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director of Global Operations and Strategy

As associate vice provost, Potter provides strategic leadership and plans new initiatives to enhance Cornell's global outlook and engagement. In her role as executive director of Global Operations, Potter manages Cornell's distinctive agenda to strengthen institutional expertise and support for engaging in research, education, and other activities abroad. Her team provides professional advisory services and project management for complex matters involving international collaborations/partnerships, global human resources, international financial transactions, import/export controls, IT and data security, legal/regulatory compliance, international health and safety preparation and incident response, risk management, and foreign tax compliance.

She is active on university-wide planning/working groups and committees, collaborating closely with stakeholders across campus and beyond. She also holds responsibility for policies, governance, personnel, compliance, budgets and finance matters, and the facilities of Cornell's foreign legal entities and/or centers in China and India.

Potter holds MBA degrees from Cornell and Queen's University, an MPS in International Development from Cornell, and a BA in communication and media studies from Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Rachel Riedl

Rachel Beatty Riedl, Director, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies

Rachel Beatty Riedl is the Einaudi Center's director and John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and professor in the Department of Government. Riedl envisions the Einaudi Center as a home for imagining and implementing global research. Her research interests include institutional development in new democracies, local governance and decentralization, and authoritarian regime legacies, with a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

Her latest book, From Pews to Politics: Religious Sermons and Political Participation in Africa (2019), was coauthored with Gwyneth McClendon. Authoritarian Origins of Democratic Party Systems in Africa (2014), won the African Politics Best Book award. Riedl also cohosts the Ufahamu Africa podcast about life and politics on the African continent. 

Most recently, Riedl was a fellow at the Nantes Institute for Advanced Study and a Fulbright scholar. Previously, she was director of the Program of African Studies and an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. She received her PhD from Princeton University.  

Christian Shaffmaster

Christian Shaffmaster, Director of Development

As the director of development, Christian Shaffmaster works with the vice provost to identify giving priorities that advance the organization’s mission and goals and develop fundraising strategies that advance those priorities and the international mission of Cornell.

Shaffmaster also works closely with alumni affairs and development colleagues across the university to establish and promote fundraising priorities around international teaching, and research and engagement. He collaborates with academic leaders in schools, colleges, and centers to develop, support, and implement plans that support the university’s international activities.

Before joining OVPIA, Shaffmaster worked for the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell Law School for 12 years. Most recently as the associate director and before that as the associate director of their Annual Fund.

Shaffmaster holds an MA from Marywood University and a BA from Lycoming College.