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Tamara C. Cunningham
Assistant Vice Chancellor—Global Initiatives

Tamara-Cunningham-Headshot_long.jpgTamara Cunningham has been a transformational and inclusive leader in higher education for over 20 years, with a special focus on strategic internationalization over the last decade.  She is a champion of global education, partnerships, research, and service. 

In her previous position as the Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives at New Jersey City University (NJCU), she led the institution’s first strategic internationalization plan.  International Research and Educational Partnerships, Study Abroad and Exchange, Collaborative Degree Programs, the American English Program, Visiting Student and Scholar Services and the American Council on Education’s (A.C.E.) Internationalization Lab were some of the areas that reported to Cunningham’s portfolio. During her tenure as the Senior International Officer at NJCU, the University saw an increase in international student enrollments, faculty-led study abroad opportunities and strategic international partnerships, leading the campus transformation into a more internationally diverse and culturally rich community. 

An advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Cunningham was the co-lead for A.C.E.’s Community of Practice subcommittee on the Intersections of Internationalization and DEI. Her passion for access to global education for historically marginalized populations led to Cunningham’s doctoral dissertation, currently underway, that examines access to study abroad for Black male students.  

In her new role as the inaugural Assistant Vice Chancellor-Global Initiatives at UC San Diego, Cunningham will lead her team to develop and implement the University’s strategic internationalization plan. The plan will focus on the strategic pillars outlined in the institutions A.C.E. Internationalization Lab report, which include developing collaborative structures to unify the institution’s international programs, empowering faculty and scholars to explore new modalities for international research and instruction, cultivating global learning for students, and building relationships and partnerships to further elevate UC San Diego’s brand nationally and internationally.

Cunningham serves with various professional international organizations, and she is currently completing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at St. Peter’s University. She earned a master’s degree in Communications and Information Studies from Rutgers the State University, and a bachelor’s degree in English from NJCU.