Podestá named vice provost and dean of international studies

May 22, 2014

by Susannah Brooks

Guido Podestá, interim vice provost and dean of international studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named to the position on a permanent basis.

“Over the past two years, Guido’s thoughtful presence has reinforced the university’s commitment to one of our most critical strategic priorities,” says Provost Paul DeLuca. “I look forward to seeing the division’s continued progress under his leadership.”

Photo: Guido Podestá

Guido Podestá

Podestá has held the position on an interim basis since June 2012, when Gilles Bousquet left to become interim chancellor of UW-Eau Claire.

“International work is no longer confined to one field, but ingrained in what we all do,” says Podestá. “It’s not just for international historians or engineers; it involves a lot of cross-disciplinary work taking place throughout campus.”

Before serving as interim dean, Podestá was associate dean of international studies and liaison to the International Institute. A professor and former chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, he previously directed the university’s program in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian studies.

Since joining UW-Madison in 1988, Podestá has received awards including a Romnes Faculty Fellowship, a resident fellowship from the Institute for Research in the Humanities and a senior fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

He cites several top priorities as he continues his work.

“We must capitalize on the international experience of campus professionals — faculty and staff,” says Podestá. “We’re also a major resource for the state, which is becoming more international in ways we may not notice. It goes beyond Wisconsin’s demographics and economic outlook.”

He hopes to draw even more on the experience of UW-Madison alumni, both the international alumni themselves and the many American alumni who either work abroad or have significant involvement in overseas activities.

“International work is no longer confined to one field, but ingrained in what we all do.”

Guido Podestá

“It’s crucial that we pay even more attention to the international experience of our students — not just based on their own disciplines, but others,” says Podestá. “Particularly in that area, we can benefit significantly from alumni expertise and connections.”

Richard Keller, professor of medical history and bioethics and director of the global studies program, led the 12-member search committee.

“Through his experience as interim dean and vice provost of international studies, Guido Podestá has a proven record of accomplishment,” says Keller. “His able stewardship has guided the division through a period of intense transition, and the search committee is confident that he has the capacity to take International Studies in exciting new directions in the future.”

The Division of International Studies engages with faculty, staff, students, alumni and university partners to promote international education, research and engagement, as well as strategic planning and coordination, across the UW-Madison campus.

Reporting to the chancellor and the provost, the vice provost and dean serves as the senior international education officer for the university and, as dean of the division, has direct oversight responsibilities for the International Institute, International Academic Programs (Study Abroad) and the International Internship Program.