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International Partnerships and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Embedding Sustainability into Global Engagement

October 4, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

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Session Overview

The CBIE International Relations Professional Learning Community (IR-PLC) and the Community of Practice for Partnerships (CoPP) will host a conversation on the intersection between international partnerships and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in higher education. This discussion will critically address the tension at institutions between the advancement of the SDGs as a conceptual goal and the need for international partnerships to produce tangible outcomes in alignment with this objective. How can we ensure that sustainability is embedded into global engagement?

The opening panel features representatives with extensive experience engaging with these questions from various perspectives within the higher education sector. Their discussion will highlight the current landscape and context of international education and the SDGs, particularly through the lens of international partnerships.

The case studies session brings together four North American institutions that will share their initiatives and efforts that showcase how international relations offices and collaborating units across campus are moving the SDGs agenda forward. Discussion topics include:

  • How to engage leadership and central administration in the process
  • Key considerations when developing global partnerships through the SDGs framework
  • Best practices in working with other campus units, such as the Sustainability Office

Each session will be followed by a Q&A session and dedicated time for open discussion where participants can connect, share, and engage with colleagues to exchange ideas and resources on practical ways to build sustainability into international partnerships.


12:00 PM Welcome
12:05 PM Opening Panel Session & Q&A
1:05 PM Group Discussion
1:30 PM Case Studies Session & Q&A
2:30 PM Group Discussion
2:55 PM Closing Remarks


  • Dan Fredrick, Director, Global Engagement, University of Alberta International, University of Alberta (Co-Chair Elect, IR-PLC)
  • Stacy Burger, Director of Global Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Office of International Affairs, Lehigh University (Member, CoPP)
Karen Dalkie, Moderator

Vice President

Development and Partnerships, Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)

Karen Dalkie joined Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in 1998, and over the past two decades, she has spearheaded and implemented various projects and initiatives across the globe. In addition to providing strategic-level oversight to CBIE’s implementation of projects funded by Global Affairs Canada and foreign clients, Karen is also responsible for developing new partnership and development initiatives for the organization with a range of international and Canadian partners across government, academia and civil society. She is also actively engaged in deepening CBIE’s relations with member institutions, particularly through leading CBIE’s International Collaboration mission series, which provides unique opportunities for members to explore and pursue educational partnerships with countries worldwide.

Karen has a strong command of French, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian and has worked extensively across the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Karen received her MA in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and her BA in History and Russian from the University of Manitoba. She also studied in Moscow at the Moscow State Pedagogical University and holds a Certificate of Teaching English Language from Carleton University.

David Julien

Executive Director

Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE)

David Julien currently acts as Secretary General of the Inter-American Organization of Higher Education (OUI-IOHE) and Executive Director of the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAIE).

He owns a Doctorate and a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Sherbrooke, where he was appointed Ambassador of his Faculty in 2022. He also owns a Bachelor’s degree from Laval University and has taken courses in leadership and management at Harvard University and McGill University.

He has accumulated 20 years of management experience in three distinct organizations, including the IOHE, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and UNESCO, where he has been responsible for developing inter-governmental partnerships and different capacity-building programs.

He has taught at the Confucius Institute in Montreal, University of Sherbrooke, Marie-Victorin College, Universidad del Valle (Colombia) and Kaifeng University (China). He has also offered training seminars in various Latin American universities.

Jingwen Mu

Strategic Planning Manager, Planning & Information Office

University of Auckland

Dr. Jingwen Mu is the Strategic Planning Manager and the Senior Global Strategy Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

She is a university rankings expert and has been closely involved in developing the University of Auckland’s strategic plan and initiatives. She leads the University’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mapping initiative and represents the University in partnerships and conferences related to rankings and the SDGs. She is currently a member of the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings Advisory Board and a member of the QS Rankings Advisory Board.

She has been consulting for the World Bank on the Sub-Saharan Africa Benchmarking Initiative since 2015. Before joining the University, Jingwen headed the consulting team at ShanghaiRanking Consultancy from 2015 to 2018. She was responsible for developing ShanghaiRanking’s consulting and benchmarking frameworks and was leading the consulting initiatives across universities in China and overseas.

Beth Eden

Chief Executive Officer

QS World Merit

Beth Eden (she/her) was named one of Canada’s 30 under 30 Sustainability Leaders by Corporate Knights and 25 under 25 Environmentalists by The Starfish Canada for 2020. She has worked with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on SDG #13, Climate Action, with institutions, NGOs, the United Nations and local governments for numerous years. Her research focuses on environmental campaigns, social psychology and behaviour change for disaster risk reduction, flood resiliency and climate mobilization online and in communities across Canada.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo.

Shaheen Naji, Moderator

Executive Director

SFU International, Simon Fraser University

Shaheen Nanji (MA, International Studies) is acting Executive Director, SFU International and is responsible for faculty engagement and the collaborative development and implementation of the University’s international engagement and faculty engagement.

As a convener of engagement and dialogue on global issues, she is committed to collaboration between diverse disciplines, sectors, cultures, perspectives and interests for a more profound impact. She has worked on development projects in sustainable development goals; refugees and immigration; equity, diversity and inclusion; education; diaspora; public health, and environmental policy. Her international work has been focused on Africa and Asia.

Shaheen is on the Board of the Proteknon Foundation for Innovation and Learning, a member of the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table, and an Associate of the SFU Centre for Dialogue.

Helen Chua Balderama


Global Engagement and Partnerships, York International

Helen has 20+ years of experience in international education cooperation with programs and partnerships in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas through her work with UNESCO National Commission Philippines, the Asia-Europe Foundation in Singapore and higher education institutions in Canada.

As Director of Global Engagement and Partnerships and Programs at York University, Helen leads, facilitates and shepherds York’s engagement and cooperation with 300+ partners in 60 countries. The Global Learning Team, within her portfolio, facilitates and supports global and intercultural learning opportunities for York students as academic exchanges, international internships, and summer, short-term and virtual programs.

Helen has a BA in Philosophy from the University of the Philippines, a Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Projects for Development from the University of Turin and Int’l Labour Organization (Italy), and an MA in Public Administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She is active in the alumni associations of UP and NUS in Toronto.

Alexandra Hiniker


Sustainability Initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University

As the Director of Sustainability Initiatives at Carnegie Mellon, Alexandra is responsible for the institution’s programs on the Sustainable Development Goals and Scholars at Risk. This includes publishing the world’s first Voluntary University Review of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2020. Previously, she oversaw New York City’s Sustainable Development Goals program at the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, where she sparked a worldwide movement by creating the concept of the award-winning Voluntary Local Review for cities to report on their progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals.

Alexandra’s approach to sustainability is informed by 15 years of experience working in 18 countries across the globe. This includes leading humanitarian disarmament initiatives in some of the world’s most bombed and mined countries, advocating for locally-led peacebuilding processes as the PAX Representative to the United Nations in New York, and implementing pandemic preparedness projects in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Alexandra earned a BA from the University of Chicago, an MA from Uniwersytet Jagielloński in Kraków, Poland, and an MS in Urban Policy and Leadership from Hunter College in New York City. She also studied at Sciences Po-Paris.

Matt Upson

Associate Dean

Research & Learning Services, Oklahoma State University

Matt Upson is the Associate Dean for Research & Learning Services and Claud D. Kniffin Professor of Library Service and Education at the Oklahoma State University Library, where he has been a faculty member since 2014.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University. His research interests include information literacy, misinformation, critical algorithm studies, open education resources, open access, games and learning, and graphic novels. He recently co-authored the 2nd edition of Information Now: A Graphic Guide to Student Research and Web Literacy and currently serves as a steering committee co-chair for the New Literacies Alliance.

Jeff Simpson


Center for Global Learning, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Jeffrey Simpson, Director of the Center for Global Learning at Oklahoma State University (OSU), received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy and his M.S. Degree in International Studies from OSU.

His work is centred on strategic planning and relationship development designed to advance global learning across campus. Simpson’s primary research interests include the Imagineering process students engage in imagining and constructing study abroad experiences, the application of self-representation in narrating the study abroad experience, and the salience of gendered behaviour when constructing experiences in the education abroad space. This includes working with students on how they contextualize concepts of the SDGs and other global problem-solving approaches within study abroad spaces.

Ana Garcia

Project Lead

International Development Institute, Humber College

Ana is an International Development practitioner with 15+ years of experience in capacity-building projects in Latin America, Asia, and Africa funded by Global Affairs Canada, the European Union, and the Interamerican Development Bank. Currently, as Project Lead at Humber College’s International Development Institute, she manages capacity-building and applied research projects in Bhutan and Kenya.

Ana holds a Master’s in International Relations and Graduate Certificates in Project Management and Research Analyst. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Local Development and International Cooperation, conducting her pre-doctoral research about the contribution of Higher Education Institutions to Human Development through International Cooperation.

International Relations Professional Learning Community (IR-PLC) & Community of Practice for Partnerships (CoPP)

Led by our colleagues in the US, the Community of Practice on Partnerships (CoPP) is a voluntary-based, cross-border community aimed to create a space for IR officers and representatives to share good practices surrounding hot topics and increased responsibilities on partnership management in HEI International Education. IR-PLC has been working closely with this emerging group, and look forward to sharing more in the upcoming months on the development of this valuable community and how to be involved.

Organizers include:

  • Vivian Wang, Vice Provost for Global Engagement, University of Tulsa (Member, CoPP)
  • Sarah Olsen, Manager, International Partnerships and Faculty Global Engagement, International Programs, Colorado State University (Member, CoPP)
  • Andrea Delgado Morrow, Director, International Relations, University of Calgary (Co-Chair, IR-PLC)
  • Yukino Mori, Senior Manager (Interim), Global Engagement, SFU International, Simon Fraser University (Co-Chair, IR-PLC)


October 4, 2022
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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