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Associate Vice President, Global Learning and Strategy

Dr. Gigi Do

Biographical Sketch

Dr Gigi Do

Gigi Do has served as the associate vice president of Global Learning and Strategy and Senior International Officer at University of Houston-Clear Lake since 2019. She oversees international partnerships, education abroad, scholar services, international student services, and the UHCL Diplomacy Institute, which she founded on July 29, 2020.

At the age of 8, she came to the United States from Vietnam and has called Houston home since the early '90s. Dr. Do has over 25 years of work experience in international education. Her contributions to the international higher education community have been featured in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Houston Chronicle, and on National Public Radio. Additionally, she has accumulated numerous awards for her innovative efforts in international higher education including the Andrew Heiskell of the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Bellwether Awards.

Prior to arriving at UHCL, Dr. Do was executive director for the Office of International Programs at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the executive director of the Office of International Initiatives for Houston Community College (HCC). During her tenure at HCC, she played an instrumental role in establishing the first American-styled community colleges in Vietnam and the State of Qatar which had its first graduating class in 2012. She led the first American community college delegation to Saudi Arabia in 2008 to support Riyadh Community College in obtaining their first National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA) certification.

As the associate vice president of Global Learning and Strategy, Dr. Do has revitalized global outreach at UHCL and maintains the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion by demonstrating a commitment to students in providing inclusivity through her team of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, creating international education access for all students, and ensuring that our campus will have safe spaces for conversations about racial, economic, and social inequities.

With Dr. Do's previous established educational success in the Middle East region, UHCL was able to establish a first of its kind partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar with the launch of the Diplomacy Institute (DI). UHCL's Diplomacy Institute aims to expand the range of educational services and facilitate the training of diplomats and consular officials throughout the Houston area. In June 2021, Qatar Charity and the Diplomacy Institute signed the "Qatar Charity Food Equity Initiative of the UHCL Diplomacy Institute" agreement in which Qatar Charity pledged a six-figure grant in operational funds to help alleviate food insecurity among the most impoverished regional communities and families.

From June 2021 through December 2021, DI forged partnerships with a diverse range of community organizations, held distribution events throughout the greater Houston area, and distributed over 6,000 boxes of food. In celebration of the 2021 Qatar-USA Year of Culture, Diplomacy Institute was awarded tickets, memorabilia, and transportation to the CONCACAF Gold Cup games in Houston and Austin which were distributed to UHCL students and the Houston community. Additionally, DI collaborated with Public Art of the University of Houston System to be the recipient of a mural entitled, Cultural Bonds, painted by Qatari artist Muna Al-Bader.

At the beginning of her tenure, international agent recruitment relation partnerships and contracts were established, leading to the expansion of primary and secondary recruitment markets as well as a dramatic increase in international student applications and enrollment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when universities across the country were heavily impacted by sharp drops in international student enrollment, UHCL's international student enrollment managed to increase by 72% under Dr. Do's leadership. She established UHCL’s first official Office of Education Abroad and Scholar Services in fall 2019 which has led to a significant increase of Education Abroad and Faculty-led programs. In 2020, UHCL established J-1 designation status, which opens UHCL to more recruitment opportunities and grants from the U.S. Department of State.

Educational exchange partnerships have been created and revived with a host of countries including Spain, Japan, and Qatar. UHCL was the recipient of the Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students (IDEAS) Grant from the  U.S. Department of State's Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad. The IDEAS grant enabled three faculty and eleven UHCL students to travel abroad to study food security in Oman in January 2022.

Dr. Do earned her B.A. in sociology from the University of Washington, her M.A. in sociology from the University of Houston, and her Ph.D. in Program in Higher Education Leadership (PHEL) from the University of Texas at Austin.

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