The Chinese Association of Iowa recently selected Downing Thomas, dean of International Programs at the University of Iowa, as an honoree of the International Education Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals or organizations that have an exemplary record of publication, teaching, advising, advocacy, leadership, new program development, or general service to the field that has made and will make a lasting contribution to international education.
Thomas has served as associate provost for academic affairs and dean of International Programs since 2008. He works with both central and collegiate leadership to strengthen faculty resources in international programs commensurate with the curricular needs, research activities, and public engagement projects of a major research university.
His emphasis on global partnerships has ensured that UI faculty have opportunities to engage with partners abroad to benefit their research, expand teaching resources in their colleges, and provide students with unique opportunities for global learning. Thomas continues supporting the expansion of study abroad and internationalization at home through curricular seed grants and other programs, which have had a strong impact on student success. And his focus on building global alumni relations will ensure the thousands of international students and scholars who call the University of Iowa home will continue to stay connected to their alma mater and the state of Iowa.
Thomas is also a professor in the UI's Department of French and Italian in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and previously served as associate dean of International Programs and director of the UI Center for Human Rights during 2007-08.
International Programs at the University of Iowa, a division of the Office of the Provost, provides leadership and support for internationally-oriented teaching, research, creative work and community engagement.
Thomas was presented the award at the Chinese Association of Iowa’s 25th anniversary celebration and awards ceremony on Monday Feb. 25, 2013, at the Des Moines Embassy Club.
Strategic Communications Officer
University of Iowa