IU administrator leading CEO search for world's largest international educators' organization

  • April 26, 2016


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The world’s largest organization of international educators has asked Christopher J. Viers, Indiana University associate vice president for international services, to chair the search for its next executive director and CEO.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators serves more than 10,000 members at 3,500 institutions in more than 150 countries. The organization is committed to international education as a way to advance learning and scholarship, build understanding and respect among different peoples, and enhance constructive leadership in the global community. 

IU has been involved with NAFSA since its founding in 1948 and Leo Dowling, IU’s first director of international services, served as one of its founding presidents.

"It has been an honor to build on Leo’s legacy in international services at IU the past 14 years and a privilege to be affiliated throughout my career in international education administration with NAFSA,” Viers said. “I was humbled to be asked by the board of directors to chair the search for the association’s executive director, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in identifying an exceptional 21st-century leader.”

Viers has been an active member of NAFSA since 1989. He has held several state, regional and national leadership positions including vice president for education and professional development from 2007 to 2009 and served as board member from 2006 to 2011. He served as president and chair of the board of directors in 2010. 

At IU, Viers leads the university-wide Office of International Services, which includes international recruitment and admission; international student and scholar advising, programming and support services; and the team responsible for the ongoing development and support of IU’s immigration case management and compliance software solution, Sunapsis. 

“Chris Viers has transformed our services to international students and scholars,” said David Zaret, IU vice president for international affairs. “He has overseen the development of tools that now support one in four international students in the U.S. 

“He has refashioned international admissions at IU, and we are seeing more diversity and more highly qualified students than ever before,” Zaret added. “His knowledge of international issues and his efficient management skills make him the ideal candidate to guide the selection of one of the most important international administrators in the U.S.”

Fanta Aw, chair of NAFSA’s board of directors and assistant vice president for campus life at American University, said Viers was the best choice, given his contributions to the field and NAFSA.

“Chris has a strong track record of strategic leadership, knows the organization and its members well, and is deeply respected in the field and known with great admiration by countless members,” Aw said. “His ability to listen and engage others will make a world of difference as we prepare for the future.”

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