Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:47 AM EDT

CHICAGO, May 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- It was announced today that Brittani Smit, Ph.D., has been appointed as Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism of IES Abroad, effective June 1st. IES Abroad is a global not-for-profit that provides premier study abroad and internship programs around the world. For more than 70 years, the organization has been dedicated to deepening and expanding diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism to best foster an inclusive learning and living community for its students and workplace community for staff.

Dr. Brittani Smit, Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism at...
Dr. Brittani Smit, Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism at IES Abroad(PRNewswire)
"I am passionate about international education because I have experienced its transformative power firsthand."

"We are excited to welcome Dr. Smit who we know will bring dedication, experience, and passion to our ongoing commitment to elevate our diversity initiative into every aspect of IES Abroad," said Gregory D. Hess, Ph.D., President and CEO of IES Abroad. "We are determined to travel the road toward true diversity, equity, and inclusion around the world in every way we can, and there's more to come as we collaborate with Dr. Smit to keep making a world of difference, together."

Dr. Smit has extensive experience in developing and delivering high impact international education experiences in South Africa, having recently served as the Resident Director for South Africa programs for Arcadia University's College of Global Studies, as well as Student Life Manager & Academic Coordinator for the CIEE Global Institute in Cape Town. Dr. Smit has also led diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism programming and training for educational institutions and corporations throughout the U.S. and the EMEA region.

Dr. Smit completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) in English Literature at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Rome, Italy and Cape Town, South Africa. She returned to South Africa to complete master's and Ph.D. degrees in English Literature at the University of Cape Town. While completing a doctorate on race, social class, and gender-based discrimination, Dr. Smit managed mentorship programs designed to increase equity, inclusion, and belonging for students from historically marginalized groups at the University of Cape Town.

"I am passionate about international education because I have experienced its transformative power firsthand," said Dr. Smit. "Studying abroad gave me a broader perspective on my own experiences and opened my eyes to the global manifestations of the systemic inequities I noticed in my local community in the U.S. I believe these life-changing opportunities should be accessible to all students. I am excited to join IES Abroad and continue building on the strong foundation of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism work that has been established thus far."

In this role, Dr. Smit will serve as a member of the IES Abroad Management Team and further foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, and lead efforts across all departments to coordinate and ensure that the IES Abroad diversity initiative continues to be broadly integrated into:

  • IES Abroad culture, including policies, as well as practices, and training for staff
  • Staff recruitment efforts and practices
  • Outreach efforts to current and potential students, as well as the overall student experience
  • Our partnerships with Consortium schools and professional organizations
  • IES Abroad Academic Centers around the world

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism is the work of many not just a few, and IES Abroad is excited to add Brittani's dedication, experience, and passion to the momentum of the efforts we've started and all the work still to be done.

About IES Abroad
Founded in 1950, IES Abroad is a global, not-for-profit providing premier study abroad and internship programs. With an academic consortium of 275 top-tier American colleges and universities, IES Abroad educates students worldwide to become global leaders across IES Abroad, IES Internships, Customized & Faculty-Led Programs, and The Study Abroad Foundation. Operating 130+ programs in 30 locations around the world, IES Abroad has educated more than 150,000 alumni since its inception. IES Abroad is mission-driven and committed to championing meaningful academic and cultural education; providing millions in scholarships and aid; representing and integrating diverse perspectives, cultures, and ideas; prioritizing and setting the standard for health and safety in study abroad; and practicing living more sustainably through our Global Good Commitment.

More information on IES Abroad can be found at

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