Sonia Feigenbaum’s Bio
Dr. Sonia Feigenbaum joined UT Austin in 2019, as inaugural senior vice provost for global engagement and chief international officer. During her tenure, she has led the rebranding of Texas Global to illustrate a broader vision for global engagement at UT and create a comprehensive virtual institutional global presence. She restructured and expanded operations to maximize growth by creating new units including Global Engagement and Strategy; Global Alumni Relations; Global Initiatives and Partnerships; and Global Programs and Innovation. In 2020, Dr. Feigenbaum led the vision for the publication of the first university biennial global engagement report and in 2021, UT Austin received the prestigious Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. In 2022, she launched the first UT Austin Global Gateway in Mexico City. Dr. Feigenbaum has raised funds in excess $16M to implement on- and off-campus internationalization programs and negotiated new contracts with international partners in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Panama, India, and Saudi Arabia.
She has developed and implemented major funding initiatives to bolster transnational research; campus internationalization events; global virtual exchanges; international internships; publications in languages other than English, and she spearheaded the establishment of a fund to support displaced scholars and students. To date, Texas Global has awarded $700,000 in grants to 15 UT Austin colleges and schools collaborating with partners in 45 countries. She has established strategic partnerships with top-ranked institutions in France, Mexico, Taiwan, Korea, Spain, Germany, Japan, and she established an Institut des Amériques pôle on the UT campus.
Before joining UT Austin, Dr. Feigenbaum was the associate vice chancellor for international engagement and global strategies and senior international officer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). While at UNL, Dr. Feigenbaum advanced internationalization by building strategic global partnerships, enhancing globally focused academic programs for students and faculty, and increasing institutional global visibility. She led efforts to expand and better serve international scholars and students, foster greater cross-cultural engagement on campus, and secure external funding to support on-campus internationalization efforts. She also launched an initiative to expand students’ global competencies through synchronous collaborative online learning with peers across the globe; developed and implemented new scholarship modes for education abroad opportunities to expand access; and secured funding from the U.S. Department of State, the Stevens Initiative, and the Argentina and German Fulbright Commissions, to name a few.
Dr. Feigenbaum has also served as associate provost for global engagement at Brown University, director of the Hispanic-Serving Institutions and International and Foreign Languages Divisions at the U.S. Department of Education, and deputy director of Public Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her extensive background in policymaking pertinent to global initiatives spans academia, close to 15 years of service with the federal government where she administered and managed budgets in excess of $250M, as well as work in the nonprofit sector. Dr. Feigenbaum earned her undergraduate degree in music performance (cello) and master’s and doctoral degrees in Spanish from Indiana University, Bloomington. She has native fluency in French and Spanish, is proficient in Portuguese, Italian, Russian, and is currently studying Korean.