Contact GEO

With guidance from the Vice Provost for Academic Planning & Senior International Officer, GEO serves as a global affairs support to the campus and senior leadership. For general inquires: (preferred), +1-510-333-9654

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Ashley P. Spinelli (she/her), Director, Global Engagement Office

Ashley Prather Spinelli has been with GEO since 2018 and assumed the role of director in 2022. Ashley provides strategic advising and support to UC Berkeley’s senior leadership, faculty, staff, and current and prospective partner institutions on international partnerships and academic collaborations. Her responsibilities include strengthening Berkeley’s international ecosystem and operations, and overseeing the GEO team. In her current role, Ashley enjoys collaborating with faculty, staff, and senior administration to enhance Berkeley’s global engagement efforts. 

Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Ashley has managed program development and institutional relations for a study abroad provider (Accent Global Learning), served as a Program Officer for global Fulbright research exchanges with the Institute of International Education (IIE), and worked with various non-profits at the intersection of education and social impact in New York City. Ashley holds an M.A. in International Educational Development from Columbia University and a B.A. in Global Studies and Italian Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her first study abroad experiences were a faculty-directed music and culture program in Ghana and a full immersion at the University of Bologna, Italy. She is certified in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and has taught in Peru, Minnesota, and Colombia.

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Ying-Sing (Cynthia) Lai (she/her), Global Engagement Officer

Cynthia joined the GEO office in 2024. She is excited about supporting Berkeley senior administration to advance international operations and strategy, as well as ensuring the success and sustainability of international partnerships. Cynthia brings more than ten years of experience in the International Education field, where she worked at University of San Francisco, International Student and Scholar Services office. She advised international students and scholars and oversaw orientation programming. She advocated for international students and scholars at the state and federal level and was awarded a Fulbright International Education Administration (IEA) Award. Cynthia holds an M.S. degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Golden Gate University and a B.A. degree in Business Administration from Soochow University in Taiwan. 

Contact Cynthia about international memoranda of understanding, international agreements, and briefings for senior leadership.

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Chris Reed (he/him), Global Engagement Coordinator;

Chris started as the Global Engagement Coordinator in 2022, where he is excited to continue his long-term commitment to supporting research and transnational ties in the field of higher education. He previously worked for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, a funding agency affiliated with the government of Japan which has an office in downtown Berkeley. Before that he worked for the Asahi Shimbun of Japan, a daily newspaper, where he covered tech and business. He has also spent time working as a Japanese to English translator. He holds an M.A. in Political Science from Waseda University, and a B.A. in Japanese Studies from UC Davis.

Contact Chris about international delegations and general questions