Berkeley International Group (BIG)

The Berkeley International Group (BIG) is a registered staff organization community of practice lead by a volunteer staff leadership team from other international-related units. GEO provides some administrative and operational support to the org, including hosting this website.

Staff with interests in international education and global affairs are invited to collaborate and participate in informal discussions related to the international work we do across UC Berkeley.  During the academic year, the group typically hosts 3-4 events per semester, in partnership with different units on campus. 

Our goals are to:

  • Bring together UC Berkeley colleagues, including staff and faculty, with professional interests in international education and exchange, and serve as a community to share knowledge about Berkeley’s international activities and operations.
  • Foster professional and personal connections among UC Berkeley’s international education stakeholders, strengthening cross-unit collaboration and providing a space to share best practices, innovations, and challenges across a decentralized space.
  • Provide networking and professional development opportunities for staff at all levels, encouraging collaboration across decentralized units.

Get involved!

To receive announcements of future BIG events, please add yourself to the bConnected listPlease note this group is intended for UC Berkeley staff and is not open to the general public or students.

If you would like to host a future BIG meeting or have a suggested topic or event, please email our leadership team at

Current BIG staff leadership:

  • Shannon Buckley-Shaklee, Program Advisor, Berkeley International Studies Program (BISP)
  • Lauren Cooper, Student Experience Manager, Global Access Programs (SSALLEX)
  • Jeremiah Lee, International Student Adviser, Berkeley International Office (BIO)
  • Ying-Sing (Cynthia) Lai, Global Engagement Officer, GEO
  • Chris Reed, Global Engagement Coordinator, GEO
  • Ashley Spinelli, Director, Global Engagement Office (GEO)


Founded in 2014, and originally run solely by the Global Engagement Office, since 2019 BIG is a recognized Staff Organization Community of Practice, a People & Culture initiative that facilitates opportunities for staff to become more involved in campus life. Joining relevant communities of practice allows staff to continue to develop and broaden their skills, as well as meet people who have similar professional interests. BIG became a staff organization in order to broaden and diversify our campus reach and leadership team.

March 20, 2024 Community Building and Career Pathways panelists: Meron Semedar, Jessica Sharp, Olivia Kuo, Gigi Estilo, Chris Reed, and moderator Jeremiah Lee