Berkeley International Group (BIG)

The Berkeley International Group (BIG) is a staff organization community of practice administered by the Global Engagement Office staff in partnership with staff from other international units.

Staff and faculty with interests in campus international activities and international affairs are invited to meet monthly to collaborate and participate in informal discussions related to the international work we do across UC Berkeley.  During the academic year, the group typically meets once a month, with the host(s) deciding upon the topic, date, time, and location of the meeting. Each meeting is typically hosted by a different unit on campus.

Our goals are to:

  • Bring together 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 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.

Originally run solely by the Global Engagement Office, since 2019, BIG has been 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 reach and leadership team.

BIG's current staff leadership includes:

  • Ashley Spinelli, Director, GEO
  • Alice Tsai, Global Engagement Specialist, GEO
  • Chris Reed, Global Engagement Coordinator, GEO
  • Katherine Greco, International Adviser, Berkeley International Office (BIO)
  • TBC, Summer Sessions, Study Abroad, and Extended Education (SSALLEX)

If you would like to receive announcements of future BIG events, please add yourself to the bConnected list or email Please note this group is for UC Berkeley faculty and staff only and is not open to the public.

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

The BIG meetings are excellent opportunities to learn about the inspiring international work being done by the UC Berkeley community, and to strengthen and also start collaborations in support of that work.
Eddie West, Former Assistant Dean & Executive Director, International Programs, UC Extension