The Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences has named Farida Jalalzai as associate dean for global initiatives and engagement.

In the newly created position, Jalalzai will further enhance the college’s robust international profile.

“Farida Jalalzai is a spectacular addition to the leadership team of the college,” said Laura Belmonte, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. “She is a top-notch scholar and administrator whose deep knowledge of global affairs will create new research, teaching, and experiential learning opportunities for our faculty and students.”

Jalalzai most recently served as professor and head of the Department of Political Science at Oklahoma State University. Her research focuses heavily on the representation and behavior of women and minorities in politics and the role of gender in the political arena. Additional research interests include executive studies and comparative politics.

Jalalzai, who has worked in higher education since 2005, has also served as chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Jalalzai grew up in upstate New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and African and Afro-American studies from SUNY College at Brockport, and she earned both her master’s degree and her doctorate in political science from the University of Buffalo.

In addition to teaching and serving in leadership, Jalalzai has written multiple books based on her research, including “Shattered, Cracked or Firmly Intact? Women and the Executive Glass Ceiling Worldwide” and “Women Presidents of Latin America: Beyond Family Ties.” She coedited the volume “Measuring Women’s Political Empowerment Worldwide.”

The opportunity to join the mission of expanding the global reach of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is what attracted Jalalzai to Virginia Tech.

“This university is ahead of the game in enhancing global opportunities for students and faculty, and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is well suited for further engagement internationally,” said Jalalzai. “I’m excited to join this dynamic institution.”

Jalalzai said she’s impressed with the variety of study abroad locations that the college traditionally offers.

“College faculty members lead students in study abroad programs all over the map,” said Jalalzai. “These are important opportunities, as we are all profoundly affected in positive ways by firsthand experiences in diverse locations.”

Jalalzai, who will also serve as a professor in the Department of Political Science, said she looks forward to examining ways to increase the college’s international partnerships, including working with other colleges to add and expand global learning centers. She will join Virginia Tech on July 1.

Written by Andrew Adkins