Associate Provost for Global Affairs
Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs
Heather H. Ward is the associate provost for global affairs. Ward helps manage the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs as well as spearheads key initiatives. As lead for 7.2 of Carolina Next — “Guarantee that a global education is available to all students” by offering “all Carolina students the best menu of global opportunities possible under challenging and changing times” — she plays an instrumental role in delivering the Global Guarantee, Carolina’s promise to provide all students access to a global education.
In her previous role leading the Study Abroad Office (SAO), Ward was responsible for a dynamic portfolio of 360 study abroad programs and exchanges in 70 countries. In 2018-19, an estimated 43% of students studied abroad before graduation, making Carolina one of the top-20 U.S. institutions for study abroad participation each year. Under Ward’s leadership, the SAO has increased study abroad scholarship funding and introduced new programs to fit the changing needs of UNC-Chapel Hill’s diverse students. Ward was also responsible for the SAO’s professional staff, budget and operations.
Prior to joining UNC-Chapel Hill in January 2019, Ward served as associate director for internationalization and global engagement at the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, D.C., where she developed programs and resources to support the internationalization of colleges and universities, as well as increased collaboration among global higher education institutions and systems. Ward also led ACE’s efforts to promote the use of technology to deliver global learning and strengthen international partnerships. Ward previously served as associate director for internationalization and outreach at George Mason University (VA) and Director of International Programs at Mary Baldwin University (VA). Her previous experience in international affairs focused on human rights, criminal justice reform and immigration, and she has held positions with the Vera Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Americas Society and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ward holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Her passion for global education began with an undergraduate semester in Madrid, Spain, followed by a summer internship and field studies in Guatemala.
Ward and her family enjoy living in Chapel Hill and spending time on local trails and rivers.