Lily Cho will join Western as its new vice-provost and associate vice-president (international) effective July 1. She is also appointed as professor in the department of English and writing studies within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
Cho is currently associate dean for global and community engagement in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University, where she has led the faculty’s international recruitment strategy, global mobility programs and international partnership agreements since 2019.
“Western’s commitment to internationalization offers so many opportunities for students and faculty for global engagement. I am excited to work with the incredible team here to bring more of Western into the world and more of the world to Western,” said Cho.
A scholar of cultural studies, postcolonial literature and theory, who focuses on Asian, North American and Canadian literature, Cho’s research has led to books on Chinese restaurants and the relationship between human rights and creative expression. Her latest book, Mass Capture: Chinese Head Tax and the Making of Non-Citizens, won the Association for Asian American Studies’ 2023 Book Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the multidisciplinary category.
At Western, Cho will lead strategic initiatives designed to meet Western’s international objectives including deepening research partnerships, expanding research mobility, offering domestic students more global experiences for learning and research, and increasing Western’s international undergraduate student population.
“Lily has an impressive track record of supporting international students to succeed. She has shown tremendous leadership and a commitment to thinking and acting globally,” said Florentine Strzelczyk, provost and vice-president (academic). “I look forward to welcoming Lily to Western this summer and working with her on the implementation of our new internationalization strategy that will allow Western to make its mark on the world stage.”
Cho received her PhD in English from the University of Alberta. After completing postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Riverside, she joined Western in 2004 as a faculty member in what was then the department of English. In 2010, she joined York’s department of English and went on to serve additional administrative roles there including undergraduate program director and department chair.
In her current role at York, Cho led the development of international conversion strategies, an international student emergency bursary program, a global and community engagement project fund and various global mobility programs. In 2020, she also took on the role of interim associate dean, research and graduate studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, providing leadership, outreach and support to graduate students and faculty researchers.
Cho also helped launch several new campus-wide initiatives at York focused on supporting international students including the Get Ready Program, the International Student Peer Mentor Network and the York First Friend program.
“I am extremely grateful to Lise Laporte (senior director) and the entire Western International team for their commitment to our students and the many programs that support internationalization at Western. I have no doubt that under Lily’s leadership, Western International will lead our university’s commitment to increasing our global reach and impact over the coming years,” said Strzelczyk.