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University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Announces Strategic Reorganization to Enhance Global Engagement and Safety

In alignment with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s strategic vision to empower and sustain a culture of collaboration, agility and innovation throughout the university, the Center for Global Engagement is proud to introduce two significant initiatives aimed at strengthening global activities and ensuring the safety of its community members abroad.

Global Research, Innovation, and Partnerships Office (GRIP)

Dr. Rachel Rui

With the launch of Global Research, Innovation, and Partnerships Office (GRIP) UT unveils a strategic reorganization aimed at enhancing global engagement and fostering innovation on campus. Led by Dr. Rachel Rui, appointed as Director of GRIP, and Sean Lawrie, Assistant Director, the unit will redefine the university’s approach to international partnerships, global research collaborations and innovative academic programming based on global competitive intelligence. GRIP’s mission is to forge enduring partnerships across higher education institutions, government entities and industries worldwide, amplifying efforts in “new business development” within university research endeavors and academic programming.

The establishment of GRIP comes as a result of the success of the Office of Asia Engagement (OAE), signifying a move to replicate this model globally, and an identified need for a transparent and accessible partnership development process, and stronger support for global research. GRIP aims to work with faculty and campus units to provide expertise in strategic global partnership, global research support, and innovative global program development and management. Visit their website to learn more.

Office of Global Security, Risk, and Resilience (Global Risk)

Shawn Lenker

The newly established Office of Global Security, Risk, and Resilience (Global Risk) within UT’s Center for Global Engagement provides a central resource for international risk management, emergency response and compliance efforts, which will play a crucial role in safeguarding the health, safety and security of Tennessee travelers abroad. Global Risk, led by Assistant Director Shawn Lenker, will assist the university community with understanding and mitigating risk while planning travel or programming abroad and will lead emergency response efforts for incidents impacting UT travelers outside of the United States.

Additionally, Global Risk will work across the institution to coordinate international compliance efforts, including helping the university community understand and follow university, state, federal and international regulations and guidelines that may impact their study or work abroad. Visit their website to learn more.

In an increasingly complex global landscape, GRIP and Global Risk help position UT to meet challenges and opportunities with confidence. These new initiatives underscore UT’s commitment to fostering a culture of collaboration, agility, and innovation, in line with its strategic vision. By enhancing global engagement and ensuring the safety of its community members abroad, UT is poised to continue to make a significant impact in the world.