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KUIA names International Support Services Director

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

LAWRENCE — KU International Affairs has welcomed Ali Soltanshahi to the Jayhawk family as its International Support Services director. 

Serving in the field of international education since 2001, Soltanshahi has worked at four higher education institutions before coming to KU. Most recently, Soltanshahi was the director of the Center for International Services & Programs for Cleveland State University.

International Support Services (ISS) provides recruitment, admissions and immigration support to international students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars as well as activities and programming for the international community. KU’s Lawrence campus has nearly 1,700 international students from more 100 countries, as well as more than 900 international faculty and staff.

As ISS director, Soltanshahi will lead the implementation of immigration-related policies and procedures, international orientation, emergency fund management and scholarship administration for international students, sponsored and visiting student services, and institutional programming and support to foster the success of the KU international community. In addition, Soltanshahi will oversee KU’s international enrollment management, including student recruitment and undergraduate admissions.

“I am so excited to welcome Ali Soltanshahi to our community,” said Charles Bankart, associate vice provost for International Affairs. “He brings to us deep knowledge, experience and expertise in the field of international education and a strong national reputation as an advocate for our international community. He is well-poised to partner with everyone across our community as we work to further our efforts in the international education space.”

Prior to his time at Cleveland State University, Soltanshahi was director of International Student and Scholar Services at Vanderbilt University, manager of International Student Services at Iowa State University and an international student advising specialist at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Soltanshahi joined the field of international education through his interest in student development, engagement and leadership.

“It's my ultimate pleasure and privilege to join KU and an amazing community of faculty, students, staff and community members dedicated to education, research, internationalization, student development and change management,” Soltanshahi said. “I look forward to working together to develop the world leaders of tomorrow.”

Soltanshahi is originally from Tehran, Iran, and has also lived in Strasbourg, France. He immigrated to the United States in 1996. He said his international experiences have given him an opportunity to develop sensitivity to the needs of the international community.

Soltanshahi completed his biology degree at Southern Illinois University and earned a master's degree in education with a focus on student affairs and student leadership from Iowa State University.

Succeeding Charles Olcese, who retired as ISS director in May, Soltanshahi started the position Aug. 24.


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