The University of New Mexico's Global Education Office (GEO) announced the appointment of David Wright to the position of associate director for Education Abroad. Wright will lead the organization in its efforts to implement new partnerships that will integrate study abroad programs with academic pathways for students.

Wright, whose new position became effective on Sept. 1, previously served as director of education abroad at the University of Arizona and West Chester University, where he was responsible for comprehensive international initiatives related to study abroad, undergraduate curriculum development, and international agreements and exchanges.

"We are fortunate to be gaining an associate director who is intimately familiar with study abroad programs, affiliate partners and exchange opportunities," said Mary Anne Saunders, special assistant to the president for global initiatives. "The knowledge and relationships that David brings with him are invaluable as we focus on our long term goal of sending at least 1,800 UNM students abroad by 2020.”

Education Abroad has experienced a 30 percent increase in study abroad participation since 2012 and Wright plans to leverage this momentum. Meeting the internationalization goals contained in UNM Vision 2020 is a top priority for the new director.

“UNM is well on its way to reaching the point where every student engages in an international experience as part of their academic program,” explained Wright. “Education Abroad can play a significant role in supporting that vision. By integrating study abroad as a pathway to degree completion, we align the two and enhance the valuable impact that study at UNM and study abroad can make on a student’s academic success, as well as their future career.”

Wright holds his master’s degree and doctorate degree in second language acquisition and teaching/German from the University of Arizona. He has also studied at the Universities of Cologne and Regensburg in Germany. His research interests lie in the areas of international education, as well as second-language learning and cross-cultural training; he has lectured and published widely on those topics.

 For more information contact Kat Elwell, public information representative, Global Education Office, (505) 277-0906 or email,