Syracuse University

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SU Abroad Executive Director Jon Booth to retire

June 22, 2011

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

After 17 years at SU Abroad—11 as deputy director and the past six as executive director— Jon Booth will step down as executive director on Oct. 1 and work with leaders in Academic Affairs to support the transition of SU Abroad through the spring, when he will officially retire from the University. 

“It has been a privilege to be part of SU’s long and distinguished study abroad program,” says Booth.  “I’ve especially enjoyed working with the outstanding staff and faculty in Syracuse and around the world who educate and support an average of 2,200 students studying abroad each year.” 

During his tenure at SU Abroad, Booth has done much to strengthen and grow the SU Abroad program, which today includes overseas centers in Beijing, Florence, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Santiago (Chile) and Strasbourg (France). Through SU Abroad’s World Partners, summer and short-term programs, SU students now have study abroad options in more than 20 additional countries. 

“Jon is greatly respected both on campus and nationally/internationally within the study abroad field,” says Donald A. Saleh, vice president of enrollment management. “He has led SU Abroad through several major transformations, including from DIPA (Division of International Programs Abroad) to the more nationally focused SU Abroad; and from a program centered in Western Europe to one with sites in Asia, South America and the Middle East. 

“In addition, he helped to exponentially increase the number of students with financial aid who have been able to study abroad. I speak both for myself and SU’s executive leadership when I say that we are immensely grateful for Jon’s many years of extraordinary commitment and expert leadership,” says Saleh. 

In 2009, Booth also led the creation of SU Europe, with the two-fold mission to further intensify student engagement with host communities and academic pursuits, and to devote strategically located personnel and resources for the establishment of additional locations within Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Additionally, SU Europe is focused on developing partnerships with host-city universities and best-in-class American universities whose programs and locations complement SU offerings. 

“Over the 11 years I’ve had the privilege of working with Jon, he stands out as a supportive and always responsive colleague,” says Peter Leuner, director of SU Europe. “From Walnut Place to China, by way of Chile and Europe and throughout the U.S. study abroad community, Jon is recognized and valued for putting both peace and people at the very center of his worldview.” 

Booth is concluding more than 40 years of work in study abroad, including 15 years as the director of the International Study and Travel Center at the University of Minnesota before coming to Syracuse.

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