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Richard A. Navarro leverages more than 40 years of experience in international and higher education leadership to advise emerging economies and small states on higher education development as an engine for sustainable economic growth. He has served as the Chair of the CSU Academic Council on International Programs.


Navarro uses his expertise to lead the university’s comprehensive internationalization efforts, as well as to position the College of Professional and Global Education to provide continuing education and degree completion opportunities to adult learners, and to prepare them for success as the workforce of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — the next phase of technological advancement shaping the way we live, learn and work as we move from digitization and automation to artificial intelligence, robotics, 3-D printing and quantum computing.


Since 2002,  he has regularly consulted for UNESCO, UNICEF, The World Bank, USAID, The Asia Foundation, National Professional Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and numerous national and international government agencies and universities. He was senior advisor and member (1999-2008) of the Washington, D.C.-based National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, advising on higher education initiatives and teacher professional development. He was appointed by Gov. Gray Davis to a three-year term (2000-03) as chair of the California State Commission for Technology in Learning.


Navarro is the founding director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State University, established in honor of the sociologist who pioneered the field of Latino Studies. His research focuses on the politics of bilingual education and the effectiveness of schools as organizations in Third World countries. In 2011 he was named a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Republic of Maldives. Navarro’s work in international education development was influenced by his undergraduate study abroad experience collecting data on bilingual education in Chiapas for Harvard University’s Anthropology Field Station at the Mexican-Guatemala border.


Notable international assignments include:

  • Chief of Party of the USAID Project for Productivity through Higher Education in El Salvador (2014-16).
  • Senior evaluation consultant to USAID-Indonesia (2009), evaluating a national teacher quality project in 2009. In 2012, he was team leader for the End Line Evaluation of Papua Basic Education Program and the Mid-Term Evaluation for HIV and AIDS Education Project.
  • Senior Advisor and Project Manager of the Teacher Education Program for the Afghanistan Ministry of Education (2005-06), designing and implementing a national teacher in-service training program in collaboration with Afghan colleagues.
  • Chief of Education for UNICEF-Afghanistan (2002-04) responsible for the country’s Back to School Campaign, revising the primary curriculum, printing textbooks, distributing school supplies and classroom tents throughout the country, developing in-service programs for teachers and administrators, conducting policy research, and advising the Minister of Education in education policy. He also conducted a national evaluation of Afghanistan’s basic education and collaborated with several NGOs in building schools and providing educational services.

Selected Publications:


B.A., School of Humanities, New College of California, San Francisco

Ed.M., Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

A.M., Anthropology, Stanford University

Ph.D., International Development Education, Stanford University



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