Meet Our Staff

Rebecca Bellinger, Director

Rebecca Bellinger

Rebecca L. Bellinger has over a decade of experience leading international strategy, programs, and partnership development in higher education. She served previously as University Director of International Programs and Services at Pace University in New York City where she oversaw study abroad, international student and scholar services, national scholarships, and bridge (English-language) programs. Prior to this, she was Director of International Programs at the School of International Service, American University, where she designed international opportunities for graduate students and developed school-wide international partnerships. Her experience in international education also has included positions with the Institute of International Education/CIES; the Congressional Youth Leadership Council; Envision, EMI; and various private schools in Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, and Serbia). Rebecca is a graduate of the Transatlantic Master’s Program and holds an MA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA from the University of Rochester (NY). 

Rebecca also spends time out of the office supporting global education. She has a special interest in public diplomacy and volunteers with the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) and A-SMYLE (America-Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange) programs with the American Councils for International Education. She is also the founder of the Member Interest Group on Graduate Study Abroad in NAFSA and is an active presenter and contributor to this association and others.  

Her passion for international relations began with a semester abroad in Milan, Italy, continued into graduate school with fieldwork and study completed in the UK and Italy, and has led her to over 50 different countries for work, study, and leisure. Cuba, India, Jordan, and Kazakhstan are among the more interesting locations she has visited. 

She still calls upstate New York her home but has lived in the DC area off and on for the last 12 years. 

Phone: 301-405-6171; Email:

Matt Grieger, Assistant Director

Matt Grieger

Matt Grieger joined the Smith School’s Office of Global Initiatives in 2013. He holds an MA in Asian Studies and BA in Political Science, both from George Washington University. Before joining Smith, he was assistant director of the Rising Powers Initiative at GWU’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies for four years. While a graduate student, Matt was awarded a grant to conduct field research in Thailand for his MA thesis which examined the sexual exploitation of young men in northern Thailand. Prior to working at the Sigur Center, Matt was an information officer in USAID’s Office of Food for Peace.

From 2006-2008, Matt was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia’s second-largest city, Darkhan, where he taught English to fourth through eleventh graders and also directed Peace Corps’ anti-human trafficking task force. Following his time in Mongolia, Matt lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where he worked for a multinational engineering and construction firm. Matt worked on the 2004 presidential campaign for nearly a year, was a researcher at a government relations firm, and held journalism positions for UN Wire and Agence France-Presse.

He bikes to work from Hyattsville where he lives with his fiancé, Greg; a Lhasa Apso, Karma; and reclusive tuxedo cat, Eva.

Phone: 301-405-9477; Email:

Lisa Barnard, Program Manager

Lisa Barnard

Lisa Barnard manages all graduate short-term study abroad courses for the Smith School. Throughout her career in the Office of Global Initiatives, she built the Smith short-term abroad programs from two a year to now an average of 20 undergraduate and graduate programs a year. She also oversees the incoming and incoming business exchange student program (graduate and undergraduate) as well as hosting groups from Korea, Australia, Israel and China. The Smith School of Business now represents the largest population of UMD students abroad.

Ms. Barnard is an alumna of the Smith School, achieving her MBA/MS degree in International Business and Human Capital Management in 2000. She lived abroad for one year when she participated in the IIE/USAID program Emerging Market Development Advisors in 1998/99, placed with the Grenada Chamber of Commerce along with nine other advisors in the Eastern Caribbean; the project goal was to bolster good business practices and strengthen microcredit institutions. She authored a case study on the experience, published in 2000.

Lisa grew up in Alabama and received her B.A. in English, from Emory University in Atlanta. She then lived in the San Francisco Bay Area of California for five years before moving to the Baltimore/Washington area in 1996. Lisa has travelled to Mexico, Argentina, all over the Caribbean, Canada, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Ghana, South Africa, Tahiti, India, and China.

She lives in Bethesda, MD with her husband, three kids, a dog, and various other creatures.

Phone: 301-405-9575; Email:

Claudia Donnelly, Program Manager

Claudia Donnelly

Claudia Donnelly’s position with the Robert H. Smith School of Business is two-fold.  She is the manager of undergraduate short-term programs for the Office of Global Initiatives and also coordinates study programs for visiting international university groups.   The Smith School sends a greater portion of UG’s abroad for 10 day-2 week 3-credit courses during scheduled school breaks than any other department at UMD.  As the assistant director of the Business, Society & the Economy (BSE) program of College Park Scholars, a special living-learning by-invitation only program, Claudia helps students adapt to college life as freshmen and helps them navigate through their sophomore years. 

Claudia received her master’s degree in the business of sports administration from Ohio University and her undergraduate degree in communication from Rutgers University. She is a first generation American and recognizes the unique opportunities and responsibilities that go along with this. She grew up on Long Island, New York, enjoys living in Maryland with her husband and family, but still misses being just minutes from the beach.

Phone: 301-405-0200; Email:

Christopher Olson, Program Coordinator

Chris Olson

Chris coordinates the semester programs (undergraduate and graduate) for the Office of Global Programs. He serves as the main point of contact for both outgoing and incoming exchange students participating on the Smith School of Business exchange programs.

Chris' international experiences began with a semester program in Paris as an undergraduate at the George Washington University. After graduation, he returned to France as an English teaching assistant working in a middle and high school in Tours – about two hours southwest of Paris. While in France, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and developed a taste for extravagant pastries and Wiener Schnitzel. He’s traveled extensively throughout France and also to Italy, England, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia, Austria, Mexico, and of course, Canada.

While at GW, Chris studied international affairs at the Elliott School. Combined with his experiences abroad, he is excited to be able to help American and international students have similarly impactful opportunities.

Originally from the Boston area, Chris has lived in DC since 2004.

Phone: 301-405-4824; Email: