Award for Global Engagement

2006 Recipient

Meredith McQuaid

Meredith McQuaid, associate dean of administration and international programs for the Law School, has made significant contributions to the expansion of global education and the creation of international programs at the University. Her many accomplishments include educational leadership, academic and global outreach programs, institution building, and teaching. She is considered "the face" of international programs at the Law School.

McQuaid’s experience with international education began early on. As an undergraduate, she was one of the first U.S. students to study Mandarin in China after the country opened to the West. After graduation, she spent two years teaching English in Japan and then spent time traveling, including a trip across Asia by motorcycle. She returned to Minnesota to earn her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and then practiced as an immigration attorney in Minneapolis.

In 1994, she joined the Law School as director of international programs, where she is credited with increasing the international student population from a few students to almost 30 new international students each year. She is involved in all aspects of the international student experience. She has recruited, selected, counseled, and supported international students from around the world, sometimes staying up all night to interview an international student over the phone. She developed new programs to support international law students before and after they arrived at the University and developed a three-week head start program to introduce students to American law. She has created a welcoming environment for international students and faculty.

Under McQuaid's leadership, both international and U.S. students have benefited from the expansion of the Law School’s international exchange programs—adding programs in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and soon Uruguay to the existing programs in Sweden and France. She may be most noted for the new Summer Program for American Students in Beijing, China. She has been involved at all stages of the development of the program and is responsible for the management and oversight of the Law School's growing efforts in China.

McQuaid's commitment and interest in international education extends beyond the Law School. She has served on the University’s China Center Advisory Council and was recently named its new president. She has served on selection committees for prestigious international fellowships, including the USIA Edmund Muskie Scholars Program.

McQuaid has been recognized for her outstanding leadership and has been described by her peers as "one of the most exceptional leaders at our University, building, nurturing, and sustaining international understanding.”