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International Vice President

The International Vice President’s Office was established in 2001 to coordinate and communicate Brigham Young University’s international activities, facilitate and leverage efficient use of university resources, and strategically focus attention on priorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We partner with faculty, colleges, the Church, and others.

The International Vice President’s Office is about making the motto, “The World Is Our Campus” a continuing and evident part of university life. In 1962, when President Ernest L. Wilkinson posted the sign at our campus’s front gate, he provided a visual marker on what was already long underway, namely, the development of a unique, prophetically led university that would progress from a good regional college to an outstanding international university.

The International Vice President’s office has responsibility for the following:

  • International Hosting and Ambassadorial Visits Program
  • Division of Continuing Education
  • International Diplomatic Scholarships
  • Performing Arts Management
  • Special International Projects
  • David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies
  • International Study Programs
  • Global Security, Health, and Safety—including International Travel

IVP Office

Renata Forste, International Vice President

Renata Forste
Renata Forste currently serves as the international vice president. Forste is a professor of sociology, previous chair of the Sociology Department, and a former associate dean in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. Her research has focused on population studies, women and children’s health, and family research internationally, with over fifty publications, twenty-five conference presentations, and twenty grants or fellowships in these areas. As a result of Forste’s work, she was awarded the Martin B. Hickman Outstanding Scholar Award in 2009 and the Virginia F. Cutler Honored Faculty Lecturer in 2017 from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. She received a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from BYU. During her time at BYU, Forste has also served as coordinator of Latin American Studies and coordinator of Women’s Studies. In 2016, she codirected the study abroad program at BYU’s London Centre.

Jeff Ringer, Associate International Vice President

Jeffrey F. Ringer is an associate international vice president and previously served as director of the BYU’s David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies (2002–16). Prior to joining the Kennedy Center as associate director in 1992, Ringer was a visiting instructor of political science at BYU. His primary research and writing interests are in the field of U.S. and Asian relations. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and international relations, respectively, from BYU and did doctoral work in political science at the University of Colorado.

Stan Benfell, Director, David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, and Associate International Vice President

Stan Benfell.jpg
Stan Benfell currently serves as an associate international Vice President and as director of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. Benfell is a professor of comparative literature. He received PhD and MA degrees in comparative literature from New York University, and a BA from BYU. His research focuses on European literature from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, and he is the author of numerous studies concerning Italian, French, and English literatures. His previous assignments include chair of the department of Comparative Arts & Letters, coordinator of the European Studies program, and associate director of the Kennedy Center. He has co-directed or directed five Study Abroad programs at BYU’s London Centre.

Landes Holbrook, Senior Manager over global security, health, and safety for Brigham Young University

Landes Holbrook is the senior manager over global security, health, and safety for Brigham Young University. Holbrook is active professionally with colleagues across the country in research and publication/presentation of global security issues and practices in education abroad programming. He is the university’s key contact for government, nongovernment, and other professional organizations working with international security, safety, travel, and health issues. Currently, he serves under invitation from the U.S. Secretary of State as one of thirty Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) committee members. Previously, he served as national co-chair of the Association of International Educators (NAFSA) Health and Safety Committee in Education Abroad, Academic Dean of the NAFSA Health and Safety in EA Workshop, and founding member of the Academia Working Group and PULSE (University international security professionals). Holbrook provides international security assessments of international security, safety, and health risks, provides analysis for university administration regarding travel policy and procedures, and conducts program security advance work, crisis management, and implements training programs for BYU students, faculty, and staff. He received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature from the University of Utah, master’s degrees in linguistics and public administration from Brigham Young University and studied abroad at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City and Cuernavaca. Currently, he is an adjunct teacher for Teacher Education and the Alpine School District. He has directed over 600 BYU student interns abroad and has led BYU education abroad group programs to Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.


BYU International Vice President
Renata Forste
B-307 ASB
Provo, UT 84602

Associate International Vice President
Jeff Ringer
A-185 ASB
Provo, UT 84602

Associate International Vice President
Stan Benfell
237 HRCB
Provo, UT 84602

Senior Security Manager
Landes Holbrook
Provo, UT 84602