Cindy Elliott

My personal email account is globalcindy and many say that it accurately reflects my career, my personal interests, and the cities in which I have lived and travelled.

I was raised in a small town in Illinois, attended Southern Illinois University, got bit by the international bug while being an exchange student with University of Innsbruck, Austria and after graduation moved to the global city of Miami, Florida for the start of my career as a university administrator.  While studying for my Master’s in Public Administration, I assisted the German media to articulate the unification process after the Wall came down.  In 1998, I was chosen as the initial Dean of the Virtual College at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) and moved to Hays, Kansas.

I entered international education through strategic partnership development with universities across the globe.  FHSU was the first American university approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education to offer bachelor’s degrees to Chinese students without requiring them to study abroad.  I oversee this unique partnership, hiring over 60 faculty to live and teach in China, and since 2001, have graduated over 10,000 Chinese students.  In addition, in 2016, I was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholar International Education Administrator Award to France.

I was elected to a first term on the SCI Board in 2016 and, as a result, have brought the knowledge of opportunities to my sister cities in Hays, KS and to other SCI chapters in Kansas as Interim State Representative.

Statement of Interest

My first exposure to Sister Cities International was when I led the establishment of the first Chinese sister cities relationship between Hays, Kansas and Xinzheng, Henan province where the Fort Hays State University bachelor’s degree university partner is located.  This culminated in the first red-carpet visit by the Chinese mayor to Hays when the sister city agreement and proclamation were signed.

Since then, I have attended SCI annual conferences, the China-Sister Cities conference, and the SCI Leadership Meetings.  This participation has reinforced how consistent the organization’s mission and values of citizen diplomacy are to my own. I was elected to a first term on the Board in 2016 and since then have been a member of the following Board committees: Membership; Fund Development; Strategy and Programs; Global Leadership Circle; and currently Interim Kansas State Representative and  Chair of a Task Force for special grants to SCI.   My work on these committees is not complete and I would like to continue being a member of the Board to fulfill the goals.  It would be an honor for me to continue the vision that President Eisenhower, Kansas’ favorite son, began 63 years ago.

Skills and Assets

As a university administrator, I work with budgets, personnel, strategic planning, grant writing, partnership development, marketing, and fundraising.  Being on a college campus, I witness the enthusiasm and talent of youth and am sensitive to and embrace cultural diversity.

Currently, as a member of SCI Board, I understand the financial and time commitment involved and the importance of collegiality for decisions and policy making.  I will continue to serve the Board with energy, ideas, and competence.