Emilia Zankina brings a wealth of experience in international education to her role as vice provost for Global Engagement. Since 2020, Zankina has served as dean of Temple University Rome Campus. She led the campus through the pandemic, restoring all operations and academic programming and launching several new initiatives including precollege workshops, a visiting artist residency, a revamped Adult Study Abroad Program, campus improvements, and a new marketing and recruitment campaign.   

Under her direction, Temple Rome was among the first half-dozen U.S. programs in Italy to restart in-person instruction, gaining recognition for best practices in the field of study abroad and international programs.  

Before joining Temple, Zankina served as provost of the American University in Bulgaria, where she oversaw all academic processes and units, including graduate and undergraduate programs, faculty, accreditation, enrollment and student services. Previously, she served as associate director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she oversaw certificate programs, student and faculty exchanges, international partnerships, and academic and professional programs.  

Zankina holds a Ph.D. in International Affairs and a Certificate in Advanced East European Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. A dedicated teacher, she is an associate professor in political science and an active researcher, who publishes on topics such as democratization and elite transformation, populism, civil service reform, and gender and political representation. She also volunteers with various organizations that support democratic governance, art and culture, including the Bulgarian School of Politics, Citizens for Bulgaria (C4BG), Derida Dance, and Balletto di Roma. In line with her passion for dance and languages, she is an active dance teacher and speaks over five languages.