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Director's Letter

ShapiroSince President Salovey announced Yale's enhanced focus on Africa in his inaugural speech, there have been a number of exciting developments on campus and on the continent. Yale was selected as one of 20 academic institutions each to host a cohort of 25 emerging leaders from Africa this summer for a program funded by the U.S. Department of State. Ghanaian President John Mahama has announced a partnership with Yale and the Ministry of Health, IBM and ONE to help Ghana become the first African country to eliminate the mother-to-child transmission of AIDS. Yale College has continued increasing the number of students admitted from Africa with a record freshman class of 21 students from the continent starting next fall. Founder of the Women for Africa Foundation and former vice-president of Spain, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, has partnered with Yale to host a group of African women leaders from the governmental, business, and NGO sectors for an executive training session on campus in spring 2015.

The MacMillan Center has also had a hand in the Africa effort. One of our goals is to make Yale more prominent in the minds of outstanding young Africans who aspire to attend College in the U.S. The MacMillan Center, the Office of International Affairs, and the Yale Young Global Scholars Program have developed a four-day academic and mentorship program aimed at exceptional high school students in Africa. This August, a pilot program will be launched in Accra (Ghana) and Addis (Ethiopia). During this past spring semester, the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization hosted a colloquium on African human and economic development that was attended by a select group of academics, practitioners, and policymakers. I am pleased to report that during this event the University of Ghana became the newest partner institution to join our Fox International Fellowship program.

In February, we co-hosted a workshop to assess how young people across Africa are changing the nature of governance. The workshop explored key cases from diverse parts of the continent, notably the West African Sahel, the Great Lakes, Kenya, and South Africa, to examine the how young people are reshaping the ways in which they engage with one another and with the life of their countries. In April, we held a symposium marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.

Of course, we’ve had a number of other exciting activities take place outside of the realm of Africa. Former Indiana senator Richard Lugar presented the George Herbert Walker Jr. Lecture in International Studies at Yale. He spoke on “Modern Foreign Policy in an Uncertain World.”

The Program on Governance and Local Development was launched in May with the inaugural conference titled “Mapping Local Governance.” The Program fosters innovative research that breaks new ground in the understandings of governance and development issues focused on the Middle East. It is poised significantly to advance our understanding of governance in the region, extending research on politics and development that has primarily been state centered, and thereby overlooking subnational disparities that helped spark the 2011 uprisings.

The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs hosted a number of special events. In February, Husain Haqqani, the former Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, delivered a lecture on the U.S.-Pakistani relationship. In March, its Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy hosted a conference on “Europe at a Crossroads: The Future of Europe and Its Role in the International System” featuring former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger.

I invite you to read about these events and more in the pages of this newsletter.

My best wishes to you for an enjoyable summer.

— Ian Shapiro, Henry R. Luce Director