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Director's Letter

ShapiroFor more than half a century, Yale professors have been in the forefront of research on Africa and partnerships in Africa. Yale seeks to deepen that involvement in Africa as a part of our goal of becoming a truly global university. Our efforts are university-wide. Our goal is to increase Yale partnerships in Africa, to respond to unprecedented demand from Yale students for Africa-related courses and experiences that outstrip the current offerings, and to support a record number of students from Africa attending Yale.

The Council on African Studies at the MacMillan Center is the heart of interdisciplinary teaching and research on Africa at Yale. Led by Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics Christopher Udry, the Council provides a venue for coordinating faculty and student interest and activity. Chris and I will serve as faculty directors for Yale’s expanded work in Africa. Focusing on the pivotal areas of governance, development, and public health, we are interested in understanding and contributing to the ways in which business, the public, and the nonprofit sectors respond to Africa’s challenges and opportunities. 

We are determined that Yale will become one of the great university centers for work on and about Africa, and the university of choice for the brightest young Africans who will shape the course of this century for Africa.

In other good news, I am pleased to announce that YaleGlobal Online is a bright new addition to the MacMillan Center. The magazine explores the implications of the growing interconnectedness of the world by drawing on the rich intellectual resources of the Yale University community, scholars from other universities, and public- and private-sector experts from around the world. It is featured on the front page of our revamped website. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with it.

This fall the MacMillan Center has hosted a number of scholars, policy makers, diplomats, and dignitaries. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh gave his assessment of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Marwan Muasher, who was the first Jordanian ambassador to Israel after the 1994 agreement, spoke on the “second awakening” of the Arab World. Thomas Donilon, former National Security Advisor in the Obama Administration, spoke on how he briefed the President every morning on the world’s developments. Acclaimed American sociologist and social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein spoke on world history since 1945.

Please take a moment to read about some of our many events highlighted in this newsletter. I also hope you have an opportunity to watch The MacMillan Report at www.yale.edu/macmillanreport. In its sixth season, the show features interviews with faculty talking about their latest research.

My warmest wishes to you and yours for a very happy holiday season!

— Ian Shapiro, Henry R. Luce Director