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University Initiatives are aimed at enhancing Columbia’s global reach and ability to examine the great issues confronting us now and undoubtedly for decades to come, through the collective efforts of the entire Columbia community.

Columbia Global Centers

The Columbia Global Centers network creates opportunities in research, scholarship, teaching, and service; engages across borders and across disciplines; and expands Columbia's mission as a global University.

Columbia Global Centers | Amman serves as a hub for programs and educational initiatives throughout the Middle East from Amman, Jordan.
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Columbia Global Centers | Beijing assists Columbia with its various research and teaching programs in East Asia and serves as a regional base in Beijing, China for interacting locally with students, faculty, and alumni.
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Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul serves as a hub for Columbia programs and initiatives relevant to Turkey and the region from Istanbul.
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Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai develops programs and activities involving both students and faculty focusing on issues relating to Mumbai, the State of Maharashtra, India, and the South Asian region.
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Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi strives to enable the highest levels of knowledge and learning in and for Africa, and to create a hub from its location in Nairobi, Kenya for global curriculum and scholarly outreach in the region.
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Columbia Global Centers promote and facilitate the collaborative and impactful engagement of the University’s faculty, students, and alumni with the world to enhance understanding, address global challenges, and advance knowledge and its exchange.
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Columbia Global Centers | Paris creates new programs that explore the consequences of globalization and establishes partnerships with French and European scholars and educational and cultural institutions from its central location in Paris.
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Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro serves as a hub for Columbia programs and initiatives throughout Brazil.
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Columbia Global Centers | Santiago assists Columbia in the development and execution of its research and teaching programs in Chile and the Latin American region.
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Committee on Global Thought

The Committee on Global Thought was established by Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger in 2006 with the mission of enhancing the school's engagement with global issues. World events and concerns are increasingly the subject of academic focus, requiring new structures to facilitate avenues of inquiry that can identify and explain global phenomena. These issues, from democratization to supra-national governance to the role of new communication technologies, often fall between the conventional borders of academic disciplines.

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  • Former Secretary-General of the UN lectures in Low Library in 2009
    Kofi Annan delivers the Gabriel Silver Memorial Lecture “Climate Change: The Leadership Challenge of our Age.”
  • 2011 Nobel Peace laureate, Leymah Gbowee, speaks to the Columbia community in 2013.
    Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa founder addresses “True Leadership Requires Accountability: The Way Forward for New African Leadership.”
  • Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and moderator Ann Curry in 2012
    Chair of the National League for Democracy and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize with international anchor for NBC News.
  • José Manuel Barroso with Columbia University students in 2010
    President of the European Commission and spoke about “Post-Crisis: a Leading Global Role for Europe.”

World Leaders Forum

The World Leaders Forum is a year-round event series aimed to advance lively, uninhibited dialogue on the large economic, political, and social questions of our time, established by President Lee C. Bollinger in 2003. The Forum's roster of past participants features heads of state, as well as other global thought leaders from a broad spectrum of fields and all regions, drawing international attention and press coverage by news media organizations around the world.

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University Initiatives

Columbia Global Reports

Columbia Global Reports will produce between four and six reports per year of about 25,000 words each; each report will address a specific topic, with the enterprise taking an incremental approach to addressing the state of the world on a variety of topics. They will be written by journalists, some by academics, and some coauthored. The works will be disseminated through conferences and meetings, as well as the standard venues of print and online.

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University Forum on Global Columbia

The Forum on Columbia Global was conceived to create a University-wide conversation about what it means to be a global university in the 21st century, as well as to identify strategies and implement changes that will transform Columbia into a true global University. This conversation will be facilitated by a series of forums throughout the year engaging the entire Columbia community from students and faculty to administrators and alumni.

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Global Freedom of Expression

The Global Freedom of Expression project will seek to contribute to the development of an integrated and progressive jurisprudence and understanding on Freedom of Expression around the world, by establishing an electronic platform (the Platform) of information and ideas that will survey and analyze international, regional and national Freedom of Expression jurisprudence and issues, and provide user-friendly access to such information. The Platform will represent an evolving body of collective thought that will reflect, shape, and reinforce Freedom of Expression jurisprudence and legal understanding.

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Columbia Global Policy Initiative

The Columbia Global Policy Initiative brings together eminent faculty members from the widest range of relevant disciplines to address global problems comprehensively and to find effective ways of influencing global policy. Multidisciplinary teams address some of the most pressing global policy challenges of today, such as civil wars, health threats, global media, sustainable development, and extreme inequalities. This is a unique venture, combining the best of independent, objective academic research with the best policy analysis and all tied closely to the implementation of policy recommendations.

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President's Global Innovation Fund

The President's Global Innovation Fund awards grants for faculty members to leverage and engage the network of Columbia Global Centers. The program is designed as a venture fund to enable the development of new projects and research collaborations within and across these sites, in order to increase global opportunities for research, teaching, and service.

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