Established in 2003 by President Lee C. Bollinger, the World Leaders Forum is an internationally recognized year-round program series serving as a platform for heads of state and other thought leaders to address global issues and advance lively, uninhibited dialogue on the large economic, political, and social questions of our time. Meaningful exchange is a hallmark of the Forum, which brings a variety of perspectives together on a range of topics; discussions with the audience have sparked conversations that have resonated across our campus and, at times, throughout the world, furthering robust discussion of global issues and the University’s commitment to freedom of speech. Through initiatives such as the World Leaders Forum, Columbia prepares its students to navigate and lead in an increasingly interconnected world.
The series’ roster of past participants includes heads of state and leaders from a broad spectrum of fields and all regions of the world. A few of the many remarkable participants are Presidents Bill Clinton, Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, and the Dalai Lama. World Leaders Forum events have been covered by the Associated Press, The New York Times, and the BBC, among others.