Skip Navigation
Former President Clinton Attends Launch of UCLA International InstituteWarren Christopher (left) with UCLA International Institute Vice Provost Geoffrey Garrett at launch meeting for the Institute

Former President Clinton Attends Launch of UCLA International Institute

Bill Clinton, Warren Christopher, Gareth Evans address policy roundtable at November 21 gathering to announce new initiatives of the UCLA International Institute.

By Harlan Lebo

[The following is the report from UCLA Today.]

The UCLA International Institute (formerly ISOP) has announced a series of new initiatives under the broad theme of “educating global citizens,” created to bring a new dimension to the changing world of international studies. The Institute kicked off its new agenda with a Nov. 21 program at the home of UCLA alumnus Mike Medavoy, that featured former President Bill Clinton, former secretary of state Warren Christopher, and former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans in a roundtable discussion of the United States and its place in the contemporary world.

Bill Clinton According to Geoff Garrett, vice provost of the institute, the new initiatives are designed to help students, the UCLA community, and policymakers navigate the uncertain, complex and rapidly changing world of today.

"Our primary objective is to educate global citizens who understand the complexities of the contemporary world and are equipped to shape our collective futures," Garrett said. "We must educate students who are wise enough to know that an open mind is the passport to understanding, and courageous enough to devote their energies to building a better future for the world."

Housed within the College of Letters and Science, the International Institute administers a wide array of research and teaching that serve all of UCLA: fifteen research centers and programs; eight interdisciplinary degree programs; active community and K-12 educational outreach programs that support the "UCLA in L.A" initiative; flagship language studies programs; and the Education Abroad Program that annually sends hundreds UCLA students overseas to study.

"Our area studies centers have been and remain the foundations of international studies at UCLA," said Garrett, adding, “The Institute will work to weave between these pillars of knowledge new themes that simultaneously affect many areas of the globe – such as changing forms of governance, security concerns beyond interstate conflict, the causes and consequences of globalization, and transnational cultures, multiple identities and resistance to these trends. I believe the two complementary dimensions of this structure will make international studies at UCLA even stronger."

The Educating Global Citizens initiative is comprised of four central programs:

  • Global Impact Research -- Beginning in January 2003, the institute will support several innovative interdisciplinary research programs created by UCLA faculty, students, and experts from around the world that will result in both curricular innovations and the public dissemination of research findings.
  • Global Fellows Program -- Beginning in September 2003, the institute will bring outstanding younger scholars (within 7 years of receiving their Ph.D.'s) from around the world to UCLA to pursue research projects and teach a research seminar for undergraduates.
  • Global Studies Major – A faculty committee is currently preparing a proposal to create a Global Studies major for undergraduates who want to gain a multi-disciplinary perspective on the contemporary world. The Institute is also exploring ways to expand opportunities for Global Studies students to study abroad and to participate in internship programs in other countries.
  • Burkle Forum -- The institute’s Ronald W. Burkle Center of International Relations will host prominent leaders from business, government, education and the community to offer unique perspectives on the most pressing policy issues facing the world today.

"The global challenges we face are immense, and the task of charting a new course to worldwide peace, prosperity and freedom could not be more pressing," said Garrett. "These challenges also provide a crucial opportunity for the institute to educate tomorrow's leaders who will shape the world for generations to come -- at a time when we need it the most."

UCLA International Institute