First cohort of the UCLA International Institute's Global Executive Leadership Program, together with industry representatives and UCLA faculty and administrators. (Photos: Cindy Fan and Oliver Chien/ UCLA.)

UCLA International Institute launches Global Executive Leadership Program

In July 2018, the UCLA International Institute launched a new training program for foreign executives seeking to better understand U.S. industries within their economic and social context.

UCLA International Institute, September 24, 2018 — Ten Chinese executives visited UCLA in July 2018 to attend a two-week training program as the first cohort of the Global Executive Leadership (GEL) Program at the UCLA International Institute. The inaugural session of the program focused on the U.S. insurance industry, with insurance, educational and information technology experts as featured speakers.

Participants engaged with American executives, practitioners, scholars and health-care professionals to learn about U.S. insurance companies, practices and trends. Sessions spanned such topics as insurance products, employee benefits, recent medical research findings and the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative.

The program included formal meetings and presentations, together with on-site visits to insurance companies, an economic development foundation and a retirement center in Laguna Woods. Not to mention dinners at a variety of the ethnic restaurants that make Los Angeles a culinary capital!

“The UCLA International Institute is excited to have launched the GEL Program,” said Cindy Fan, vice provost of international studies and global engagement at UCLA. “Teaching professionals how to navigate cultural differences, including unfamiliar social norms and business practices, is a natural fit for the expertise of UCLA,” she added.

“Like UCLA’s mission as a global university, the program stresses cross-cultural competency and international collaboration as indispensable tools for a 21st-century workforce,” concluded Fan.

One notable aspect of the program is that it provides opportunities for mutually beneficial learning. While the July training enabled visiting Chinese professionals to gain a deeper understanding of how the insurance and related industries work in the U.S., UCLA and U.S. professionals learned about topical issues in these industries in China.

Among the more technical sessions of the recent program were a lecture on trends in the incidence and treatment of degenerative neurological diseases in the U.S., including Alzheimer’s, as well as a presentation on various actuarial products.

Made possible by a generous gift of US$1 million, the GEL Program is dedicated to building intercultural understanding between foreign and American professionals, forging global networks and facilitating the exchange of innovative ideas across a range of industries. The program will fund selected cohorts of foreign executives from different industries to visit UCLA in the future.