Transformational Gift to Create Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

President Richard C. Levin announced today that Yale has received a $50 million gift to establish the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

“The Jackson Institute will become a signature program, marking Yale’s global aspirations. Its teaching programs will permeate the University, expanding the curriculum in international affairs so that students in all its schools are better prepared for global leadership and service. I am profoundly grateful to John W. and Susan G. Jackson for their transformational gift,” said Mr. Levin.

The Jackson Institute is designed to serve the whole University. It will offer courses for students in all of Yale’s schools who are interested in global affairs, and provide career counseling and placement services for any student who wishes to pursue a career in diplomatic service or with international agencies. The new Institute will also assume responsibility for the University’s core teaching programs in the area of contemporary international affairs, expanding the undergraduate International Studies major and elevating the master’s program in International Relations. It will serve as a center for discussion through active programs of public lectures, conferences, and executive education.

“We hope to inspire students to pursue careers in diplomacy and public service and to become globally engaged leaders in all walks of life,” said John Jackson, a 1967 graduate of Yale College. “We are delighted to help Yale advance this mission.”

The Jackson Institute will initially recruit four members of the tenured faculty to teach half their courses in the International Studies major and the International Relations masters program. Yale will also recruit at least four distinguished practitioners of international affairs as Senior Fellows of the Jackson Institute to teach in the undergraduate and master’s programs and be valuable counselors and mentors to students aspiring to public and international service.

“The recent appointment of five-time U.S. Ambassador and former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and the earlier appointment of former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo are indicative of the caliber of individuals we would seek to recruit to the Jackson Institute,” Levin said.

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, the Jackson Institute will have an office of career counseling to serve students from all Yale’s schools who are interested in diplomatic service or careers with international agencies or nongovernmental organizations. A summer internship program will facilitate entry into those careers, and resources from the Jacksons’ gift will increase the financial aid available to students in the International Relations program, which Yale intends to build into the premier program of its type.

“I expect that the Jackson Institute will become the most visible of the many thriving activities of the MacMillan Center,” Levin said. “We will expand enrollment in the undergraduate International Studies major and broaden and deepen the course offerings available to all students in Yale College to better prepare them for global citizenship.”

Ian Shapiro, Henry R. Luce Director of the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and Sterling Professor of Political Science, who helped design the Institute, will serve as acting director of the Jackson Institute to help recruit the Institute’s first Director and to work with departments and schools in initiating faculty searches.

The Jackson Institute extends work begun at the beginning of the decade to transform Yale into a truly global university. Initiatives have included providing full need-based financial aid to international students in Yale College, and establishing the World Fellows Program and the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. The University has encouraged all of its schools to expand their international research and teaching programs. Successful programs include the Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy Program, the Fudan-Yale Center for Biomedical Research and the Yale China Law Center, among others. In the past five years, Yale increased the number of overseas study, research, and work opportunities for undergraduates from 550 to more than 1,200. The number of faculty associated with the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies has more than doubled.