Former President of Mexico to Head Globalization Center

Yale President Richard C. Levin has announced the appointment of Ernesto Zedillo, '81 Ph.D., the former president of Mexico, as the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization effective September 1, 2002.

Yale President Richard C. Levin has announced the appointment of Ernesto Zedillo, ‘81 Ph.D., the former president of Mexico, as the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization effective September 1, 2002.

“President Zedillo brings to Yale extraordinary credentials as an economist and public servant,” said Yale President Richard C. Levin. “He has a thorough grasp of international trade, finance and political economy as well as a deep commitment to the alleviation of global poverty. He is uniquely qualified to bring together scholars and policy makers to advance both academic and public understanding of the implications of globalization.”

He was elected President of Mexico on August 21, 1994. Following his six-year term, he orchestrated Mexico’s first peaceful transfer of power following 71 years of uninterrupted rule by a single political party.

“I am delighted to be returning to my alma mater to provide leadership for this exciting and challenging responsibility,” said Zedillo. “I am eager to build the Center for the Study of Globalization and bring together the outstanding faculty at the university with outside policymakers and practitioners to consider the significant issues relating to globalization.”

As president, Zedillo was credited with strengthening democratic institutions in Mexico, reforming the domestic economy, promoting political stability and expanding Mexico’s ties to countries around the world. During his tenure, he signed a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union and, by the end of his term, Mexico had experienced five years of economic recovery, with annual growth averaging about five percent.

Prior to being elected president, Zedillo served as Mexico’s Secretary of Public Education from 1992-1994 and Secretary of Programming and Budget from 1988-1992.

In 1976, Zedillo received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Advanced School of Economics of the Institutio Politecnico Nacional in Mexico. At Yale, where Mr. Zedillo earned a Ph.D. in economics in 1981, he focused on the issue of public indebtedness in Mexico and its links to future growth.

After leaving Yale, Zedillo taught at the Instituto Politecnico Nacional and El Colegio de Mexico, one of Mexico’s premier universities, before joining the Banco de Mexico. At Banco de Mexico, Zedillo focused on restructuring debt policies to stimulate the financial recovery of Mexican companies. He became widely recognized as a proponent of economic modernization.

Since leaving the presidency in December of 2000, Zedillo has lectured extensively on the effects of globalization and been a resolute advocate for democracy. Zedillo, Latin Finance’s “Man of the Year” for 2000, recently led a United Nations panel on finance and development. The panel produced what has come to be known as “The Zedillo Report,” which played a significant role during the recent United Nations conference on development in Monterrey, Mexico. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Institute for International Economics. Zedillo and his wife, Mrs. Nilda Patricia Velasco, have five children.

Replacing former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott as the Director of the Yale Center for Globalization (The Center), Zedillo will lead the Center as it continues to bring together Yale faculty and outside policy makers to address major global issues through teaching, conferences, and publications. The Center will host visitors from academia, government, business and the non-governmental organizations (NGO) community and encourage their participation in discussion with faculty and students.

The Center is also developing a premier website on all dimensions of the subject. The website will host an on-line journal of opinion for scholars and practitioners. Along with the Center’s teleconferencing facility, the website will carry the proceedings of the center’s conferences and seminars; publish articles and papers produced by Yale scholars and visitors and establish links among institutions and individuals working on globalization worldwide.

The Center’s programs are the latest development in a series of major international initiatives undertaken by Yale over the past several years supplementing the longstanding and distinguished programs of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies (YCIAS):

Need-Blind Admission and Need-Based Financial Aid
September’s class of international undergraduates was the first class admitted to Yale College under the new need blind admissions policy that provides sufficient need-based financial aid to cover the cost of attending Yale. The new policy awards financial aid on the same generous terms that are available to students from the United States. This initiative ensures that Yale attracts the strongest candidates for undergraduate admission from around the world.

World Fellows Program
The Yale World Fellow’s Program (WFP) will shortly announce its first class for the fall 2002 semester. The WFP was created to extend Yale’s traditional mission of educating future leaders by bringing to campus promising young leaders from around the world for an intense one-semester period of study focused on global problems.

More than 500 candidates from 110 countries applied for admission to the first class of 15 students. They represent government, law and business, as well as academic, religious and NGO’s on every continent.

Interdisciplinary Professorships in International Studies
To support Yale’s expanded commitment to international students and programs, Levin recently created three senior professorships in international studies. The University allocated the new positions to the YCIAS which will seek to identify scholars whose interests span the work of at least two of Yale’s academic departments or professional schools. The first of these positions was recently filled by an expert on the cultural impact of globalization, Arjun Appadurai, the new William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Anthropology, Political Science and Sociology will join the faculty in the fall.

Yale University continues to extend its involvement in international and area studies, teaching 52 foreign languages and offering more than 600 courses a year related to international affairs. In addition, YCIAS offers courses and degree programs focused on nine of the world’s major regions as well as undergraduate majors in international studies and a Masters in international relations. Many of Yale’s advanced professional schools are already at the forefront of internationalizing their student bodies: nearly 40% of students in the School of Music are international students, as are a third in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a quarter in the School of Management.

Yale has the largest international community in its history, with more than 1,560 international students and 900 international scholars from more than 100 countries. The number of international students at Yale has grown 29% in the last decade.

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