An anniversary and milestone for YaleGALE

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Representatives from NGOs and universities attended the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange's "Volunteer Leadership and Development Conference," which explored best practices in engaging volunteers and cultivating leadership. Speakers at the event in Paris included U.S. ambassador and Yale alumnus Charles Rivkin ’84 and University vice president Linda K. Lorimer. (Photo by Stuart Cohen ’70)

The U.S. embassy in Paris partnered with the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange (YaleGALE) to host the “Volunteer Leadership and Development Conference” in Paris, France on Feb. 13. The conference kicked off YaleGALE’s fifth anniversary and served as an opportunity to share best practices in engaging volunteers, cultivating leadership, and promoting giving in order to strengthen NGOs as well as universities.

U.S. ambassador to France and Yale alumnus Charles Rivkin ’84 delivered welcoming remarks to an audience of over 100 representatives from French universities and NGOs. The audience also heard from Yale vice president Linda Lorimer, who stressed the importance of volunteer engagement, strong leadership, and development for both NGOs and universities in an increasingly complex global economy. Alain Beretz, president of Strasbourg University, was the keynote speaker.

YaleGALE representatives led breakout sessions for NGO and university representatives to discuss specific ideas for building strong volunteer communities and opportunities for strengthening development efforts.

During the five-day YaleGALE program in Paris, delegates also met with university alumni leaders from the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) as well as Université Paris II Assas-Panthéon (Paris II), two leading French universities and members of the Yale-Paris Collaborative.

“We were excited to have the opportunity to participate in the first event between Yale and ENS as part of the Yale-Paris Collaborative. The exchanges with ENS and Paris II were an opportunity to learn more about the individual alumni associations and about higher education in Europe,” said Kathy Edersheim, director of international alumni relations at Yale and chair of YaleGALE.

“Through this collaborative, a relationship has quickly developed between the the French universities and Yale. In just this short visit which brought together alumni from the participating schools, many ideas have been exchanged and new projects are being developed,” said Quentin Epron, associate research scholar in law at Yale Law School and a lecturer in public law at Paris II.

The Yale-Paris Collaborative was launched in 2011 to create an environment for long-term joint research, exchange, and programming activities between Yale, Paris II, and ENS.

Since its launch in 2008, YaleGALE has sent over 250 alumni delegations to universities spanning seven countries to share best practices and strengthen higher education through alumni engagement. To learn more about YaleGALE, visit the website


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