IOCC Forum outlines requirements and guidance for Yale activities abroad

Speakers discussed the ever-evolving requirements for Yale faculty, staff, and students as they engage in activities worldwide.
Presenter at podium

Cynthia Carr, deputy general counsel within Yale's Office of the General Counsel and co-chair of the International Operations & Compliance Committee (IOC) discusses the top issues in international operations during the recent IOCC International Activities Support Forum.

International is different.”

That was the overarching message coming from Don Filer, the executive director of Yale’s Office of International Affairs, during the International Activities Support Forum, an event hosted on Oct. 24 by Yale’s International Operations and Compliance Committee (IOCC) at the Greenberg Conference Center.

The IOCC was established more than 12 years ago to help faculty, students, and staff meet operational challenges and compliance requirements as they engage in various activities worldwide. Members of the committee advise on a range of topics including complying with legal requirements that apply to the university’s international activities, assessing and mitigating travel risks, and providing resources for safe international travel.

The IOCC exists to help Yale people get things done around the world,” said Filer. “The process for running projects and programs in different countries can be vastly different. Legal requirements shift, immigration policies evolve, and what is necessary to conduct a project one year can shift seemingly overnight.”

The agenda for this year’s annual forum was diverse, with multi-faceted topics presented by university leaders and IOCC committee members alike. The event began with an address from Pericles Lewis, Yale’s new vice president for global strategy and deputy provost for international affairs. Lewis provided the more than 100 attendees with a sneak peek into the progress being made to develop and refine Yale’s international strategy for supporting Yale’s academic mission .

After Lewis, came a presentation from Erika Linnander, senior technical officer for Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute, who provided a detailed update on the progress being made with work taking place on the Primary Health Care Transformation Initiative, a project being implemented in Ethiopia that IOCC assisted in setting up.

Following Linnander’s presentation, attendees were free to choose from a variety of breakout sessions addressing topics that ranged from updates on immigration policy to the top-10 issues in international operations and compliance, what business operations need to know about subcontracting overseas, and a wide-ranging Q&A session on travel-related topics.

Since the first forum was held in 2014, the event has rapidly grown in popularity across campus, says Carolyn Marks, international operations and compliance manager from the Office of the General Counsel.

The International Forum provides an easy, quick way for any member of the Yale community to bring themselves up to speed on important requirements, find resources to help navigate those requirements, and learn what to expect when engaging in international activities today,” explained Marks. “It also helps participants keep up with changes underway that could impact already-existing programs and how they are managed.”

For more information, or to be added to the invite list for future IOCC events, email Carolyn Marks at For useful information on participating in international activities, visit the International Toolkit, a comprehensive guide compiled by the IOCC for use by all Yale students, faculty, and staff.

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