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Global Impact
Columbia University’s engagement in world affairs extends globally through its study-abroad programs, international partnerships and projects, research initiatives, and events involving faculty, alumni, and local leaders in different countries. Below are a few examples of the diverse range of initiatives that reflect Columbia’s global commitment.

Office of Global Programs
To help create a deeper understanding of our globally interdependent and culturally diverse world, the Office of Global Programs was recently established to manage and create opportunities for undergraduates to study or to intern abroad.

The International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs
The Mailman School of Public Health’s ground-breaking initiatives have improved the health of millions of people around the world. One such initiative, the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), works with host countries and other organizations, principally in sub-Saharan Africa, to build capacity for family-focused HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs. Examples of its many programs are:

  • family-focused care with attention to the needs of women and children

  • prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV

  • infrastructure development, including laboratories, clinics, pharmacies, and other facilities

The Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Program
The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), part of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, uses a science-based approach to enhance society’s ability to understand, anticipate, and manage climate risk in order to improve human welfare, especially in developing countries. The IRI launched the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) regional program in 2005, assisting stakeholders to incorporate climate knowledge in several sectors including water resources, fisheries, and agriculture. The initial projects have successfully introduced relevant climate information for informing the decision-making and planning in those sectors and have set the basis for establishing IRI collaboration with key national and regional organizations.

CBS-HKU Partnership
As part of a new partnership, Hong Kong University will send ten MBA students to study at Columbia Business School for one semester during the summer 2008 term. The Business School is participating in this program as part of HKU’s regional full-time MBA program that will draw students from the Asia-Pacific region, particularly mainland China, who are primarily interested in pursuing careers in the financial sectors in the region. The Business School will also arrange a series of visits to prominent companies and locations around New York. HKU Students will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the program.

Joint Research Project and Book Publication
The recent publication of China’s Financial Transition at a Crossroads (Columbia University Press) represents the culmination of a major two-year research project sponsored by Columbia Business School exploring current prospects for financial policy reforms in China. Two substantive conferences were organized leading up to the publication: one with Tsinghua University in August 2005 to enlist perspectives from a team of Chinese scholars and practitioners, and a public conference at Columbia to present revised book chapters and discussant commentaries.


Approximately 2,600 international alumni have participated in global alumni events with President Bollinger since he became president of the University. In September 2007, some 600 international alumni and guests gathered in Paris. The weekend’s centerpiece was a daylong series of discussions about globalization, arts, and media, featuring numerous academic and professional luminaries.

Watch videos from this event >
Events Abroad
Below are some recent highlights from Columbia-sponsored events around the world.

World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 2004
President Bollinger and a number of distinguished faculty members attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Bollinger’s presence underscored the leadership role Columbia plays in addressing the many complex issues that affect global societies. Read more about this event. >

Economic Conference in New Delhi and Urbanization Panel in Mumbai, January 2007
Columbia Business School co-sponsored, with the Confederation of Indian Industry, a conference in New Delhi on “Prospects for the World Economy after the Recent U.S. Election.” The event featured high-ranking Indian leaders, such as Finance Minister Pelaniappan Chidambaram, and Columbia faculty members, such as Business School Dean R. Glenn Hubbard. Find out more about the conference. >

Find out about other Columbia events abroad >

International Alumni
  • More than 20,000 Columbia University alumni live around the world in 176 countries.

  • Columbia has 25 alumni clubs and associations worldwide, including branches in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

  • Each year, Columbia alumni from around the world are invited to serve their communities on Global Community Outreach Day. The effort is sponsored by CAA and inspired by Columbia Community Outreach, an event started by Columbia College students in 1997 to bring students, faculty, staff, and alumni together for a day of volunteering in New York City.

  • Columbia’s International Advisory Committee (IAC), a group of highly committed alumni whom President Bollinger has called “Columbia’s ambassadors abroad,” has 52 member households in 16 countries around the world.

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