President’s Council on International Activities reflects on 25 years of service to the university

PCIA members (and guests) at this year’s gathering, pictured left to right, front row to back: John (and Susan) Jackson, Carine Ihenacho, Vice Provost for Global Strategy Steven Wilkinson, Katherine Kwun McLane, Sejal Hathi, Maryana Iskander, (Wendy Naratil), Adam Shapiro, Daniel Adamson, Kate Simpson, Jimmy Lu, Vanessa Kerry, Mi-Hyung Kim, Heinrich Jessen, Jim Lawrence, Hugo Faria, Shelly Lazarus, Catherine Cheng, Stavros Lambrinidis, Philippe Consteletos, Sharyar Aziz, Sonia Weymuller , Eliot Pence, Robert Morse, Paul Simons, Linda Rottenberg, Naana Frimpong, Nelson Cunningham, Thomas Ketchum, Thierry Tanoh, Marcos Bulgheroni, Tom Naratil, (George Lazarus), and Ya Ping Chang.

Yale President Peter Salovey met with members of his President’s Council on International Activities (PCIA) during a two-day annual meeting on campus at the Greenberg Conference Center, April 11 and 12. In remarks to the gathering, he reflected on PCIA’s 25 years of service providing advice to guide Yale’s global activities since its founding under his predecessor President Richard Levin. 

As Yale continues to face global challenges, the role of the PCIA remains central to its efforts to foster international connections and address complex global needs. The PCIA’s anniversary not only celebrates past achievements but also underscores the ongoing commitment of its members and Yale’s leadership to harnessing international partnerships for educational advancement.

Established in 1998 to support Yale’s nascent international initiatives, PCIA has been instrumental in pioneering strategies for new global engagement building on the university’s strengths to expand opportunities for students, education, and faculty research. Notably, it was among the first to urge that every Yale undergraduate should have the opportunity to study, have an internship, or conduct research abroad, a dramatic expansion of opportunities for Yale students. 

The PCIA also played a crucial role in helping Yale’s leaders to think more ambitiously. laying the groundwork for significantly expanded programs in global affairs that led to the launch of the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs and dramatically expanding the number of faculty working on South Asia to create the strongest program at any university in the Americas.

Over the past decade, in addition to the creation of the Jackson School, the Yale Institute for Global Health and other academic programs, Yale has deepened its connections across Africa, established Yale Center Beijing, and developed the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, among others.

Over the years, PCIA members have also supported financial aid increases and the expansion of programs like the Fox Fellowship and the Global Network for Advanced Management, which have led to significant broadening  of Yale’s international student body and opportunities for students connected to global issues. During the past decade alone, the university has seen an overall increase of more than 50 percent in the number of international students and a nearly 30 percent increase in the number of international scholars.

PCIA members reside and work in countries around the world and represent numerous sectors including finance and banking, consumer products, technology, diplomacy, advertising, media, academia, and government. Members attend a meeting on campus once a year organized by the Office of International Affairs — and throughout the year serve as essential partners in shaping the university’s international agenda and being ambassadors for Yale. In just the past year, PCIA members have also helped Yale leaders to become more connected around the globe during travel to Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, London, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and Singapore.

In addition to President Salovey’s remarks, the highlights of this year’s PCIA convening included: an overview of the ten-year anniversary of Yale Center Beijing; an outline of global priorities of the Yale School of Public Health; a student panel highlighting the first year of the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs; insights on Yale’s role in addressing the environmental science and economics of planetary challenges; a report on growth and innovation on Science Hill; global work at the School of Architecture; and the latest activities of Yale Ventures. 

To learn more about PCIA, visit the website.