May

14

U.N. Me = Something Delicious

Written by

As seniors pack their bags, one Nobel-ballin’ senior citizen is unpacking his. Yes, that’s right, Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the U.N., is coming to Columbia. This spring!

Bwog thought spring was already over, but then again, Bwog has never been an expert on the equinoxes.

In an email sent to the Columbia community this afternoon, President Bollinger outlined the Global Fellows program Annan will be joining, and hinted at all the hijinks he’ll soon be up to with fellow, um, “global practitioners.” A penny for whomever knows what those are.

PrezBo’s full email is after the jump.

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

It is my very great pleasure to announce that former United Nations Secretary-General and 2001 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Kofi Annan, will be joining the Columbia community this spring.

Mr. Annan already has deep professional bonds with many of our faculty (notably Jeff Sachs, Director of Columbia’s Earth Institute and Michael Doyle of the School of International and Public Affairs) and has done many things with Columbia over the years.  He will now forge more formal links with our schools, faculty, and students.

Mr. Annan will join a new program being launched by Dean John Coatsworth at the School of International and Public Affairs next year as one of the first group of Global Fellows.  The Global Fellows program will bring students together with global practitioners to share firsthand knowledge of experiences in the life of an international or public figure.  As Dean Coatsworth will be announcing today, the other Global Fellows in the program’s inaugural year will include Chee Hwa Tung, former and first Chief Executive of Hong Kong and Alfred Gusenbauer, former Chancellor of Austria.  Mr. Annan will also participate in several of our other global initiatives, including the Committee on Global Thought led by Joseph Stiglitz, the World Leaders Forum, our recently launched Global Research Centers, and the Earth Institute.

Mr. Annan presently leads the Kofi Annan Foundation and is an active chair of the board for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.  His extraordinary contributions to the world are well known, and it will be a great addition to our community to have him with us.

We are grateful to the generous donors who make it possible for us to create such fellowship opportunities for world leaders to be a part of the Columbia experience.

Please join me in welcoming Kofi Annan to our community.

Sincerely,

Lee C. Bollinger

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13 Comments

  1. first comment

    this should go without saying, but i am so very excited to hear this.

  2. Every time  

    PrezBo uses the word global in a sentence, everybody drink a shot.

  3. consider me  

    impressed

  4. Columbia  

    is awesome, we are really lucky

  5. CC 09  

    Michael Doyle is the man, hands down.

    Also, imagine how baller world leaders forum will be next year?

  6. lmx  

    Ah the former CEO of the world's most corrupt organization is coming to Columbia..

  7. corruption  

    yeah, there was a lotta corruption under annan, that is true. also, the UN had lots of problems - also true. but still, we can find serious faults with any of these 'global leaders (fellows?)' and so i am still really, really excited about this. for all annan critics out there, consider it a chance (hopefully) to challenge him on these issues, assuming he does events, classes, etc.

  8. Alum

    I initially thought PrezBo's reference to "this year" was a typo, but the web page describing the program (http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/academics/globalfellows/index.html) refers to "The Global Fellows at SIPA during the 2008-2009 academic year". The announcement -- which is on a separate page (http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/news_events/announcements/GlobalFellowsAnnouncement.html) -- says that "Gusenbauer presented a series of seminars co-sponsored by the European Institute earlier this month".

    Either there are several independent errors here, or something weird is going on.

  9. Exclamation...  

    OF EXCITEMENT! WOOT WOOT!

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