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.


Lee C. Bollinger