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Columbia University's Global Centers Redefining a University's Role for a World in Crisis

97th Annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music Winners Luncheon
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Lee C. Bollinger speaks at the 7th Annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music Winners LuncheonColumbia University on May 30, 2013 in New York City.
(Photo : Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)

Climate change, security threats, increasing health concerns, international politics, local issues crossing national boundaries and leaving global impact are some of the major concerns that the Columbia University community is actively engaged in. The school believes it is essential that Columbia's experts - both faculty and students play a role in contributing to resolve these problems plaguing the globalized world.

Prof. Safwan Masri noted that, "Columbia University can have a significant role in bringing the best minds together to address the urgent concerns that countries and populations face - from violence against women to humanitarian crises among migrant peoples."

Columbia hopes to strengthen the university's commitment as a research institution and at the same time keep connected with its alumni and expand its reach by connecting with various universities, non-governmental organizations, regional bodies, policy makers, professionals, artists, fellow researchers and academic peers working in partnership with the Columbia community. "Our work is made immeasurably more powerful through their participation." Masri says.

Further according to Prof. Masri, Columbia's Pres. Bollinger's vision for the Columbia Global Centers, "was to bring Columbia to the world and to bring deeper insight about the regions of the world back to the Columbia community." To date, the university have centers in 8 cities around the globe: Amman (Jordan), Istanbul (Turkey), Beijing (China), Mumbai (India), Nairobi (Kenya), Paris (France), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Santiago (Chile).

These centers help organize dialogues, conferences, roundtables and seminars at the policy level and brings together Columbia's brightest minds and other luminaries and influencers in the region. Columbia believes that it is essential to keep the conversation going in order to resolve conflicts that has an impact on territories across borders. "Our goal at the Columbia Global Centers is to foster the conversations, partnerships, and research that can lead to new global insights and action." Says Prof. Masri.

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