Yale World Fellows
Yale World Fellows is an international fellowship program at Yale University for mid-career emerging leaders who have distinguished themselves in their profession, discipline, or geographic region. Each year, between fifteen and twenty participants, known as World Fellows, reside at Yale for the fall academic term.
World Fellows are selected from a wide range of fields and disciplines including government, business, nongovernmental organizations, religion, military, media, and the arts. While at Yale, World Fellows participate in a global affairs seminar, leadership workshops, and Yale courses.
In November 2000, University President Rick Levin announced several internationalization initiatives, including the World Fellows program, in conjunction with the university's tercentenary. Journalist and White House aide Brooke Shearer was appointed its founding director, and Dan Esty its first program director. The program moved into Betts House, restored in 2001 to house new international initiatives. The first class of fellows was admitted in 2002.
Since the program's establishment, 257 World Fellows have been selected for the program, representing 83 countries.
The center of the Yale World Fellows Program is a 15-week global affairs seminar taught by distinguished Yale faculty. Each class of World Fellows is exposed to both classical philosophical texts and current academic research.
The program provides its fellows with a structured opportunities for self-assessment, reflection, and peer feedback. Sessions facilitated by Yale School of Management faculty expose them to negotiation, entrepreneurship, and innovation. They also receive individualized coaching in public speaking and media training, building confidence and enhancing personal presence.
In an off-the-record conversation series, Fellows hear the personal side of professional trajectories and have the opportunity to ask questions of global practitioners. The program has hosted leaders like United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former heads of state Ernesto Zedillo and Tony Blair, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and writers David Brooks and Elizabeth Alexander.
Fellows can audit almost any course offered at Yale University with the opportunity to develop individual or collaborative research projects. They also spend time with Yale faculty and students, giving talks and lectures and engaging in informal dialogue and debate. While most program activities take place on campus in New Haven, the program sponsors trips to New York City and Washington, DC.
The program sponsors a variety of events every year, including global conferences, multimedia exhibitions, and panel discussions on current events. World Fellows often initiate their own collaborative projects while at Yale, such as the Seven Billionth Person Project, an international multimedia effort that invites people to share through writings and art what they would say to the world's seven billionth baby, expected to be born sometime in 2011. In the same year, the Yale World Fellows hosted Yale University's first TEDx event, "TEDx Yale World Fellows". The Return to Yale Forum is held every other year, and brings together current and former World Fellows to meet and engage in debates about contemporary issues. The most recent Forum was held in October 2013 and included discussions on social entrepreneurship, corporate thinking, activism, art and culture and peace.
The World Fellows Program also sponsors an annual Global Leadership Series conference. At these conferences held in cities internationally, World Fellows alumni, leaders in the region, prospective World Fellows nominees, and others debate selected global topics. Past conferences have addressed issues such as the United Nations Global Compact's contribution for addressing corporate social responsibility.
Candidates for the program must be:
- a citizen of a country other than the United States;
- fluent in English;
- in their early mid-career, roughly 5–20 years into their professional lives.
Approximately 15–20 World Fellows are selected for the program each year. World Fellows are selected for their work accomplishments and indications of future contributions and leadership. They are required to reside full-time at Yale and participate in university life. In 2013, approximately 2,500 candidates applied for the program.
Candidates can be nominated by anyone, or can apply of their own initiative. Regional panels review semifinalist candidates, and a final selection committee aims to assemble a class of fellows that is diverse, geographically balanced, and representative of a wide range of professions, talents, and perspectives.
- Alexey Navalny, a Moscow-based lawyer and political opposition leader, named one of Time Magazine's 2012 100 Most Influential People
- Tim Jarvis, Australian environmental scientist
- María Corina Machado, Venezuelan Congresswoman and opposition leader
- Gidon Bromberg, Israeli environmental activist, named one of Time's "Environmental Heroes of the Year" in 2008
- Aboubakr Jamaï, Moroccan journalist, co-founder of Le Journal Hebdomadaire
- Ma Jun, environmental activist, winner of the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize
- Norbert Mao, 2011 presidential candidate for the Democratic Party of Uganda
- Mohamed Elfayoumy, Egyptian diplomat and Consul of Egypt in Damascus from 2010-2012.
- Rui Chenggang, Chinese news anchor
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