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Letter from the Dean

Welcome to Columbia SIPA, the world’s most global public policy school. There is no question that in today’s world, our mission as a school is both ambitious and powerfully relevant: to serve the global public interest by educating students to serve and lead and by producing and sharing new knowledge on the critical public policy challenges facing the global community.

The study of policy at SIPA—be it international finance and economics, international security, climate change, energy, economic development, or global urban challenges—trains young leaders to engage multiple levels of governance and to reach effective solutions. Our curriculum provides our students the analytical training to address the world’s most pressing problems. SIPA’s policy research and training cut across issues that are homegrown, cross-border, and international in nature.

The intellectual breadth and depth of our School is remarkable, driven by our world-class faculty. The School also serves as home to six transnational, issue-based centers and institutes, the newest of which are the Deepak and Neera Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies, which seeks to promote prosperity in India by improving understanding of the Indian economy, the Center on Global Energy Policy, which aims to provide independent, data-driven analysis to help policy makers navigate the complex world of energy, and the Center for Global Economic Governance, which aims to be the premier center for producing a new wave of policy-oriented research on global economic governance. We also maintain close ties with 13 additional centers and institutes at Columbia University, 10 of which offer students and scholars an expansion of their understanding in the social sciences as well as multidisciplinary expertise on most regions of the world.

When we say we are the most global of public policy schools we mean it: more than 50 percent of our students come from outside the United States, helping the School to maintain a vibrant, international environment. Our community of SIPA alumni spreads across 155 countries, with more than 20,000 active leaders in the private, public, and NGO sectors.

We are also enriched by being part of one of the world’s great universities. Columbia University is a resource that benefits not only those in formal joint degree programs—including law, business, journalism, public health, urban planning, and social work, among others—but all who choose to draw upon its diverse intellectual and cultural resources. Columbia is also actively engaging the question of what it means to be a truly global university. In addition to numerous faculty and student exchanges and joint degrees with premier institutions around the world, our students undertake international internships and field work. Columbia’s network of global centers in East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East provide our faculty and students with unique opportunities to study, research, and serve around the world.

And importantly, SIPA draws upon the dynamism of New York City: a global hub of business, diplomacy, science, and culture. New York is an exciting place to live and study, and it attracts people and ideas from around the world. We bring that excitement to our campus and our classrooms with a constant stream of exceptional visitors.

At Columbia University, I have had the privilege of being a student, teacher, scholar, and now the dean of SIPA. Having also served in the U.S. government and international organizations, I know there is an extraordinary connection between the research and curriculum at SIPA and what global leaders are addressing today. Whether you are a student, alumnus, supporter, potential student, or a visitor to our site, I invite you to explore what SIPA has to offer.

Yours truly,

Merit E. Janow
Dean, School of International and Public Affairs
Professor of Practice, International Economic Law and International Affairs
Columbia University

View SIPA’s 2014- 2015 Annual Report