Key Conversation Topics

Our internationally-known speakers shared their perspectives on the potential of globalization to transform the future of U.S. universities. They addressed the vast opportunity American higher education has to serve millions of students around the world, improving standards of living and stimulating economic development while achieving sustainability for our universities at home.

Who Attended?

Participation at the Globalization of Higher Education conference was by invitation only. Attendees included leaders of top U.S. and international universities, as well as political leaders, cultural thought leaders, influencers in post-secondary education, and dignitaries from the United States and around the world.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Former Secretary of State and Former U.S. Senator from New York

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 until 2013, after nearly four decades in public service. Her “smart power” approach to foreign policy repositioned American diplomacy and development for the 21st century. Secretary Clinton played a central role in restoring America’s standing in the world, reasserting the United States as a Pacific power, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran and North Korea, responding to the Arab Awakening and negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East. Earlier, as First Lady and Senator from New York, she traveled to more than 80 countries as a champion of human rights, democracy, and opportunities for women and girls. Secretary Clinton also worked to provide health care to millions of children, create jobs and opportunity, and support first responders who risked their lives at Ground Zero. In her historic campaign for president, Secretary Clinton won 18 million votes.

Martin Bean

Vice Chancellor of The Open University

Martin Bean is the vice chancellor of The Open University (OU), the UK’s pioneering distance learning and research university that was established in 1969. He has more than 25 years of experience working at the intersection of education and technology and joined the OU from Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Products Group where he was focused on developing solutions to help the global education community address its challenges. He has also held senior positions with Novell, the global software corporation, and Sylvan Prometric, one of the world’s leading providers of testing and assessment services.

Jeb Bush

Former Governor of Florida

As Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, Jeb Bush established himself as an educational leader. He became nationally recognized for his firm, hands-on approach to transforming Florida’s public education system through comprehensive policies like A+. Governor Bush established the Foundation for Excellence in Education in 2007 to “ignite a movement of reform state-by-state in order to transform education for the 21st-century.” Through the Foundation, a number of programs ranging from improved instruction to data-driven accountability provide a roadmap that states use in implementing educational reform. Governor Bush has been a continuing advocate for improving the successful integration of Hispanic students into the American educational system, as well as the use of technology to build adaptive teaching and learning tools effective for all students.

Dr. Clayton Christensen

Harvard Business School professor and eminent expert on disruptive innovation

Dr. Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading thinkers on innovation. His research has been applied to national economies, Fortune 50 companies, and to postsecondary education in America. His seminal book The Innovator’s Dilemma outlined his disruptive innovation frameworks and was a New York Times bestseller, ultimately translated into 25 different languages. Dr. Christensen is a four-time recipient of the McKinsey Award for the Harvard Business Review’s best article. In 2008, he founded Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank to further examine and apply his frameworks. In Disrupting College: How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education, he and his colleagues offer an analysis of the current challenges to higher education and a powerful set of insights that provide “a language that allows people to come together to frame these challenges in ways that will create a much higher chance of success.”

Sir John Daniel

Former CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning and world-renowned expert in distance learning

An international learning pioneer, Sir John Daniel has worked to advance the use of open, distance, and technology-mediated learning around the world. He is currently an education master with the Beijing DeTao Masters Academy in China and chair of the International Board of the United World Colleges (UWC), which focuses on uniting people, nations, and cultures through education. Sir John has held top positions in educational leadership around the world, including most recently as president and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver. Prior to that, he was assistant director-general for education at the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO). Earlier in his career he was vice chancellor of The Open University and held a senior administrative positions at some of Canada’s top universities. Among Sir John’s 330 publications are his groundbreaking books Mega-Universities and Knowledge Media: Technology Strategies for Higher Education and Mega-Schools, Technology and Teaching: Achieving Education for All.

Nicholas Dirks

Chancellor – University of California at Berkeley

The 10th chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, Nicholas Dirks is well-known for his commitment to and advocacy for accessible, high-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. Before becoming chancellor of Berkeley, he was the executive vice president for the arts and sciences and dean of the faculty at Columbia University, where, in addition to his work on behalf of undergraduate programs, he improved and diversified the faculty, putting special emphasis on interdisciplinary and international initiatives. The Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and History, Dirks joined Columbia in 1997 as chair of the anthropology department. Prior to his appointment at Columbia, he was a professor of history and anthropology at the University of Michigan, before which he taught Asian history and civilization at the California Institute of Technology.

Dirks has held numerous fellowships and scholarships and received several scholarly honors, including a MacArthur Foundation residential fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Lionel Trilling Award for his book Castes of Mind. He serves on numerous national and international bodies and is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education

Arne Duncan has served as the U.S. Secretary of Education since January 2009. In his five years as secretary of education, he has enthusiastically led efforts to achieve President Obama’s ambitious goal of substantially increasing the number of individuals holding college degrees. Through one of his initiatives, the Race to the Top competition, states compete for federal education dollars that can be used, in part, on college readiness and career preparedness, his lifelong passion. Under his leadership, the Department of Education has taken a number of steps to expand college access and improve college affordability, and earlier this year he convened with leaders in higher education to announce more than 100 new commitments to expand college access and opportunity in the United States.

Lord Eatwell

President of Queens’ College, University of Cambridge

A dynamic scholar and political leader, Lord Eatwell is a noted economist, member of the House of Lords, and president of Queens’ College, Cambridge. He began teaching economics at Cambridge in 1970 and serves as professor of financial policy in Cambridge’s Judge Business School. He served as an adviser to the British Labour Party leader from 1985 to 1992 and then as principal opposition spokesperson on treasury and economic affairs in the House of Lords from 1993 to 1997. He recently served on the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords and is currently the opposition spokesperson for treasury within the House. He also is the adviser to several private equity firms and a trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research, a UK think tank that he helped establish.

Thomas Friedman

Bestselling author and New York Times columnist

Thomas Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist. The recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six bestselling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat, Mr. Friedman writes a biweekly column for The New York Times. He has written extensively on foreign affairs, including global trade, the Middle East, and globalization and environmental issues. Prior to becoming a columnist for The New York Times, he served as its chief economic correspondent in the Washington bureau and before that he was the chief White House correspondent.

Jim Hunt

Former Governor of North Carolina

Governor Jim Hunt served as Governor of North Carolina from 1977 to 1985 and again from 1993 to 2001, making him the longest-serving governor in the state’s history. He established the Smart Start Program in 1993, a non-profit public/private partnership rooted in each of the state’s 100 counties that provides high-quality child care, health care, and family support. Governor Hunt is an educational visionary respected by both parties for his unprecedented commitment to improving the quality and accessibility of American education. He continues to be a leading statesman in his personal devotion to this effort. In 2001, the James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy was founded as an agency of the University of North Carolina in recognition of his legacy. Through the Institute, Governor Hunt collaborates with state and national policymakers and leaders to secure America’s future through quality K-12 and higher education.

Scott Jaschik

Founder and Editor, Inside Higher Ed

Scott Jaschik is a founder of Inside Higher Ed, a noted source of higher education news, and currently serves as its editor, leading editorial operations and overseeing news content, opinion pieces, blogs, and other features. A leading voice on higher education issues, Mr. Jaschik is quoted regularly in national media outlets, and his articles on colleges and universities have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He previously served as an editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

David Leebron

David Leebron

President of Rice University

The seventh president of Rice University, David Leebron has led the institution during a period of growth and transformation. Early in his presidency, Leebron engaged in extensive consultations that produced the Vision for the Second Century, a plan for Rice’s growth and advancement as one of the world’s premier research universities. Under his leadership, undergraduate enrollment has increased 30 percent, applications have more than doubled, and international applicants have increased fivefold. Leebron has a powerful international vision and is committed to continuing to expand the reach of the university, which currently serves students from 89 countries.

Prior to taking the helm at Rice, Leebron was dean of Columbia Law School. He has held appointments at the UCLA School of Law and the NYU School of Law and has also served as a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany and as the Jean Monnet Visiting Professor of Law at Bielefeld University.

In addition, Leebron is a member of the political science faculty at Rice and has authored a textbook on international human rights.

Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor

Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa

Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor is the minister of home affairs of the Republic of South Africa. Higher education has long been a priority of hers, and, given her time spent in both academia and government and pursuing her own education in exile, she provides a rich perspective on it. Minister Pandor has been a member of parliament since 1994 and a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) since 2002. She has held a variety of related leadership positions, including deputy chief whip of the ANC in the National Assembly, deputy chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), and chairperson of the NCOP.

Prior to her appointment as minister of home affairs, Minister Pandor served as South Africa’s minister of science and technology and its minister of education. In the latter role, she oversaw a complete overhaul of South Africa’s education system and proposed reforms designed to more effectively implement outcomes-based education. Earlier in her career, she taught English in both Botswana and London and then lectured at the University of Botswana before joining the University of Cape Town in 1989 as a senior lecturer.

James Ryan

Dean – Harvard Graduate School of Education

The 11th dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, James Ryan is a leading expert on law and education. He has written extensively about the ways in which law structures educational opportunity, and his articles and essays address such topics as school desegregation, school finance, school choice, standards and testing, pre-K, and the intersection of special education and neuroscience. He is also the co-author of the textbook Educational Policy and the Law, and the author of Five Miles Away, A World Apart. In addition, Ryan has authored articles on constitutional law and theory and has argued before the United States Supreme Court.

Before coming to Harvard, Ryan was the Matheson & Morgenthau Distinguished Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as academic associate dean from 2005–2009 and founded and directed the school’s Program in Law and Public Service. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and the University of Auckland and has also served on numerous education boards and commissions, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission and the board of the Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Álvaro Uribe

Former President of Colombia

Álvaro Uribe served as president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010 and has had a long and distinguished career in public service. Before running for the presidency, he served as secretary general of the Labor Ministry (1977-1978), head of the Civil Aviation Department (1980-1982), mayor of Medellín (1982), city councilman (1984-1986), governor of the department of Antioquia (1995-1997) and senator (1996-2004). During his eight years as president, he was responsible for the transformation of Colombia from a country with limited territorial control and escalating violence to one of the most thriving, dynamic countries in the hemisphere. President Uribe also presided over significant economic growth and expanded access to education in the region, ending his terms as president of Colombia with a 75 percent approval rating.

Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić

Consultant to UNESCO and the U.S. Council for Higher Education Accreditation

An international leader in education reform, innovation, quality assurance, and accreditation, Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic has more than 20 years of higher education experience. She is currently a consultant to the United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO) on issues related to the recognition of degrees and qualifications in higher education and a senior consultant to the U.S. Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for the creation of its international quality group. Earlier in her career, she led the unit managing higher education at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, where her major achievements include developing the 2005 UNESCO-OECD Guidelines for Quality Provision in Cross-Border Higher Education; launching the Global Forum on International Quality Assurance, Accreditation, and the Recognition of Qualifications; and implementing the UNESCO-World Bank partnership for capacity-building in quality assurance for developing countries. Ms. Uvalic-Trumbic has also served as secretary-general of the Association of Universities in Yugoslavia.

John Wilton

Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance at the University of California at Berkeley

John Wilton is the vice chancellor for administration and finance at the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to arriving at Berkeley, he served as the director of international research for Farallon Capital Management LLC, a global, multi-strategy, U.S.-based investment management firm. He was also an advisor on developments in the global economy to Hellman and Friedman LLC, a private investment company. Prior to joining Farallon, he worked for the World Bank for 24 years. At the Bank, he served in positions including chief financial officer, vice president for strategy, finance and risk management, and senior economist.

Dr. Fareed Zakaria

CNN Host and TIME magazine editor-at-large

Fareed Zakaria is host of CNN’s flagship international affairs program Fareed Zakaria GPS, editor-at-large of TIME magazine, a Washington Post columnist, and a New York Times bestselling author. He was described in 1999 by Esquire as “the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation,” and in 2010, Foreign Policy named him one of the top 100 global thinkers. Dr. Zakaria’s in-depth interviews with the Dalai Lama, heads of state including Barack Obama, Manmohan Singh, King Abdullah II, Dmitry Medvedev, Moammar Gadhafi, and Lula da Silva, as well as countless intellectuals, business leaders, politicians, and journalists have been broadcast in more than 200 million homes around the world, while his cover stories and columns—on subjects from globalization and emerging markets to the Middle East and America’s role in the world—reach more than 25 million readers weekly. Before joining Newsweek in October 2000, he spent eight years as managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a post he was appointed to at just 28 years old.

Ambassador Robert Zoellick

Former president of the World Bank

Robert B. Zoellick is a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He also chairs Goldman Sachs International Advisors and serves on the board of Temasek, Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, and the international advisory board of Rolls Royce. Zoellick also is a member of the board of the Congressionally-created National Endowment for Democracy.

Zoellick was the president of the World Bank Group from 2007-12. He served in President George W. Bush’s cabinet as U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005 and as Deputy Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006. From 1985 to 1993, Zoellick worked at the Treasury and State departments in various capacities, including as Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of State, as well as briefly in the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff. He was the lead U.S. negotiator in the 2 + 4 process for Germany’s unification, serving under Secretary James A. Baker III. The German Government awarded Zoellick the Knight Commanders Cross for his work on unification. Zoellick holds a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College.