Global partnerships are key to solving the planet’s biggest social, economic, and environmental problems. That’s a main driver behind one of our newest University-wide research centers: the Global Development Policy Center.
Its mission? To conduct and promote policy-oriented research “for financial stability, human well-being, and environmental sustainability across the globe,” says Kevin P. Gallagher, professor of global development policy and the center’s director.
The road to that mission is paved with rigorous research and continuous dialogue with policymakers, civil society, and media from around the world. The new center of excellence, jointly housed at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and BU Research, brings all of the global policy research, seminars and workshops, and publication activity taking place across the University and alumni networks under one umbrella, creating a hothouse of cross-disciplinary collaboration. The center also serves as a physical space where scholars and stakeholders can gather and will offer hands-on learning for BU students.
When the center formally opened in February 2018, it was inaugurated, fittingly, by former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a standing-room-only event. The South Korean diplomat, who headed the UN from 2007 to 2016, said academic institutions are crucial partners for global change. “They are launchpads for the solutions to the seemingly insurmountable problems that we face.” He urged BU students, particularly those who plan to work in public health–related jobs, research, or diplomacy, to think of both the planet and humanity beyond national boundaries.
Nabeel Nissar (CGS’16, CAS’18, GRS’18), a BU graduate student whose family hails from the impoverished and disputed Kashmir region north of India and Pakistan, was in the audience. Inspired by the center’s mission, he said he wants to better understand ways he can have a global impact through his science studies. “It’s easy to get sad about all the conflicts around us,” he said. “But it’s important to recognize the responsibility we have to help.”