Yale’s tercentennial birthday is now history, and University administrators are seeking new ways to further Yale President Richard Levin’s goal of ensuring the University’s place as a global leader and presence.
As part of Levin’s push to make Yale a global university in its fourth century, the Office of Public Affairs has added an official position for an international press agent to promote Yale more proactively around the world.
“[The position] will help us get more attention focused on Yale in the international media and makes it possible for us to build better connections and possibilities for overseas travel by University administrators,” Levin said, giving his May trip to China as an example of such travel.
John Longbrake, a former colleague of Office of Public Affairs Director Helen Klasky, has filled the position. Previously, Longbrake was employed as vice-president for communications at National Quality Forum, a non-profit healthcare organization.
Klasky, who assumed her position in May, said Levin’s initiative necessitated the position.
“President Levin has made it quite clear that Yale being a global institution and attracting more international students were both very important goals,” Klasky said. “As we were continuing to move toward being a global institution, I felt it was important to have someone in OPA that focused on these issues.”
Klasky said she realized it took a lot of time to promote Yale globally while working to get a story about Levin’s visit to China published in the New York Times in August.
“As Yale has grown in the number of international scholars and students, it just makes sense to have someone in public affairs who is solely focused on international issues,” said Longbrake, who is pursuing the ongoing project of promoting Yale’s recent change to need-blind admission decisions.
Klasky said that important aspects of Longbrake’s position are to make better contacts with the international press and get more stories into the domestic press about what Yale is doing worldwide.
The Office of Public Affairs, Longbrake said, also deals with a substantial number of foreign journalists who come to Yale.
For example, last month after President Levin was interviewed by team of Korean journalists, the Office of Public Relations put the team in contact with Korean students at Yale for comment, Longbrake said.
Levin’s next international trip is still under discussion and is expected to be final by Jan. 1, 2002.