Jackson Institute

A former U.S. governor, an acclaimed lawyer, four world-renowned journalists and three decorated diplomats — all with decades of experience in the field of global affairs — will join the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs as senior fellows this fall to share their experience with students.

Gov. Bill Richardson, journalists Margaret Warner, Janine di Giovanni and George Packer ’82, lawyer Susan Biniaz ’80 and diplomats Ryan Crocker, Harry Thomas and David Rank will take their places alongside Gov. Howard Dean ’71, David Brooks and ten other senior fellows already at the Jackson Institute. Four of the eight new fellows are offering classes this fall.

“Jackson Senior Fellows are outstanding practitioners who bring an on-the-ground perspective to the classroom,” said Jackson Director Jim Levinsohn. “They’ve served in challenging environments and bring a wealth of life experience to their teaching.”

The fellows will spend either a year or a semester working with undergraduate and graduate students.

One recent graduate of the Jackson Institute’s master’s program, Ibe Chukwuma ’18, explained that during his time at Jackson, senior fellows played a major role in his education, highlighting one experience he had in a class taught by John Kerry ’66.

“He brought his extensive experience to the table to teach us about the big picture and how to deal with real-world, macro issues,” Chukwuma said. “In preparing his students to be global players, Kerry was able to effectively use his experience as secretary of state negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate agreement and navigating diplomacy with China and Russia.”

Chukwuma added that senior fellows offer “incredible” mentorship to students, especially with regard to creating relationships and handling complex negotiations.

The faculty additions fit into the University’s broader plans to expand its international roots, especially toward Africa. In 2013, Yale launched the Yale Africa Initiative, which, according to the program’s website, is an “ongoing effort to prioritize and expand its commitment to Africa.”

One of the new senior fellows, Thomas, served as the ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2016 to 2018. Murray Leibbrandt, one of South Africa’s leading economists, is currently a visiting professor at the Jackson Institute.

“They bring tremendous experience [in Africa] to Jackson,” said Levinsohn.

Yale also has the Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program, in which many fellows concentrate on African issues.

Riya Mital ’21, a sophomore interested in the Global Affairs major — the application-based undergraduate major offered by the Jackson Institute — said that the new faculty only make it more appealing to apply.

The Jackson Institute was founded using a gift from John Jackson ’67 and Susan Jackson in 2009.

Skakel McCooey | skakel.mccooey@yale.edu