Giri Viswanathan, Photography Editor

The Jackson School of Global Affairs is now officially Yale’s newest professional school.

The dedication ceremony, which was an invitation-only event, hosted speakers ranging from CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria ’86 to former Chief Economist of the World Bank Pinelopi Goldberg.

For University President Peter Salovey, the christening represents a push towards interdisciplinary collaboration across schools and departments — an effort that began three years ago with Salovey’s “One Yale” vision. The School, which required over $200 million in fundraising through the University’s capital campaign, may very well become a defining achievement in Salovey’s tenure.

Giri Viswanathan, Photography Editor

“We bring together faculty members and practitioners from disciplines in the arts and social sciences, a range of professionals, faculty members and joint departments elsewhere in the university,” Salovey said in a speech at the dedication.

The Jackson School is the University’s first new professional school since the School of Management opened in 1976.

The goal of the Jackson School, Salovey said during his speech, is to equip students to “tackle global challenges” and prepare them to shape future policy, in particular through the lens of collaboration. 

In an email to the News, inaugural Jackson School Dean Jim Levinsohn noted that Jackson students can access a broad range of opportunities by taking classes across schools, such as the Yale Law School and Yale School of the Environment.

Giri Viswanathan, Photography Editor

“Yale’s great at building bridges across schools, not moats around them, and this matters,” Levinsohn wrote. 

Professor of History and Global Affairs Arne Westad, who also spoke at the event, told the News that Jackson also focuses on real-world applications. 

“At a time when authoritarianism seems on the rise and democracy in retreat world-wide, Jackson gives students the chance to understand these challenges and act to prevent future disasters,” Westad wrote in an email to the News. 

Giri Viswanathan, Photography Editor

The School also aims to equip future leaders with practical skills; A greater emphasis should be put on diplomacy skills, language learning and cross-cultural sensitivities, among others, Jackson School Kissinger Senior Fellow Robert Ford said in an interview with the News.  

Steven Wilkinson, who serves as vice provost for Global Strategy, told the News that the inauguration of the Jackson School signifies an interdisciplinary approach to exploring international affairs at Yale.

“We need many different disciplines and approaches from across Yale, and engagement with practitioners, to succeed in this effort,” Wilkinson wrote in an email to the News.

Giri Viswanathan, Photography Editor

Wilkinson said this effort is reflected in the Jackson School’s  hiring model, with Jackson faculty jointly appointed as members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and faculty of the professional schools.

The University’s global strategy plan, adopted in 2019, listed the opening of the Jackson School in 2022 as one of its top priorities which were to “form the focus of the university’s global strategy” for the following three years.

The Jackson Institute of Global Affairs was established in 2010.

Giri Viswanathan, Photography Editor

Olivia Lombardo is a beat reporter for the News covering the Jackson School and the School of Management. She is a sophomore in Morse College studying Political Science.
William Porayouw covered Woodbridge Hall for the News and previously reported on international strategy at Yale. Originally from Redlands, California, he is an economics and global affairs major in Davenport College.