The East Asia Center is a regional base in China and East Asia which enables the University’s academic community to interact on a local level with faculty, students, and alumni and leverage Columbia University's capabilities to offer assessment, advice and solutions to contribute to China and East Asia's growth. The East Asia Center collaborates with other global centers to facilitate cross-regional projects and research globalization and its effects.
Major foci of the Center include aging and public health, climate change and sustainability, economic and political development, financing and investment, international relations, as well as art and culture exchange. Major projects include Women Creating Change, Aging Summit, BRICS Executive Education program, Beijing International Design Week Dashilar Exhibition, The Politics of Memory in Global Context, Latin American Economic Prospects and the Bilateral Implications for China-Latin American Relations, Conference on Trade and Financial Relations in the Context of Changing Economic Structure in Latin America and China, and the Global Scholars Program, an undergraduate summer course led by Columbia University faculty in China and at one other global center.
The network is in its infancy, and each center has started by building strong links with universities and institutions in its respective region. The long-term ambition is that many programs will have a global reach and involve multiple centers in the network engaged in truly global conversations.
The Columbia Global Centers promote and facilitate the collaborative and impactful engagement of the University’s faculty, students, and alumni with the world to enhance understanding, address global challenges, and advance knowledge and its exchange. The global centers, as envisioned by President Lee C. Bollinger, are founded with the objective of connecting the local with the global, creating opportunities for shared learning, and deepening the nature of global dialogue.
Under the leadership of Professor Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, the eight global centers are located in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago. This network forms the core element of Columbia’s global strategy, which is to expand the University’s ability to contribute positively to the world by advancing research and producing new knowledge on the most important issues confronting the globe.
Functioning as a network, the global centers engage with regional experts and scholars and encourage teaching and research across disciplinary boundaries. Some of the centers’ programs and research initiatives are country-specific, some regional, and an increasing number are multiregional, even global. These Columbia Global Centers are now well immersed in their local and regional realities and in a position to further leverage their contacts and expertise on behalf of senior executives.