GlobalPittsburgh was chosen from among a very competitive field of international organizations and universities to hold one of three EducationUSA Leadership Institutes in early March this year. For ten days, officials from seven countries joined Pittsburgh international educators in considering ways to increase global awareness and international study opportunities for their students and faculties.
The fourteen officials represented universities and government ministries in Burma, Egypt, Estonia, Nepal, Panama, The Philippines and Turkey. Monte Bohna, GlobalPittsburgh’s coordinator for its higher education initiative Study Pittsburgh, joined with Jeffrey Whitehead, Director of Study Abroad at the University of Pittsburgh, to design a program which drew on the talent and resources of a wide cross-section of Pittsburgh-area institutions of higher learning, including Chatham University, Duquesne University, La Roche College and Robert Morris University. World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, study-abroad organizations CAPA: The Global Education Network and Athena Study Abroad (recently relocated to Pittsburgh), Avonworth School District, Winchester Thurston School, and The Ellis School also participated in the institute program.
The Leadership Institute is an initiative of EducationUSA, a section of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs assisting American universities to internationalize their campuses and promote U.S. higher education around the world. GlobalPittsburgh’s participation marks the Leadership Institute’s third year; the two previous rounds, on a variety of topics related to international education, were each organized by universities and other academic institutions in cities across the United States, including Denver, CO, Charlotte, NC, St. Louis, MO, and Champaign, IL. This year, GlobalPittsburgh was joined by Portland State University in Portland, OR and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH to organize the most recent round.
While EducationUSA provides direction, oversight and financial support, the Leadership Institute program is administered on its behalf by the Institute of International Education, a non-profit educational organization which since its founding in 1919 has long acted as a partner with the Department of State in a variety of initiatives including the Fulbright exchange program.