Take a brief look at the news over the past few years and one thing is apparent: there are problems on the global scale in ways there have not been before. From climate change and rising sea levels to economic downturns and aging populations, international organizations and governments are working toward resolving various 21st century challenges.
According to Maria Ivanova, an assistant professor of global governance and co-director of the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies (MGS), “Universities play a crucial role in global governance. They are intellectual incubators for the leaders of tomorrow, and centers of debate and analysis. Success in both analytical inquiry and policy practice comes when universities in different parts of the world work together in teaching, research and service. UMass Boston is doing just that.”
From January 16-20, 2013, a high-level delegation from Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia came to the United States for meetings and discussions with its American collaborators: Yale, UMass Boston, and Ohio State. The delegation spent five days at UMass Boston. Provost Winston Langley, Chancellor J. Keith Motley, the deans of all academic units on campus, and a number of faculty, staff, and students engaged with the delegation members and affirmed their commitment to a long-term, sustainable partnership.
Through this collaboration, UMass Boston faculty and students will participate in international academic conferences, some hosted here and some in Ethiopia, gain access to research grants, and participate in meaningful exchange programs, all in addition to opportunities for collaboration on joint research projects. UMass Boston staff will also collaborate on a number of joint initiatives – from library resource acquisitions to new program development.
Since 2008, Ivanova has been deeply engaged with one of Addis Ababa University’s most prestigious institutions, the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA-REC&N). Since coming to UMass Boston in 2010, Ivanova has strengthened those ties through collaborative research and conferences, joint grant applications, and student exchange programs.
Most recently, Ivanova traveled to Addis Ababa with Provost Winston Langley and MGS student Michael Denney to participate in a conference on mainstreaming environment and sustainability in African universities that HoA-REC&N and UMass Boston co-organized. During the visit, Provost Langley signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Addis Ababa University and UMass Boston.
During their Boston visit, Dean Ira Jackson led the Ethiopian delegation on a tour of the Massachusetts State House offering a glimpse into the past history and present governance of the Commonwealth.
The AAU delegation included the Academic Vice President Jeilu Oumer, the directors of the Office of the President Yoseph Makonnen, and Meba Tadesse, the director of the Office of Change Management Firdissa Jabessa, and the director of the Office of Budget and Finance Alganesh Ayele.