Center for Global Education at Asia Society Hosts Strategy Session

Dr. Anthony Jackson, Asia Society’s Vice President for Education, discusses the Center for Global Education's goals at high-level strategy session at Asia Society in New York. (Salvador Pantoja/Asia Society)

NEW YORK, June 29, 2016 – The Center for Global Education at Asia Society convened a high-level briefing and strategy session yesterday at Asia Society, bringing together leaders from international nonprofits, governments, and foundations. Participants included Ambassador Choong-Hee Hahn, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, Min Jeong Kim, Head and Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) Secretariat, UNESCO, and Donna Shalala, President and CEO, Clinton Foundation.

Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran welcomed the group on Asia Society’s 60th anniversary, recognizing John D. Rockefeller III’s vision of establishing Asia Society in order to “promote mutual understanding and strengthen partnerships between Asia and the US across policy and business, arts and culture, and education.” She introduced Asia Society’s definition of global competence and cited the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Four, which calls specifically for global citizenship education “for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity.”

Eliza Cummings, a senior at Smith College and an alumna of DCIS, a school in Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network (ISSN), spoke about how her experience as a student has driven her career goals and impassioned her to study international affairs and global development and work with refugee populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Cummings also spoke of several students in her same cohort who have continued their work on global issues through college and beyond.

Dr. Anthony Jackson, who leads Asia Society’s work in education, relayed his personal journey toward global competence as a student during Los Angeles’ busing era. “I learned that difference need not be perceived as a threat,” he said. Jackson also introduced the Center for Global Education’s ambitious goal to support and enable global citizenship education at scale for all students, both domestically and globally, through the development of:

  • Partnerships in 5 countries by 2018
  • 100,000 globally competent educators by 2020
  • 2 million global-ready high school graduated by 2025

Following his introduction, Jackson invited discussion from the attendees, who affirmed the need for scalable, high-quality, global citizenship education that students across borders, both national and socioeconomic, can all access.

Maureen McLaughlin, senior advisor to the secretary of education and director of international affairs at the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), cited Asia Society’s long, continued partnership and emphasized the need to change the conversation around global education so that it’s not perceived as an optional “add-on” later in life. “The development of global competence starts at early learning and goes through university,” she said.

Ambassador Hahn spoke of the critical need for a “new orientation of education,” particularly in light of global issues like climate change and violent extremism. “Quality education does not guarantee peace and citizenship, which is the reason we must focus on global citizenship education,” he said.

The Center for Global Education at Asia Society will launch on September 22, 2016 in New York.

For more information about the Center, email Anne Hilton at ahilton@asiasociety.org.