Yale World Fellows

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Yale World Fellows
Yale World Fellows.png
TypeNon-profit organization
HeadquartersBetts House
Region served
Emma Sky[1]
Parent organization
Yale University

Yale World Fellows is an international fellowship program at Yale University for mid-career emerging leaders who have distinguished themselves in their profession, discipline, or geographic region. Each year, between fifteen and twenty participants, known as World Fellows, reside at Yale for the fall academic term.

World Fellows are selected from a wide range of fields and disciplines including government, business, nongovernmental organizations, religion, military, media, and the arts.[2] While at Yale, World Fellows participate in a global affairs seminar, leadership workshops, and Yale courses.

The program's main facilities are located in Betts House, a university-owned mansion in the Prospect Hill Historic District of New Haven, Connecticut.


In November 2000, University President Rick Levin announced several internationalization initiatives, including the World Fellows program, in conjunction with the university's tercentenary.[3] Journalist and White House aide Brooke Shearer was appointed its founding director, and Dan Esty its first program director.[4] The program moved into Betts House, restored in 2001 to house new international initiatives.[5] The first class of fellows was admitted in 2002.[6][7]

Since the program's establishment, 257 World Fellows have been selected for the program, representing 83 countries.[8]


Betts House, the program's administrative building

The center of the Yale World Fellows Program is a 15-week global affairs seminar taught by distinguished Yale faculty. Each class of World Fellows is exposed to both classical philosophical texts and current academic research.[9]

Sessions are facilitated by Yale School of Management faculty in entrepreneurship and innovation. They also receive individualized coaching in public speaking.[10]

In an off-the-record conversation series, Fellows have the opportunity to ask questions of global practitioners(?). The program has hosted leaders like United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former heads of state Ernesto Zedillo and Tony Blair, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and writers David Brooks and Elizabeth Alexander.[10]

Fellows can audit almost any course offered at Yale University with the opportunity to develop individual or collaborative research projects. They also spend time with Yale faculty and students, giving lectures and engaging in informal dialogue.[9] While most program activities take place on campus in New Haven, the program sponsors trips to New York City and Washington, DC.[11]


The program sponsors a variety of events every year, including global conferences, multimedia exhibitions, and panel discussions on current events. World Fellows often initiate their own collaborative projects while at Yale, such as the Seven Billionth Person Project, an international multimedia effort that invites people to share through writings and art what they would say to the world's seven billionth baby, expected to be born sometime in 2011. In the same year, the Yale World Fellows hosted Yale University's first TEDx event, "TEDx Yale World Fellows". The Return to Yale Forum is held every other year, and brings together current and former World Fellows to meet and engage in debates about contemporary issues. The most recent Forum was held in October 2013 and included discussions on social entrepreneurship, corporate thinking, activism, art and culture and peace.[12]

The World Fellows Program also sponsors an annual Global Leadership Series conference. At these conferences held in cities internationally, World Fellows alumni, leaders in the region, prospective World Fellows nominees, and others debate selected global topics. Past conferences have addressed issues such as the United Nations Global Compact's contribution for addressing corporate social responsibility.[13]


Candidates for the program must be:

  • a citizen of a country other than the United States;
  • fluent in English;
  • in their early mid-career, roughly 5–20 years into their professional lives.

Approximately 15–20 World Fellows are selected for the program each year. World Fellows are selected for their work accomplishments and indications of future contributions and leadership. They are required to reside full-time at Yale and participate in university life. In 2013, approximately 2,500 candidates applied for the program.[14]

Candidates can be nominated by anyone, or can apply of their own initiative. Regional panels review semifinalist candidates, and a final selection committee aims to assemble a class of fellows that is diverse, geographically balanced, and representative of a wide range of professions, talents, and perspectives.[15]

Notable fellows[edit]


  1. ^ "International activist Emma Sky to direct World Fellows Program". Yale University. 8 January 2015.
  2. ^ U.S. Embassy, Seoul, Korea (2008). "Yale World Fellows Program". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 19 November 2013.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Folk, Elyssa (20 April 2001). "Yale To Go Global in Its Fourth Century". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Strobe Talbott to head Center for Study of Globalization". Yale Bulletin & Calendar. Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications. 29 (11). 17 November 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Davies Mansion To Be Renovated, Renamed". Yale Bulletin & Calendar. Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications. 30 (7). 19 October 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  6. ^ Pearce, Sarah (24 April 2002). "First batch of World Fellows selected". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  7. ^ Shufro, Kathy (May–June 2005). "World Class". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  8. ^ Ramiah, Uma. "Sixteen global leaders named 2014 Yale World Fellows". Yale News. Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b Armenian Association for Academic Partnership and Support (ARMACAD) (3 December 2012). "Yale World Fellows Program 2014". ARMACAD. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b Zelizer, Craig (28 October 2013). "Call for Applications: Yale World Fellows Program, Yale University". Alliance for Peacebuilding. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  11. ^ Omolayo, Louis (30 October 2013). "Yale World Fellows Program 2014". International Youth Council. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  12. ^ Salam, Akash (15 October 2013). "World Fellows Forum encourages rethinking of ideas". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  13. ^ Deniz Ozturk (28 May 2010). "Yale Convenes Conference on Occasion of Global Compact's 10th Anniversary". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  14. ^ Powell, Leslie (2 April 2013). "Yale selects its 2013 World Fellows". Yale News. Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communications. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  15. ^ mladi info (13 November 2013). "Yale World Fellows Program for Mid-Career Leaders". mladi info. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  16. ^ Kasparov, Garry (18 April 2012). "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". Time Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Australian adventurer Tim Jarvis to lead re-creation of Antarctic voyage". Agence France-Presse. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  18. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2018: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2019-01-07.
  19. ^ "Rivals seek new inroads against Venezuela's Chavez". Associated Press. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  20. ^ Lee Butters, Andrew (24 September 2008). "Heroes of the Environment 2008". Time Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  21. ^ Kramer, Jane (16 October 2006). "The Crusader". The New Yorker. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  22. ^ Gies, Erica (22 April 2012). "Advocate helps track polluters on supply chain". New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  23. ^ "Norbert Mao, Uganda Democratic Party Presidential Candidate 2011". 'norbertmao.org'. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  24. ^ Kwesiga, Pascal (26 February 2011). "Mao getting DP set for 2016 elections". Sunday Vision.
  25. ^ "Foreign Minister Appoints Fayoumy to Communicate with the Syrian Opposition" (in Arabic). Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  26. ^ "Celebrity CCTV Anchor Rui Chenggang Detained Amid Corruption Crackdown". China Digital Times. July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  27. ^ "International democracy award for graduate". Retrieved 21 October 2016.