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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

About Us

In January 2015, a $100 million gift transformed a small international research center into the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies. In fall 2018, the Institute entered an exciting new stage of growth and transformation with the arrival of Annelise Riles, our executive director and the University’s associate provost for global affairs.

After months of faculty and staff conversations, research, and collaboration with many campus entities, we entered our next phase as the Northwestern Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs. This is more than a name change; it's a new mission, a new model for research and engagement, and set of shared priorities that promise even more global opportunities for our organization and the University as a whole.

Supporting the University's Global Strategy

Under the Office of the Provost, Northwestern Buffett is driving and supporting the University’s global ambitions: to globalize the University, to catalyze the new ideas that will define our time, and to train the next generation of global leaders. By building the capacity of new and existing global offices, the Institute is improving services and increasing opportunities for all Northwestern faculty, students, and staff. 

In the short term, that includes working closely with Provost Holloway to develop a global strategy for the University. We have launched a digital, multilingual platform to help scholars discuss critical global issues, exploring possibilities for global partnerships with international universities, and improving communication to Northwestern’s local, national, and global audiences.

The Institute’s Global Collaboration team will help cultivate and sustain international partnerships with leading global universities, amplifying our collective access to resources and expertise. They, along with other Northwestern Buffett teams, are helping to grow a global network for students, scholars, and practitioners to connect with distinguished faculty, peers, and leaders across disciplines and industry sectors.

Enhancing Global Opportunities for the Community

To achieve these goals, we have consolidated several global offices across the University and within the Institute under the Associate Provost for Global Affairs. This allows for new learning and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as enhanced services for our international students, scholars, and faculty.

By providing organizational clarity for global activities across Northwestern, we have an unprecedented opportunity to increase Northwestern’s global strength and presence, and to amplify our impact on our students, faculty, staff, and the world. The changes magnify expertise that addresses global concerns across the world, facilitate the integration of that expertise with theory and practice, and ensure Northwestern students graduate with the widest worldview possible. 

It’s been an impactful year for global affairs at Northwestern, and we’ve only just begun. We encourage you to subscribe to news and event updates to keep up with the latest.