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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Global Partnerships

Today, universities operate in a complex global landscape of networked power in which there is no singular hierarchy, and innovation and leadership emerges from diverse locales.  At Northwestern University, we view this as an opportunity for creative engagement. We define our audience, our community, our constituencies, and our resource base in global terms.

Northwestern Buffett will raise the quality of the University’s international engagements by building a network of intensive, multi-faceted partnerships with leading universities around the world to support our faculty, globalize our research, learning, and engagement, and amplify our access to global audiences, resources, and expertise.

We will ensure that scholars in this network are able to work together with as few barriers to their creativity and collaboration as possible—enabling students, researchers and faculty to move frequently among partner universities, and resulting in a greater international presence on our campuses, so that any Northwestern scholar or student is, in fact, a member of a global intellectual community.


The Buffett Institute has key goals for global partnership development. These include:
  • Solidifying Northwestern’s understanding of its own existing relationships with other global partners
  • Amplifying the strengths of Northwestern research through collaboration with global partners that share matching or complementary strengths
  • Filling gaps in Northwestern’s globally engaged scholarship and global learning opportunities, whether those gaps are geographic, in particular research areas, or with regard to impact
  • Building a broad network of committed faculty leaders at Northwestern who invest energy in international collaboration as a means to globalizing research for a shared social benefit
  • Identifying global partners with shared values—inclusivity, equity, global justice—and a strong commitment to collaboration, community engagement, and impact

Success will be the proliferation of innovative, interdisciplinary research that is inclusive, relevant to the global challenges of our time, and positioned to influence subsequent social action. 

Global Collaboration

Together with faculty, university leadership, and partner institutions, Northwestern Buffett is working to create a global alliance. This “alliance” of universities will stimulate and share in research, teaching, and global engagement to collaboratively respond to social challenges. Working collaboratively, we seek to lower barriers to partnerships through consultation with institutions, effective program management, funding and working group support, and enhanced models of multilingual engagement with practitioners and scholars.