Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center
Washington, DC 20059 United States 202-806-4363 http://global.howard.edu/about-ralph-j-bunche-center/
Howard University established an International Affairs Center in 1993 to serve as a focal point for the University’s many and varied international activities and interests. Substantial financial support, was provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which made the Center one of only 10 Kellogg-supported Centers of Excellence in the United States . In 1996, with United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali and members of the Bunche family in attendance, the Center, was re-christened The Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center – 2218 6th Street, NW Washington , D.C. 20059 .
The Bunche Center has, in a few short years, had a major, positive and catalytic impact on the University. Not only has it organized and coordinated numerous lectures and other internationally oriented programs, it also has become an incubator and focal point of interdisciplinary programs of study and discussion. During, a single semester the Center hosted programs on women’s issues, economic development, Russia, ethnic conflict, democratization, civil wars and the global financial crisis, featuring lecturers ranging from professors to heads of state.
The Center serves, in addition, as Howard’s point of contact for a range of inquiries from entities outside the University: foreign embassies, governments, universities and corporations, as well as U.S. government agencies. As lecturers, the Center hosts heads of state and government; Cabinet officers; and a broad range of scholars and officials involved in international affairs.
Not least among the Center’s goals and responsibilities, indeed it may be the most important, is to encourage, support and prepare students from Howard, and high schools, nationwide for international and public affairs careers.
In this mentoring role, too, the Center has been highly successful. Large numbers of area high School students have received an intensive introduction to world affairs at the Center. Utilizing such program’s Howard University to produce, annually, from its undergraduate, graduate and professional student cadres, even larger numbers of young people, most of them African American, equipped with the education, experience and training required to move effortlessly into positions of responsibility and Opportunity in government, academics, business and non-governmental organizations.
In this regard, the Center is especially pleased to house the Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Program, which honors a distinguished Howard alumna who became Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Ambassador to Luxembourg . The program honoring Patricia Roberts Harris (1924-85) features an annual lecture, visiting fellows, and extensive internships for Howard students in federal, state and local government offices. It has received much of its external funding from, among other sources, the W. K. Kellogg, Henry M. Jackson, and Una Chapman Cox foundations.
The Center and University have also enjoyed considerable tangible support from the U.S. Department of State in the form of Diplomats-in-Residence. The efforts of the previous diplomats-in-residence, have resulted in record numbers of Howard students being placed abroad in internships at U.S. embassies abroad and Howard students winning coveted undergraduate and graduate foreign affairs fellowships.
Separately, efforts by the Programs have resulted in record placements of Howard students in programs offering overseas travel, conferences and work. Since 1997, the Center has made efforts to establish closer relationships with more foundations, U.S. government agencies, and multinational corporations, among others.
At the same time, growing interest in international affairs among Howard students has led to the formation of a student-run Foreign Affairs Society. Proposals for graduate and undergraduate degree programs in international affairs are pending.
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