With its headquarters in the iconic city of Rio de Janeiro, the vibrant heart of Brazil, Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro is the newest in the network of Centers and the second in Latin America. The Center in Rio was launched in March 2013 and seeks to facilitate engagement for as many members of the Columbia community as possible with partners throughout Brazil. 

Columbia has received a warm welcome in Brazil, where its distinguished faculty has a long history of involvement with the scholarly community. Elected state and local government officials in Rio de Janeiro have extended their support to help the Center become established.  Brazil’s many universities and research centers are experiencing one of the most dynamic periods of growth in their history and are anxious for enhanced interaction with global universities. 

The Rio de Janeiro Center serves as a hub for Columbia programs and initiatives throughout Brazil and works closely with its sister Center in Santiago, Chile. Initial explorations into collaboration with Brazilian universities have pointed to the fields of education, public health, journalism, and sustainability as among the many promising areas of partnership.

The Center is governed by a board of directors of Columbia University senior administrators, and receives guidance from a university-wide Faculty Steering Committee. An Advisory Board composed of prominent academics, public figures, and business leaders in Brazil also provides oversight and ongoing leadership and counsel regarding the Center’s activities. A distinguished Faculty Steering Committee lends its expertise to the Center in Brazil and to the Center in Santiago in the interest of maximizing scholarly collaboration across South America.

The Columbia Global Centers Network 

There are currently eight Columbia Global Centers operating in Amman, Beijing, Mumbai, Paris, Istanbul, Nairobi, Santiago, and Rio de Janeiro. The centers encourage new relationships across schools, institutes, and academic departments at Columbia. Attuned to the priorities and unique circumstances of its host region, each center leverages the University’s diverse intellectual capacities from across the undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, and pursues a set of university-wide core activities that evolves over time based on the active engagement of faculty and students. The centers help increase international content in the classroom; supplement the curriculum with international study abroad, internship opportunities, and course offerings; provide resources needed to attract students from abroad; facilitate research opportunities for Columbia students and faculty on globally relevant, interdisciplinary topics; and provide a point of ongoing engagement for international alumni.

Functioning as a network, the global centers encourage teaching and research that require working across disciplinary boundaries, having a presence in multiple regions, and engaging non-Columbia experts and scholars from those regions. Some of the centers’ programs and research initiatives are country-specific, some regional, and an increasing number are multi-regional, even global. The network is in its infancy, and each center has started by building strong links with universities and institutions in its respective region. The long-term ambition is that many programs will have a global reach and involve multiple centers in the network engaged in truly global conversations.

To learn more, please visit the Columbia Global Centers website.


A Look at Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro

This introduction to the Rio de Janeiro Center features comments from Director Thomas J. Trebat, Global Centers Vice President Safwan M. Masri, and Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. The University launched the center in March, 2013.

Columbia Global Centers

Regional Project

Staff at Columbia Global Centers | Latin America (Rio de Janeiro)