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Making a Global Impact

SIPA’s distinctively multidisciplinary faculty comprises first-rate scholars and practitioners in international economics, political science, law, and other fields. They work collectively to address cutting-edge global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, international finance and economic policy, with special attention to key countries and regions around the world.


In China and Japan, in India, in Brazil and elsewhere, Dean Janow worked to enhance SIPA’s expertise and increase its engagement in the world for the benefit of students, scholars, policymakers, and citizens of the world.

When Professor Thomas Christensen joined SIPA’s faculty In July 2018, he brought with him the China and the World Program (C&WP), which works to integrate the study of Chinese foreign relations into the field of international affairs by bringing together new and established scholars.


Christensen and codirector Alastair Iain Johnston of Harvard started the program to help postdoctoral scholars in their own field of international relations and China stay in academia. Drawing on financial support from organizations like the Carnegie Corporation and MacArthur Foundation, the program offers fellowships to encourage exceptional advanced graduate students and new PhDs to integrate their knowledge of international relations as a discipline with their knowledge of China. The program provides an opportunity for scholars to advance their research, to develop a stronger sense of community with others working on both China and international relations, to forge interdisciplinary ties with China experts in other fields as well as with policy makers and intellectuals without China expertise, and to access the first-class resources in international relations and China that both Columbia and Harvard have to offer.

Columbia’s key advantage, Christensen says, is its professional schools, which offer “diverse expertise to tackle a range of real-world problems in which China is an increasingly important player.”

In 2019, Inaugural Fellow David Sandalow prepared the Center on Global Energy Policy’s first Guide to Chinese Climate Policy. Among other things the guide reviews Chinese emissions, explores the impacts of climate change in China and provides a short history of the country’s climate policies. Most significantly it explains the policy tools the Chinese government is using to address climate change and related topics. The guide is updated each year as policies change.

At annual conferences in China as well as Brazil, the Center on Global Economic Governance engages high-level policy makers and business leaders for candid discussion and trenchant analysis of how governments can promote sustained economic growth.

Visiting Scholars

Pedro Burgos, The Marshall Project, CGEG BRIC Lab

Márcio Fortes, Former President of the National Development Bank of Brazil

Jorge Hilário Gouvea Vieira, Former Commissioner of the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission 

Roberto Teixeira da Costa, Former Chairman of the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission

Guilherme Waltenberg, CGEG BRICLab

Jan Žáček, Institute of Economic Studies, Charles University

Each year from 2016 to 2021 SIPA hosted an annual conference devoted to China and the West: The Role of the State in Economic Growth. The conference grew into a multi-year, multi-continent research and policy dialogue led by SIPA’s Center on Global Economic Governance. The annual event engaged academics, business leaders, and policymakers in rethinking how the state — as conceived in various parts of the globe — can better promote both domestic and global economic growth and sound policy to support continued positive growth. Programming associated with the conference became an annual tradition in China, where SIPA partnered with leading scholars at Peking and Tsinghua universities.


SIPA has long taken special interest in the western hemisphere’s second most populous nation, conducting research, hosting events, and supporting students with programs of its own and in partnership with the Columbia Global Center in Rio de Janeiro.


The Brazilian economist Rodrigo Soares serves as the inaugural Lemann Professor of Brazilian Public Policy. His research focuses on development economics, ranging from health and demographic economics, to crime, labor economics, and history and institutions. The Lemann Fellowship established by Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann promotes student exchange between SIPA and Brazil, providing support to those with a deep interest in advancing Brazil through their educational and professional endeavors.

Within the SIPA-affiliated Institute of Latin American Studies, the Center for Brazilian Studies serves as a key focal point for students and faculty with an interest in Brazil.


It was a pleasure to collaborate with Merit Janow from afar. She is so energetic, gracious, and focused. Hopefully her continuous effort to improve the world through more dialogue and better governance will continue at SIPA.

J.P. Lemann


In 2015 SIPA inaugurated the Deepak and Neera Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies to help promote increased prosperity in India and define the country’s future role in the global economy. The Raj Center works to improve understanding of the Indian economy through research undertaken by leading scholars, by disseminating this knowledge to practitioners, policymakers, students and scholars worldwide, and by sustaining ongoing dialogues on major policy issues facing India.


The center was led at its founding by the world-renowned economist and University Professor Jagdish Bhagwati. Today its directed by Arvind Panagariya, an economist and longtime SIPA faculty member who served in the cabinet of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Since its founding the center has supported several research programs, a visiting-scholars program, a book series, and multiple public programs. It has hosted the Columbia Summit on the Indian Economy and welcomed distinguished visitors like the late Arun Jaitley, India’s former minister of finance and corporate affairs, and Nirupama Rao, a former Indian foreign secretary and ambassador to the U.S. The center also sponsors a regular podcast, Transforming India.


The transformation and growth of India’s economy remains as compelling and important a subject today as it has been for many decades. As a new government pursues landmark reforms, this is an especially auspicious time to be launching a center devoted to the challenging policy questions that will shape the world’s largest democracy as it strives to provide better living standards for untold millions.

Jagdish Bhagwati


In 2015 SIPA welcomed to its faculty the economist Takatoshi Ito, a onetime dean of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy and a former senior official in the Japanese government. The expert on international finance, macroeconomics, and the Japanese economy runs a series of programs as codirector of the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia Business School.

As a specialist in international trade with particular expertise in East Asia, Dean Janow herself is a frequent participant in CJEB’s Annual Tokyo Conference.


SIPA’s collective expertise on the finance and politics of Japan continues to grow. In recent years SIPA has welcomed scholars including Nobuchika Mori, a senior research scholar and an adjunct professor in the areas of financial regulatory policy, the Japanese economy, and Japanese financial policy, and Keiko Honda, an adjunct professor and adjunct senior research scholar who specializes in ESG investing. In 2015, the Government of Japan provided support to establish the Gerald L. Curtis Professorship in Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy. The chair supports teaching and research in Japanese studies by a scholar jointly appointed to SIPA and the Department of Political Science. 

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