UW News

May 9, 2002

Center honors vision of Marc Lindenberg

A new center named in honor of Evans School of Public Affairs Dean Marc Lindenberg was announced last week to increase the UW’s teaching, research and service connections with struggling regions around the world.

The Marc Lindenberg Center for Humanitarian Action, International Development and Global Citizenship will intensify the UW’s already growing global focus, President Richard L. McCormick said.

“Marc Lindenberg has done more than anyone else to change the culture of the University of Washington,” McCormick said about Lindenberg’s five years as the Evans School dean, in which a focus on international humanitarian and development projects became one of the school’s hallmarks.

Lindenberg has inoperable lung cancer, but in a 40-minute presentation Friday he outlined a vision for educational projects that will carry on long into the future. The Lindenberg Center, he said, will put UW students and faculty to work on problems that increasingly transcend national boundaries.

The center will draw on a mixture of University funds — including $500,000 in seed money announced by McCormick — and private donations to expand the UW’s global outlook. The initial $5 million goal would provide:

  • New partnerships with international relief and development organizations.

  • Projects to enhance global awareness through development of interdisciplinary curricula and teaching resources.

  • New and increased overseas study opportunities, including student internships, faculty exchanges and training for professionals from developing countries.

  • Partnerships with K-12 schools to nourish a global civic culture.

Before the announcement, dozens of Evans faculty and students stood at the Parrington entrance and clapped upon Lindenberg’s arrival. Then, at the luncheon to formally announce the center, some of the school’s major friends and donors heard Lindenberg describe the reasons for getting the UW more involved in studying and solving world problems.

Lindenberg said images of the World Trade Towers crumbling on Sept. 11 reminded him of crises in Bosnia, Rwanda and other places that have experienced great suffering.

“It’s not a U.S. phenomenon,” he said. “This is a phenomenon of a world where problems overlap.”

He said the center will build upon the many UW humanitarian programs already under way, such as the master’s program that includes a stint in the Peace Corps. As one example, he proposed adding an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in international crisis response.

Lindenberg also called for a general expansion of study-abroad opportunities in developing nations. He pointed out that the UW’s student body remains less international than its peers, with foreign students comprising 6.2 percent of its student body, compared to 11.2 percent in the top 40 research universities. And he said that only 8 percent of the UW graduating class of 1999 had studied abroad — largely in Western Europe — versus 13.3 percent of graduates of the top 16 peer institutions.

Before joining the UW, Lindenberg divided his professional career between academia and public service in international organizations. He was CARE USA’s senior vice president for programs between 1992 and 1997, running global projects in more than 36 countries.

His academic career has included teaching and research at Harvard and the UW, and authorship of such books as The Human Development Race, Democratic Transitions in Central America, and Going Global: Transforming Relief and Development NGOs. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Southern California.

“The challenge for all of us,” Lindenberg said, “is to understand our responsibilities as global citizens, and to act together to create a better, safer world.”

More and more students come to the University seeking the practical skills and knowledge to bring those improvements about, said Elaine Chang, Evans School assistant dean.

“Creating this center,” she said, “opens up new possibilities for UW students and faculty to realize these dreams.”

The Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs is the University’s graduate school of public administration and public policy. Many of its students go on to become managers, elected officeholders and leaders in government, nonprofit organizations and international nongovernmental organizations.