Director’s Welcome

Welcome from the Director, Leela Fernandes

On July 1, 2020 Leela Fernandes becomes the Jackson School’s new director. A professor of gender studies and political science with a STEM background, Fernandes joins the Jackson School from the University of Michigan. Read more in this April announcement of her as the new director.

Jackson School Director Leela FernandesI am delighted that I have begun my work as director of this vibrant intellectual community. The Jackson School has a historic legacy in shaping international studies. The commitment to both area-based scholarship and the cross-disciplinary breadth of the School’s faculty and centers is now needed more than ever as we navigate a world shaped by globalization, climate change and the complexities of responding to global health challenges.

The School’s commitment to public engagement is a critical source of leadership in our interconnected and often turbulent global environment. Connections to local and global communities through its 21 outreach centers and programs allow students and the public to immerse themselves in firsthand global experience. Our School engages with broad cross-national issues and illuminates the ways in which such issues require deep understandings of particular places, historical contexts, cultural meanings and regional dynamics.

This is the kind of rich and eclectic intellectual community that I am excited about being part of, and that we offer our students. With deep and diverse expertise in world regions, languages and religions, the Jackson School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in area and global studies. We value academic freedom, excellence, diversity and equity.

Founded in 1909, the Jackson School is a nationally recognized leader in advancing the understanding of and engagement in global issues. The Pacific Northwest and Seattle place our scholarship in the center of global public and private innovation at a time when making sense of the world is more important than ever.

Having spent my career working at public institutions, I am delighted to be part of the vibrant community at the University of Washington and look forward to contributing to its mission of public education.

Please explore our programs, research and outreach opportunities on our website, follow us on social media, and feel free to reach out to us.

With best wishes,

Leela Fernandes
Director and Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies