Director's Message

Director's Message

August 2018

Greetings from the Center on Global Transformation (CGT) at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS).

I would first like to take a moment to thank Professor Ulrike Schaede for her years of dedicated service to CGT. In 2011, she joined the Center as executive director and during the next seven years worked tirelessly to create a vibrant environment for intellectual exchange and a hub for reflection and action by leaders from the Pacific region. In 2016, she founded GPS’s Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology (JFIT) and will now devote her time to supporting its mission and expanding its reach.

Now in our 12th year of operation, our Pacific Leadership Fellows (PLF) program remains a cornerstone of the Center’s activities. To date, we are proud to have welcomed 90 distinguished leaders from 22 countries. During their residences, fellows share insights with our community, thereby elevating discourse on campus regarding global business, economics and politics.

During the 2017–18 academic year, we welcomed five fellows, who hail from Costa Rica, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States. They addressed, among other themes, economic developments in ASEAN nations; the domestic and global sources of income inequality in the United States; current challenges confronting global trade; geopolitical conflict in Ukraine; and the future of technology and digital health.

Another key CGT initiative is to grant research awards that launch new academic initiatives at GPS and across campus. These grants support faculty and graduate student research in economics, international relations, global management and public policy, and help GPS strengthen intellectual ties with our colleagues in engineering, earth and environmental sciences and health sciences on campus. This past year, the Center awarded three major grants, which address AI and the future of society, the health costs of localized pollution from coal-fired power plants in India, and the use of big data to analyze the U.S. housing market – as well as seven smaller grants through GPS’s Policy Design and Evaluation Lab (PDEL).

The Center also continues to partner with the campus-wide Big Pixel Initiative to apply new methods in machine learning to satellite imagery in order to measure and evaluate urbanization, land use, and economic growth and development at a global scale and in close to real time. This year, Big Pixel developed new research collaborations with the World Bank, the U.K. International Growth Centre and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to evaluate the economic consequences of transportation infrastructure investment in India and the short and long-run impacts of extreme weather events on communities in the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

We thank all of you for your continued generosity and engagement: our founding supporters Joan and Irwin Jacobs, our dedicated staff and scholars, and our community of friends, collaborators and PLFs. I hope to see you at our many public events this coming year.