Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs

Ariel C. Armony, Ph.D., leads the University of Pittsburgh’s global engagement as the Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs and directs the University Center for International Studies, home to the University’s top-ranked thematic and area studies centers. He also holds faculty appointments in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Department of Political Science in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.

Armony’s work has been published in leading journals in the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and China. He has published nearly 20 books and special issues. His book, The Dubious Link: Civil Engagement and Democratization (Stanford University Press, 2004), was a university press bestseller. Armony’s latest book is The Global Edge: Miami in the Twenty First Century, (University of California Press, 2018), co-authored with Alejandro Portes.

Armony is a frequent commentator for U.S. and international media, most recently on the topics of the changing role of China in Latin America, the globalization of cities, and innovation in international education. His research areas also include democratization, civil society, and human rights topics.

Before arriving at Pitt, Armony led the University of Miami’s Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas. He has been a Fulbright scholar, Rockefeller Foundation scholar, and residential fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Armony earned a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Political Science and a Certificate in Latin American Studies from one of the Pitt centers that he now directs.

Under Armony’s leadership, the University Center for International Studies received the “Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization” in 2017 from NAFSA: The Association of International Educators. His personal honors include being named one of the U.S. “Top Argentine Professional and Business Leaders” by Negocios Magazine in 2017, as well as serving as program co-chair of the Latin American Studies Association International Congress in 2016.

News About the Vice Chancellor

French, Danish, UK Partnerships Advance Research, Education Endeavors

The University of Pittsburgh strengthened its existing partnerships with European institutes with a trans-Atlantic trip in April by Pitt officials, including Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, to renew agreements with Newcastle University in England and universities in France.

“Partnerships like the ones we have in Europe and other countries across the world are beneficial not only for the University of Pittsburgh’s research efforts, but also for our students and faculty, who get a taste of each country’s unique academic offerings through our exchange programs. In turn, students and faculty from these partner institutions also get a taste of the city of Pittsburgh’s culture,” said Ariel ArmonyUniversity Center for International Studies director and vice provost for global affairs, who traveled with the chancellor, as well as with European Studies Center Director Jae-Jae Spoon and Associate Director Allyson Delnore.

Along with this recent visit, Pitt, the City of Pittsburgh and the Danish Energy Agency in March entered into a partnership to collaborate on energy planning and research.

Newcastle University

Pitt entered into an agreement in 2016 with Newcastle University in the United Kingdom for an undergraduate student exchange program, allowing one student per year on either side to study at the partner institution for one semester or one year.

The agreement between Pitt and Newcastle University was renewed in April, signifying the strength of the partnership to explore new avenues for cooperation across several disciplines. To date, there have been a dozen exchanges of faculty and graduate students who have conducted research in history, chemistry, physics, Latin American studies and engineering and shale policy. While abroad, the scholars participate in public engagement activities, teaching projects and staff and student exchanges.

“Though an ocean divides us, the similarities between Newcastle University and the University of Pittsburgh are compelling and clear,” said Gallagher. “I am grateful for our shared values — and the warm welcome we’ve received — and I look forward to continuing to work together to change the world in powerful and positive ways.” 

Partnerships in France

In France, Pitt has had agreements with INSA Lyon; Sciences Po Lyon; University of Lyon II and Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, since 2013. The programs include the fields of film studies, European Union studies, urban studies, engineering and policy studies related to energy.

Pitt, Sciences Po Lyon and Université Jean Monnet will exchange study tours of graduate students and faculty working on urban development and policymaking within a wider research network. Their focus, on cities and energy, will be coordinated by Pitt’s European Studies Center.

Pitt’s Study Abroad Office and Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures are working with Lyon II to develop a comprehensive Pitt in Lyon Panther Program, which will be the main study-abroad site for Pitt students of French at every level, from beginning to advanced. This program is designed so that Pitt students will be able to complete general education requirements in French or English while pursuing French language studies and experiencing life in France.

Discussions have also begun with INSA Lyon to open up new, to-be-determined internship opportunities to Pitt students. In addition, coursework options in trans-Atlantic studies with Sciences Po Lyon are in the works.

Lastly, Lyon II has an existing faculty exchange program where French film professors teach courses for a semester at Pitt, and Pitt faculty teach film courses for a semester in Lyon. Mark Lynn Anderson, director of graduate studies for the Pitt Film and Media Studies Program, and Lyon film professor Sébastien David are set to participate this fall.

“This (faculty exchange) program lets our students have a cultural exchange without needing to travel and vice versa,” said David Pettersen, associate professor of French and film and media studies at Pitt, who taught in Lyon in 2015 as part of the program. “The French higher education system has a much different model of teaching that’s more professor-driven and more about expertise sharing. I brought in the American, conversational, dialogue-driven style of pedagogy that French students hadn’t had the chance to experience.”

So far, the exchange has been limited to faculty, but there are plans to include students from both institutions starting in spring 2019.

Danish Energy Agency

Another new collaboration promises to take shape in Pittsburgh itself as well.

At the University’s Energy GRID Institute in March, Mayor Bill Peduto, Danish ambassador to the U.S. Lars Gert Lose and Gregory Reed, director of Pitt’s Center for Energy and the Energy GRID Institute, signed an agreement to build an exchange between Pittsburgh’s energy decision-makers and Danish experts to develop more sustainable, low-cost and resilient energy systems.

Copenhagen and Pittsburgh will share best practices in energy design, and Danish experts will offer details of Denmark’s energy initiatives for application to the Pittsburgh region. A future goal is to enhance the implementation of community microgrids for both thermal and electric power supply to parts of the region.

In addition, the University plans to provide its own energy experts through its Center for Energy, housed in the Swanson School of Engineering, and the GRID Institute, to collaborate with the Danes and the city. Pitt’s plans also include helping to build a data-driven model to increase sustainability for the city without creating financial burden, Reed said. 

“Not only will this partnership help to cement Pitt’s work in district energy and microgrids, it will also afford us the opportunity to attract further investment towards projects in the city itself, which is needed for deploying more resilient, clean and intelligent energy infrastructures,” said Reed.

Read the PittWire story.

University of Pittsburgh Establishes New Relationship with Indian Council for Cultural Relations

The University of Pittsburgh and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a
new ICCR Chair of Indian Studies at Pitt for the next five years.

Pitt Chancellor Emeritus and Chair of the University’s Institute of Politics Mark Nordenberg represented Pitt at the ICCR headquarters in New Delhi on November 13, 2017, for the signing of the MOU. Representing the ICCR was Indian Director General Riva Ganguly Das.

The ICCR is an autonomous organization of the Government of India that works with some of the most prominent cultural organizations in the world to promote a wider understanding of Indian culture and history.  The ICCR Chair program seats preeminent faculty from Indian universities at prominent universities across the globe in order to support the development of India Studies.  Additionally, the organization supports a large number of cultural programs and academic conferences. Pitt’s ICCR Chair will be one of the first established in the United States.

The establishment of this chair is a direct link to the Pitt Global Professorships initiative detailed as part of Embracing the World: A Global Plan for Pitt. The ICCR will work with Pitt to annually invite a scholar from either the social sciences or the humanities from a leading Indian university to work with Pitt faculty and students.

The University continues to develop its relationship with India and, in recent years, has welcomed prominent Indian government officials to campus, including Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Mobashar Jawed “MJ” Akbar in 2014 and Director General Das in 2016.

In 2016, the University created a South Asia Initiative to facilitate communication and collaboration between students and faculty and to provide opportunities for more active engagement with the local community.

The signing of the MOU took place during a weeklong trip to India by Pitt representatives, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Trade Office, in an effort to build stronger ties that will benefit the University, the Commonwealth, and the United States.

“India is already a great trade partner with the United States and Pennsylvania, but trips like this are integral to building ties that will result in both deeper existing and new partnerships,” Nordenberg said.  “Thanks to our strong alumni network, the University can offer introductions to business and governmental leaders that other trade missions might not be able to access.”

A team of five visited New Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. In each city the delegation of Ariel Armony, vice provost for global affairs; Mark Nordenberg; Sanjeev Shroff, distinguished professor of and Gerald E. McGinnis Chair in bioengineering; Joseph Alter,  professor of anthropology; and Jason Kane, director of constituent relations; met with universities, representatives from private companies, and influential Pitt alumni in an effort to build new economic bonds and strengthen those already in place.

The trip was coordinated with the Pennsylvania Trade and Investment Office – India. The office works in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to strengthen business ties between Pennsylvania and India.

While in India, the team also visited the Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare (WISH Foundation) founded by Sunil Wadhwani of Presto, Pa., and the Science Health Allied Research Education (SHARE) at MediCiti (International Medical Science City) founded by Sudhakar Pesara “P.S.” Reddy, MD, of UPMC.

Those on the trip had the opportunity to network with Pitt alumni living in India at a social event in each city, where Nordenberg and Armony offered an update on the University and its growing commitment to internationalization.

“This is a moment of tremendous opportunity to take our engagement with India to new, exciting levels,” said Armony. “In building
strong, strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships with India, we underscore our goal of taking Pitt to the world and bringing the world to Pitt.”

More than 500 Pitt Alumni call India home. There are an additional 484 students from India currently attending Pitt, which is second only to China.