Leading from the Front

President Summers visits Chile and Brazil

by | Apr 22, 2004

Summers on DRCLAS Regional Office Terrace with Harvard students engaged in study abroad program, as well as doing research and internships in Chile.

“President Larry Summers has been pushing more students to study abroad—and now he’s leading from the front,” was how the Boston Globe reported on the first official visit by Harvard’s President to South America where he visited Santiago, Chile and São Paulo, Brazil from March 30 to April 2. In addition to meeting with Harvard students who are studying, working, or researching in the region, he also met with educational, business and policy leaders, including Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, Harvard alumni and friends, and in each country made a major public speech.

Summers’ public message at the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago and the Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo stressed the importance of the U.S.-Latin America partnership, the historic imperative of narrowing the gap between the developed and developing worlds, the important role of universities in stimulating growth and reducing inequality, the high priority Harvard gives to strengthening its ties to the region, and the key facilitative role he sees DRCLAS paying in enhancing these ties.

President Summers was accompanied on his visit to Chile by Harvard Professors John Coatsworth, Jorge Domínguez, and Andrés Velasco.

“At time when there has been more misunderstanding by the United States of the world and of the United States by the world….it seems to me profoundly important that we all do our part to promote understanding in all directions. There are few things that can do that like the interchange that a University makes possible.”

“I am convinced that in next generation, it will be so important for Harvard to become a truly global university. If Harvard is to lead in the intellectual life it must understand what is going on not just in the United States, not just in Western Europe, but in the entire world.”

“I am here in Chile to visit what is probably Harvard’s most significant external presence, a regional office which services all the University,” he said to a group of about 100 Harvard alumni and 25 Harvard students at DRCLAS’s Regional Office in Santiago.” “The David Rockefeller Center is a remarkable and vibrant institution which is making a great contribution to Harvard University…It has also given our students an opportunity to live and learn outside of the United States using a formula which is new to Harvard.”

Spring 2004Volume III, Number 3

Lawrence Summer, president of Harvard University

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