Hillary Clinton to become Columbia University professor

Former US senator and secretary of state to teach students, help attract global policy thinkers, and boost international engagement with women and youth

January 9, 2023
Hillary Clinton

Columbia University has hired Hillary Clinton, former US senator and secretary of state, as a professor to teach students and lead outreach projects in international and public affairs.

Ms Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee for US president in 2016, will join the Ivy League institution starting in the 2023-24 academic year.

Columbia’s outgoing president, Lee Bollinger, described the recruitment of Ms Clinton as part of a relationship dating to her time as first lady of the US in the 1990s. She has lived just outside New York City since 1999, when she and former President Bill Clinton bought a house in the state ahead of her successful run for the US Senate.

“Given her extraordinary talents and capacities together with her singular life experiences,” Professor Bollinger said in announcing her appointment, “Hillary Clinton is unique, and, most importantly, exceptional in what she can bring to the university’s missions of research and teaching, along with public service and engagement for the public good.”

Her hiring at Columbia follows Ms Clinton’s appointment in 2020 to a five-year term as the first female chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast. That is a largely ceremonial role that involves attending graduations and representing the university abroad.

At Columbia, Ms Clinton will serve as professor of practice at the School of International and Public Affairs and as presidential fellow at Columbia World Projects.

The former secretary of state will work with the international and public affairs school’s dean, Keren Yarhi-Milo, and other senior faculty and administrators to attract global policy leaders to Columbia and craft policy analyses, the university said.

In her role with Columbia World Projects, Ms Clinton will help “explore the fundamental questions on how to advance efforts to renew democracy and foster effective engagements with women and youth in this country and around the world”, the university said.

Ms Clinton has made numerous appearances at Columbia since moving to the New York City area, including talks on reproductive rights and Russian interference in global democracy. She received an honorary doctorate at last year’s commencement ceremony.

Professor Bollinger, Columbia’s president since 2002, is leaving at the end of the current academic year.


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