Grant supports education and training for next generation of ethical global leaders

$100K grant from Cummings Foundation will fund Tufts University's Institute for Global Leadership programming, including renowned EPIIC program

Excited students speak with Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (June 26, 2019)—Amidst rising global tensions and many interconnected global challenges, it is crucial that the world's brightest minds understand how to address large-scale issues that involve multiple nations and cultures, resolve conflicts peacefully and prevent atrocities. Thanks in part to a Cummings Foundation $100,000 grant, the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University (IGL) is training the next generation of global leaders, equipping them to thoughtfully and effectively tackle challenges at the local, national and international levels.

This funding – disbursed over five years – will also support global research and internship opportunities for undergraduate students interested in human rights and human security, the IGL's high school global issues program, and bring experts to Tufts for an extended period. These transformative opportunities give students first-hand, hands-on experiences that can challenge their preconceptions and assumptions.

In the 2019-20 academic year, IGL programs will focus on preventing genocide and mass atrocities, such as the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Myanmar. Students in its renowned Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) program will study recent and historical mass atrocities and the effectiveness of policies and institutions in preventing them.  A core part of the program is exposing students to a variety of experts with differing perspectives from diverse disciplines.

A portion of this grant will directly fund the visit to Tufts of five experts from various regions, such as Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia, who have witnessed these moral atrocities and will share their experiences.

The goal of the IGL in addressing these issues is to develop a greater understanding of the conditions under which large-scale atrocities occur, as well as what can be done to prevent them to ensure that the international community will live up to the promise "never again."

"The EPIIC program and other IGL initiatives provide uncommon experiential opportunities for students which provide them with the skills to comprehend the world's most pressing problems," said Abi Williams, IGL director and professor of the practice of international politics at The Fletcher School, Tufts' graduate school for international affairs. "This generous grant is a catalyst for innovative programs on a vital and complex global issue."

The IGL is an incubator of innovative ways to educate learners at all levels to understand and engage with difficult global issues. The institute develops new generations of effective and ethical leaders who are able to understand complexity, reflect cultural and political nuance and engage as responsible global citizens in anticipating and confronting the world's most intractable problems. 

Representatives from the IGL attended a Cummings Foundation celebration of the $100K for 100 grants earlier this month (L-R: Saida Abdalla of the IGL, Bill Cummings, Joyce Cummings, and David D. Cuttino, member of the IGL external advisory board)Representatives from the IGL attended a Cummings Foundation celebration of the $100K for 100 grants earlier this month (L-R: Saida Abdalla of the IGL, Bill Cummings, Joyce Cummings, and David D. Cuttino, member of the IGL external advisory board)

More than 300 graduate and undergraduate students actively engage in IGL programs each year, in addition to more than 200 high school students from Massachusetts, New York City, Chicago and Atlanta.

Many of the IGL's programs are also open to interested members of the public.

The IGL has programs on civil-military relations, sustainable development and social entrepreneurship, as well as programs focused on the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.

Additionally, the IGL brings visiting fellows to campus through its INSPIRE program, which exposes students to practitioners and scholars with hands-on experiences in the field. The INSPIRE Fellows spend their time on campus delivering lectures, conducting research and working directly with students.

Woburn, Massachusetts-based Cummings Foundation, Inc., was established in 1986 by Tufts alumnus and trustee emeritus Bill Cummings and his wife, Joyce Cummings. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn, Massachusetts. Its largest single commitment to date has been to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additional information is available at


About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

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