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The University is aggressively seeking support in India, China and the rest of Asia as part of the Campaign for Academic Enrichment's international fundraising effort. With the help of regional advisory councils established in 2007, the University has surpassed its international fundraising goals.

Despite otherwise grim economic reports in the past year, international fundraising has been "quite successful," said Vice President for International Advancement Ronald Margolin, adding that the positive gains are a direct result of continued overseas outreach efforts. "We've been doing great in fundraising," he said. "We've been raising more every year."

The aggressive international push has raised $90 million, more than doubling its original goal of  raising more than $40 million before the end of the Campaign, Margolin said. The overall campaign, which surpassed its $1.4 billion goal earlier this year, wraps up in 2010. 
"We have had great success in international fundraising," Provost David Kertzer '69 P'95 P'98 wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.

The regional advisory councils — along with President Ruth Simmons' "aggressive international travel schedule" — have fostered more direct connections with alumni, parents and corporations abroad, Margolin said. Their establishment coincided with an effort by the University to raise its international profile.

"We've used the councils as a sounding board for ideas," he said. "Internationalization is remaining a very strong component for the University."

In March, the University will launch a regional advisory council in India as part of the ongoing effort to attract support from international donors, Margolin said. He said Simmons is in the process of asking 14 people to serve on the new council, though he said would not release their names publicly until formal notifications were in place. Margolin is meeting with Simmons about the new council next Friday, he said.

The University also intends to extend the model to Latin America in coming years, he said.
Though no formal advisory council is yet in place in India, the University has been expanding their influence in the country for six years, Margolin said. The University has already established a series of summer internships through the Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship program, which Margolin said was a joint effort with Vice President for Research and former Dean of Engineering Clyde Briant. And the outreach has been successful — Margolin said there were about 200 students from 90 different high schools in India who have attended or currently attend Brown since more tangible efforts began.

The already established advisory councils for China and for Asia as a whole have ratcheted up interest among international alumni, parents and other potential donors by making the University more visible, Margolin said.

One of the ways the existing councils actively generate support, he said, is through media attention. Councils often inform their countries' major newspapers and television outlets about University events to get "people talking about Brown," he said.

The councils, Margolin said, consist of between 10 and 14 high-profile regional alumni and parents, such as University presidents and "CEO-equivalent officials." For example, he said, the council in China includes Wei Yang PhD'85, President of Zhejiang University, and Timothy Foo '66 P'07, managing director of the Oak Hill Group. The council in Asia includes Ruby Shang '71 P'12, regional director of the William J. Clinton Foundation in Singapore, and Choon Fong Shih P'91, a former president of the National University of Singapore who is now president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

According to the councils' mission statement, members of the councils meet at least once a year to discuss Brown's international programs and make recommendations to Simmons and the Corporation,  help with undergraduate and graduate student recruitment, identify research partnerships that might benefit Brown and identify various regional sources of funding. The University also communicates with members of the councils to spread the word about relevant University developments to procure funding support from targeted individuals.

In addition to the new council in India, Margolin said there are plans on the horizon to create councils in Latin America, especially because the new Vice President for International Affairs, Matthew Gutmann, is significantly involved in Latin American studies; before his recent appointment, he was briefly the director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Before Brown can successfully propose a new council, "You want the University to have a plan and sort of a road map for what it wants to do," Margolin said, adding that Gutmann's position will now enable Brown to more seriously consider a Latin American council.

Despite the economic downturn, Margolin said international funding  — and the success of the two established regional advisory councils — has remained strong.

"There are things that people can donate to at Brown that help them in their regions," he said. "People understand that the problems of the world are going to be solved multi-nationally by building social bridges."


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