Kerry Returning to Yale to 'Empower the Next Generation of Idealists and Diplomats'

By Susan Jones | February 17, 2017 | 10:23 AM EST

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry joins hands with other diplomats at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Foreign Ministers Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, Monday, July 25, 2016. (AP File Photo)

( - Former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator John Kerry is joining his alma mater, Yale University, as the school's first-ever Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs.

Yale announced on Thursday that Kerry will "oversee the Kerry Initiative, "an interdisciplinary program that will tackle pressing global challenges through teaching, research, and international dialogue."

Yale said the Kerry Initiative advances its "long tradition of preparing the next generation of world leaders."

Kerry said he wants to "empower the next generation of idealists and diplomats."

Kerry will partner with other Yale scholars in examining "questions of global importance," such as failed states, violent extremism, climate change, and "the challenge of authoritarian populism" (a term academics used to describe the politics of conservatives Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher).

From his new perch, Kerry will lead a seminar in the 2017-1018 year, and he'll also "convene "conversations among global stakeholders, both in New Haven and overseas, to develop new approaches to solving" the world's "crucial challenges."

“Yale’s been a part of my life since I first walked on campus as a teenager and heard Allard Lowenstein challenge my generation to get involved and make a difference," Yale quoted him as saying.

"This is where I first raised my hand as a junior and pledged to defend the Constitution, and it’s where I first debated and struggled with issues of war and peace. Teaching, researching, convening, engaging and collaborating with young people and together wrestling with the world’s most complex issues is an exciting chapter in the journey that began for me in New Haven.

"I’m grateful to President Salovey for his enthusiasm about what we can do together as a Yale community and how we can empower the next generation of idealists and diplomats and activists to be a part of public service and a cause bigger than themselves.”

Yale President Peter Salovey said he's honored to welcome Kerry, "with his vast insights and experience on global affairs" to "inspire the next generation of national and world leaders."

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