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Director's Message


August 2022

Warm greetings from the Peter F. Cowhey Center on Global Transformation (CCGT) at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS). Now in our 16th year of operation, we are happy to report that CCGT continues to be a vibrant forum for intellectual discourse and a launchpad for new and innovative research activities. 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape our lives in ways we could not have imagined. At the same time, the crisis has served to underscore our efforts to understand and influence the myriad ways that science and technology transform economic and political fortunes and, conversely, how economic incentives and public policy shape scientific inquiry and the innovations it produces.

Challenges notwithstanding, this past year has been a productive one at CCGT. 

We were able to welcome Pacific Leadership Fellows (PLFs) to campus again this year and look forward to a reenergized PLF program in 2022-23. We also expanded our visitor programs to further enrich policy dialogue and research engagement on campus. This includes the recruitment of two renowned scholars to serve as PLFs in full-time residence – Robert Conn and Peter Cowhey – as well as the launch of a distinguished academic scholars program and the expansion of our CCGT postdoctoral program.

At the same time, we have continued to support research by a broad set of scholars that complements the mission of the center. This includes work being conducted by our flagship research centers: the Big Pixel Initiative (BPI), the Sustainable Development Goals Policy Initiative (SDGPI) and our new Frontiers in Science and Innovation Policy (FSIP) Initiative. The new initiative’s first major project is examining the impact of philanthropy on the dynamics of the American discovery and innovation system, with an interim report expected in summer 2023.

We also continued our research venture efforts by providing seed funding for a host of new research projects at GPS and beyond. We supported innovative projects focused on economic issues that became particularly salient during the pandemic, such as the use of hardship funds as mutual aid and the construction of novel cost of living measurements. We also supported a range of projects on science policy issues that range from important work on the role of mentorship in scientific production to projects focused on government efforts to grow sustainably and address environmental justice around the globe.

Student engagement remains a core pillar of the center. In addition to funding financial aid for incoming master’s students with a technology policy interest, we awarded stipends to four GPS students through our summer fellowship program to apply their knowledge from the classroom in summer internships related to research on economic growth, equality and market change in the Pacific region.

We thank all of you for your continued generosity and engagement: our founding supporters Joan and Irwin Jacobs, our dedicated staff and colleagues, and our community of friends, scholars, collaborators and PLFs. I hope to see you in person at our many public events this coming year.

Joshua Graff Zivin