President Clinton And Chelsea Clinton Recognize Social Impact By CGI U Alumni

November 5, 2019

On Saturday, November 2, 2019, the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) hosted its alumni gathering at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island in New York City to celebrate 12 years of impact and innovation by CGI U alumni.

The day featured plenary sessions led by President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton and alumni-led small group discussions on topics such as Using Art & Media for Social Innovation, Pitching for Investment, Scalable Systems, Scalable Impact, Diversity & Inclusion: Ensuring No One is Left Behind, Social Listening During Disaster Response, and more.

The morning plenary “Beyond the Commitment: Sustaining the Drive to Make a Difference,” moderated by Chelsea Clinton, vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, featured alumni who are addressing issues such as poverty and women’s health.

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“I am so thrilled to be here with you all today, to provide you with an opportunity to find areas of common cause and commitment with other CGI U Alumni,” said Chelsea Clinton. Alumni panelists included Ashifi Gogo, Derrius Quarles, Suhani Jalota, and Kristin Duquette.

During the afternoon plenary, “Lessons in Leadership: Choosing Possibility over Peril,” moderated by President Clinton, founder and chair of the Clinton Foundation, featured speakers including Howard W. Buffett, professor and research scholar, Columbia University in Harlem; Cheryl Dorsey, president, Echoing Green; Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO, PepsiCo; and Zainab Salbi, humanitarian, journalist, and author, shared about their experiences and lessons learned through challenging times.

“It’s not always easy to keep going with these commitments, especially when real life gets in the way,” said President Clinton. “We live in times where too often headlines seem to matter more than trendlines and we’re dominated by news about what divides us, instead of what unites us. By doing what they do, these young women and men are building on our common humanity and making the world a more just place.”

Also, featured in President Clinton’s plenary was an “Alumni Lightning Round Progress Report,” where the following CGI U alumni shared their progress and ongoing work included City College in Harlem’s student Mahmoud Khedr, Katie Sgarro, Sixto Cancel and Agnes Igoye.

CGI U recently announced a major expansion of the program, including year-round programming and the first international annual meeting at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Today’s event is part of the new year-round programming that CGI U is offering to students and alumni, highlighting CGI U’s long-term commitment to inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and global innovators.

Launched in 2007, CGI U is a year-round leadership development program run by the Clinton Foundation for undergraduate and graduate students addressing pressing global challenges by providing access to a wide range of funding, mentorship, training, and networking opportunities throughout the year.

With a network of over 10,000 alumni from more than 1,100 schools,163 countries, and all 50 states, CGI U alums have made over 8,000 Commitments to Action, positively impacting their hometowns, their college campuses, and communities around the globe.

CGI U’s alumni gathering was made possible by the generous support of our partners: IBM, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and Kevin Xu.

Building on a lifetime of public service, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation on the simple belief that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and they all do better when they work together. For nearly two decades, those values have energized the work of the Foundation in overcoming complex challenges and improving the lives of people across the United States and around the world.

As an operating foundation, they work on issues directly or with strategic partners from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement and service. Their programs are designed to make a real difference today while serving as proven models for tomorrow. The goal of every effort is to use available resources to get better results faster – at the lowest possible cost.

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They firmly believe that when diverse groups of people bring resources together in the spirit of true cooperation, transformative ideas will emerge to drive life-changing action.

Learn more at

Photo credit: 1-7) By Megan Maher, The Clinton Foundation. 8) By Sietu Oronde.

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