Meet the Leadership: Donald L. Filer

Donald Filer has overall responsibility for Yale’s Office of International Affairs (OIA), which he has led since its creation in 2004. OIA provides administrative support for the international activities of the schools, programs, and individual faculty across the university. These efforts focus on supporting the development of new projects with partner universities, coordinating the work of other Yale offices during project start-ups, managing visits to Yale by university delegations and other dignitaries, and safeguarding Yale’s reputation around the world.

Mr. Filer also leads the university’s emergency response in the event of a medical emergency, natural disaster, or civil unrest taking place abroad, and oversees the Yale Young Global Scholars Program, the Greenberg Conference Center, Yale’s Marketing and Trademark Licensing Office, and the Yale Conferences & Events Office.

He joined Yale University in 2000 as Associate Secretary with responsibility for managing support for the Yale Corporation (the university’s governing board), supervising the Yale Visitor Center, and directing the Office of Licensing Programs.  Prior to his appointment at Yale, he served in a number of capacities at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut, from 1991 to 2000 including Vice President for Community and Public Affairs, Secretary of the College, and Acting Vice President for Development. He worked for former U.S. Representative Bruce A. Morrison of New Haven from 1985 to 1991. A native of New Haven, Mr. Filer earned a B.A. in political science from Colgate University.

Jackson Institute to Become New Yale Professional School

Following suit with President Peter Salovey’s announcement on April 6th that the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs would become the next professional school at Yale, the Board of Trustees has approved the establishment. The Jackson Institute will be the first professional school developed at Yale since the School of Management in 1976. President Peter Salovey stated,

“Now more than ever, our world needs creative ideas and leadership to help end global conflicts and solve intractable problems. By establishing the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs, we will create an intimate community of outstanding faculty, practitioners, and students to conduct research of great relevance to the development and adoption of international policy. Yale will continue to fulfill its longstanding mission to educate passionate public servants who confront the day’s most daunting challenges with wisdom, facts, insight, and courage.”

The new school will focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to studying Global Affairs, and its faculty will likewise comprise of scholars from a range of disciplines, from humanities to sciences. Additionally, Salovey stated that the school would focus on an “intimate and intense” community, a tight-knit learning center for research and development of Global Affairs and International Strategy.

The trustees marked the tentative opening as Fall 2022, provided that the school can raise $200 million in additional funds for its endowment.

Yale’s Global Efforts: Meet the Leadership


Pericles Lewis, Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of English, serves as Vice President for Global Strategy and Deputy Provost for International Affairs at Yale University.  Reporting to the President and the Provost, he is responsible for ensuring that the broader global initiatives of the university serve Yale’s academic goals and priorities. Lewis works closely with academic colleagues across all of the university’s schools and provides support and strategic guidance to the many international programs and activities undertaken by the university’s faculty, students, and staff. His primary responsibility is to enhance Yale’s international presence as a leader in liberal arts education and a world-class research institution.

From 2012 to 2017, Professor Lewis served as founding president of Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between Yale and the National University of Singapore. Under his leadership, the college developed into a thriving model of residential liberal arts education much admired and studied throughout Asia and the world. He oversaw the articulation of the college’s mission, the development of its curriculum, and the recruitment of students, faculty, and staff. Yale-NUS College has been widely recognized as one of the most innovative undergraduate educational institutions in the world and has been praised as a model for reinventing residential liberal arts and science education in the context of 21st-century Asia. Lewis has become a respected authority on global arts and sciences education, and has spoken on educational matters and literary scholarship in many countries on four continents. In his new role, Lewis maintains responsibility for Yale’s involvement in the ongoing work of Yale-NUS College.

Since returning to New Haven, Lewis has led the planning for the Schwarzman Center, set to open in 2020, and provided oversight for the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and related academic units. He works closely with the leadership of Yale-NUS College, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, the Yale Center Beijing, and the Yale Institute for Global Health.

Pericles Lewis earned his B.A. with first-class honors in English literature from McGill University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford University in 1997. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined the Yale faculty in 1998, with appointments in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature. Professor Lewis has been extensively engaged in the academic life of the campus, serving on an array of university committees and in departmental administrative roles.

Lewis’s research shows how developments in literary form emerge out of a background of social, political and existential ferment. His work focuses on the modernists who revolutionized European literature in the early twentieth century; he explores their engagements with the broader culture and the distinctively literary solutions that they found for the central problems of their time. The author or editor of six books, he was also the founding editor of Yale’s Modernism Lab, an early digital humanities project. A former member of the advisory board of the American Comparative Literature Association, Lewis also serves on several editorial boards and as an advisor to various academic publishers, foundations, and educational institutions in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and Japan. He has written for a number of academic journals as well as the Chronicle of Higher EducationThe Harvard International Review, and Times Higher Education.

Professor Lewis is widely recognized for his talents and dedication as a teacher, including courses for the Yale in London program and the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, as well as at Yale and Yale-NUS. He has taught undergraduate surveys of English poetry, the European epic tradition, and literary theory, and courses on modernism in literature and the arts ranging from freshman to graduate seminars. He has received a variety of honors and awards for his contributions to research, teaching, and service.

Professor Lewis is a citizen of both Canada and the United States. His wife, Sheila Hayre, a graduate of Yale Law School, and former staff attorney at New Haven Legal Assistance, now teaches at Quinnipiac University Law School in North Haven, Connecticut. They live in New Haven with their two children.

Save the Date–Yale Club Singapore Event

Below is a message from the Yale Club Singapore regarding a cocktail event on July 24th.

Hi Yalies,

Here is an update for the Yale Club, followed by DUAL items further below.
Yale SOM Cocktails
Join the Yale SOM contingent for a cocktail event to welcome those SOM-ers arriving in Singapore or newly departing for New Haven, and also catch up with Yale’s MBA Sr Associate Director of Admissions, Amy Abood! The event serves to welcome new enrollees at Yale SOM, Singapore-located SOM interns, and those who have arrived from New Haven into Singapore. And just as important, it’s also a great chance to catch up with one another!!

Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Time: 8:30 pm – 10:30pm
RSVP: Yale Club VP, Anupum at
Venue: Intercontinental Hotel (Bugis), 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966

Note that the event follows the Yale MBA Admissions Information Session, which Yale MBA alums and new MBA entrants are also welcome to attend.

2019 Yale Young African Scholars program kicks off

Yale Young African Scholars program session

On July 25, the Yale Young African Scholars (YYAS) program kicks off its 2019 season with sessions in Accra, Ghana; Harare, Zimbabwe; and, for the first time, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sourced from a YaleNews article, linked here:

YYAS brings together African secondary school students for a cost-free, seven-day residential program designed to introduce students to the U.S. university and financial aid application process and requirements.

Administered by the Yale Young Global Scholars Program and building off that model of an interdisciplinary academic curriculum, YYAS participants attend lectures led by prominent Yale faculty, seminars by Yale student instructors, and experiential exercises designed to augment their leadership skills. Participants engage in robust intellectual exchanges that are crucial to understanding Africa’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.

In addition to the introduction to university application processes, Yale student-led courses and leadership training, YYAS participants also receive standardized test preparation lessons, which are designed especially for African test-takers new to exams like the SAT.

Host nations and program dates are:

  • Ghana: July 25 – Aug. 1
  • Kenya:Aug. 7 – 14
  • Zimbabwe:Aug. 18 – 25

All YYAS participants are citizens of an African country between the ages of 14 – 18 and currently attend school on the African continent. This year’s cohort of 300 students is the most diverse since the program’s inception. It includes students from over 40 different African nations who attend over 280 secondary schools. With such diversity, Associate Director of YYAS Lucy Appiah describes the program as “synonymous with the African Union (AU) Assembly. The competitiveness of YYAS, which has an acceptance rate lower than 6% this year, makes each participant an outstanding leader and representative from his or her country.”

YYAS students standing in a circle outside.Thanks to the support of the Higherlife Foundation, YYAS continues to be free to all participants and offers travel stipends for students from low-income backgrounds.

Further support for the YYAS program comes from partnerships with youth and education access-focused organizations working in each host country. Ahaspora in Ghana, Education Matters in Zimbabwe, and new partner Akili Dada in Kenya will run parallel Educators’ Conferences for 180 teachers, headmasters, and advisers from African secondary schools in their regions through the Higherlife Foundation’s support. With expert contributions from new partner universities such as Johns Hopkins, Rice, and Ashoka, and existing ones such as Columbia, Rochester, and Sciences Po, these conferences will introduce the educators to university guidance strategies and resources so that they can offer application support to all the students at their schools who may want to pursue tertiary education abroad. By equipping both students and educators with information about university access, the YYAS program aims to magnify its ability to support students across all of Africa.

For additional information about YYAS or the program’s partners, visit the YYAS website or contact

Yale-India business accelerator to promote innovative health solutions

The Sustainable Health Initiative (SHI), a business accelerator built as a collaboration between the Yale Institute for Global Health and The CoWrks Foundry and RMZ Foundation, has selected five early-stage startups building “innovative solutions in healthcare” in India. The selected companies “will each receive $70,000 in seed capital and mentorship from Yale faculty and alumni, and will benefit from a network of Indian industry experts and structured sessions to help startups evolve into a sustainable and scalable business model, refine their market strategy, and build a sustainable company.”
The featured companies, as described in the YaleNews article linked below, are:
  • Khushi-TB: Using Khushi Baby’s digital health record technology, which has helped improve child health in rural India, Khushi-TB will focus on treatment and case management of tuberculosis in urban centers.
  • MetaMagics: Software that reads radiology reports generates a summary of findings for the doctor to concisely read and act on in a clinical setting.
  • JioVio Healthcare: A wearable device for pregnant women tracks and transmits vital information to healthcare professionals, enabling them to monitor high-risk conditions or other potential unidentified complications.
  • Naps and Nibbles: India’s first child wellness application for mobile phones provides structured programs for post-birth health issues, including sleep, breastfeeding, and nutrition.
  • Onward Assist: Supported by Harish Prabhala ’15 M.P.H., Onward Assist is a tool to assist and inform clinical decision-making related to breast and cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment.
For more information about these companies, the SHI, and Yale’s work as a business accelerator in the Indian healthcare industry, read the YaleNews article here.