Five Yale SOM Students Named Kerry Fellows

By Karen Guzman

Five Yale School of Management students are among the 17 Yale students named Kerry Fellows for the 2018-19 academic year. The students are part of a select group from across the university who are taking part in a seminar with former Secretary of State John Kerry YC ’66 as part of the Kerry Initiative.

Led by Kerry, the initiative is an interdisciplinary program designed to address pressing global issues through teaching, research, and dialogue. As fellows, the students will collaborate with Kerry on research projects and publications addressing today’s most pressing issues.

Yale SOM fellows include Donovan Ervin ’20, FES ’20; Ned Levin ’20, LAW ’20; Ellis Liang ’19, LAW ’19; Aashna Mehra ’19; and Will Ryan ’19.

This year’s fellows also include students from Yale’s professional schools of public health, forestry and environmental studies, and law, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Five undergraduates from Yale College are also fellows.

The Yale SOM students said they are honored to have been selected. “I came to Yale to learn how to work across disciplines to contribute to a more just and sustainable world,” Ervin said. “I’m thrilled to further pursue that goal as a Kerry Fellow and I look forward to engaging with Secretary Kerry, his team, and my colleagues.”

Mehra said that the program provides an excellent opportunity to explore interdisciplinary collaborations: “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to collaborate with extraordinarily smart and driven peers from across Yale to promote dialogue on a number of important global challenges and especially on climate change, capacity building, and economic development.”

Liang added that it is imperative today for “institutional actors like Yale University to continue fostering research and discussion on global issues. I’m excited and humbled to be part of this initiative.” 

Ryan, a U.S. military veteran, said he is looking forward to addressing global challenges. “While serving in some of the most conflicted regions of the world, I have come to realize that the first, and sometimes most difficult, step in reducing tensions and solving a problem is having a conversation,” he said. “By facilitating conversations around the most pressing challenges facing the United States and the world community, the Kerry Initiative is opening the door to understanding, compromise, and most importantly, viable solutions.”