Press Releases

President Clinton Announces Program for Fourth Annual Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting

March 10, 2011

Contact: [email protected] 

Program Will Include Topical Sessions on College Affordability, LGBT Rights, and Urbanization; Students Will Also Participate with Veterans in a Service Project at the San Diego Food Bank

Speakers Will Include Actor and Humanitarian Sean Penn, Population Services International Ambassador Mandy Moore, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Restaurateur Lorena Garcia, Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón, and UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox

New York – President Bill Clinton announced the program of the fourth annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting, which will be held at the University of California, San Diego from April 1-3, 2011.   

“Since 2008, CGI U has brought together more than 2,500 students from 575 schools in 99 countries, all of them dedicated to addressing the great global challenges of our time,” President Clinton said. “Their work has improved the lives of thousands of people around the world. I am looking forward to convening the next generation of global leaders once again, so they can learn from each other and gain practical skills that will help them turn their ideas into real change.” 

Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, CGI U brings together approximately 1,000 students from all over the world, along with non-profit leaders, entrepreneurs, and celebrities engaged in efforts to create positive change. Each student makes a Commitment to Action – a detailed plan for improving lives within one of CGI U’s focus areas: education, environment & climate change, peace & human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. 

Since 2008, through their Commitments to Action, CGI U members have:

  • Made more than $1.3 million in infrastructure improvements to schools and libraries in countries including the U.S., Rwanda, Nigeria, and Laos;
  • Reached more than 74,000 students, faculty, and staff with educational efforts and outreach about clean energy and sustainability;
  • Placed more than 3,800 new recycling containers on college campuses and in surrounding communities;
  • Engaged 2,700 people in workshops on conflict resolution, diplomacy, and peace;
  • Established and maintained more than 90,000 square feet of community gardens;
  • Introduced more than 3,000 bicycles on college campuses in the U.S., Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, and China and much more.

The 2011 CGI U meeting will include large plenary sessions where CGI U participants can learn about innovative approaches to solving global issues, along with smaller working sessions focused on skills such as fundraising and marketing, and a large-scale service project at the San Diego Food Bank. Sessions will include:  

  • Financial Aid: Innovation for Affordability, developed with MTV and mtvU, will focus on addressing the prohibitive cost of higher education;
  •  LGBT Rights in the U.S. and Beyond, which will examine efforts to fight bullying and other infringements on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people;
  • On the Edge: Poverty Along the U.S.-Mexico Border, which will address challenges such as violence and high unemployment; and
  • The Urban Planet: Solutions for a Crowded World, which will examine the ongoing challenges and opportunities created by rapid urbanization.  

Program participants will include: Mark Arnoldy, founder, NepalNUTrition; Michele Barry, senior associate dean of global health, Stanford University; Nnimmo Bassey, chair, Friends of the Earth International; Raquel "Rocsi" Diaz, TV personality, RocStar Rebuilds; Jose Reyes Ferriz, former mayor of Ciudad Juarez; Lorena Garcia, executive chef, restaurateur, and judge on NBC’s "America’s Next Great Restaurant"; Marye Anne Fox, chancellor, University of California, San Diego; Shirley Ann Jackson, president, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Van Jones, distinguished visiting fellow, Princeton University; Peggy Liu, chairperson, Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy; Jessica O. Matthews, co-founder, sOccket Inc.; Mandy Moore, ambassador, Population Services International; Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California; Deogratias Niyizonkiza, founder, Village Health Works; Eduardo Padrón, president, Miami Dade College; Sean Penn, humanitarian and actor; Nan Shi, secretary general, Urban Planning Society of China; Richard Socarides, president, Equality Matters; Anu Sridharan, co-founder, NextDrop; Kate Stohr, managing director, Architecture for Humanity; and Kevin Surace, chief executive officer, Serious Materials.

On Sunday, April 3, the program will culminate in a service project, in which CGI U attendees and volunteers will work alongside 100 local veterans at the San Diego Food Bank. The San Diego Food Bank provides food to over 340,000 individuals monthly, while also advocating for the hungry and educating the public about hunger-related issues. Participants will sort, inspect, package, and distribute food for low-income military and non-military families, and help with beautification projects. In total, they will contribute more than 2,500 hours of service for the Food Bank. 

UC San Diego, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has been recognized widely for its local impact, national influence, and global reach. In 2009, Washington Monthly named UC San Diego number one in its rankings, which measure "what colleges are doing for the country." The school has also been named one of the top ten public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

The full agenda can be found at The meeting will be webcast live at On Twitter, follow CGI U (@cgiu) or the Clinton Global Initiative (@ClintonGlobal). CGI U is also on Facebook at

CGI University is grateful for the support of its sponsors: Dell, Irwin Jacobs, Laureate Education, MTVu, Andy Nahas and the Prospect Fund, Life Technologies, Qualcomm, and U.S. Global Investors.  

ALL PRESS MUST BE CREDENTIALED BY THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE.  Press must apply for credentials at by March 28. We will notify you when your application has been approved. More press logistics information will be available closer to the event date. If you have any problems or questions, please email [email protected].  

To request sat truck parking, please contact [email protected]  

About CGI U The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) challenges college students to address global issues with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U members do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by building relationships, creating action plans, participating in hands-on workshops, and following-up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Miami, and have convened more than 2,500 students from 575 schools in 99 countries and all 50 states. To learn more, visit  

About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 170 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting will take place Sept. 19-22 in New York City. 

This year, CGI will also convene a meeting focused on driving job creation and economic recovery in the United States. The meeting, CGI America, is the first CGI event solely dedicated to U.S. issues, and will take place in Chicago June 29-30.

The CGI community also includes, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. For more information, visit      



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