Baltimore, MD – April 26, 2010 -- President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, has accepted the role of Honorary Chancellor of Laureate International Universities, the global network of leading private universities. As Honorary Chancellor, President Clinton will advise this group of universities in areas such as social responsibility, youth leadership and increasing access to higher education. He will also encourage civic engagement and youth leadership on important social issues during his appearances at university campuses and in print and online messages to the nearly 600,000 students in the Laureate network.
“Last year I had the opportunity to visit Laureate’s universities in Spain, Brazil and Peru to speak to students, faculty, and the communities that they serve,” said President Clinton. “These private universities exemplify the same principles of innovation and social responsibility in education that we worked to advance during my Presidency and now through my Foundation, and I am pleased to support their mission to expand access to higher education, particularly in the developing world.”
“We are incredibly proud to have President Clinton’s support in our efforts to boost education and employability in the developing world,” said Douglas L. Becker, the founding chairman and CEO of Laureate Education, Inc., which operates the Laureate International Universities network. “We provide management, technology and capital in order to create and support leading universities in underserved communities. Through investment and innovation, institutions in our network have become the largest private universities in such nations as Mexico, Chile, Spain, Honduras and Costa Rica, and we are also experiencing significant growth in large countries such as China and Brazil, and even in the United States.
“Our objective is to achieve excellence in education on a global scale, and we believe that when we achieve this goal, communities benefit and nations prosper,” said Becker. “President Clinton’s advice and support as Honorary Chancellor will be an invaluable boost to our efforts, and we know from his visits to our campuses that our students find him to be an inspiring figure and a symbol of leadership and community service.”
President Clinton has a long-standing commitment to education, both as governor of Arkansas and during his time in the White House. In Arkansas, he promoted federal education policies that supported teachers, raised standards and increased test scores above the national average. While serving as the 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001), President Clinton’s administration made the biggest investment in education in more than 30 years, helping to expand access to early education, making higher education more affordable and accessible, and improving the quality of learning in the United States by increasing the number of high-quality teachers, turning around failing schools and expanding access to technology.
After leaving office, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. Today the Foundation takes action on worldwide issues that urgently require solutions and measurable results– including climate change, HIV/AIDS in the developing world, childhood obesity and economic opportunity in the United States, and economic development in Africa and Latin America. Additionally, President Clinton works to engage college students through the Clinton Global Initiative University and supports schools in creating healthier environments for students and staff through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association.
In 2009, he was invited by the President of Haiti and the United Nations Secretary-General to serve as the U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti. After the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, at the request of President Obama, President Clinton established with President George W. Bush the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to provide high-impact relief and long-term rebuilding assistance. In March, President Clinton was asked by the government of Haiti to serve as international co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which will oversee reconstruction projects in the country.