September 4, 2019
Sep 04

President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton announce first ever international CGI U meeting at the University of Edinburgh; expansion to a year-round program

New York, NY
Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 4, 2019

CGI U contact: [email protected]

University of Edinburgh contact: [email protected]


President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton announce first ever international CGI U meeting at the University of Edinburgh; expansion to a year-round program

University of Edinburgh to host more than 600 students at the 12th Annual CGI U meeting April 17-19, 2020; CGI U also announces major expansion of year-round programming to kick off this fall

Students interested in applying to the CGI U program, including the 2020 CGI U Meeting at the University of Edinburgh must submit their application at by October 15, 2019.


President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton today announced a major expansion of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) program, including year-round programming and the first international convening. Launched in 2007, CGI U is a leadership development program for undergraduate and graduate students – each year, students from around the world gather and meet with topic experts, academics, and other influencers, to develop their Commitments to Action. Commitments to Action are social impact projects that address pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges that students face on campuses, in local communities, or globally.

A highlight of the CGI U program is the annual meeting hosted on a college campus. Next year will mark CGI U’s first annual meeting outside the United States, where President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton will host the 12th Annual CGI U Meeting at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Founded by the city of Edinburgh in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world, and consistently ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the world.

“For twelve years, students from across the world have been working to change their communities and change the world through CGI U,” said President Clinton. “CGI U is a platform for these up-and-coming student leaders to connect with experts, explore funding and resources for their projects; and inspire their peers. We are thrilled to join with the University of Edinburgh next year as we host our first-ever international CGI U meeting.”

Starting with the 2019-2020 CGI U class, there will also be additional year-round programming to further engage and connect students with experts and help them develop commitments. This includes more in-person and virtual events throughout the year with global leaders; an enhanced Commitment to Action curriculum; mentorship programs and an alumni leadership network; and access to funding and sponsorship opportunities for their commitments.

Students in the upcoming class will join a network of more than 10,000 students from more than 1,100 schools, 163 countries, and all 50 states who are changing the world or addressing issues such as disaster recovery and response, civic participation, maternal health, and providing access to resources for migrants and refugees.

"I am always inspired by the students who come to CGI University with their commitment to making our world a healthier, more sustainable and more equitable place,” said Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation. “I'm excited for our 2020 meeting in Edinburgh and our new expanded year-round programming to support CGI U students past, present and future."

The University of Edinburgh’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Mathieson, said: “We are delighted to host the CGI University’s first international meeting. We are looking forward to working closely with the student leaders and CGI who share our deep-seated commitment to making a difference. It will be a great opportunity for student delegates to connect with our world-leading experts and research, learn from one another, and begin to make their mark on the world.”

Since 2013, the University of Edinburgh has been a valued member of the CGI University Network - a global consortium of higher education institutions that support, mentor, and provide funding to CGI U commitment-makers from their respective campuses. This year marks the seventh year of the CGI University Network, which has contributed more than $4 million in funding directly to participating students.

Further details on application processes and the annual student event are below.


Applicants must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at an institution of higher education when they submit their CGI U application.

Prospective students can learn more and apply to this year-round program at Applicants are required to submit a detailed plan for their Commitment to Action, a social impact project that addresses a specific problem that they have identified in their application.

The CGI U year-round program, including the annual student event, are free for accepted students. The Clinton Foundation provides travel and/or lodging assistance to the annual event for select students with demonstrated need. To be considered, applicants must complete a travel assistance section within the general application and submit by the early decision deadline: Monday, September 30. All applications without travel assistance consideration must be submitted by the final deadline: Tuesday, October 15.

Students with any questions about the application process can call 212.710.4492 or email [email protected].

Previous CGI U meetings have been held at the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Miami, Arizona State University, Washington University in St. Louis, George Washington University, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin, and Tulane University. Past topics of discussion and speakers have included:

  • How to harness the power of design to build responsive and resilient health delivery systems with Paul E. Farmer, chief strategist and co-founder of Partners in Health;
  • The need for students to expose and speak out against discrimination and violence, and go beyond this by taking part in the challenging work of building networks of cooperation and trust with Congressman John Lewis;
  • Sports programs as a catalyst for development and integration of youth and vulnerable populations with Olympic medalist and activist Ibtihaj Muhammad;
  • The benefits of integrating refugees and migrants into society with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; and
  • The potential for the millennial generation to enact global and domestic change with television host Conan O’Brien.



About the Clinton Foundation

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 we all do better when we work together. For nearly two decades, that premise has 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, we 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. Our 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.

We 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.

About University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a global university, rooted in Scotland. We are globally recognised for our research, development and innovation and we have provided world-class teaching to our students for more than 425 years. We are the largest university in Scotland, with more than 41,000 students and 15,000 staff. We are a founding member of the UK’s Russell Group of leading research universities and a member of the League of European Research Universities.