February 16, 2018
Feb 16

President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and University of Chicago to host 11th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting

New York, NY
Press Release

Event will convene more than 1,000 student leaders to explore innovative solutions to pressing global challenges, October 19-21, 2018; applications now open

NEW YORK – The 11th annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting – hosted by President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton – will take place October 19-21, 2018, at the University of Chicago. Undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and around the world will gather to discuss and develop ideas and proposals to address some of the most pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the next generation.

More than 1,000 student leaders will meet with topic experts, academics, and other influential leaders, to develop their Commitments to Action — projects that address societal issues they face on campuses, in local communities, or around the world. The event will be hosted at the University of Chicago, which is committed to helping prepare the next generation of leaders and social entrepreneurs to make a positive impact in communities worldwide.

Students interested in attending CGI U 2018 must submit their applications at cgiu.org/apply by April 23, 2018. Further details on the meeting and application process are below.


CGI U has brought together more than 9,500 students from 940 schools, with more than $3.85 million dollars in funding awarded to student commitment-makers since it was first founded in 2007.

Together with a robust community of emerging and established leaders in business, government, nonprofit organizations, and entertainment, students at CGI U discuss and develop solutions to a wide range of pressing global challenges. Previous topics of discussion have included:

- The need to expand opportunity for people around the world with Partners In Health co-founder Paul Farmer and activist America Ferrera;

- The importance of peaceful protest in the face of injustice with Congressman John Lewis;

- The potential for the millennial generation to enact global and domestic change with Conan O’Brien;

- The future of higher education with Barefoot College founder, Bunker Roy, and MasterCard Foundation president and CEO, Reeta Roy;

-  The benefits of integrating refugees and migrants into society with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright;

-  Empowering the next generation by creating a better future for girls and women with Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic medalist, activist, and entrepreneur;

-  The significance of peace and human rights around the world with Senator John McCain and Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales;

- The stories, setbacks, and key lessons learned from launching a start up with Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey;

The importance of civic participation with Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, III; and

-  The courage to fail so that one day you may succeed with astronaut Catherine Coleman and Khan Academy founder and CEO, Salman Khan.

Student projects are addressing issues ranging from public health and domestic violence to climate change and civil rights. For example, through their CGI U commitments, students are:

- Working to change the way victims of gender-based violence are supported abroad;

- Improving energy efficiency in at-risk communities in order to lower energy costs for families and small businesses while also improving the environment;

- Using mobile technology to stop the spread of counterfeit medicine in emerging markets;

-  Designing cooking tools to help prevent iron deficiencies in places like Cambodia;

Harnessing the kinetic energy created by a soccer ball to provide a portable power source in low-income areas across the world; and

- Developing and distributing drinkable water for people living in disaster zones around the world, starting in the United States.

The University of Chicago’s student engagement efforts for the 2018 event will be coordinated by the Office of the Provost, in partnership with Chicago Booth’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, Campus and Student Life, UChicago’s Institute of Politics, the Harris School of Public Policy, the School of Social Service Administration, and the Office of Civic Engagement. Through the Rustandy Center, the University is continuing to expand support for students, alumni, and faculty who are committed to tackling complex social and environmental challenges. Tandean Rustandy, UChicago alumnus, Indonesian entrepreneur, and philanthropist, has pledged to support UChicago’s efforts as host for the 2018 CGI U meeting.

CGI U also leads student engagement efforts with the CGI University Network – a consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor, and provide funding to CGI U student commitment-makers from their respective campuses.

Last year’s CGI U meeting took place at Northeastern University, where President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton engaged more than 1,100 student leaders, who made 700 Commitments to Action on issues that included hurricane and disaster response, the opioid epidemic, relief for refugees and displaced populations, and violence against women. Previous CGI U meetings have been held at Arizona State University, George Washington University, Tulane University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Miami, the University of Texas at Austin, and Washington University in St. Louis.


To attend CGI U, students must be at least 18 years old and either be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate in an institution of higher education at the time they submit their CGI U application, or be enrolled at the time of the CGI U meeting.

Interested and eligible students can learn more at cgiu.org and apply through this form. Applicants are required to submit a detailed plan for their Commitment to Action that addresses specific problems in one of five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Poverty Alleviation, Peace and Human Rights, and Public Health. Interested students can use this map to guide them through this process.

The CGI U meeting is free to attend, and there are two application deadlines. If you are requesting travel and/or lodging assistance through the Clinton Foundation, you must submit your application by the early decision deadline: March 16, 2018. All other applications must be submitted by the final deadline: April 23, 2018.

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