Niall Ferguson Joins Schwarzman Scholars as Distinguished Visiting Professor

October 20, 2014

Acclaimed Harvard University Professor and Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution Joins Schwarzman Scholars as Distinguished Visiting Professor

NEW YORK, October 20, 2014 – Schwarzman Scholars is pleased to announce that acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson has been appointed to a five-year term as Distinguished Visiting Professor with Schwarzman Scholars and Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities. Ferguson currently serves as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Until recently, he was also a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford. He joins Schwarzman Scholars in July 2016 for its inaugural class of scholars.

“We are delighted to welcome Niall as our first Distinguished Visiting Professor,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, the program’s founder. “Schwarzman Scholars aims to cultivate among future leaders a firm understanding of emerging geopolitical issues. Niall’s foreign affairs expertise and deep knowledge of global economics will be invaluable to their experience.”

As a Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ferguson will reside in Schwarzman College, the residential building where the Scholars live and study, fully engaging with the students as a mentor and instructor. He will teach courses for Schwarzman Scholars, as well as for the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, and will participate in the Schwarzman Scholars endowed lecture series in Beijing. Ferguson will also take an active role in contributing to the overall program’s academic strategy, sharing insights gained from decades of teaching at the world’s top institutes of higher education.

“I am honored to be affiliated with Schwarzman Scholars and Tsinghua University,” said Niall Ferguson. “Schwarzman Scholars is poised to attract some of the world’s most talented students, and I am looking forward to engaging with them as they hone their leadership skills, develop a deeper understanding of China and study some of the major geopolitical factors that will affect future generations.”

“We feel incredibly fortunate to have Professor Ferguson join Tsinghua’s faculty as a visiting professor,” said Tsinghua University President Chen Jining. “With his in-depth understanding of international and economic history as well as his continuous contribution to the global intellectual pool, Professor Ferguson’s presence on campus will be of great value to those students interested in understanding global affairs”

“We could not be happier to have Niall join the Schwarzman Scholars team,” said Dean David Daokui Li. “Niall’s internationally recognized intellectual talent and his insights into both historical events and contemporary affairs will no doubt be an extremely valuable aspect of the program for our Scholars. I am also tremendously happy on a personal level, as I have known Niall for many years and we have often discussed finding a way to collaborate on a meaningful project. There could not be a more rewarding opportunity to do so than as colleagues in the Schwarzman Scholars program.”

“We are thrilled to have Professor Ferguson serve as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua SEM,” SEM Dean Qian Yingyi said. “SEM students will benefit tremendously from his lectures and from the opportunity to interact closely with him.”

In addition to his teaching duties, Ferguson is a noted author and commentator. Following the publication of Ferguson’s best-selling books, “Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power” and its sequel “Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire,” TIME Magazine named Ferguson one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2008, the PBS documentary series based on his work, “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World” won the International Emmy award for Best Documentary. Ferguson has also long been recognized for his commentary on public affairs and in newspapers and magazines all over the world. His many accolades and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service and the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

In the coming months, Schwarzman Scholars will recruit additional visiting professors from top universities around the world to complement coursework taught by the talented faculty at Tsinghua University.

The program’s rigorous English-language curriculum is being developed in consultation with academic leaders from universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and Oxford who comprise the Schwarzman Scholars Academic Advisory Board. Each student will focus on one of three academic disciplines: public policy, economics and business, and international relations. Unparalleled extracurricular opportunities will offer travel, internships, and mentorship opportunities with experts in their chosen discipline.

Schwarzman Scholars continues to see exciting progress on all fronts. Last week, the program held the first of four global launch events in New York, and recently named Robert Garris, former Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, as Global Director of Admissions. In July, the program announced that it reached its initial $300 million endowment goal, as it continues to fundraise toward $350 million. Offices have been opened in New York and Beijing, and the construction of Schwarzman College is on schedule to accept the first class of scholars in 2016.


About Schwarzman Scholars:

Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $250 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $350 million endowment will support up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions will open in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence by the summer of 2016. Learn more at, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @SchwarzmanOrg.


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