Schwarzman Scholars Names Global Director of Admissions

August 19, 2014

Former Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation to Develop Global Admissions Platform for Elite Global Scholarship program

Schwarzman Scholars is pleased to announce that after an international search, former Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation, Robert Garris, has been appointed Global Director of Admissions. Garris will oversee recruitment and admissions for the elite scholarship program, which was announced last year and is modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship. Schwarzman Scholars will welcome its first class of scholars in 2016 and launch its inaugural admissions season in 2015.

“Robert was selected after an extensive global search, and represents the very best in thought leadership and execution in the area of student admissions,” remarked the program’s founder, Stephen A. Schwarzman. “Through decades of academic and administrative leadership, including top positions at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, he has amassed an incredible wealth of knowledge, talent, and experience that will make him an invaluable asset to the Schwarzman Scholars team as we build a world-class program and recruit the most promising future leaders.”

Garris joins the New York office of Schwarzman Scholars from the Rockefeller Foundation, where, as Managing Director for Bellagio Programs, he built a global network for recruiting scholars, policy makers, and artists for the prestigious Resident Fellows Program. He was also responsible for a dynamic program of international conferences, convening thought leaders from around the world to address contemporary global challenges.

Robert Garris said, “I am very excited to be joining the Schwarzman Scholars team as their first Global Head of Admissions. Schwarzman Scholars is an ambitious program with an important mission. I look forward to my role in helping recruit and select some of the world’s most promising future leaders who will leverage this unique experience in exciting and constructive ways.”

As Global Director of Admissions for Schwarzman Scholars, Garris will oversee the strategic development of the Schwarzman Scholars Admissions office. This includes crafting international admissions criteria, procedures, policies and infrastructure in consultation with the Schwarzman Scholars Academic Advisory Council, which is comprised of academic leaders from top institutions around the world. He will also oversee recruitment efforts and serve as a key point of contact with colleges and universities, scholarship and fellowship offices and other leading institutions. He will work closely with the Institute of International Education (IIE), a leading international education and training organization, which recently partnered with the Schwarzman Scholars to help administer its admissions operations.

Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009, Garris spent eight years at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), most recently as Senior Associate Dean. During this time, he coordinated the university’s efforts to open a Columbia Global Center in Beijing and led efforts to build a global network of partner institutions in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He also served as the Director of Admissions and Student Affairs at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies for which he won the Award for “Innovative Use of Information Technology.” Garris received his Ph.D. in European History from the University of North Carolina, where he specialized in immigration and urban policy.

Full Press Release PDF

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 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.