Founded in 2005, the McDonnell Academy is a global partnership among premier academic institutions providing graduate and professional education to prepare global leaders and leverage the Academy’s international partnership network to incubate new ideas and foster collaborative research across countries and disciplines.

15 years of global partnership in research and education

Scroll to learn about our history and view our timeline of achievements



New Developments and Collaborations

Official Leadership course established for McDonnell Scholars, McDonnell Scholar Core Competencies defined, new Dual Doctorate Program between School of Law and McDonnell partner Fudan University, and new Dual Doctorate Program between McKelvey School of Engineering and McDonnell partner Xi’an Jiaotong University are just a few of the new developments for the McDonnell Academy.

Explore Global Engagement

Transitions at McDonnell Academy

Kurt Dirks, the Bank of America Professor of Managerial Leadership and co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center at Olin Business School, succeeds James Wertsch as director of the McDonnell Academy and Vice Chancellor for International Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis.

Meet Kurt Dirks

7th International Symposium

The McDonnell Academy 7th International Symposium: Global Challenges for Today’s Research Universities: Health, Energy & Environment, and Agriculture was cohosted with McDonnell Academy partner Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Outcomes were as follows: Sustainability Commitment signed by university partner presidents and formation of Wertsch Fellowship.

Explore International Symposia

New McDonnell Scholar Initiative

The McDonnell Academy Scholar Engagement Committee (SEC) was formed in September 2017 with the mission of connecting Scholars. Its members are current Scholars who volunteer in subcommittees which lead initiatives that strengthen the bonds among all McDonnell Scholars (alumni and current Scholars) and help current Scholars better connect to the St. Louis region.


Total Solar Eclipse Event

One of the most anticipated U.S. Midwest events of the year, the 2017 total solar eclipse, was experienced by McDonnell Scholars and guests at the home of Mr. John F. McDonnell, founding benefactor of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.


Three universities join the McDonnell Academy network

The McDonnell Academy adds Keio University – Tokyo, Tecnologico de Monterrey – Monterrey, and Xi’an Jiaotong University – Xi’an to the university partner network.


6th International Symposium

The McDonnell Academy 6th International Symposium: Addressing Global Challenges through International Collaboration in Education and Research was cohosted with the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. The following student initiatives were established: 3MT® Competition and all in-resident McDonnell Academy Scholars attended.


One University Added to Partner Network

McDonnell Academy adds Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – Hong Kong to its university partner network.


10th Anniversary of McDonnell Academy


5th International Symposium

The McDonnell Academy hosted the 5th International Symposium: The Role of Research Universities in Addressing Global Challenges on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. Outcomes include the funding for 10 Friedman Center for Aging collaborations, MAGEEP Education Network formed, Solar Energy Research Institute for India and U.S. (SERIIUS) — Linking to a MAGEEP Visiting Scholar Program formed, launching of Solar Energy and Energy Storage (SEES) Initiative and World Access to the Sun (WATTS) Program, launching of CCCU Phase II and U.S.– China Clean Energy Center, and established Center for Aerosol Science and Engineering (CASE).


One University Added to Partner Network

The McDonnell Academy adds the University of Ghana – Accra to the university partner network, establishing at least one partner on every living continent.


4th International Symposium

The McDonnell Academy 4th International Symposium on Energy & Environment: Abundant Clean Cost-Effective Energy Systems for Sustainability (ACCESS) hosted in Mumbai, India launched Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS) and introduced the book: Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion: The State of the Energy Impoverished by Professor Gautam Yadama, McDonnell Ambassador, Tata Institute of Social Sciences


Two Partners added to the network

Two university partners from Australia join the McDonnell Academy partner university network: The University of Queensland and The University of Melbourne.

Meet our Partners

Scholar Initiative | McDonnell Academy Planet Passport

Some 40 graduate and professional students within the McDonnell International Scholars Academy at Washington University in St. Louis shared their respective cultures with the general public Nov. 19 during “Planet Passport: Your Journey to Our Multicultural World,” an interactive fair at the Saint Louis Science Center. An estimated 700 people attended the event.


New Endowed Lecture

The Cabot Corporation–Xinsheng Zhang Lectureship series features distinguished global leaders speaking on U.S.–China issues. Created in 2011, this endowed lectureship honors Dr. Xinsheng Zhang, a member of the Cabot leadership team who was critical to Cabot’s operations in China.

Cabot-Zhang Endowed Lecture

3rd International Symposium

The McDonnell Academy third International Symposium on Global Energy Future was hosted on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. Outcomes include the release of the Global Energy Future Study Report “America’s Energy Future”, funding of 11 MAGEEP collaborative projects, and eight CCCU collaborative projects.


Two New McDonnell Academy Partners

The McDonnell Academy adds o Utrecht University – The Netherlands and Tata Institute of Social Sciences– Mumbai to its university partner network.


New Endowed Lecture

The S.T. Lee Endowed Lecture Series made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Seng Tee Lee, hosts distinguished guest speakers in business, academia, government, and the nonprofit sector from around the world.

S.T. Lee Endowed Lecture

The McDonnell Academy first cohort trip to New York City

The McDonnell Academy Scholars ring the closing bell of the Stock Exchange during their first cohort trip to New York City.

About McDonnell Academy Initiatives

Three New McDonnell Academy Partners

The McDonnell Academy adds Budapest University of Technology and Economics – Budapest, State University of Campinas – Campinas, and University of Chile – Santiago to its university partner network.


2nd International Symposium

The McDonnell Academy second International Symposium on Energy and Environment in Hong Kong was our first overseas symposium, hosted in Hong Kong. Outcomes include the formation of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization (CCCU) and the funding of 14 MAGEEP collaborative projects.


Five New McDonnell Academy Partners

The McDonnell Academy adds Jawaharlal Nehru University – New Delhi, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology – Haifa, Bogaziçi University – Istanbul, Middle East Technical University – Ankara, and Interdisciplinary Center-Herzliya – Herzliya to its university partner network.

View our Partners

First International Symposium

Environmental challenges bring world leaders to St. Louis when McDonnell Academy hosts the first McDonnell International Symposium on the campus of Washington University.

About International Symposia

McDonnell Scholars first cohort trip to Washington, DC

As part of our political and social education program designed to prepare them as future leaders knowledgeable about the United States, other countries and critical international issues, the McDonnell Scholars first cohort trip was to Washington, DC.


McDonnell Academy first cohort on WashU campus

McDonnell Academy welcomes 17 students as it’s first cohort, and names 13 distinguished faculty members as McDonnell Ambassadors to partner universities.

Meet our Ambassadors

Launch of McDonnell International Scholars Academy

With a $10 million endowment commitment from John F. McDonnell and the JSM Charitable Trust, the McDonnell Academy was launched by Washington University in St. Louis with 15 international universities comprising the partner network.

More about the Academy

Apply to the McDonnell Academy

McDonnell Scholars are graduate and professional degree students from across the globe and interdisciplinary academic programs, who come to Washington University for an extraordinary educational experience.

Apply Now