Part of the McDonnell Academy’s core mission is to foster close relationships among future global leaders

Our goal is for alumni to rely on the McDonnell Academy networks and track-two diplomacy throughout their careers to address global issues. McDonnell Academy alumni come from different degree programs, different partner universities and different regions around the world – facts that reflect the diversity found in our cohorts. As the numbers of alumni increase, we continue to organize opportunities for engagement and networking as reminders that they are Scholars for Life.

McDonnell Alumni Spotlight

Scholars for Life

Mark S. Wrighton Award for McDonnell Academy Alumni

Established in 2019 in honor of Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, founder of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, the award is presented to one McDonnell Alumnus a year. This award honors those alumni who “give back”, exemplifying outstanding leadership through professional and personal development.

Apply for the Wrighton Award
Gulcan Yayla

I’ve dedicated myself to solving the large-scale skills gap and unemployment problems affecting millions of people around the world. I’m often amazed to see how some obvious solutions are ignored just because we are so used
to the status quo. Changing this is very hard, but with the support of the McDonnell Academy and amazing people around me, I’m confident that we’ll make a permanent dent in this world.

Gülcan Yayla Co-Founder and CEO, Patika.dev

McDonnell Academy Alumni Wrighton Award

Gulcan Yayla, MBA/MSW 2022 Recipient

McDonnell Alumni: We value our connection with you

Our Scholars emerge from the McDonnell Academy program as global citizens and responsible leaders empowered to forge productive careers and impact our global community.

Alumni stay connected
Fernando Lopez

The continued interaction with Scholars from different cultural backgrounds and areas of expertise is valuable later when we need to overcome barriers that arise when we work in diverse environments.

Fernando Lopez, PhD Professor, Alberto Hurtado University

McDonnell Academy Alumni Engagement

Sponsored in part by Cho-Yee and Patricia To to further advance McDonnell Academy Alumni initiatives, we continue to organize opportunities for engagement and networking as reminders that our alumni are Scholars for Life.

Discover More

Watch the alumni-led discussions on career insights and regional trends, or read about how our alumni help current Scholars with career, leadership or personal goals.

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McDonnell Academy Alumni Panels

The McDonnell Academy has organized a special panel series featuring our Alumni. Hear from alumni Scholars who are established professionals – in international organizations, non-profits, academics, entrepreneurship, finance, law, and more. 

McDonnell Academy Mentorship Network

Providing opportunities for engagement open to all of our alumni around the world, the McDonnell Academy Mentorship Network has been developed to help foster meaningful relationships among Scholars and McDonnell Alumni.

Global Alumni and Parents Fellowship

The McDonnell Academy recognizes key sponsors for their support and commitment to the mission of international education.

View some of our sponsors

Meet our McDonnell Academy Alumni

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Leo Lam

The Chinese University of Hong Kong