As a member of the Wharton community, you know that today’s economic systems are interconnected and the diffusion of good ideas is widespread and rapid. The international orientation of Wharton graduates is one of the reasons they are so valued. Through international research initiatives, unique student immersion opportunities, insightful programming for global business leaders and valuable alliances with overseas partners, Wharton has solidified its globally focused reputation.

When it opens in Beijing next year, the Penn Wharton China Center will become an epicenter for research, training and professional-development activities. It will house expanded development offerings from Wharton and Penn, alumni programming and career-management activities for the University’s 12 schools. We have secured our “Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise” certificate to conduct business in China, and the center is housed in temporary space until permanent space is established. Fundraising for the center is well underway, and we are optimistic of success. Wharton’s own Z. John Zhang, the Murrel J. Ades Professor and professor in marketing, has been named faculty director. Jeffrey Bernstein, W’92, has been appointed managing director. This is an exciting development for Wharton and Penn, and we look forward to strengthening our presence in the powerhouse nation of China.

About 300 Wharton students enroll each year in our Global Modular Courses. These intensive three- to seven-day workshops are held during school breaks in areas that are relevant to the subject matter. For instance, this year students studied global supply chain management in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, while others studied conflict, leadership and change in Kigali, Rwanda.

Global Forums are Lifelong Learning events hosted in international centers of economic and political importance. Started in 1993, they provide Wharton alumni and friends with opportunities to learn from and interact with the best minds in business. Our next Global Forum will be in Paris, Oct. 10–11, 2013. We hope you will join us!

Wharton now has three International Executive Boards: Asia; Latin America; and Europe, Middle East and Africa. Board members help to inform the School’s ongoing priorities with emphasis on initiatives pertaining to that region.

Each year, Wharton faculty participate in workshops and conferences held around the world. In January, we had a strong presence at the prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where we sponsored an IdeasLab, “Building Resilience to Global Risks.” We also contributed to the Forum’s “Global Risks 2012” report. March found us in Abu Dhabi, where Wharton was a co-presenter of the Global Interdependence Center’s Central Banking Series.

Lastly, our strategic alliances and collaborations are central to Wharton’s commitment to excellence in global business education. We have such relationships with INSEAD, Guanghua School of Management in China and Singapore Management University. Wharton played a significant role in the development of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India, and we maintain a joint research initiative with that institution.

Indeed, Wharton has a global focus. If you would like to know more about our wide range of international initiatives, please visit Wharton’s Global Portal at

Thomas S. Robertson

Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise