Washington University’s mission is to act in service of truth through the formation of leaders, the discovery of knowledge, and the treatment of patients for the betterment of our region, our nation, and our world.

We invite distinguished speakers from around the globe to help us fulfill this mission. Together, we address scientific, social, economic, medical, and other challenges in the local, national, and international environments.


A sample of our programs enriching global perspectives on campus includes all of those listed below.

Assembly Series

The Assembly Series, Washington University’s signature lecture series, enjoys a long and rich tradition. Since 1953, the series has presented more than 1,000 of the most important voices of our time and has featured leaders and visionaries who have helped shape our history.

Cabot-Zhang Endowed Lecture

Created in 2011, the Cabot-Zhang Lecture Series showcases distinguished global leaders speaking on U.S.–China issues.

Crisis & Conflict in Historical Perspective Lecture Series

The Department of History’s Crisis & Conflict in Historical Perspective lecture series is a co-curricular initiative that serves undergraduates considering careers in policy, as well as the broader WashU and St. Louis communities seeking historically informed discussion about global events.

Global Health Center’s Annual Conference

Washington University brings leading public health experts to campus to enrich the conversation at the university and the St. Louis community on issues of global importance.

Global Health Week

Global Health Week is a university-wide event that brings together Washington University and the St. Louis community to engage around global health topics.

Global Health Work in Progress

Global Health Work in Progress (GHWIP) meetings bring together members of the Washington University global health community to learn about each other’s work. Individuals working on a grant, paper or a new idea are encouraged to present their research and get feedback.

Global Studies Signature Events

The Global Studies program organizes a number of signature events and conferences throughout the academic year that allow students to dive into critical conversations on global topics and make connections with faculty and professionals in a variety of fields. By joining Sigma Iota Rho, the program’s honorary, students play an important role in planning some of these events. In a series of workshops in fall 2023, the Global Studies program convened faculty and students from across the university to explore how global studies fits into an interdisciplinary liberal arts education.

McDonnell Academy’s Global Research Symposium

The McDonnell Academy’s Symposium serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and for advancing collaborative research conducted by our faculty and international partners.

Public Interest Law & Policy Speakers Series

This series features an outstanding line-up of distinguished judges, lawyers, social scientists, authors, and academics with expertise in areas such as civil rights, racial justice, capital punishment, international human rights, government public service, and pro bono private practice.

S.T. Lee Endowed Lecture

The S.T. Lee Endowed Lecture draws distinguished guest speakers in business, academia, government, and the nonprofit sector from around the world. Created in 2009, this lecture series offers unique opportunities for students at Washington University to learn about issues of global leadership.