Dr. Alessia Lefebure is Director of the Alliance at Columbia University, a joint-initiative for innovation in global research and education. In the position, which she assumed in 2011, she is responsible for leading and advancing the scope of the joint endeavor by expanding academic and public impact while creating new bridges with the corporate and cultural world in New York and in France. Under her leadership the Alliance gained visibility, increased threefold the number of grants applicants, grew financial resources and repositioned the focus towards innovation and sustainable development.
Lefebure is former Director of the Centre for Asia and the Pacific at Sciences Po, an international research university in social sciences committed to advance social and geographical diversity. In that role, she embraced new opportunities in the region, strengthened academic cooperation, and oversaw the three Sciences Po foreign offices: Beijing, New Delhi, and Tokyo. Based in Beijing, at Tsinghua University, for five years she acquired an in-depth understanding of the Chinese academic, political and business landscape, and she built durable ties. An affiliate member of the research center C.S.O. (Centre de sociologie des organisations), she holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Sciences Po and a J.D. from LUISS. Her current research focuses on higher education models and policies in China, Asia at large, and the United States.
She joined Columbia’s faculty as adjunct at SIPA in 2011, and in the preceding decade, taught at both Sciences Po Paris and Tsinghua University in Beijing. An internationally recognized expert in global affairs and education, she serves as a member of several boards and international committees, such as the advisory board of the New York-based Dual Language Program, Data-Pop Alliance for Development, the U.N. Intercultural Leaders, as well as several not-for-profit engaged in sustainable development such as Africa e Mediterraneo or LINEGlobal. Her most recent publication is “Asia: The Next Higher Education Superpower?” (Institute of International Education, 2015), following a number of contributions on current global and comparative issues for several international higher-education journals and reviews.
Lefebure leads change by believing that respect, cooperation, and inclusiveness are key to successful projects and people. She has been recognized for her leadership, honored as recipient of a Marshall Memorial Fellowship in 2010, awarded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and, in 2014, by the French-American Foundation Partnership of Excellence, awarded by Prof. Phelps, 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics.
Vice Provost Administration and Planning, Columbia University