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April 3, 2003

Ford Motor Co. funds human rights institute

Ford Motor Co. has contributed $2.25 million to create a Pitt institute that will explore fresh approaches to attacking threats to human security such as genocide, civil wars, forced and slave labor, and malnutrition.

The Ford Institute for Human Security, which began its operations here on April 1, seeks to recognize global problems as they emerge. Policy analysts and scholars affiliated with the institute will develop “early warning” policy papers that investigate these issues in a timely fashion, generate fresh policy approaches, and ensure that these approaches receive serious, top-level attention.

To maximize exposure for its work, the Ford Institute plans to disseminate its findings to the general public, government policymakers and corporate leaders, among others.

Directed by Simon Reich, a faculty member at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), the Ford Institute is located within Pitt’s Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies, a joint center of GSPIA and Pitt’s University Center for International Studies.

“Typically, as in the case of genocide, it is only after dire consequences that policymakers consider action, and then it is simply too late,” Reich said. “Through its research and analysis, the Ford Institute for Human Security will seek to alert policymakers and the international community alike to emerging threats to human welfare, whether at home or abroad.”

Ford Motor Co.’s chief of staff, John Rintamaki, said: “In establishing this institute, we’ve challenged the University of Pittsburgh to take the lead in putting together global, diverse teams of experts to meet the challenges of human rights issues head on.”

Pitt Provost James V. Maher said: “We are especially gratified that Ford Motor Co. has recognized the record of academic accomplishment Pitt’s programs in international studies have achieved and has expressed its confidence in our ability to deliver results in this key research initiative.”

Reich, the new institute’s director, has been a GSPIA faculty member since 1987. He earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees in government at Cornell, and directed research and analysis for the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in England in 2000-01. Reich has been awarded the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship and fellowships from the Kellogg Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among other organizations. He is a former president of the International Political Economy Section of the International Studies Association.

Reich wrote “The Fruits of Fascism: Postwar Prosperity in Historical Perspective” (Cornell University Press, 1990) and has co-authored three other books, as well as reports for the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment.

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