Washington, D.C., Jan. 26, 2010—Globally recognized higher education leader Patti McGill Peterson, Ph.D., recently received honors for her contributions to the “best book of 2010” focusing on international and comparative higher education. The Comparative and International Education Society's (CIES) Higher Education SIG selected "The Worldwide Transformation of Higher Education" (Volume 9 in the International Perspectives on Education and Society Series) as the winner of its “Best Book Award for 2010.” Peterson co-authored with Boston College Monan University Professor of Higher Education Philip G. Altbach the chapter, "America in the World: Higher Education and the Global Marketplace," which examines the ways American higher education has expanded its global influence and emerging challenges to its dominant role in international education.
The CIES awards committee underwent a highly competitive selection process. The main criteria for selecting the award winner is that the book/volume has to show originality and rigor as well as provide a unique contribution to developing scholarship in the field of international and comparative higher education.
"I am pleased to be among the authors honored by this award," said Peterson. "The book's focus on the rapidly growing global demand for higher education and the different national responses to that challenge will benefit from this recognition. Hopefully, others will be encouraged to continue research on the transformation of higher education from a global perspective."
Considered a leading voice for an accessible, high quality global system of higher education, Peterson serves as a senior associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). She plays a key role in the organization’s growing portfolio of projects concerned with increasing access and success in higher education. Peterson’s work focuses on training policy leaders in higher education; expanding higher education capacity in developing nations, particularly Africa; and improving quality and accountability in higher education, both in the United States and global context. Currently, she is working on a 10-nation comparative study of the content of higher education curricula with a focus on the role of the liberal arts.
Peterson has held several leadership positions throughout her extensive career with most recently serving as executive director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), which administers the Fulbright Scholar Program worldwide on behalf of the U.S Department of State, and as vice president of the Institute of International Education. During her tenure at CIES, the Fulbright Scholar Program added notable dimensions and developed several new programs to foster greater cross-cultural collaboration on topics of global significance and encourage higher education development through academic exchange. Peterson previously served as a senior fellow at Cornell University's Institute for Public Affairs and as a college president for nearly two decades, holding the title “president emerita” at both Wells College and St. Lawrence University.
Peterson earned a baccalaureate degree from Pennsylvania State University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She also completed post-graduate study at Harvard University.
Other IHEP Senior Associates include Clifford Adelman, Ann Coles, Thomas D. Parker, Patti McGill Peterson, Ronald Phipps, and Thomas Wolanin. To learn more about projects directed by all IHEP Senior Associates, visit the organization’s Web site at www.ihep.org.