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What a Week

Reflecting on G-20 Events

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and President Jared Cohon

Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon said it best when, in an opinion piece featured on, he wrote, "This city personifies the transformative power of education and research, and how the practical application of innovation can drive growth and improvement in quality of life the world over."

It's this innovation that Carnegie Mellon put on display Sept. 21-25 as world leaders convened in Pittsburgh for the G-20 Summit late in the week.

In the run-up to the summit, President Cohon joined Newsweek's Howard Fineman, University of Pittsburgh's Mark Nordenberg and UPMC's Jeffrey Romoff to discuss Pittsburgh's transformation into a knowledge-based economy — and the role universities and medicine have played in the region's success. (Watch on YouTube. | Download on iTunes U.)

The CBS Evening News echoed these themes in a piece on Pittsburgh's transformative power, highlighting both Carnegie Mellon and the spin-off Plextronics. (Watch video.)

Fueling the university's innovative spirit is the support of our donors who literally open new doors to the future. The campus celebrated one shining example Sept. 22 with the opening of the Gates Center for Computer Science and the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies.

Carnegie Mellon welcomed back to campus Bill Gates — co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and chairman of Microsoft Corp. — as he presented the ceremony's keynote address. Pittsburgh philanthropists Henry and Elsie Hillman joined Gates at the ceremonies dedicating Carnegie Mellon's new home for its School of Computer Science. (Read story. | Watch on YouTube. | Download on iTunes U.)

On Sept. 23, the university community gathered to tackle issues that world leaders would be focusing on later in the week. Under the leadership of Professor Kiron Skinner, the day-long conference — co-hosted by Carnegie Mellon and the Atlantic Council — explored the economic and social forces at work in the post-economic crisis world.

They were joined by U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Daniel Rooney, as well as leaders at the World Bank, PNC Financial Services and BNY Mellon, among others. (Read story. | Read related report. | Watch on YouTube. | Download on iTunes U.)

Just moments before the G-20 Summit kicked-off, Carnegie Mellon students were treated to a one-of-a-kind experience, as Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd presented a special keynote address to the Carnegie Mellon community. Rudd underscored the need for world leaders to drive solutions to the climate change crisis and he encouraged audience members to do their part. (Read story. | Watch on YouTube. | Download on iTunes U.)

Environmental issues were top of mind throughout the Summit and Carnegie Mellon continued the theme Friday as President Cohon joined Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in welcoming the world's largest electric car producer to campus. The event marked the announcement of CT&T opening two facilities in the state — creating 400 regional jobs and potential research opportunities for the university.

The week concluded with Carnegie Mellon Professor Gregory Lehane directing First Lady Michelle Obama's concert for the spouses of G-20 leaders — a responsibility undertaken at the special request of the White House. At the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), the event featured CAPA students, as well as celebrated musicians Yo-Yo Ma, Trisha Yearwood and Sara Bareilles. (Read story. | Watch video.)

As Pittsburgh welcomed the world to the G-20 Summit, Carnegie Mellon continued to lead the way in a range of disciplines — whether it was opening the door to the next-generation of technologies, joining world leaders in examining the future of the world economy or shaping an exceptional musical experience.

(Photographed: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and President Jared Cohon.)

Related Links: Carnegie Mellon & the G-20  |  Carnegie Mellon Videos on YouTube  |  Carnegie Mellon Podcasts on iTunes U

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