Tomas Luksic CC’18 has been named a member of the Class of 2019 Schwarzman Scholars. The prestigious fellowship, inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, is given to scholars who have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities and their potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences. This year’s class of 142 scholars was selected from more than 4,000 applicants and represents 39 countries and 97 universities.
“Being named a Schwarzman Scholar is a tremendous privilege – it is also the gratifying result of a lot of hard work and dedication,” said Luksic, an economics major. “It represents a unique opportunity for both personal and professional growth, which I hope to leverage in order to create tangible impact and positive change.”
Schwarzman Scholars pursue a one-year master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing while also attending lectures, traveling and developing a better understanding of China through cultural immersion. In addition to a core curriculum, scholars focus on one of three academic disciplines: public policy, economics and business, or international studies.
Luksic is part of the leadership board for the Undergraduate Committee on Global Thought, a think tank at Columbia that engages with interdisciplinary research on globalization. He first visited China in 2014, prior to beginning college, where he studied Mandarin and served as an English language tutor for non-native English speakers at Beijing Language and Culture University. Luksic speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin, and has worked for Freeport-McMoRan and McKinsey & Company.
“My professional interests lie in the field of renewable energy and renewable energy technologies,” Luksic said. “Given China’s increasingly dominant role in this field, I hope to learn and acquire skills that will allow me to effectively implement energy transitions and pursue sustainable development in other regions of the world — specifically, Latin America.”
“My time at Columbia has helped nourish a sense of intellectual curiosity that has been crucial to my personal and academic development,” Luksic said. “I look forward to furthering this growth as a Schwarzman Scholar.”
“We are excited that Tomas Luksic has earned the honor of being named a Schwarzman Scholar. The Schwarzman Scholars Program is a tremendous opportunity for our alumni/ae to delve deeply into China and to contribute to shaping our shared futures,” said Scott Carpenter, associate dean of global education and fellowships. “As a world-wide scholarship, it resonates with Columbia’s commitment to global education and global solutions.”
The fellowship’s rigorous selection process relies on readers from different regions and backgrounds who can provide insights to identify the highest level of leadership and academic excellence. More than 400 semi-finalists were invited to an in-person regional interview in Beijing, Singapore, London or New York, and went before panels of distinguished figures comprised of CEOs, former heads of state, university presidents, non-profit executives, journalists and other leaders from around the world. Along with Luksic, Roy Segal GS’18 and Jada Hawkins BC’16 were also selected as Schwarzman Scholars.
“Tomas will contribute greatly to the success of this program,” Carpenter added. “We could not be more proud of his efforts nor more hopeful for his future.”