News Briefs

Shipman To Be 2022 Alexander Hamilton Medal Honoree


The 2022 Alexander Hamilton Medal will go to Claire C. Shipman ’86, SIPA’94, a journalist, author and public speaker who is an expert on confidence and women’s leadership. She is the co-author (with BBC’s Katty Kay) of four New York Times bestsellers, including The Confidence Code and The Confidence Code for Girls.

Shipman was a reporter at ABC News for 15 years, covering politics, international affairs and social issues. Prior to that, she reported on the White House and the Clinton administration for NBC News. Shipman also spent a decade at CNN, which included five years at its Moscow bureau covering the collapse of the Soviet Union. She has received numerous awards for her reporting, including a Peabody, a DuPont and an Emmy.

A native of Washington, D.C., Shipman applied to the College the first year it accepted applications from women; she is now a vice-chair for the University Board of Trustees. She was honored with a John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement in 1999 and was Class Day speaker the same year. She received the University Medal for Excellence in 2003.

The Hamilton Medal is the highest honor awarded to a member of the Columbia College community and recognizes distinguished service to the College and accomplishment in any field of endeavor. The 73rd annual Alexander Hamilton Awards Dinner will take place on Thursday, November 17, in Low Rotunda.

New Leadership for Three Schools

Keren Yarhi-Milo GS’03


The College is not the only Columbia school with a new dean this year. Keren Yarhi-Milo GS’03, the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of War and Peace Studies and director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, became SIPA’s dean on July 1. An expert in international security and conflict resolution, Yarhi-Milo’s work focuses predominantly on how leaders make foreign-policy decisions regarding the use of force. She joined the Columbia faculty in 2020 after a decade teaching politics and international affairs at Princeton.

Jelani Cobb


Jelani Cobb, the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism and director of the Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights, became dean of the Journalism School on August 1. Cobb, a distinguished historian and journalist, has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 2012; he was awarded the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism for his columns on race, the police and injustice. Cobb began teaching at the Journalism School in 2016.

Andrés Jaque

Andrés Jaque is the new dean of the Architecture School, effective September 1. Jaque is an architect, curator and artist; he is an associate professor at GSAPP, having joined the faculty in 2013, and leads the school’s Master of Science program in advanced architecture design. Jaque is the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an international architectural firm based in New York and Madrid.

Core to Commencement Campaign Closes

A total of $755 million has been raised by Core to Commencement, the first fundraising campaign dedicated exclusively to Columbia College students and the faculty who teach them. The campaign, which publicly launched in November 2015 and closed on June 30, received contributions from more than 47,000 donors. The total amount includes more than $280 million for financial aid and nearly $50 million for student experiences beyond the classroom such as internships, research and study abroad opportunities, as well as funds to revitalize student-facing spaces across campus. Additionally, the campaign endowed 29 professorships and two senior lectureships within the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. During the course of Core to Commencement, the College also celebrated the centennial of the Core Curriculum and raised more than $50 million to ensure the vibrancy of the Core in its second century.

Sasha Wells To Lead DDC

Sasha Wells TC’18

Sasha Wells TC’18, a longtime Columbia College employee with decades of nonprofit experience, was named executive director of the Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center on June 1. DDC’s mission is to increase the rates of high school graduation — as well as college enrollment and graduation rates — of low-income and first-generation college-bound youth from public schools in Harlem and Washington Heights.

“As a first-gen, low-income Latina from the South Bronx, it is an incredible honor to be DDC’s next executive director,” Wells says. “I look forward to building on the strength of this wonderful organization to increase its visibility and ultimately its impact on many more young people from the neighboring communities.”

DDC was established as Project Double Discovery in 1965 by Columbia and Barnard undergraduates, who were spurred to action by the disparities between their Ivy League institution and the underserved nearby Harlem community. Since then, DDC has helped more than 15,000 students achieve college success by supporting their resilience and persistence with academic courses, college and career counseling, and tutoring and mentorship from Columbia students.