Penn Hosts Ribbon Cutting for New Global Center, Perry World House

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann today welcomed donors, students, faculty, dignitaries and special guests for a ribbon cutting celebrating the completion of Perry World House, the University’s new hub for global engagement. 

Located at 38th Street and Locust Walk in the heart of Penn’s campus, Perry World House was established through a gift from Richard C. Perry, a Penn alumnus and a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Lisa Perry.

Standing in front of Perry World House flanked by students carrying flags representing the more than 100 home countries of Penn’s current student body, Gutmann said, “Penn is a great American university with a truly global perspective. It is a thrilling day, and it is wonderful to have great global thinkers right here. Speaking from the heart, most of all I want to thank our amazing trustee, alumnus and great friend Richard Perry and also great friend Lisa Perry for making this possible.”

Perry World House aims to advance interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the world’s most urgent global affairs challenges. Drawing on the wide range of expertise across the University’s 12 Schools and Centers, PWH will connect Penn with policymakers, practitioners and researchers from around the world to advance innovative policy proposals. 

Speaking at the ribbon cutting Richard Perry said, “Amy had this vision of what she was going to create [at Perry World House], and for Lisa and me we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of it. My passions today really are immigration, and policy and politics, and fundamentalism and extremism and globalization and human rights, social mobility and opportunity and just between yesterday and today all of these topics have been discussed. It is really exciting. So once again I want to thank Amy. She is a brilliant visionary for this school in terms of what she creates both in the way of program but also in terms of aesthetics.”

The ribbon cutting, was part of a two-day forum on the future of U.S. foreign policy celebrating the launch of Perry World House. The forum included panelists and speakers including Robert Gates, former U.S. secretary of defense; Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq; Frances Townsend, former homeland security advisor to President George W. Bush; Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of state; Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America; Jon Huntsman, former ambassador to Singapore and China and former governor of Utah; and Navanethem Pillay, former United Nations high commissioner for human rights. 

Designed by 1100 Architect, the limestone-clad 17,400-square-foot building includes classrooms, meeting rooms, 14 offices, a 50-person conference room and common areas, all meant to encourage interaction. The central World Forum, a glass-enclosed atrium, will serve as a dynamic multi-use event space for seminars, lectures and special events, with a capacity of 150 seats.

The space will serve as a gathering place for global scholars from across the University and as home to Perry World House Student Fellows. In addition, PWH will host world leaders and cutting-edge practitioners and convene high-level workshops, conferences and engagements, establishing Penn as a global agenda setter.

Additional information about Perry World House is available here.  


PHOTO CAPTION: Attending the Perry World House launch are (left to right) Robert Gates, former U.S. secretary of defense; Penn President Amy Gutmann; Lisa and Richard Perry; Navanethem Pillay, former United Nations high commissioner for human rights; Penn Provost Vincent Price, Perry World House Director William Burke-White. Photo by Eddy Marenco.

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