New $9 million Keough School gift for Pulte Platform for Policy Studies

Author: Kara Kelly

Established in 2012 as part of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs and changing its name to the Pulte Institute for Global Development after entering into a $111 million partnership with the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation in 2019, the Pulte Institute plays a vital role in identifying and resolving the systemic causes of poverty and inequality.

This week, the University announced that the Pulte Family Charitable Foundation would further invest in policy analysis and training at the Keough School by making an additional $9 million gift to create the Pulte Platform for Policy Studies.

The Pulte Platform will expand analysis of major global problems and understanding of regional contexts by appointing three senior faculty who will enhance the Keough School’s impact on integral human development, poverty, and peace.

Andrés Mejía Acosta is the first Pulte Family Professor of Policy and Practice hired. Acosta, the Keough School’s Kuster Family Associate Dean for Policy and Practice, is an expert in the formal and informal political bargaining dynamics among government elites when adopting sustainable and inclusive policies in low- and middle-income countries.

In conjunction with appointing three senior faculty, the Pulte Platform's Global Policy Initiative will host senior policy fellows. These internationally renowned political, social, and economic leaders will spend time each year on campus and in the Keough School’s Washington Office to teach and interact with students, researchers, and other policy experts. 

The inaugural senior policy fellow is Juan Manuel Santos. Santos was the president of Colombia from 2010 to 2018. During his time in office, the historic Colombian Peace Agreement was signed on November 24, 2016, and celebrated as a significant turning point in ending the country’s 52-year armed conflict.

Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 for unprecedented achievements in transitional justice. In the fall of 2022, Santos taught courses in the Master of Global Affairs and undergraduate programs at the Keough School. In spring 2023, he was the principal speaker and received an honorary degree at Notre Dame’s Commencement Ceremony.

Before entering government, Santos was a deputy publisher and journalist with the Colombian publication El Tiempo. He won the King of Spain Prize for Journalism for articles examining corruption amid the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua.