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Madagascar Officials Visit Stony Brook to Discuss Future Collaborations

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Reflecting the global impact of Stony Brook’s research and public service initiatives, ministers of the government of Madagascar met with University officials May 16 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding extending the relationship between Stony Brook and the East African island nation.

Madagascar signing
Left to right: Jim and Robin Herrnstein; Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD; Dr. Monique Rasoazananera, Madagascar Minister of Higher Education; Zina Andrianarivelo-Razafy, Madagascar Ambassador to the United Nations; Patricia Wright, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology; Peter Small, Director of the SBU Global Health Institute.

In attendance were Zina Andrianarivelo-Razafy, Madagascar’s Ambassador to the United Nations; Dr. Monique Rasoazananera, the Madagascar Minister of Higher Education; and Josiane Rakotonirina, Director of Ranomafana National Park, the site of Stony Brook’s Centre ValBio research center.

They were joined by Jim and Robin Herrnstein, who launched an ambitious new effort at Stony Brook University designed to bring research-based, healthcare intervention to Madagascar with their transformational gift of $5 million to establish a new Global Health Institute. The Herrnstein’s gift was matched with a $2 million commitment from Stephen and Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra and Vincent Della Pietra and Barbara Amonson and a $3 million gift from the Simons Foundation creating a $10 million philanthropic investment to launch this ambitious initiative.

Building on Patricia Wright’s 25 years of research and training in Madagascar, the university is now expanding to include more disciplines and initiatives as part of its Madagascar outreach.  

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, addressed the University’s commitment to deepening and broadening the engagement between Stony Brook and Madagascar in the coming decade in order to “improve human health and the ecosystems upon which that depends.”

“This is really an example of how we go far beyond in everything we do,” President Stanley said. “What began as a scientific collaboration has transformed into a global effort.”

Also attending were Patricia Wright, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Peter Small, Director of the Stony Brook’s Global Health Institute (GHI).

“It was wonderful to forge these new collaborations and we’ll march forward with an even closer relationship than we’ve had before,” said Dr. Wright.

Madagascar MOU
President Stanley signs Memorandum of Understanding with, left to right, Zina Andrianarivelo-Razafy, Madagascar’s Ambassador to the United Nations; Monique Rasoazananera, Madagascar’s Minister of Higher Education; and Peter Small, Director of SBU’s Global Health Institute.

“The world has problems and universities have solutions,” Peter Small said. “This is an opportunity for us to create deep partnerships at every level to bring Stony Brook’s expertise to Madagascar, and Madagascar’s expertise and learning to Stony Brook.”

The event followed a series of one-on-one meetings between the Minister and Stony Brook’s senior leadership concerning initiatives directed toward reforestation, emergency medicine, oral health, distance learning and the use of drones for ecology and health.

Among the Stony Brook senior leaders attending the event were Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine and Senior Vice President of Health Sciences; Sacha Kopp, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Constantia Constantinou, Dean of University Libraries; Lee Anne Xippolitos, Dean of the School of Nursing; and Dexter Bailey, Senior Vice President for University Advancement.

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