Student Life

Jackson students enjoy a vibrant intellectual and social community outside the classroom. The Office of Student Affairs works closely with students to support student-organized events and activities that bring together the Jackson community and enhance the student experience.

Student Organizations

Jackson Women
An initiative designed to create linkages between the women of the Jackson School, including faculty, Senior Fellows, students, alumni and staff. Events and programming focus on mentorship, professional development and career skills workshops, panel discussions and larger-scale conferences. Recent events include a reception and panel discussion for alumni and current students at the home of a Senior Fellow in New York City, potlucks with World Fellows, and a conference on bias and gender equity.

Yale Journal of International Affairs
The Yale Journal of International Affairs, a Jackson student-run publication, produces a print journal each spring and digital content throughout the year on topics ranging  from the effectiveness of drone strikes to the Iran Deal and photo collections looking at topics from massacres in Syria to the future of the Colombian peace deal. A new podcast series recently covered U.S. civil-military relations and guests included the director of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

The Jackson Salon
A forum for the student community to engage with current events and pressing local, national, and international issues. The Salon meets weekly for a moderated and informal discussion around complex topics of significant political, policy, and social implications.

Jackson Latin America and the Caribbean
A new student organization established to advocate for Latin American affairs and policy, include greater regional representation in events and programming at Jackson, and create engagement for Jackson students, staff, and faculty interested in Latin America.

Jackson International and Military Veterans Club
Launched in spring 2023, a new student organization designed to build an international community of military families that offers support, promotes cross-cultural understanding, and helps families navigate the challenges unique to military life. The group prioritizes building strong relationships and fostering inclusivity to help military families thrive during their time at Yale and beyond.

Out in the World
Supports LGBTQIA+ people and allies through social events and career development, promotes diversity and inclusion, and raises awareness on the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ populations around the world.

Jackson Development, Environment, Society and Climate (DESC)
DESC is dedicated to being a part of ongoing discussions about climate and developmental policies. They aim to engage Jackson students, faculty, and senior fellows interested in policy topics that intersect with the environment, climate, and development. The group provides diverse learning and networking opportunities and helps build professional relationships with industry experts. They collaborate with climate, environmental, and developmental policy communities at Jackson, Yale, and beyond.

Student Government

The Student Advocacy Council
The Student
Advocacy Council (SAC) is a student governance structure designed to amalgamate and represent graduate student interests within the Jackson community and shape the experience of current and future cohorts. The SAC builds community by organizing events, advances student input, ideas, and concerns, and proactively shares updates and information from administration and faculty with students. 

The Graduate and Professional School Senate (GPSS)
Jackson students participate in the GPSS, the overarching student government meant to be a liaison between all of the graduate and professional schools and Yale University.

Fellowship and Mentoring Programs

Kerry Fellows
Kerry Fellows work on key projects for the Kerry Initiative, an interdisciplinary program that focuses on pressing global challenges through teaching, research, conferences, and international dialogue. Projects have included conducting research, assisting with conferences on international topics, and helping write journal articles, op-eds and social media content.

Graduate Affiliate Program (residential colleges)
Graduate affiliates become members of the Yale college residential communities, complete with access to some college facilities, two meals a week in college dining halls, and the opportunity to develop mentor relationships with undergraduate students while being part of a vibrant community of fellows.

MacMillan Council’s Graduate Affiliate program
One of the benefits of joining a MacMillan Council as a graduate affiliate is being prioritized for grants administered by that Council.

Support for Student Initiatives

Jackson offers generous funding to support student-organized events and activities. These activities have ranged from student-led conferences and talks by eminent guest speakers to travel support for the purpose of independent research and professional development.

Support for Travel

The Jackson School offers generous funding for students to travel within the U.S. and internationally as part of their academic coursework.

For example, in spring 2023, a group of Jackson graduate students spent their spring break traveling across the Sahel as part of the class, GLBL 7310, “Policy Challenges in the Sahel,” led by Jackson Senior Fellow and retired U.S. ambassador Bisa Williams. Another group of Jackson grad students traveled to Jordan, where they interviewed artisans and craftsmen that work with Turquoise Mountain, an international NGO working in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to revive historic neighborhoods and traditional crafts. The trip was led by Jackson Senior Fellow Shoshanna Stewart as part of her GLBL 7270 course, “Development in Action.”

We also offer support for Jackson students to travel to India and Indonesia as part of the Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) fall and spring courses.