On January 22, 2024, Mr. Ilan Goldfajn, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), visited Sophia University. He met with President Yoshiaki Terumichi and Professor Masafumi Hikima, Trustee for Management Planning, Sophia School Corporation. The IDB, is a multilateral development bank established in 1959 to contribute to the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean region, and Japan joined in 1976 among the first non-regional members. Sophia University and the IDB signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016, and the relationship between two institutions has been deepened by holding symposiums and seminars, and sending intern students to the IDB’s Office in Asia. The two Presidents confirmed the continued cooperation to date and strengthening of relation in the future, including university-sponsored internship program at the Washington headquarters scheduled for AY2024.
More than 150 students, faculty, and staff members interested in international cooperation, multilateral development banks, and other international organizations attended the lecture by President Goldfajn, titled “The IDB and Japan: a geographically distant but close partnership.”
During the Q&A session, students asked questions such as whether it is possible to work at the IDB as a lawyer, or what the differences are between other MDBs and the IDB. President Goldfajn answered each question while the interaction reminded him of his time of teaching at universities.
Following the lecture, a brief lunch session was held with seven students who had interned at the Office in Asia and who are interested in working for one of international organizations gathered around the President over light refreshments. In a friendly atmosphere, all students seemed to be inspired by the wide range of topics discussed, from the IDB’s efforts in the Amazon region to the importance of knowledge beyond the difference of humanities and sciences for innovation, to a brief introduction of Washington D.C. in the U.S. where the IDB headquarters is located, and to the city’s cherry trees gifted from Japan.
Through this opportunity, it is expected that more students at Sophia University become interested in the IDB and its initiatives and consider working for an international organization as a future career.