York professor named Fulbright New Century Scholar

York Political Science Professor and department Chair Isabella Bakker has been named a 2004 Fulbright New Century Scholar, a prestigious title reserved for a select few scholars from around the world.

                                 Right: Isabella Bakker

Bakker’s accomplishment was recognized on March 22 by Lorna Marsden, York president & vice-chancellor, during a luncheon attended by Shashi Tharoor, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.

“Isabella Bakker has provided new insights into the reality of women’s experiences,” said Marsden. “We are extremely pleased that Professor Bakker has been selected as the 2004 Fulbright New Century Scholar. Her extensive research accomplishments set her apart as one of the world’s foremost scholars in gender and development studies, and have helped to make York University one of the world’s leading academic institutions in this area.”

Bakker’s success marks the third straight year that a Canadian has been chosen to participate in this prestigious international research program. Canada is one of the few countries to have been successful in each year of the competition. This year’s program theme is “Toward Equality: The Global Empowerment of Women”. Bakker is among 31 Fulbright New Century Scholars named this year.

“Dr. Bakker’s work in feminist political economy is on the cutting edge,” said Michael K. Hawes, director of the Canada-US Fulbright Program. “I am confident that Dr. Bakker’s innovative research will greatly contribute to the New Century Scholar research agenda, enriching the lives of women around the world.”

Bakker will join fellow New Century Scholars in Atlanta, Georgia in April to set the research agenda for the coming year. In addition to working from York, Bakker will spend five months as a visiting scholar in New York at the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women.

As a Fulbright New Century Scholar, Bakker will explore the relationship between the structures of global governance and the empowerment of women in an era of intensified globalization. In particular, Bakker will assess the impact of international economic and financial policy on women around the world. Premised on the belief that such policies generate different outcomes for different segments of the population, Bakker will develop a new framework for the development of global economic and financial policy that is both more accountable and responsive to the needs of especially poor women.

Long regarded as the world’s premiere academic exchange program, the Fulbright program attracts exceptional scholars from more than 150 countries worldwide. Among the fastest growing of the bilateral exchanges is the Canada-US Fulbright Program.

With the support of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department, the Canada-US Fulbright Program has engaged nearly 600 scholars in high-level academic exchanges since 1990.