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With the recent appointment of Harbir Singh to the newly created position of Vice Dean for Global Initiatives, Wharton is moving toward the internationally focused school that Dean Thomas Robertson outlined last fall.

This new appointment comes at a time when Wharton has been adding a more international perspective to its programs and needed someone to take the lead, officials said.

Initiatives like the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business and the Lauder Institute's Graduate Group in International Studies have existed for quite some time, but Wharton is constantly expanding its physical presence abroad through partnerships and alliances with other international business schools.

"Penn is an international institution, and with world economies becoming more interconnected and dependent on each other, the global impact of research done here is very important," said Singh.

Penn President Amy Gutmann highlighted the importance of Wharton in the University's efforts to increase its global engagement.

"This position and Harbir's role in it are going to help Penn become more globally engaged," she said.

Wharton has had a major role in helping to establish business schools in countries such as Singapore and India, noted Robertson.

The school has also had a long-standing relationship with INSEAD, the France-based business school, celebrating the tenth anniversary of their partnership with Wharton this year.

"We're incredibly international to begin with and Professor Singh will help in refining and implementing strategies to take international to the next level," said Robertson.

This "next level," he explained, involves exploring the viability of creating Wharton-branded research centers at partner schools around the world as well as determining the best places to institute points of presence, or "pods."

"We will continue to ensure that we provide our students here with the best access to internationally based education," said Singh, who is a professor in the Management department, where he has taught for the last 25 years. "Basically, my aim is to provide the best resources internationally to support our curriculum, faculty, and students," he added.

Existing programs that supports this goal include the Wharton Global Business Forums, conferences that take place in various cities around the world every year.

Faculty, alumni, and students get to meet and interact with important leaders of business and industry abroad, "truly serving to internationalize Wharton's presence and make the name known everywhere," said Nicolás Aguirre, a sophomore in the Huntsman program who attended the Wharton Global Business Forum in Lima, Peru last year.

"In today's globalized world, you can't ignore the fact that countries like India, China and Russia are growing and expanding their resources," said Aguirre. "And as an international business school with a large percentage of international faculty and students, Wharton needs to be present on that global scene."

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