Mongolia Initiative

Background image: Tessa Chan
Image credit:
Tessa Chan

About the Mongolia Initiative

The Mongolia Initiative was established as the result of a generous gift from the government of Mongolia to UC Berkeley and the Institute of East Asian Studies. This initiative has worked to bring together UC Berkeley's diverse resources related to Mongolia. Mongolian is now being taught on campus for the first time in many years, library acquisitions have been expanded, conferences and other events undertaken, and Visiting Scholars hosted. 

The Mongolia Initiative Committee, comprised of UC Berkeley faculty, directs the agenda of the Initiative. Current committee members include Patricia Berger and Uranchimeg Tsultem (History of Art), Jacob Dalton and Brian Baumann (East Asian Languages and Cultures), and Sanjyot Mehendale (Vice Chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies and Chair of the Tang Center for Silk Road Studies).

The establishment of this new initiative coincided with other programming support secured in recent years for Central Asia by the Institute of East Asian Studies as a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center for East Asia. 

The three-way partnership between UC Berkeley, the U.S. Department of Education and the Mongolian government has enabled not only a restoration of Mongolian studies at UC Berkeley, but has placed Berkeley in a leadership role among world universities in advancing teaching and research on Mongolia. Ultimately it is hoped that Mongolian studies can be placed on the same permanent footing at Berkeley as that of other regions by establishing a permanent Center for Mongolian Studies at Berkeley that addresses both the historical and contemporary place of Mongolia in the world.