Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird Francis & Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Initiative

Thunderbird Francis & Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Initiative

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On January 20, 2022, Thunderbird School of Global Management, home of the world's No. 1 ranked Master's in Management, and ֱ State University, ranked No. 1 for innovation in the U.S., launched the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. It is the boldest and most ambitious global education initiative in higher education history.

Through the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative, Thunderbird plans to offer an accredited online global management and entrepreneurship certificate, consisting of five world-class courses in 40 different languages to learners across the globe. Women and young women will account for 70% of the 100 million learners the program will reach worldwide. The certificate will be covered by full scholarships and thus will be delivered at no cost to students thanks to the philanthropic support undergirding the initiative.

Once learners in the Global Initiative complete the certificate courses, they will have an almost limitless number of lifelong learning options and alternative educational pathways through Thunderbird and ASU. Providing these opportunities over the long-term ensures that the Global Initiative will continue to pay dividends well into the future, breaking down barriers and opening new educational opportunities for underserved communities worldwide.

The Global Initiative will further advance Thunderbird’s mission to empower and influence global leaders and managers who maximize the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to advance equitable and sustainable prosperity worldwide. The Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to the current era characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. This Global Initiative fundamentally advances Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, far exceeding it in both ambition and boldness.

This was one of the best decisions in my life. The content is timely; it broadened my mindset and my understanding of additional aspects of business. I now have the desire to pursue more learning, and I hope to take more courses from Thunderbird in the future."

Joan, 100 Million Learners (Kenya)

Impact of Donor Support

More learners can pursue higher education. In 2022, 22,000 donors contributed $66.3 million for scholarships.

Our lives were transformed by our experience at Thunderbird and we wanted to extend that same transformative experience to people around the world who do not have the opportunity to access this world-class education.”

F. Francis Najafi ’77

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