Recent Awards


Peter H. Koehn is the 2011 recipient of the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award for faculty/staff by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). In his 24 May 2011 letter announcing the award, APLU Commission on International Programs President Stan L. Albrecht noted that “the leadership you have shown, and the hard work you have done to incorporate international factors and considerations into your work, clearly distinguish your nomination.” APLU presented the award at the Commission’s July 2011 summer meeting in Ottawa.


Release:  IMMEDIATE – June 28, 2011
Contact:   Paul F. Hassen, 202-478-6073 or
               Troy D. Prestwood, 202-478-6038 or

Ann Weaver Hart, Vish Prasad and Peter H. Koehn Selected for the 2011 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Awards

Washington, DC (June 28, 2011)—Ann Weaver Hart of Temple University; Vish Prasad of the University of North Texas; and Peter H. Koehn of the University of Montana, are the 2011 recipients of the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Awards, sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U).

Established in 2000, the annual awards recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to international education at public and land-grant institutions. The awards are named in honor of Michael P. Malone, president of Montana State University (MSU) from 1991 until his death in 1999. Malone made many contributions to MSU and U.S. higher education through his work as chair of A۰P۰L۰U’s Commission on International Programs (CIP), where he focused the group’s efforts on issues critical to international programs and increased its stature within A۰P۰L۰U and elsewhere.

This year’s Malone Award recipients exemplify the true spirit of Michael’s legacy with their amazing efforts in international education and development,” said A۰P۰L۰U. President Peter McPherson.  "Their focus on international problems speaks well of America’s highly regarded university system and the willingness of our scholars to promote higher education at home and across the globe.”

The A۰P۰L۰U Commission on International Programs is proud to recognize these three professionals who have made pioneering contributions to international education,” said Brady J. Deaton, chancellor of the University of Missouri and chair of CIP. “As global understanding becomes more important to our country and to higher education, it is reassuring to see such distinguished contributions.

Internationalism from the Classroom: Peter H. Koehn

Koehn has made a significant impact on students throughout his tenure as a professor of political science at The University of Montana and at several other universities in Africa, Asia and Europe. At Montana, he has taught 10 separate courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels that focus on international issues and has played an instrumental role in initiating and guiding graduate and undergraduate degree programs in rural and global health, international development studies, and climate-change studies. Recently, he designed the first “Peace Corps Prep” certification program to be offered at a U.S. public university.

Mike Malone made an incredibly positive impact on higher education here in Montana and nationally,” Koehn said. “I am thrilled and honored that the international contributions of Montana’s faculty are being recognized by the A۰P۰L۰U award in his name.

Koehn has published prolifically, writing several books and editing important works with colleagues from other countries. He has authored more than 40 book chapters and more than 50 articles in refereed journals focused on topics such as development administration, global health, African affairs, and transnational competence. Recognition from his peers for achievements in global affairs across a broad geographical and subject matter spectrum is impressive. The University of Montana has presented Koehn with distinguished scholar and distinguished service to international education awards; A۰P۰L۰U previously named Koehn as its first Faculty Fellow; and he has received five Fulbright awards, including selection for the inaugural class of New Century Scholars.


Founded in 1887, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is a research and advocacy organization of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems. APLU member campuses enroll more than 3.5 million undergraduate and 1.1 million graduate students, employ more than 645,000 faculty members, and conduct nearly two-thirds of all academic research, totaling more than $34 billion annually. As the nation’s oldest higher education association, APLU is dedicated to excellence in learning, discovery and engagement. For more information, visit


June 14, 2011



University of Montana political science Professor Peter Koehn recently received the 2011 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award.

The award, presented annually by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Commission on International Programs, recognizes faculty and staff who do not have international activities or programs as a primary responsibility, but through their advocacy and leadership have made an outstanding contribution to furthering international education at the association’s more than 200 member institutions.

The award name honors Michael P. Malone, who as Montana State University president from 1991 until his untimely death in 1999 made many contributions to MSU and to U.S. higher education.

Koehn was chosen for the award, in part, for his incorporation of international considerations in scholarship, program development and teaching both at home and overseas, which the commission said clearly distinguished his nomination. In nominating Koehn for the award, UM President Royce Engstrom noted his “impact on the higher education communities in this country and abroad, on students and faculty members at The University of Montana, on the community of scholars, on the Peace Corps, and on his international partners.

Koehn, a Fulbright New Century Scholar, is co-author of the book “Transnational Competence: Empowering Professional Curricula for Horizon-Rising Challenges,” released last year by Paradigm Publishers. At UM he directs the University’s popular interdisciplinary minor in international development studies and the Peace Corps Prep program. He also serves on the steering committee for UM’s minor in climate change studies and the University’s master’s degree in public health.

Koehn has taught and contributed to academic program development in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Namibia, Eritrea, Belize, China, Hong Kong and Finland. His recent scholarship has enhanced understanding of African politics and development, U.S.-China relations, global health and medical education, transnational higher-education partnerships, and global environmental and resource challenges.

Koehn said he hopes that the award will bring increased national and international recognition to the quality academic programs and opportunities for internationally meaningful study at the undergraduate and graduate level available at UM and throughout the Montana University System.\

Mike Malone made an incredibly positive impact on higher education here in Montana and nationally,” he said. “I am thrilled and honored that the international leadership of Montana’s faculty is being recognized by the APLU award in his name.

The commission will present the award to Koehn during its summer meeting next month in Ottawa, Ontario. More information is on the APLU website at


Office of the President
The University of Montana
Missoula, Montana 59812-3324

April 11, 2011

Dr. Malcolm Butler, Vice President, International Programs
1307 New York Ave. NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Dr. Butler,

I am privileged to nominate Dr. Peter Koehn for the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award in the Track III Category for Faculty and Staff. In addition to this letter of nomination, the packet includes a detailed curriculum vitae showing Dr. Koehn’s extensive record of productivity and supporting letters of nomination from Dr. George M. Dennison, President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of History at The University of Montana; Dr. Paul G. Lauren, Regents’ Professor of History at The University of Montana; and Professor Yim of Michigan State University. The vitae and supporting letters detail his longer-term work in international matters. In total, the nominating materials illustrate Peter’s impact on the higher education communities in this country and abroad, on students and faculty members at The University of Montana, on the community of scholars, on the Peace Corps, and on his international partners. My comments focus on Peter’s work and contributions in the time I have known him.

Dr. Peter Koehn is a Professor of Political Science at The University of Montana, where he has served with distinction since 1972. I have known Peter for nearly four years, as I have served the University as Provost for three years and as President since last October. During that time, I have come to know Peter as a highly dedicated and influential faculty member. I have been highly impressed with Peter from my first interaction with him. In my first semester on campus, Peter contacted me from Washington, D.C., where he was serving at NASULGC (now APLU) as the first Faculty Fellow in the International Division. He introduced himself from a distance to let me know of his work at APLU. I was delighted to learn that a UM faculty member had been chosen to serve as a Faculty Fellow, and it was one of my first introductions to The University of Montana’s tremendous level of activity in international matters and growing reputation as a globally oriented campus. I would learn over the next few years that much of that reputation has developed because of Peter’s leadership and intense dedication to both international matters and students.

Peter’s work at APLU was multifaceted, and chief among his accomplishments was the development of a database of international work by APLU member institutions. He collected stories and examples from universities around the country so that anyone with an interest in international education and scholarship could access the extensive record of projects and emphases. In subsequent meetings of APLU Chief Academic Officers, I heard on multiple occasions of the database and its importance to APLU.

While at APLU, Peter served as an ambassador of sorts for The University of Montana. His work signaled that UM is an institution that is serious about international work. It was largely Peter’s leadership as the first Director of International Programs at UM, a position he held for nine years, that really launched that emphasis on this campus.

Peter’s impact on international education at The University of Montana is most apparent in the area of academic program development. In recent years, he has been instrumental in developing several new programs that provide students with a tremendous opportunity for international exposure. The programs are popular with students and highly regarded by faculty. An important characteristic of these programs is the involvement of faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines—an approach essential, in my mind, to today’s education.

The first of these programs gives me a great sense of pride in our faculty. Shortly after my arrival on campus, a group of faculty members—Peter among them—suggested the development of a new interdisciplinary minor in Climate Change Studies. The first formal academic program in the country on the topic of climate change, it developed with several important characteristics. First, it addressed what is arguably one of the most important and complex questions of global impact we have faced. Second, the interdisciplinary collaboration involved more than 30 faculty members across the campus. Third, the elegant program design involved a mix of climate change science, policy implications, and solution design. Students have the opportunity for active engagement by putting their education to work through internships and research. The program has proven popular and effective with students and puts some of UM’s finest faculty members, Peter included, in front of the students. It is one of best examples of interdisciplinary collaboration in education that I have ever seen, and Peter was one of the key players in bringing it into existence. With the design and teaching of a new course, Peter injected a decidedly international aspect into the program.

A few years before that, Peter led the development of another interdisciplinary minor, this one in International Development Studies. The program has been in existence for only six years but is already UM’s largest interdisciplinary minor, having attracted more than 200 students. I had the opportunity to attend one of Peter’s planning retreats with faculty members from many disciplines. As a result of our collective enthusiasm, we directed additional resources to staff the minor. The program has had an important impact on students, opening their eyes to the challenges facing developing countries and international policies involving those countries. The program has had another wonderful impact: the interest of students in the Peace Corps. That organization has, in fact, referred to UM’s program as the first “Peace Corps Prep” program, and The University of Montana is among the leading producers of Peace Corps volunteers. Again, Peter had a central role in that development.

Yet another program in development under Peter’s guidance is an interdisciplinary minor in Global Public Health. He has also been involved in developing of a master’s-level degree in Public Health and an International track in the Master of Public Administration degree program. Few people are so effective at translating their academic interests into formal programs that directly benefit students.

One of the factors behind Peter’s effectiveness is that he brings more than “theoretical” expertise to his teaching and program development. His international experience is simply tremendous, indicative of both a professional passion and a personal passion for international work. As
Director of International Programs at The University of Montana, he visited at least 25 other countries. He has been a Fulbright Lecturer in Nigeria, a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Hong Kong and Finland, and a member of the first “class” of Fulbright New Century Scholars in Finland. These prestigious appointments are only a few of his international experiences. He also served as an Exchange Professor in Shanghai, Visiting Professor in Namibia, Lecturer in Ethiopia, and has participated in countless international meetings and shorter visits.

Peter also has an exemplary record of scholarship in international matters. Transnational Competence: Empowering Professional Curriuculums for Horizon-Rising Challenges, his latest book coauthored with James Rosenau of George Washington University and published in 2010, is a groundbreaking work that will influence international education significantly. This follows a long list of scholarly works, including books, chapters, and peer-reviewed publications. In the past year, he has had three articles accepted for publication: one on transnational partnerships in education, one on international health care, and one on Africa and sustainable development.
Peter is an outstanding educator, a university citizen, and a true global citizen. He excels in program development and in scholarship. He has been an effective ambassador for The University of Montana, for APLU, and for the United States. I am pleased to nominate such a distinguished individual for the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award.


Royce C. Engstrom



Office of the President
The University of Montana
Missoula, Montana 59812-3324

2 March 2010

Kerry D. Bolognese
Vice President, International Programs
NASULGC, A Public University Association
1307 New York Avenue, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Kerry:

I take great pride in re-submitting this strong set of nomination materials on behalf of Professor Peter H. Koehn for the 2010 Track III Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award. Professor Koehn has enjoyed a distinguished career as a member of The University of Montana faculty since 1972. From September 1987 through July 1996, he served as the University’s founding Director of International Programs. As implied in my opening comment, I base my nomination on his outstanding contributions as a faculty member to advancing international education on this campus and in Montana, and on behalf of the NASULGC membership collectively and internationally from 1972 to 1987 and from August 1996 until now, excluding the time he served as a practitioner (1987-1996).

Allow me to begin by highlighting some of Professor Koehn’s many contributions to international education at The University of Montana. Fresh from his first (local selection) teaching position at (then) Haile Sellassie I University in Addis Ababa (1970-1972), Koehn brought commitment and enthusiasm for international education to this campus at a time when most people did not fully appreciate the critical importance of international preparation for students. Inspired by the regular course offerings he introduced in 1972-1973 to the curriculum in African Politics and Development Administration, nearly four decades of University of Montana students have elected to join the Peace Corps, undertake careers in international development, or pursue life-long learning and advanced degrees focused on international affairs. Professor Koehn’s institutional contributions during the initial stage of his faculty career included representing The University of Montana at the National University Conference on Hunger in 1975 and coordinating a 1976 faculty lecture series on “Hunger in the World: Sources and Alternative Responses.” In a 1981 Faculty Showcase Lecture that presaged a direction the University subsequently embraced, he prepared and delivered a pivotal and very influential talk entitled “Faculty Abroad: Opportunities, Challenges, and Responsibilities.” In 1983, he arranged one of the University’s first faculty-exchange programs (with The University of Calabar in Nigeria). More recently, Professor Koehn organized a national workshop on humanism in medical education (2004) and played a central role in bringing Presidential Lecturers James N. Rosenau and Ilona Kickbusch and the United Nations Development Programme’s Juha Uitto to the Missoula campus. These well-connected visitors have helped place The University of Montana on the international education map.

Koehn's faculty presence on campus has facilitated the development of distinguished curriculum initiatives in international environmental studies (U.S. Office of Education, Undergraduate and Graduate International Studies Program grant, 1979-1981), an undergraduate minor in International Development Studies (since 2005), the Master’s Degree in Public Health with a focus on rural and global health (since 2005), the International Development track within the Master of Public Administration Program (since 2007), and an undergraduate minor in Climate Change Studies which the Board of Regents approved during the March 2009 meeting. The Interdisciplinary International Development Studies (IDS) minor that Koehn initiated with a faculty member in Economics merits special mention. Now in its fifth year with Koehn at its helm as Program Director and academic advisor, more than 120 undergraduates from some 20 different majors have elected to minor in IDS, making it the most popular “unattached” minor the University offers. His contributions to each of these various programs extend beyond strategic planning and program leadership. Currently, Professor Koehn teaches “core” courses that treat development issues, rural health issues in global perspective, and sustainable climate policies in China and the United States for the IDS minor curriculum, the MPA track, the MPH Program, and the Climate Change Studies minor.

Professor Koehn’s contributions to international education extend well beyond program development and teaching. He also has a distinguished record as a scholar whose publications on international subjects have advanced knowledge and understanding in a wide variety of fields of study and elevated the academic standing of his University. Early in his career, he competed successfully for research grants awarded by the Social Science Research Council and The Rockefeller Foundation. In the past eight years alone, he has published articles in such journals as Climatic Change, Academic Medicine, International Review of Administrative Sciences, and Pacific Affairs. His recent scholarly books address such timely international issues as U.S.-China relations, development assistance, and the forces that produce refugee migrations. Translated into Chinese, French, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish, his many publications have drawn the attention of a worldwide audience. The campus recognized the quality and quantity of his international publications by selecting Professor Koehn as The University of Montana Distinguished Scholar for 2005, only the second social scientist to receive this honor in the history of the award. Professor Koehn’s most recent book, however, promises to generate the most profound impact on international education in this country and abroad. In January 2009, Koehn forwarded the full text of Transnational Competence: Empowering Professional Curriculums for Horizon-Rising Challenges, co-authored with the renowned political scientist James N. Rosenau, to the publisher (Paradigm Publishers), and the book has received good reviews. I have included with these nomination materials an attachment with scholarly comments concerning the value of the book. Transnational Competence includes chapters that will enable forward-looking educators to prepare practicing professionals in teacher education, engineering, business management, social work, agricultural sciences, environmental studies, public administration, and medicine/public health for the 21st-Century challenges they will face in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

In Fall 2007, NASULGC invited Professor Koehn to join the International Programs Division as NASULGC’s inaugural Faculty Fellow. His performance in this capacity provides important support for this nomination. In four months with NASULGC (and subsequently in a voluntary advisory capacity), Koehn contributed in significant ways to the collective membership and, by virtue of these accomplishments, enhanced the national standing of The University of Montana. His principal Association-wide contribution resulted in the establishment of an online database of international research and development projects at member institutions—the first such undertaking by a higher education association. More than 800 projects now appear in profile in NASULGC’s database. The database helps build capacity and increase campus internationalization at home and abroad. I understand that it has allowed NASULGC to help members initiate inter-institutional connections, identify potential transnational partnerships, and improve prospects for grants and contracts. With this extensive database in place, NASULGC has enhanced capacity and resources to demonstrate the value of the contributions that U.S. colleges and universities make in improving the lives of people around the world.

While at NASULGC, Professor Koehn also initiated and carried out a survey of senior international officers’ perspectives on their university’s international research and development activity and its relationship to campus internationalization in collaboration with the Association of International Education Administrators; externally assessed a proposal to establish a major in Global Resource Systems at the request of the Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and contributed to the initial strategic deliberations of the NASULGC-led Africa-U.S. Higher Education Collaboration Initiative group. In support of the latter initiative, he took primary responsibility for a study promoting U.S.-Africa higher-education partnerships in international development, subsequently published in the Journal of the World Universities Forum.

Additional support for this nomination derives from Professor Koehn’s exceptional contributions to furthering international programs internationally (again, outside of the 1987-1996 period when he served as our Director of International Programs). A glance at his resume confirms that Professor Koehn exemplifies the “globally competent faculty” member envisioned in NASULGC’s 2004 Call to Leadership: The Presidential Role in Internationalizing the University, specifically faculty who “collaborate with colleagues abroad, co-authoring publications, serving on research teams that involve faculty from universities around the world, or conducting research outside the United States” (p. 25). Most remarkably, Koehn has received five Fulbright awards that have supported programmatic contributions on three continents. As a Fulbright scholar at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Nigeria in the late 1970s, he developed course, curricula, and admissions and degree/diploma requirements for new diploma, M.A., and Ph.D. programs and participated in an international faculty recruitment tour. In his revealing letter of 9 January 1981 assessing Professor Koehn's performance as a consultant, teacher, and colleague at ABU, the late A.Y. Aliyu, Head of the Department, concluded: “I honestly believe that he is one of the best that America can offer to a developing country like Nigeria and would be most happy to see him back any day.” As Director of Research and Development and Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Hong Kong America Center (Chinese University of Hong Kong) during 1997-1998, Professor Koehn assisted with Center programming and fund raising and arranged a major international symposium on China-U.S. Relations. He also served as external assessor for the President’s Advisory Committee on Research and Development at The Open University of Hong Kong. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Finland in 2006, he consulted on migrant-health research projects with senior and junior scholars and advised on medical curriculum issues for three universities. Most recently, Peter has made valuable contributions to two University of Montana proposals that, if funded, will support partnerships with higher education institutions in southern Africa focused on strengthening academic capacity in natural resource management.

Professor Koehn's most notable recognition occurred in 2001 with his selection as one of 12 American and 18 overseas scholars to join the inaugural group of Fulbright New Century Scholars (NCS). Koehn’s NCS study of physician/migrant encounters in Finland led to a series of scholarly publications and speaking invitations in Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, Hong Kong, and Australia. In 2002, fellow New Century Scholars selected Professor Koehn to present their consensus Recommendations for Sustaining and Expanding the New Century Scholar Effort at a gathering of about 100 international and U.S. policymakers held at the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C. Koehn’s NCS experience further enabled him to envision ways that higher education can enhance the interpersonal skills of physicians, nurses, and public-health workers. He has shared these insights through scholarly publications, participation in a 2004 workshop for medical educators funded by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, in a mini-workshop for continuing medical education credit he co-presented at the Association of American Medical Colleges Annual Meeting in 2005, and membership on the academic advisory boards of several European Union projects.

For all these reasons, and others I have not detailed, I believe that Professor Koehn’s advocacy and leadership as a faculty member have advanced international programs for The University of Montana and other institutions in the North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. His outstanding contributions to the membership as NASULGC’s first Faculty Fellow alone warrant recognition. In sum, Professor Peter Koehn’s record of international program accomplishments embraces the most demanding impact objectives annually recognized by the Track III Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award.

George M. Dennison


George M. Dennison Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment: Peter Koehn, professor of political science. The award recognizes distinguished accomplishments that have brought significant recognition to UM at the regional and national levels. Koehn currently directs UM’s International Development Studies program, along with the University’s Peace Corps Preparatory Program, the first of its kind at a public university. He has received five separate Fulbright teaching and research awards on three continents, along with research grants from the Social Science Research Council and the Rockefeller Foundation. Koehn organized an international symposium on refugees and development assistance in 1994 and a national workshop on humanism in medical education in 2004 that brought national and international attention to UM.

December 17, 2011

Selection Committee
George Dennison Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment (2011)
University of Montana

Dear Selection Committee members:

It is a pleasure to take this opportunity to nominate my colleague in the Political Science Department, Professor Peter Koehn, for the 2011 George Dennison Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment. In his 39 years at the University of Montana, Professor Koehn’s record of scholarly and professional activities has enhanced the visibility of UM, nationally and regionally. His leadership in numerous U.S. organizations — including the Association of International Education Administrators, Consortium for International Development, and International Student Exchange Program -- and becoming UM’s first Fulbright New Century Scholar (2002), has brought distinction to our campus.

Professor Koehn has received five separate Fulbright teaching and research awards on three continents and received research grants from the Social Science Research Council and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2007, following a national competition, the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC, now APLU) chose him as the organization’s first faculty fellow. In that capacity, he initiated a database of international research and development projects at member universities across the country. In a joint October 2008 e-mail to provosts at 218 public state universities, NASULGC’s President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs reported that the database “has been wildly successful.” About 800 projects are now profiled on the database and “it is regularly consulted by universities, funding agencies, and congressional staffers.” The American Association of Universities (AAU) joined the database project later that year.

Professor Koehn’s latest book, Transnational Competence: Empowering Professional Curricula for Horizon-rising Challenges (Paradigm Publishers, co-authored with the renown political scientist James N. Rosenau) includes an inspiring foreword by Peter McPherson, President of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and chapters that promise to be of value to forward-looking university educators in the fields of teacher education, engineering, business management, social work, agricultural sciences, environmental studies, public administration, and medicine/public health. I attach a copy of the book flyer and endorsements for the Committee’s review.

I also would mention that in 1993 Professor Koehn was one of only two U.S. scholars to be invited to address a regional conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. Among other occasions when he ably represented The University of Montana, he played an important role in a Higher Education and Global Development National Policy Roundtable co-sponsored by the Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development and the U.S. Agency for International Development (1996); served as a consultant to the United States Commission on Immigration Reform (1993); was lead consultant for UNICEF on local social and health planning in Eritrea (1995-1996); was the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s 1991 Development Specialist in Residence; and was Director of Research and Development at the Hong Kong America Center (1997-1998).  Closer to home, Professor Koehn organized a campus-based international symposium on refugees and development assistance (1994) and a national workshop on humanism in medical education (2004) that brought national and international attention to The University of Montana. He also played a central role in bringing three presidential lecturers (Ali Mazrui, James N. Rosenau, and Ilona Kickbusch), the renown Senegalese author and filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, and the United Nations Development Programme’s Juha Uitto to our campus. The positive experiences related by these well-connected visitors have helped place The University of Montana “on the map.”

Further, Professor Koehn’s work on academic program development continues to enhance the regional profile of UM in the higher education community while serving the professional needs of our students.  He has played a central role in creating the University’s highly successful inter-unit Masters of Public Administration degree, a U.S. Department of Education-funded International Environmental Studies program (1979-1981), an innovative FIPSE-funded cross-disciplinary undergraduate specialization in international natural-resource management in the School of Forestry (1990-1993), our master’s and certificate programs in Public Health with a global-rural programmatic theme, an interdisciplinary “unattached” International Development Studies (IDS) minor, and our new Climate Change Studies (CCS) minor. The IDS program, which Koehn has directed since its inception, has attracted about 200 minors in a little over five years. Currently, he teaches core courses in four of these programs (MPA, MPH, IDS, & CCS) and is chair of a committee developing an interdisciplinary and international undergraduate minor in Global Public Health for Level II consideration in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Professor Koehn’s distinguished contributions to the University of Montana span several decades. From 1980 to 1985, for instance, he helped champion the University and the Montana University System during three sessions of the Montana Legislature as the faculty union’s legislative representative and later president. As founding Director of International Programs (1987-1996), Professor Koehn established the office and helped build a nationally recognized program that many of our faculty, staff, and students have found professionally and personally rewarding.

Not only has he devoted a great deal of time and effort in reaching out to many teaching, professional, and governmental communities around the nation and the world, Professor Koehn’s accomplished record of social-science scholarship has contributed to the academic ‘prestige’ of UM. His published articles in first-rate journals, including Climatic Change, Academic Medicine, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Thunderbird International Business Review, Journal of Modern African Studies, and Pacific Affairs to mention a few, contributed to his selection as The University of Montana’s Distinguished Scholar for 2005. His work has been translated into Chinese, French, Japanese, Finnish, Arabic, and Spanish, and his many publications have drawn the attention of a world-wide audience. Based upon interest in applying insights from his scholarly contributions, Professor Koehn has delivered more than 20 plenary, keynote, and other invited presentations in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Finland, Morocco, Ethiopia, Canada, Netherlands, China, and Nigeria (along with numerous other invited domestic presentations). The breadth and multidisciplinary vision of Koehn’s scholarship is particularly noteworthy. In the past five years alone, he has published or had accepted for publication peer-reviewed articles that treat climate-mitigation initiatives in China and the United States (including an invited contribution that appeared this year in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews), higher-education partnerships in Africa, indigenous studies and intercultural primary education in Montana, medical school education, physician-patient interactions, Somali migrants’ health care (including a recently accepted co-authored article to appear in Medical Anthropology), the mental-health needs of political-asylum seekers in Finland, public entrepreneurship in China, transnational citizenship, and a lead-authored study of international research and development-project activity on U.S. university campuses. During this period, he served as peer reviewer on five national panels. Over the course of his career, he has served on the editorial board of four professional journals, been a member of seven international boards or scientific committees, and accepted invitations to peer review 74 manuscripts for 33 journals.

Our university webpage opens with the following quote: “Defined by a prestigious faculty, . . the century old school is often referred to as the Harvard to the West.” This title might illicit only skepticism if it were not for faculty like Professor Peter Koehn, whose accomplishments make UM’s efforts to be a ‘Harvard of the West’ actual and on-going. The quality of Professor Koehn’s work with students from a wide variety of disciplines and nationalities, national and international organizations, and university faculty, here in Montana and across the nation, indeed gives luster to this institution of higher learning. His accomplishments and contributions deserve to be recognized by the 2011 Presidential Faculty Award for Distinguished Accomplishment.


Ramona Grey, Associate Professor

Political Science