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Yale Program Director Resigns, Citing Donor Influence

October 1, 2021

Beverly Gage resigned from her directorship of Yale University’s Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy over concerns about donor influence, The New York Times reported. Gage said donors Charles B. Johnson, who gave $250 million to Yale in 2013, and Nicholas F. Brady stacked a new program advisory board with members of their choosing, including former U.S. secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger, against her objections. Gage said Brady also complained to her that she wasn’t teaching grand strategy the way Kissinger would, and about another faculty member’s public statements about then president Donald Trump after the 2020 election.

Having served in the program since 2017, Gage will return to her professorship in the history department. Yale president Peter Salovey praised Gage in a statement but denied that Yale had given in to donor pressure, according to the Times. Gage said she sensed a sudden effort by the donors to establish “some form of surveillance and control” over the program, and that it’s “very difficult to teach effectively or creatively in a situation where you are being second-guessed and undermined and not protected.” Neither Brady nor Johnson made himself available to the Times for comment.

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