The Distinguished Visiting Scholars program brings to Washington University historically underrepresented scholars who have distinguished themselves as leaders and innovators in the academy, in business or in other fields of endeavor.

During their stay, the scholars participate in the intellectual life of the campus. Scholars interact with faculty and graduate students by leading workshops, delivering public lectures, visiting classes and teaching seminars.


How the Distinguished Visiting Scholars program works

Each scholar is hosted by a school or academic department within the university. The hosting department or school extending the invitation coordinates all of the appropriate and necessary arrangements for a successful visit. The Office of the Provost covers expenses (stipend, airfare, hotel room and official meals/events involving Washington University faculty, staff and students) that are part of the scholar’s visit.

For questions, please contact Cecilia Hanan Reyes.


Bringing diverse voices to WashU

The Distinguished Visiting Scholars program was established by Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor Gerhild S. Williams in the fall of 1998 as part of the university’s efforts to increase the numbers of underrepresented faculty on campus. Over time, the program has hosted distinguished leaders from academia, the arts and many other fields.

Distinguished Visiting Scholar Devon Carbado, a legal scholar at UCLA, said, “The Distinguished Visiting Scholars program is a wonderful way to get a sense of the intellectual life and institutional culture of Washington University. That the program enabled me to get feedback on my scholarship and engage faculty, students and staff about issues of inclusion and diversity made the visit all the more rewarding.”


Bringing diverse global perspectives

In 2023-24, the Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program is expanding its support to make it easier for top international scholars to visit WashU for short periods of time, typically up to nine days. In the spirit of the program, international visitors will further enrich the diversity of perspectives on campus and increase opportunities for global-to-local learning, collaboration and cultural exchange.

International Distinguished Visiting Scholars must be leading experts in their field. While on campus, they are expected to give at least one public presentation, engage with both faculty and students, and meet with WashU colleagues to deepen professional relationships and develop ideas for projects or proposals that lay the foundations for future collaborations. Prospective candidates can be from any nationality. Nominations for visitors from low- and middle-income countries are especially encouraged. This opportunity is supported by the university’s ‘Here & Next’ strategic plan and the Global Research Scholars Network.