Global Partnership Operational Strategy

The importance of global partnerships and international collaboration are critically interwoven in the University of Pittsburgh’s mission and strategic plan. The Global Partnership Operational Strategy was developed to lay a clear path to assess, support, and expand Pitt’s international partnerships using a hyper focused and strategic lens to examine Pitt’s many valued partners across the globe. Transnational perspectives, experiential learning, and meaningful engagement with diverse partners are all at the core of Pitt’s mission as a global university.  

The University of Pittsburgh Operational Strategy: Engaging with the World

The University of Pittsburgh’s approach to global partnerships is rooted in a strong mission, clear and comprehensive vision, and a core set of strategic objectives intended to not only strengthen the University’s presence as a global university, but as a leader in international collaboration and partnership in the 21st century.


To establish an inclusive and multi-layered network of community, corporate, and university partners committed to addressing critical local and global issues through focused, multi-dimensional engagement and collaboration in research, teaching, and service on a global stage.


To be a leader in inter-institutional global partnerships, creating a renowned ecosystem for collaboration and developing solutions to the world’s most pressing global challenges.

Pitt is committed to ensuring a mission-driven focus to all partnerships and fostering a global mindset, diversity, equity, and inclusion in an ever-changing world.

Understanding our Partnerships: The Global Partnerships Inventory Tracking Tool (GPITT)

Global inter-institutional partnerships at the University of Pittsburgh offer a variety of benefits, serve a wide range of purposes, and are ever-changing based on the needs of and commitment from Pitt and its partner institutions. These dynamic partnerships may change (either organically or by design) during their life spans and are regularly reviewed by the GP&E team via the Global Partnerships Inventory Tracking Tool (GPITT).

The GPITT is a comprehensive tool that catalogs details on international partner institutions, collecting information on the number of programs, level of engagement, amount of institutional investment, and other measurable data points from numerous schools, departments, and individuals across the Pitt network. Not only does the GPITT provide a holistic view of Pitt's global engagement, but it allows faculty, staff, and researchers to make the most of existing connections to further their own research and global education goals.

Click here for additional information on the Global Partnerships Inventory Tracking Tool (GPITT).

Three Tiers of Partner Engagement: Building Bridges for Global Learning

It is critical to note that ALL types of partnerships can be extremely important to the success of a program, initiative, or other project. These tiers do not reflect importance of a partnership, but rather reflects the breadth and depth of collaboration and number of cross-departmental, university-wide touchpoints.

Following their GPITT inventory, all interinstitutional partners are assigned to one of three partnership categories:

Strategic partnerships are the deepest and most intricate relationships. These multi-faceted collaborations focus on key areas of study that align with the University of Pittsburgh’s mission, cross a wide range of University departments, and take specific action towards advancing strategic goals of the University in alignment with the Plan for Pitt and Global Plan for Pitt.

Strategic partnerships are advanced by PittGlobal for larger institutional relationships, while individual projects within the relationship are advance either by PittGlobal or the project administrator from relevant schools, departments, or other offices with a vested interest.

Collaborative partnerships offer important benefits and services that may cross departments but are not quite at the most complex strategic level based on the Global Partnership Inventory Tracking Tool and GP&E team review. Depending on the level of interest, need, and dedicated support, these collaborative partnerships may lead to higher level strategic partnerships when properly nurtured or through natural expansion of scope.

Collaborative partnerships are primarily maintained by project administrators and their deeply committed schools or departments who are committed to sustaining and/or advancing these efforts. PittGlobal is happy to support schools and departments wishing to expand or advance this relationship.

Operational/diplomatic partnerships typically represent a relationship that serves an important but more specific and/or transactional purpose, often serving a singular project or department. These types of partnerships are critical in order to support specific programs and agreements.

Operational/diplomatic partnerships are maintained by project administrators in an individual office, school, or department. These specific yet valuable agreements are to be managed at a more personal level. PittGlobal is happy to act as a resource for those interested in expanding collaboration efforts with an operational/diplomatic partner.

Pitt finds partnerships of all levels to be critical to the success of our university, programs, and international efforts. From simple transactional agreements to in-depth, multifaceted collaboration, partnership with entities across the globe is what allows us to bring the World to Pitt and Pitt to the World.

For a complete copy of the University of Pittsburgh's Global Partnerships Operational Strategy, contact