Our Founders

The Kozmetsky Center of Excellence in Global Finance was established through a $3 million gift from Ronya Kozmetsky and her late husband, George. The couple, noted for their philanthropic leadership in Central Texas, established the RGK Foundation in 1966 and since then have awarded grants totaling more than $60 million to support humanitarian concerns in the areas of education, community and medicine/health.

Ronya and George Kozmetsky envisioned a Center of Excellence in Global Finance that would make an impact far beyond the campus of St. Edward's, benefiting not only students at the university — through interdisciplinary scholarly activities on campus and in international forums — but also individuals around the world who will be affected by sustainable financial stability.

The son and daughter of Russian immigrants who fled during the period of the 1917 communist revolution, George & Ronya Kozmetsky epitomized the spirit of first generation Americans that were able to manifest countless significant accomplishments. Perhaps most important, they offered visionary leadership & exceptional talent in cultivating productive partnerships across academic institutions & disciplines, governments, & the private sector creating opportunities & solving problems aimed toward the betterment of the local Austin community & the world. George & Ronya Kozmetsky were tirelessly devoted throughout their lives to the service of others & society. It is an honor & inspiration for all of us working with the Kozmetsky Center to contribute to carry on the legacy of this family in promoting constructive collaboration & knowledge sharing in our communities & cultures of the 21st century.

Sharyl N. Cross, PhD, Director, Kozmetsky Center

Mission and Vision

The Kozmetsky Center aims to enrich the intellectual life of St. Edward's University, and to serve as a resource for informing the broader public on critical global issues. The center seeks to deepen understanding of the complex challenges of an increasingly integrated world. We facilitate interdisciplinary exchanges among experts, students, faculty, and the broader public in a variety of forums. Past speakers have included American and foreign diplomats, policy makers, university scholars, and leaders of the business, non-profit, and cultural communities.  We also periodically host short-term resident visiting scholars and practitioners from the United States and around the world to share their expertise and diverse perspectives with the St. Edward’s University community.

Our programs and activities are directed toward advancing sustained productive international partnerships throughout the world. The Kozmetsky Center contributes to advancing the mission of St. Edward’s University to educate students from all walks of life and prepare graduates with the tools needed to contribute to a more just world. The Kozmetsky Center supports the university's Global Initiative providing students with international opportunities and experiences on multiple levels, and equipping students for working effectively in an interdependent and culturally dynamic world community.

Objectives

The Kozmetsky Center contributes to academic programs and the learning experience of students at St. Edward’s University on a number of levels. The core objectives for our programs and activities in support of the St. Edward’s academic community include:

  • Introducing a diversity of regional and global perspectives;
  • Contributing to the development of sustained productive international exchanges and partnerships throughout the world;
  • Supporting the utilization of new communication technology to integrate global perspectives in learning and understanding issues;
  • Offering the contributions of leading academic experts and practitioners across disciplines and professional areas of expertise;
  • Advancing understanding of potential public-private sector collaboration in pursuing opportunities and addressing challenges;
  • Exploring the application of theory/academic expertise to supporting real-world issue problem solving and cooperative efforts in policy, community service, etc.

Kozmetsky Center Staff

David Mowry, Executive Assistant to the Director

David Mowry is the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Kozmetsky Center at St. Edward’s University. David holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a B.A. in Political Science from University of Richmond. He participated in the State Department’s selective Critical Language Scholarship Program in Ankara, Turkey in 2009 and has studied abroad at Bilkent University in Ankara.

Prior to joining the Kozmetsky Center, David was a Program Officer with the Critical Language Scholarship Program at American Councils for International Education, where he administered the program sites in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Bangladesh. David has also worked as a Legislative Assistant for former Representative Jules Bailey in the Oregon Legislature and held internships in the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul and the office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer in Washington, D.C.

Additional Staff: 

  • Sarah Burkhart, Global Events Coordinator
  • Brant Christensen, Information Technology Specialist
  • Gamu Marikano, Intern, SEU '17
  • Alfonso Lucio, Intern, SEU '17
  • Eric Resendez, Intern, SEU '18