Carnegie Global Oregon Ethics Program – The CGO

Carnegies partake in a yearly tradition where we decorate cakes about what ethics mean to us

The Carnegie Global Oregon Ethics Program (CGO) is a pioneering “convocation to commencement” initiative that creates a wealth of opportunities for students to explore the challenges of living and working  in an ethically complex world.  For many students the CGO starts through participation in our Freshman Interest Group and continues throughout the student’s first year, which includes cohort-based classes, extra-curricular activities, and a host of events designed specifically for GGO students.  The CGO is open to students in any major, and each term after freshman year the continuing sophomore, junior, and senior CGO members elect to participate on a for-credit or non-credit basis as befitting their academic needs and schedules.

The CGO partners with the New York-based Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, which generates material for our initiative and recognizes our graduating seniors as Carnegie Global Oregon Laureates.   The CGO emphasizes learning, service, community, and leadership, and incorporates many student-led projects in its activities.  The CGO is directed by Professor Shaul Cohen who is a member of the UO Department of Geography and the Director of the University’s Prison Education Program, and the CGO’s Associate Director, Dr. Caroline Lundquist from the Department of Philosophy and the Clark Honors College.  Student leadership of the CGO comes from a steering committee of dedicated Carnegies who are active in every element of our programs.

Carnegies listening to Senator Michael Dembrow during Lobby Day in Winter 2020

One of the key features of the CGO is that we bring leaders from many walks of life to work with our students in a mutual exploration of the ethical issues that challenge us in our lives and our careers.  CGO students have the opportunity to engage with noted figures through small group conversations, shared meals, internship opportunities, and even employment.  Our guests include leading figures such as MacArthur Genius author Chimamanda Adiche, CEO of Bank AIG in Europe Jim Shephard, human rights crusader and author of “Dead Man Walking” Sister Helen Prejean, UN Ambassador and author of “Rock and Roll Jihad”, Pakistani recording artist Salman Ahmad, US Special Forces Captain Chad Plaistad, and many others.  The CGO ranges broadly in its pursuit of ethical understanding, and works with guests from different backgrounds including business, human rights, military, international development, environmental, clergy, and many other areas.


CGO alumni visiting current students to talk about what they are doing to continue pursuing ethics in their lives after graduation

CGO members come from all over the country and abroad, and are self-selected.   Our group is limited in size, but – space permitting – is open to all those who demonstrate a commitment to contribute to the group and advance our shared goals during their time at the University of Oregon.  The CGO is an incubator for academic excellence and fosters a strong sense of community.  In addition to learning and working together, we also enjoy activities that contribute to our development and are a lot of fun.  A better sense of what we’re up to can be gained by going to our linked webpages.  CGO students are also available to respond to questions via email, skype, or an on-campus conversation.

For information please contact CGO Director Shaul Cohen at



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