The College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation, has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, US, to formalise their co-operation on the development of joint projects.
The agreement was signed between HBKU, represented by Dr Leslie A Pal, founding dean of CPP and Dr Anis Ben Brik, associate professor and founding director of the programme of social policy and evaluation research (Prosper), and the University of Maryland (UMD), represented by senior vice president and provost, Mary Ann Rankin, dean of the UMD School of Public Policy, Robert C Orr, and Prof Douglas Besharov.
The MoU paves the way for the two universities to work together on projects that enhance the exchange of scientific knowledge and cultural traditions at the global level. In particular, the agreement provides for CPP and the University of Maryland, a preeminent public research university to discuss and explore collaboration on public policy development and implementation, as it relates to social policy and programme evaluation. The UMD School of Public Policy ranks among the top 25 graduate schools of public policy in the US, and the top 10% of such schools nationwide. 
Under the MoU, CPP’s Prosper and the UMD School of Public Policy will collaborate on joint research activities, publications and library exchanges, and also organise forums for the exchange of knowledge and experience. Other engagement opportunities will be participation in seminars, conferences, or workshops organised by their respective institutions that tackle topics of shared interest.
Dr Pal said: “The agreement will open doors for students and faculty to pursue forward-looking research priorities within a global context. I’m certain we share the same confidence that this mutual exchange of knowledge and experience will complement our breadth of specialisations as we educate future leaders in policy making and fulfil our commitment to supporting effective policy development and implementation in Qatar.”
Dr Ben Brik said: “Building on recent collaboration between CPP’s Prosper and the UMD School of Public Policy, the MoU is a solid foundation for HBKU to build a long-term relationship with the University of Maryland, one that aspires to achieve the mission of both our universities in all fields”.
“With the success of our recent collaboration, this MoU is an important next step in strengthening the partnership between our two institutions,” said Orr. “It stands to provide excellent opportunities for intellectual and cultural exchange between two top universities and embodies the cooperation across borders that we seek to instil in the next generation of policy leaders.”