Halle Institute


The Halle Institute for Global Research promotes and enhances scholarship across Emory University’s nine schools.   It supports individual and collaborative research, short and long term visits from distinguished international scholars, and students engaged in research outside of the United States.   

From creating digital historical maps to exploring whether reprogramming common somatic cells will provide a viable alternative to stem cells, the Halle Institute for Global Research and Learning fosters ambitious scholarly work in alignment with Emory’s global strategies, including leading the university’s efforts in its five priority countries: Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, and South Korea.


Jeffrey Lesser – Director

Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor, was named the first faculty director of the Halle Institute for Global Research in 2017.

As Director, he has reorganized the Halle Institute to promote innovation and creativity through cross-school programs that connect Emory to researchers around the world, bridge disciplines, drives research, and engages the university community in global dialogues. He supports ambitious international projects for scholars at all career stages that foster vibrant, collaborative relationships and enhance research outside of the United States across Emory’s nine schools. He has created many new research programs that generate and expand individual and collaborative faculty excellence. He leads graduate and undergraduate research and seminar programs that create multidisciplinary and engaged student-scholars. 

Dr. Lesser joined the Halle Institute for Global Research following six years as Chair of Emory University’s history department.  He has published numerous prize-winning books and articles, and received major national and international fellowships from Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is a 2005 winner of Emory University’s International Teaching Award. 

Dr. Lesser has a BA and MA from Brown University and a Ph.D. from New York University. A specialist in Brazilian Studies, with a focus on questions of race, ethnicity, and immigration, he lectures around the world and frequently appears in the press.


Kelly Richmond Yates – Assistant Director

Kelly Richmond Yates manages the Halle Institute for Global Research’s programs and initiatives and directs international research collaborations. She develops new global institutional research partnerships and under her leadership, the Halle Institute has fostered new connections in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Israel, Scotland, and South Africa. Ms. Yates is the winner of competitive national and international fellowships from the Fulbright Commission and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) that create empowering links with higher education systems outside the United States. She directs Emory’s undergraduate and graduate Global Fellows programs of competitive grants and seminars to support international research. 

Kelly Yates joined the Halle Institute for Global Research after ten years as a lead academic and research administrator at Emory University. Her professional experience includes project management for corporate and not-for-profit organizations, including facilitating intercultural training programs for international travelers.

Research Site Visits

By hovering over select cities, you can see the specific research sites we have visited.