Andrew Wellington Cordier became the dean of the School of International Affairs (as it was known then) in 1962 following a distinguished career at the United States Department of State and the United Nations. From 1969-1970, he served as president of Columbia University. The Cordier essay contest acknowledges and honors the contributions that President Cordier gave to the School of International and Public Affairs and the Columbia University community as a whole. The Cordier essay contest is open to all currently enrolled Columbia University students. The author of the winning essay will receive $500 along with publication in the Journal of International Affairs.
In 2011, the Journal of International Affairs announced the establishment of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) student essay contest. The contest is open to all currently enrolled students of GPPN-partnered schools (Columbia University, Sciences Po Paris, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy). Through this effort, the Journal strives to promote dialogue and incorporate into its pages a diverse cross-section of student perspectives. Participating students will be asked to write an essay in response to a pre-specified question related to the Journal‘s upcoming issue. The author of the winning essay will receive $500 along with publication in the Journal of International Affairs.