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Dustin Liu ’19

Dustin Liu ’19

During his time at ILR and beyond, Dustin Liu ’19 has worked with organizations such as Breakthrough Collaborative and Matriculate in student-facing roles focused on education access.>

He has also been a part of organizations such as the Center for Collaborative Education and Ashoka, where he worked to support the professional learning and network activation of educators in K-12 and postsecondary settings.

A former Cornell student trustee, he currently serves as the ninth U.S. youth observer to the United Nations and works to support IDEAS, the annual social innovation challenge at MIT.

Liu received a Fulbright grant and is a degree candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A certified Zumba instructor, he loves to share his love for playing the cello with others.

How did ILR change you?

ILR gave me the tools I needed to find my passions – it gave me words to describe the group dynamics I experienced and reaffirmed my belief in the power of people. It helped me better understand my own leadership, providing me with opportunities to further my critical consciousness. ILR gave me the tools I needed to become a problem solver and a network of peers, staff, faculty and mentors that constantly inspire my work and passions.>

How are you making an impact through your experiences at ILR?

My experiences at ILR gave me language to understand the systems in which we live, an international perspective, as well as a desire to create environments that help humans flourish. I feel fortunate to have had opportunities that allow me to exercise my ILR education. 

From serving as the U.S. youth observer to the United Nations, where I draw on my ILR global experiences to activate youth changemakers, to the research opportunities focused on organizational change in education I have been able to pursue in graduate school due to my ILR training, to working in venture philanthropy on the future of work, my ILR experience has provided me with the tools needed to pursue a lifetime commitment in social impact.

How might the mission of ILR help shape the next 75 years of work, labor and employment?

ILR’s mission focuses on the evolving nature of work and I believe that work, labor and employment are so intricately connected to education. Through the interdisciplinary nature of ILR faculty research and extension units, I am confident that ILR’s mission will continue to push innovation to create a future of work that works for everyone.

In this moment where our world is experiencing a global pandemic, where the labor market is undergoing changes due to automation and the very present fact that there are clear inequities in our society, the need to build better is more important than ever.