His efforts at Yale relate to the work of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that he will be launching later this year. The Deans of the Yale School of Management and Divinity are working with Mr Blair on finalising details of the program. The Howland Distinguished Fellowship was created in 1915 to recognise a ''citizen of any country in recognition of some achievement of marked distinction in the field of literature or fine arts or the science of government.''
Among those who have been Howland Distinguished Fellows in the last century are the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, journalist Sir Alistair Cooke and stateswoman Indira Gandhi.
Yale President Richard C Levin stated, ''The appointment of Mr Blair provides a tremendous opportunity for our students and our community. As the world continues to become increasingly inter-dependent, it is essential that we explore how religious values can be channeled toward reconciliation rather than polarisation. Mr Blair has demonstrated outstanding leadership in these areas and is especially qualified to bring his perspective to bear. We are honored that he is planning to join the Yale community.'' Blair served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007.