The Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange was pioneered in 2008, by Yale and the Australian National University (ANU), both members of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). That year, after intensive planning, a delegation of Yale alumni visited ANU to share best practices in alumni relations.
Following the success of YaleGALE in Australia, the program expanded to Japan in 2009, working with the University of Tokyo and the University Management Initiatives Consortium with representatives from over 50 Japanese universities. As follow-up, YaleGALE hosted a delegation from Japan at the AYA Assembly in New Haven, Connecticut, in November 2009. In 2010, YaleGALE worked with a number of universities in Turkey, organizing various institution to institution exchanges, plus the World Alumni Leadership Conference in Istanbul that year. In 2011, YaleGALE went to China to work with universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong and host the World Alumni Leadership Conference in Beijing. In 2012, YaleGALE visited and worked with universities both in Israel and several months later in the United Kingdom.
YaleGALE programs have continued to expand and mature. Starting in 2012, an online newsletter, named Exchanges, was created to chronicle these international leadership exchanges, including the resulting insights and continuing relationships.