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ENGAGING WORLD LEADERS, GROUNDBREAKING INSIGHTS


The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosts many special events providing students, faculty, alumni, and guests opportunities to hear a wide spectrum of viewpoints on the issues that shape our world. 'The Recap' captures important events across our three campuses.

Please visit regularly for summaries, videos, and photos of our world-class events.

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ENGAGING WORLD LEADERS, GROUNDBREAKING INSIGHTS


The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosts many special events providing students, faculty, alumni, and guests opportunities to hear a wide spectrum of viewpoints on the issues that shape our world. 'The Recap' captures important events across our three campuses.

Please visit regularly for summaries, videos, and photos of our world-class events.

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The Political Economy of Gender in Africa


Featuring author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Political Economy of Gender in Africa


Featuring author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie JHU '03, award-winning novelist
Moderated by Chiedo Nwankwor, Visiting Research Associate and Adjunct Lecturer

April 14, 2017

Celebrated author and advocate for rights of women and underrepresented people worldwide Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discussed feminism and culture as part of a conference hosted by the African Studies Program: "The Political Economy of Gender and Women’s Empowerment in Africa." The conference also featured speeches by Her Excellency Professor Hassana Alidou, Niger's Ambassador to the US, and Inyang Ebong-Harstrup, Deputy Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation.

Chiedo Nwankwor began the conversation with a few questions about the perceptions and social roles of women in the US, Nigeria, and the Nigerian diaspora. Adichie said it is difficult for a woman to come to the US from Nigeria on a journey to find herself, only to discover she is still defined and limited by her domestic identity.

Readers of her latest book Americanah asked what were the key lessons Adichie wanted people to take away from this novel. The book's most important points were the complexity of African experiences and the necessity of kindness, Adichie said.            

Asked to elaborate on a recent comment about the dangers marriage poses for women, Adichie said the institution of marriage is a source of joy and partnership, but a woman must be clear that her rights are at risk if it is not established at the beginning that compromise is for both partners. For the marriage to be equal it has to start with the woman mattering equally, she said. Similarly, Adichie referred to a distinction among feminist theory between those trapped by the "glass ceiling" and those struggling at the "crumbling floor." Conversations must be had about both issues because for people who have access, the ceiling is the problem, while those same people are unaware of the problems experienced by women who lack access and empowerment.

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Nothing for Women Without Women


Raising Voices for Change

Nothing for Women Without Women


Raising Voices for Change

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
Jeni Klugman, Adjunct Lecturer of International Development at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Senior Adviser, Gender at World Bank

April 12, 2017

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of the UN joined the Johns Hopkins SAIS community for a conversation on leading barriers for the economic empowerment of women around the world.

Mlambo-Ngcuka offered opening remarks focusing on the idea that “private is public:” discriminatory norms and customs start in our homes, and propagate in all aspects of public life. She highlighted that it is important for policy makers to understand how societal and cultural norms play important roles in the fight for gender equality. Moreover, the focus should not be on changing women and girls so that they can fit into the world, but rather on changing the world so that it can fully recognize the potential of women.

The lack of gender equality is a universal problem; no country in the world has achieved gender equality. In her conversation with Jeni Klugman of the World Bank, Mlambo-Ngcuka stressed the importance of having data on gender discrimination. This is particularly important as sometimes there is an illusion of progress, which is then dispelled by hard data. For example, while participation of women in the public sphere has increased, only five countries in the world have gender-equal cabinets right now and the number has decreased from the past.  

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Women's Leadership and the New World (Dis)Order


A Conversation with Lady Catherine Ashton

Women's Leadership and the New World (Dis)Order


A Conversation with Lady Catherine Ashton

Lady Catherine Ashton, life peer in the House of Lords and former EU’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Moderators
Teri Shultz, reporter covering the EU for NPR, CBS Radio, and Deutsche Welle
Federiga Bindi, Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations and Director of Foreign Policy Initiative at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

April 10, 2017

The Trump administration is no fan of the Iran nuclear deal, but as one of the principal negotiators behind it, the Baroness Ashton of Upholland pointed out the deal belongs to the six participating nations on behalf of the UN Security Council. The US doesn't own the pact and cannot independently alter it, Ashton said.

However, the future of the deal may depend on earning President Trump's support. Ashton is confident that the administration will eventually recognize the value of the Iran deal once they conclude that unraveling it would make America less safe.

Taking questions from the audience of students, alumni, and foreign policy watchers, Ashton shared insights on her negotiation style and on her work of inspiring women to pursue leadership roles in the public and private sectors. She also commented on the impact of Brexit, stating her hope that the United Kingdom will not turn away from global engagement. 

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Debating the Merits of the Trump Administration's New Travel, Immigration and Refugee Ban


Debating the Merits of the Trump Administration's New Travel, Immigration and Refugee Ban


Alex Aleinikoff, Director of The Zolberg Institute of Migration and Mobility at The New School
George Biddle, Chairman, World Connect and former Executive Vice President, International Rescue Committee
James Jay Carafano, Vice President for the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, The Heritage Foundation
Danielle Pletka, Senior Vice President for Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute
Moderated by Margaret Warner, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, The PBS NewsHour

April 10, 2017

Extensive focus on refugees masks persistent issues in the Middle East, argued experts at a panel debating President Trump’s attempted ban on new entries to the US by citizens of six majority-Muslim nations. The conversation, moderated by PBS NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner, began with a debate over whether or not the executive order was truly a ‘Muslim Ban,’ with panelists in disagreement. Discussion then touched upon the reasons for the order, its effectiveness, past US refugee policy, and the underlying causes of the contemporary migration crisis.

Panelists disagreed over the role of rhetoric and the executive order. Carafano argued that what the president said during the campaign is no longer relevant, while Biddle contended that his rhetoric shaped the executive order. Panelists were also split over whether or not the order was effective. Aleinikoff argued that existing policy was stringent already, while Carafano said that it was more lenient than would be expected. Similarly, panelists did not agree on why the president signed the executive order, with Aleinikoff arguing that it was to keep Muslims out of the US, others saying that it was a purely domestic political move, and Pletka and Carafano contending that it was a genuine attempt to mitigate security concerns.

All involved in the discussion did, however, agree that actors need to work together to solve the underlying reasons for the refugee crisis itself, namely the Syrian conflict. Questions from the audience focused on the intersection of rhetoric and policy.

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Becoming a Highly Successful Entrepreneur


A Conversation With Jeffrey Raider

Becoming a Highly Successful Entrepreneur


A Conversation With Jeffrey Raider

Jeffrey Raider '04, Co-founder of Warby Parker and CEO of Harry’s Inc. 
Moderated by Roger Leeds, Director of the Center for International Business and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins SAIS

April 6, 2017

Highly successful entrepreneur and Johns Hopkins SAIS alumnus Jeff Raider visited the Washington, DC campus to discuss the key steps of his journey from student to entrepreneur. Raider emphasized impact as the driver that brought him to the school and it would be reinforced by his subsequent career choices. In 2008 he co-founded Warby Parker, which sells designer eyewear at a low price, and in 2012 he established Harry’s Inc., which manufactures and sells razor blades and grooming products.

Raider shared the process behind successful development of his retail companies. He and his co-founders drew from their own personal experiences of frustration with the pricing and quality of eyewear and razors, which helped them identify an underserved retail niche that resonated with consumers. Finding market opportunities involves looking for a big market that is ripe for disruption and presents an opportunity to create a brand, Raider said. He also stressed the importance of focusing on delivering what people need, which makes customer service and active data analytics crucial for success.

As he progressed in his career, Raider was constantly asking whether what he did mattered. He has always sought to establish three degrees of impact – ensuring that his team has a great experience of working in his company, making sure the customer is happy with the product, and serving the community more broadly. Both companies have incorporated these goals into their business model and have substantial corporate social responsibility programs to make sure that they are doing good in the world. 

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A Conversation With General Michael Hayden


A Conversation With General Michael Hayden


General Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency

April 4, 2017

General Michael Hayden joined Dean Vali Nasr and the Johns Hopkins SAIS community for a conversation about national security. The conversation started with the acknowledgment that we may be witnessing a meltdown of the American-led post-WWII liberal order. In this new world, Hayden sees potential existential threats from states he terms “ambitious, brutal, and nuclear.”

On North Korea, Hayden believes there are no simple answers. One approach could be trying to increase the cost of the nuclear program for the Kim regime by applying greater pressure through targeted sanctions.

Hayden argued that in the Middle East, military success in the fight against terrorism is necessary but not sufficient. The state and structure of ISIS will be defeated, but the movement will live on. Hayden highlighted that this is a fight within a civilization, rather than one between civilizations. Those who portray it as such feed into ISIS’ world-view. For example, he noted the Trump administration’s travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim majority countries will feed this narrative. He sees the ban as unnecessary at the tactical level and detrimental at the strategic level.

The General also talked about the evolution of U.S.-Russia relations, and of the Russian interference during the elections. He noted what was unprecedented in the Democratic National Committee’s hacking was not the espionage itself, but the weaponization of the product of espionage by making it public.

Questions from students and the audience touched on the general’s position on waterboarding and the CIA’s interrogation program, the recent history of U.S.-Russia relations and Kurdish autonomy.

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Arctic Security Conference


Hot Spot or Cold Front?

Arctic Security Conference


Hot Spot or Cold Front?

Keynote Address
Fran Ulmer, Chair, US Arctic Research Commission

Security Panel
Rear Admiral (retired) David Titley, Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University
Aaretti Siitonen, First Secretary, Embassy of Finland
Ambassador Ken Yalowitz, Director, Georgetown MSFS Conflict Resolution Program
Judge (retired) Alice Hill, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
Moderated by Seth Andre Myers, Senior Fellow, The Arctic Institute

Energy and Environment Panel
Cathleen Kelly, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Head of Representation, Greenland Representation
Olafr Røsnes, Energy Counselor, Embassy of Norway
Jessica Shadian, Senior Fellow, University of Toronto
Moderated by Berit Enge, Correspondent, High North News

April 3, 2017

The student-led Arctic Security Conference gathered nine prominent speakers from government, military, and academia to discuss the security and environmental challenges in the Arctic region.

Fran Ulmer delivered the keynote speech, during which she described the accelerating climate change impacts in the Arctic that include rising temperatures, melting sea ice and permafrost and rising sea levels. Importantly, climate change is much faster and more severe in the Arctic, which is warming at a rate of almost twice the global average. These developments pose severe challenges to the indigenous communities and the rest of the world, putting increasing pressure on human health, food production, infrastructure, ecosystems and climate patterns. The rapidly changing Arctic may also bring potential benefits, uncovering new energy reserves, shipping routes and tourism opportunities.  

The Security Panel discussed the necessary strategic planning, infrastructure and policy engagement to meet the security challenges of an opening Arctic. The speakers analyzed the issues related to territorial disputes, energy exploration, emergency response infrastructure, multilateral institutions and laws (particularly the Law of the Sea and the Arctic Council) and international military presence in the region.

The Energy and Environment Panel discussed the accelerating chain reaction of global warming, new opportunities for offshore oil and gas developments, and the possibility of creating climate resilient policy and infrastructure. They analyzed the need for environmental stewardship in the region in order to curb climate change and deepen political and scientific cooperation. The speakers emphasized that the collective approach is absolutely essential in the Arctic and no one country can manage the coming challenges of such rapid change alone.

Videos

Introduction

 

Security Panel

 

Energy and Environment Panel

 
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US-Asia Relations: Past and Future


US-Asia Relations: Past and Future


Antony Blinken, Herter/Nitze Distinguished Scholar, former United States Deputy Secretary of State and former Deputy National Security Advisor 

March 31, 2017

“Nowhere in the world are the economics and strategic interest and the opportunities of the US clearer or more compelling than in the Asia-Pacific [region],“ said keynote speaker Antony Blinken at the 2017 Johns Hopkins SAIS Asia Conference. Blinken shared his view on the "rebalancing" to Asia by the United States. Expecting Asia to help define the next century, Blinken stated that by what rules, by which means, and to what ends Asia acts are the vital questions for US foreign policy. The US should ensure the energy, focus, and resources devoted to the region are commensurate with its importance, Blinken argued. 

Examples of rebalancing actions include deeper cooperation with China, increasing engagement with institutions of the region like Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and vigorous promotion of trade and investment to unlock shared prosperity. 
North Korea's nuclear weapons and rapidly developing missile systems are threats that belong among the Trump administration's top priorities, Blinken said. He urged international cooperation to pressure the North Korean regime to accept a monitored freeze and rollback of its nuclear weapons program. 

Lastly, Blinken reminded the audience of what constantly attracts people of other countries to the US: the culture of innovation, the unwavering belief in freedom, rights, and dignity of all human beings, the rich tradition of scholarship and research, and the acknowledging of the common set of ideals to form a strong union. The US cannot afford to compromise these values in the future, Blinken said. 

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The Rise of Populism


A Global Approach

The Rise of Populism


A Global Approach

Sheri Berman, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University
Christopher Garman, Managing Director, Eurasia Group
Francisco González, Riordan Roett Senior Associate Professor of Latin American Studies
Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Buzzfeed
Moderated by Clifford Young, Professorial Lecturer, Latin American Studies Program and President of Ipsos North America

March 30, 2017

The global resurgence of populism was explored by political science experts in a panel discussion at the Washington, DC campus. Ben Smith spoke of the challenges populism poses for the media. Public trust in the media is at historic lows, and Smith argued that journalists can only gain back this trust by getting closer to their audience. Journalists should no longer be gatekeepers, but guides helping people navigate the vast amount of information they receive, she said.

Sheri Berman defined populism as centered around an idea of the “people” who have been disadvantaged by the system, and a view of politics as a zero-sum game. She noted populism is also a symptom of democratic systems. Francisco González characterized populism as a political strategy and a movement that opposes liberalism, checks and balances, and consensus-making. He spoke of parallels with conflicts between the populares and the oligarchs in ancient Rome.

Berman reminded the audience that populist movements are not a new phenomenon in Europe, but they are now for the first time able to influence the system. Christopher Garman stressed that we may see further turmoil outside of Europe and the US, especially in Latin America. Garman also noted that because populist movements have a long history in Europe, we should be cautious about the next electoral outcomes on the continent. Even if populist movements do not win the next round of elections, this should not be equated to a long-term solution to the grievances that led to this resurgence of populism, he said.

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The Unraveling of the Global Order: Asia Adjusts


The Unraveling of the Global Order: Asia Adjusts


Keynote address
Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and former President of the UN Security Council

Panelists
Laura Cha, Chairman of the Financial Services Development Council of Hong Kong SAR and non-official member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong SAR
Moderator, David Frey ’95, Partner in Markets Strategy and National Head of U.S.-China Strategic Corridor for KPMG China
David M. Lampton, SAIS China Director and George & Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies
John Lipsky, Peter G. Peterson Professor of International Economics at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs and Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow

March 24, 2017

The Johns Hopkins SAIS community of alumni and friends in Hong Kong gathered for a special forum featuring Kishore Mahbubani, who spoke about the return of Asia as a leader on the global stage. Mahbubani touched upon the need for populations of countries in the West to recognize the growing influence of populations in the East and to embrace globalization rather than reject it. A resurgent Asia, he said, is good for the United States and the West. He pointed to the success of ASEAN in brokering peace in Southeast Asia, a region historically fraught with wars and cultural tensions, as a beacon of hope and example of the potential of international cooperation. Finally, he cited the inevitable disruptiveness of technological innovation, particularly as mobile phones become more popular in developing regions like India and connect market actors in new ways.

Following the keynote address, a panel of elite members of the Johns Hopkins SAIS community discussed changes in the global system on the horizon, including the political undertones of China’s international policies, the importance of multilateral institutions and the corrosion of the consensus upon which they were founded, and how multilateral actions can be implemented with the force of internationally respected customs and laws. Alumnus David Frey ’95 moderated the discussion. Questions from the audience of over 130 alumni and friends explored subjects like security in the South China Sea and the recent US border tax proposal.

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Culture Change at the State Department


Inclusive Government Leaders Share Their Insights

Culture Change at the State Department


Inclusive Government Leaders Share Their Insights

Lora Berg ’84, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
Betty Bernstein, Senior Advisor and Director of Operations of the Office of Global Women’s Issues, US Department of State
Jesse Bernstein,
Senior Advisor, Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, US Department of State
Zakiya Carr Johnson, Director of Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit, Policy Planning and Coordination Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, US Department of State
Mischa Thompson, Policy Advisor for the U.S. Helsinki Commission

Presider, Kent Davis-Packard, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies and American Foreign Policy

March 6, 2017

Co-sponsored by SAIS Women Lead and the Global Theory and History Program, the second Inclusive Diplomacy Luncheon Seminars gathered current US Department of State representatives to discuss the work of advancing inclusive policies and agendas.

Betty Bernstein discussed her role in integrating gender issues throughout the work of the Department of State. Bernstein stressed that the issue of gender is the key for national prosperity and stability, and is thus being considered as a national security priority. She stated that researches have indicated a closed gender gap will bring a $28 trillion GDP growth by 2025.

Jesse Bernstein discussed the department's efforts to advance human rights for LGBTI persons. He emphasized a strategy to increase the visibility of the LGBTI community among governments and with allies in the faith and private sectors. Bernstein suggested that despite increasing awareness, enacting LGBTI inclusive policies remains an ongoing process.

Zakiya Carr Johnson shared about her work on the department's Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit. Carr Johnson is working on bilateral agreements like the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equity. She stated that discussion of inclusive issues has begun to transition from a conceptual framework to technical operations and programming. Carr Johnson emphasized the need to consider the existence of multiple layers of discrimination on a given individual when structuring policy and strategy.

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A Conversation With Ambassador Deborah Jones


A Conversation With Ambassador Deborah Jones


Ambassador Deborah Jones, former US Ambassador to Kuwait (2008-2011) and Libya (2013-2015)

March 6, 2017   

As the former American envoy to Libya, Ambassador Deborah Jones visited the school's Washington, DC campus to discuss insights and perspective gained during her service in Libya and Kuwait.

Jones shared that the 2011 Arab Spring uprising built momentum for change in Libya by questioning the legitimacy of the Gaddafi government, noting that technology and social media became disruptive forces harnessed by the movement, an effective bottom-up revolution. Jones assessed that Libyan society was highly fragmented in part due to geographical and historical reasons, giving rise to Gaddafi's rule as he exploited and reinforced these challenges during his nearly 40-year reign. Today, Libya's lack of civil institutions continues to contribute to the fluid and speculative political environment, Jones said.

This engaging discussion with students, faculty, and alumni and moderated by Dean Vali Nasr, also touched on the future of Syrian conflict negotiations and Jones' experience building political consensus through outreach to civil groups.

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SAIS' Got Talent


SAIS' Got Talent


March 4, 2017

Organized by the Student Government Association (SGA), the 2017 SAIS' Got Talent variety show featured nine contestants eager to impress the student community. The contest began with the first round of open-ended questions related to international relations and current politics. In the second section, each contestant performed their unique talent.

Dennis Hong started with a tranquil Chopin nocturne on a keyboard piano, followed by Rachel Xian’s two love songs. Representing the Bologna students, Pelayo Gonzalez brought three songs with guitar accompaniment to the stage. Patrick Xiong impressed the audience with his wide vocal range by singing Vitas’ Opera 2. Chloe Colbert used her lyrical dance routine to captivate the energetic audience. Aniket Maitra, a true stand-up comedian, brought streams of laughter to the audience. As a music lover, Helen Ma performed a tune from Broadway favorite Hamilton with a wish that nobody will throw away their shot. Emmett Potts wowed the crowd with a spectacular O Sole Mio. Finally, the only MIEF contestant, Marco Kim pushed the evening to a new high with his K-Pop dance.

After the audience cast their votes, the winner of this year’s SAIS' Got Talent went to Pelayo Gonzalez and Marco Kim won second place. 

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Negotiation Opportunities and the Challenges Ahead


Negotiation Opportunities and the Challenges Ahead


Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Vice Chairman, Hills & Company
Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Senior Adviser to the President, U.S. Institute of Peace
Galia Golan, Darwin Professor emerita, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Vali Nasr, Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Moderated by I. William Zartman, Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Organization and Conflict Resolution

February 27, 2017

Renowned experts in international relations gathered for a panel discussion of major topics they say will factor into diplomatic negotiations in the next year. These issues include: regression of nuclear weapons, Ukraine, China and the South China Sea, avoiding the destruction of European integration, conflict in Syria, and conflict in Yemen.

Ambassador Princeton Lyman concentrated on the occurrence of past conflicts that still exist today. Additionally, Lyman said technological developments are taking away some of the traditional pathways out of poverty, stressing the need for new economic paradigms.

Galia Golan centered on past negotiations regarding Israel and Palestine and the lessons we can draw from them. Golan claimed that many of the issues in these negotiations stemmed from mutual mistrust and devious leaders who had no intention of following through with the negotiations.

Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean Vali Nasr spoke about the context in which the resolution of conflicts have taken place or are expected to have shifted. He also drew attention to the current vacuum in Washington and the opportunities that creates to drive things forward with less resistance.

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The Challenge of Security and Development in Africa


The Challenge of Security and Development in Africa


Vice Admiral Michael T. Franken, Deputy Commander for Military Operations, US Africa Command (AFRICOM)

February 27, 2017

The Africa Studies program hosted a discussion on the Washington, DC campus with Vice Admiral Michael Franken of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). Franken gave an overview of the challenges inherent in US policy towards the continent. He emphasized the need to develop educational opportunities, support infrastructure investment, expand transportation networks, and better utilize power sources to bolster growth in Africa. Franken also underscored the future geopolitical and economic importance of Africa as well as promising trends in its recent evolution.

Africa continues to face many issues, Franken said, including mass migration, violent extremist organizations, trafficking networks, and corrupt governance that often hamstring prospects for further development. Franken shared about the ways AFRICOM relies on cooperating with a broad swath of host nations, allies, partners, and multinational bodies in order to combat the security related dimensions of these problems. Franken concluded by stressing that AFRICOM will continue to focus on containing and defeating militant groups Al-Shabaab, ISIL, and Boko Haram, on stemming illicit trafficking activities, developing capacities, and providing humanitarian disaster relief to achieve these objectives.

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Black History Month 2017 at Johns Hopkins SAIS


Black History Month 2017 at Johns Hopkins SAIS


February 2017

Johns Hopkins SAIS celebrated Black History Month 2017 with a series of events exploring African American contributions to history, culture, and economic policymaking. 

On February 3rd, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr, President and CEO of TIAA, spoke with students and alumni about his positive outlook on the U.S. economy. Ferguson then addressed the pressing economic challenges for the new U.S. administration and concluded by offering lessons learned through his leadership in boardroom diversity efforts.

On February 10th, the school organized a visit to two exhibits at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, “In the Groove” and “Harlem Heroes,” showcasing iconic images of 20th century jazz artists and photographic portraits of central figures in the Harlem Renaissance. After touring the exhibits, participants learned more about the artists and themes of their work in a talk with Walter Evans, noted collector of African American art and artifacts.

On February 13th, the school's diversity committee hosted a dinner and screening of the movie “Selma,” a chronicle of the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.

On February 14th, a panel of experts discussed the current and future trend of policies addressing racial equality in educational and labor market outcomes. William M. Rodgers III of Rutgers University argued that the larger black-white wage gap today is not only a result of black-specific features in the economy, but also of the general economic trends. Cornel University's Michael Lovenheim discussed the quality-fit tradeoff embedded within the affirmative action policy in the realm of higher education admissions.

On February 24th, Chiedo Nwankor, Visiting Research Associate and Adjunct Lecturer, assessed the existing state of gender relations from a lens of ‘intersectionality’ of Hilary Clinton, Beyoncé, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Nwankor asserted that race, gender, and culture are forces that interact dynamically to create institutions that reinforce gender norms.

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By Speaker


By Speaker


Paul Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank AG

Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

Masood Ahmed, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State (Hopkins-Nanjing Center Convocation, June 18, 2016 and Rethinking Regional Security, October 22, 2015)

Samuel Alito, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

General John Rutherford Allen, former Commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan; former Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL

Bertrand Badré, Managing Director and CFO of the World Bank Group

Ambassador Barbara Barrett, Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation

Daniel Barnett, MD, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Priya Basu, Manager, Development Finance, The World Bank

Don Beyer, U.S. Representative for Virginia's 8th District

Bill Bishop, Writer, The Sinocism China Newsletter

Maria Elena Boschi, Italian Minister of Constitutional Reform and Relations with Parliament

John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Tina Brown, Founder and CEO of Tina Brown Media

William J. Burns, President of Carnegie Endowment

Dennis Carroll, Director, Global Health Security and Development, Bureau for Global Health, USAID

Amy Celico, Principal, Albright, Stonebridge Group

Martin Cerisola, Assistant Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Nadereh Chamlou, International Development Advisor

Ling Chen, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Derek Chollet, Senior Advisor for Security and Defense Policy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

David Chun, Founder and CEO of Equilar

Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health

Celeste Connors, Associate Practitioner in Residence, Energy, Resources, and Environment Program

H.E. Jose L. Cuisia, Philippine Ambassador to the U.S.

Nikhil da Victoria Lobo, Senior Vice President, Head Global Partnerships Americas, Swiss Re

Uri Dadush, Senior Associate and Director of the International Economics Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Senior Fellow, OCP Policy Center, Rabat Morocco

Ronald J. Daniels, President of The Johns Hopkins University

Chen Deming, President of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and former Minister of Commerce for the People's Republic of China

Roger Diwan, Vice President, IHS Financial Services

David Dollar, Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution

Ambassador Eric Edelman, Roger Hertog Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence, Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Gady Epstein, Media Editor at The Economist

Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History, Harvard University

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Adam Garfinkle, Editor, The American Interest

Michel Gabaudan, President of Refugees International

Jeremy Goldkorn, Founder and Director of Danwei

Peter Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg LP

Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor

Penda Hair, Co-Founder and Co-Director, The Advancement Project

Birgit Hansl, Lead Economist and Program Leader for the Russian Federation at the World Bank

General Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA

Davida Herzl, CEO of Aclima

Carla Hills, Chairman and CEO, Hills and Company

Aasim M. Husain, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund

Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor of Law, Harvard University Law School

Kenneth M. Jacobs, CEO of Lazard

Chen Jun, President of Nanjing University

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and to Iraq, former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs

Edward Knight, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Nasdaq

Senator Menno Knip, Chair, Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Economic Relations

Monica Kowal, Vice Chair of the Ontario Securities Commission

Pravin Krishna, Chung Ju Yung Distinguished Professor of International Economics and Business

David M. Lampton, George and Sadie Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Nicholas Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics

William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman of Estée Lauder Companies

Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon

Roger Leeds, Senior Research Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Richard Lugar, former Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Michael Lynton, CEO Sony Entertainment, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow Center for Middle East Policy and Energy Security and Climate Initiative, The Brookings Institution

Michael Mandelbaum, Christian A. Herter Professor and Director of American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Catherine L. Mann, OECD Chief Economist

James McIntire, Washington State Treasurer

Liu Mingkang, Distinguished Research Fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Former Chairman, China Banking Regulatory Commission

Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Pepsico Latin America

Susan Ness, Conference Chair and Senior Fellow, Center for Transatlantic Relations

Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, United Arab Emirates Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Evan Osnos, Staff Writer for The New Yorker

Ambassador Anne W. Patterson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs

Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO

Kenneth Pollack, Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution

Jeffrey Raider, Co-founder of Warby Parker and CEO of Harry's Inc. 

Trudy Rubin, Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Paolo Scaroni, Deputy Chairman of the Rothschild Group

Jacquelyn Serwer, Chief Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Jean-Francois Seznec, Scholar, Middle East Institute and Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2016 Commencement speaker)

Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Randa Slim, Director for Track II Initiatives at the Middle East Institute and Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Martin Sommer, Deputy Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Regional Studies Division, International Monetary Fund

Brande Stellings, Vice President of Corporate Board Services of Catalyst

Steve Strongin, Head of Global Investment Research, Goldman Sachs

Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University

Reka Szemerkenyi, Ambassador of Hungary

Hung Tran, Executive Managing Director, Institute of International Finance

Tiger Tyagarajan, President and CEO of Genpact

James White, Former (retired) Chairman and CEO of Jamba Juice

Gita Wirjawan, Chairman of Ancora Group and former Republic of Indonesia Minister of Trade

Peter Wittig, Ambassador of Germany

Shahid Yusuf, Chief Economist, International Growth Center, and Johns Hopkins SAIS Adjunct Professor

Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund