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.



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.


The Future of Afghanistan and the Region in the New US Administration


The Future of Afghanistan and the Region in the New US Administration

James Cunningham, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan
Scott Warden, Director of the United States Institute of Peace
Earl Anthony Wayne, former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic & Business Affairs

January 9, 2017

Long-term US engagement in Afghanistan is needed to ensure its peace and stability, said a panel of experts at a talk hosted by the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies and moderated by Professor Kent Calder.

The complexity of the ongoing conflict requires a long-term political strategy, the policymakers argued. All agreed that the incoming US administration must make it clear that it is willing to commit to supporting the Afghan government in the long-term. Aside from reaffirming American commitments, panelists also suggested that the next administration try modifying existing policies and consider regional challenges and reactions when brainstorming. Such policies should not simply focus on military engagement but also include political and economic development plans. Moreover, these plans will need support from Afghanistan’s neighbors, namely Pakistan, which could call for other Asian nations like China to become involved in negotiations as well given their close economic relationship with Pakistan. Similarly, international organizations also have a role to play by providing development funds and technical expertise. Questions from the audience focused on how to incorporate civilians and enhance support for the national government in all regions of Afghanistan.


The Way Ahead: The US-Japan Relationship Under the Trump-Abe Administrations


The Way Ahead: The US-Japan Relationship Under the Trump-Abe Administrations

January 6, 2017

Moderated by James Przystup, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Strategic Research, National Defense University

First Panel: United States
Rust Deming, Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Robert Manning, Resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council
James Schoff, Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP)
Nicholas Szechenyi, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Second Panel: Japan
Yuichi Hosoya, Professor, Keio University
Matake Kamiya, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan
Yoichi Kato, Senior Research Fellow, Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation
Akio Takahara, Professor, University of Tokyo

The Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies partnered with the Institute for National Security Studies at the National Defense University (NDU) and the Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR) to host two panel discussions of Japanese and American scholars on the implications of Donald Trump’s election for the US-Japan alliance and the challenges both countries face in East Asia.

The first panel focused on the challenges facing the US-Japan security alliance. CSIS's Nicholas Szechenyi reviewed Japanese and American national security in light of regional issues such as the rise of China. Robert Manning of the Atlantic Council noted the international challenges posed by a rise in populism and shifts away from a rule-based world order. Next, Akio Takahara, and Yoichi Kato focused on the role of China in Japanese security considerations and the importance of strategic trust and threat perception respectively.

The second panel detailed future steps for the alliance. Professor Rust Deming noted how the new US administration must continue to support a strong relationship with Japan both in hard and soft power. Next, CEIP's James Schoff discussed how the new government must address the future of the alliance, especially trade. Finally, Matake Kamiya and Yuichi Hosoya talked about how Japan can play a proactive role by increasing defense spending, and engaging with regional allies.


EIA's Annual Energy Outlook for 2017


EIA's Annual Energy Outlook for 2017

Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the Energy Information Administration

January 5, 2017

Adam Sieminski of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) presented findings from the 2017 Annual Energy Outlook on US energy supply, demand and prices. The report includes data from different models based on varying future conditions to predict changes in oil, petroleum, natural gas, renewable, and nuclear energy consumption, production, and growth for the next 30 years.

Highlights of Sieminski’s presentation included the idea of the US becoming a major energy exporter, the movement to lower energy intensity, and consumption growth due to higher efficiency and higher renewable and natural gas production due to existing regulations. He emphasized that all models were influenced by unpredictable factors such as global political-economic considerations and the future of legislation like the Clean Power Plan. Furthermore, economic growth will also be an important factor in determining the level of energy demand.

Following his presentation which included a number of graphs and tables to illustrate the models’ predictions, Sieminski took a number of questions from the audience. These included queries on his predictions for the future of energy regulations including carbon limits and fracking, as well as requests for further details on aspects of the report's models such as regional variation in fuel demand and supply.

2017 Annual Energy Outlook report


Food Systems for Sustainable Development

A discussion with the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition


Food Systems for Sustainable Development

A discussion with the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition


December 16, 2016

Elisabetta Recine, Counselor of the Brazilian National Food and Nutrition Security Council, and Professor at the University of Brasilia
Dipa Sinha, Professor of Economics at Ambedkar University
Fengying Nie, Deputy Director of the Center for International Agricultural Research at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Eileen Kennedy, former dean and Professor of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
Simon Kimenju, Research Fellow, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of Egerton University
Kathleen Merrigan, Professor of Public Policy and Executive Director of Sustainability at the George Washington University

How do typical diets in different countries impact sustainability and climate change? How can markets and technology help reduce poverty among farmers and agricultural workers? These and other pressing issues were discussed by members of the UN High Level Panel Experts on Food Security and Nutrition at the latest installment of the Global Agriculture Seminar Series at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Panelists commented on the rising importance of agriculture to solving global challenges, highlighting food waste in particular. A surprising 40 percent of food is wasted globally, constituting the third largest source of greenhouse gases.

Farmers in developing countries often struggle with profitability, market access, low productivity, and high costs of production. Meanwhile, in developed countries the integration of technology offers great potential to transform food production and delivery, but policy reforms lag while elected officials focus on other national priorities. 

Taking questions from the audience, panelists discussed urban agriculture, vertical farms, the state of regulations in the food business, food security, nutritional guidelines, and the upcoming renewal of the US farm bill in 2018.


A Conversation with Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón


A Conversation with Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón

Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador of Colombia to the US
Tom Keaney, Associate Director of Strategic Studies and Executive Director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies
Riordan Roett, Director of the Latin American Studies Program

December 6, 2016

Two weeks after Colombia passed an historic peace deal to resolve its conflict with armed guerrilla groups dating back more than 50 years, Colombia's ambassador to the United States and former Johns Hopkins SAIS student, Juan Carlos Pinzón, returned to the Washington, DC campus to discuss the peace deal, trade, and US-Colombia relations.

Pinzón pointed to the Colombian peace process as an exemplary model for conflict resolution. The strategy was about disarming, demobilizing, and reintegrating the rebels as fellow Colombians. Pinzón explained that the government's approach was not penal justice, but transitional justice based on reconciliation. Going forward, Pinzón said Colombia will work to build greater consensus on the terms of the deal and to integrate the rebels into the political process.

Responding to questions from students and from moderators Professor Keaney and Professor Roett, Pinzón commented on his experience leading the military transition from counterinsurgency to peacekeeping, Colombian efforts to promote free trade pacts, relations with China, the challenges posed by economic distress in neighboring Venezuela, and future opportunities for coordination with the US.


China's Role in the Middle East


China's Role in the Middle East

Hosted by the China Studies Program and the Institute of Current World Affairs

Keynote: Kent Calder, Director of Asia Programs and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Naser al-Tamimi (from Doha), independent UK-based Middle East researcher, political analyst, and commentator
I-wei Jennifer Chang, Program Specialist in the China Program at the U.S. Institute of Peace
Joshua Eisenman, Senior Fellow for China Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council
Chaoling Feng, Senior Research Associate, KNG Health
Sarah Kaiser-Cross (from Dubai), private finance based in Dubai
Moderator: Fadi Mansour '15, Al-Jazeera Media Network
Camille Pecastaing, Senior Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS
Robert Sutter, Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of George Washington University

December 2, 2016

China has recently been ramping up its outreach and activity in the Middle East. What are Beijing's goals and how does it aim to achieve them? The Institute of Current World Affairs co-sponsored a conference at the school's Washington, DC campus to explore these topics. The half-day event featured discussions on China’s present and future involvements in the Middle East, in the realms of regional insecurity as well as the cultivation of strategic partnerships.

In his keynote speech, Professor Kent Calder emphasized that China’s rise has consequently made it an important actor in the region. He described the historical dimensions of China’s activities in the Middle East, and proceeded to discuss the energy dynamics driving China’s present-day interests. He also emphasized the existence of sovereign wealth funds in China and key countries in the gulf region as an important financial incentive for deepening interdependence into the future. Finally, Calder concluded by highlighting China’s potential role in the security and governance dynamics, especially if the United States takes a less proactive approach in years to come.

The first panel discussion at the event was regarding China’s approach to regional instability in the Middle East. The second panel discussion focused on China’s strategic partnerships in the region, relating to energy, infrastructure, and economic interdependency. Both panels featured experts on China and the Middle East from Johns Hopkins SAIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the United States Institute of Peace, George Washington University, KNG Health Consulting, the University of Texas at Austin, and the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.


Latin America and the Asian Giants

Evolving Ties with China and India


Latin America and the Asian Giants

Evolving Ties with China and India

Robert Devlin, Professorial Lecturer, Latin American Studies Program
R. Evan Ellis, Professor of Latin American Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute in the US Army War College
Francisco González, Associate Professor of Latin American Studies
Mauricio Mesquita Moreira, Principal Economic Advisor of Integration and Trade Sector at Inter-American Development Bank
Riordan Roett, Director of the Latin American Studies Program

November 16, 2016

The Latin American Studies Program hosted a book launch event at the Washington, DC campus featuring Latin America and the Asian Giants: Evolving Ties with China. The book is co-edited by Riordan Roett and Guadalupe Paz. Highlighting the roles of China and India in the growth of Latin American countries, the book’s authors brought their individual areas of expertise to each chapter.

Evan Ellis of the US Army War College discussed the security dimensions of Chinese and Indian involvement in the region. He emphasized that while China’s relationship with Latin America is primarily about economics, trade, and investment, the military component is significant and continues to grow.

Francisco Gonzalez discussed the region’s changing energy landscape and assessed the implications of new Asian players. He highlighted three demand and supply shocks in the 2000s which are essential to understanding Chinese oil demand in Latin America.

Robert Devlin examined Latin American trade with China and India. He explained how the main strategic question is how much attention should be given to the two countries in light of other global and regional opportunities. He concluded that Latin American industrial trade policy should focus on markets where they already have a foothold in terms of diversification, upgrading and value-added commerce.

Mauricio Moreira of the Inter-American Development Bank described the best- and worst-case future scenarios for Latin American trade with China and India. As low commodity prices dampen global economic growth forecasts, Dr. Moreira encouraged Latin American states to enact sound fiscal, monetary, and social policy to improve the region’s prospects during future trade negotiations. He also advised that China and India pursue future trade by harnessing Latin American regional agreements already in place.


US Monetary Policy, Current Concerns of a Fed Policymaker


US Monetary Policy, Current Concerns of a Fed Policymaker

Hosted by the International Finance Student Club at Johns Hopkins SAIS

Dennis P. Lockhart, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

November 16, 2016

Navigating the country through the economic recession of 2008 has been a delicate job for monetary policy makers. Dennis Lockhart of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta returned to Johns Hopkins SAIS, where he graduated in 1971, to share his experience with current students.

Beginning his job as bank president in March 2007, Lockhart walked through the highlights of US monetary policy during his tenure. The federal funds rate in 2007 was set at 5.5% comparing with 0% at the end of December 2008 as a response to financial crisis, with unemployment reaching 10% in the process.

To support economic recovery, the Fed implemented quantitative easing, a process through which the central bank essentially creates new money and buys long term securities. During this process, the Fed’s balance sheet grew from $900 billion to $4.5 trillion.

The US economy has experienced a gradual recovery since then, but is still experiencing fairly weak annual growth, despite economic data consistently suggesting that the economy is near a break-out. Lockhart suggested there are a number of factors holding back growth, such as declining participation in the labor force.

Today unemployment has fallen to 4.9% and the economy is showing signs of significant progress. However, economists are debating the causes behind weak aggregate demand and growing income inequality.

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International Dinner 2016


International Dinner 2016

International Dinner
November 12, 2015

The school celebrated one its favorite annual traditions on November 12 — the International Dinner. To mark the occasion, different cultural clubs in DC prepare various foods representing their culture to share with the school’s community, students dress up in traditional attire, and there’s even an international talent show. At the end of the event, two awards were distributed - one for best dish, which went to the Thai Club and the other to Emmett Potts, MA ’17 for best performance.


Thinking Historically: A Guide to Strategy and Statecraft

12th Annual Alvin H. Bernstein Lecture


Thinking Historically: A Guide to Strategy and Statecraft

12th Annual Alvin H. Bernstein Lecture

Hosted by the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies

Francis J. Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT

November 10, 2016

Scholars of international relations have traditionally been sorted into one of two camps: those in the discipline of history and those in political science. At the 12th annual Alvin H. Bernstein Lecture, Francis Gavin argued for the value of historical perspective and what it brings to strategy and statecraft.

Historical sense is not just having information about the past, but the ability to combine and integrate knowledge, Gavin said. Historians investigate and produce facts, string them together, analyze and infuse them to tell stories.

Gavin shared examples to illustrate five important ways history can help us understand international relations, namely, the concepts of vertical history, horizontal history, chronological proportionality, unintended consequences, and policy insignificance. The most valuable quality gained from an immersion in history is humility, Gavin said. A scholar well versed in diplomatic history can appreciate how so many confident predictions of the future and explanations of the past turn out to be plain wrong.  

Addressing questions from the audience, Gavin commented on the US presidential election, the differences between recent presidents in their understanding of history, and how history can be a burden to scholars as well as an aid.  

Named for distinguished historian and Johns Hopkins SAIS lecturer Alvin Bernstein, the lecture series focuses on the intersection of history and national security policy.


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

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