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.


Lessons from the Last Mile: Reflections on a Career Shaped by the Peace Corps

With Carrie Hessler-Radelet, former director of the Peace Corps

Lessons from the Last Mile: Reflections on a Career Shaped by the Peace Corps

With Carrie Hessler-Radelet, former director of the Peace Corps

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Former Director of the Peace Corps

February 15, 2017

Carrie Hessler-Radelet was the 19th Director of the Peace Corps, serving from June 2014 to January 2017, and is a member of a four-generation Peace Corps family. Hessler-Radelet spoke of the revolutionary idea behind the Peace Corps. When President Kennedy signed the executive order creating it, many found the concept bizarre. The fundamental belief underlying the Peace Corps was that peace can only come through profound understanding and appreciation of others' cultures.

Hessler-Radelet was a Peace Corps volunteer herself, serving for two years in Samoa. She spoke passionately about her host mother, Losa, whose life was saved by a local midwife who convinced her to deliver her ninth child at a local clinic. Hessler-Radelet sees her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer as the start of her career in public health.

Finally, she shared three challenges with the audience. The first: to take courage and fight actively for our beliefs. The second: to cultivate "strange bedfellows"—supportive relationships with people who do not share our beliefs. The third: to "be the change we wish to see in the world."

Questions from the audience touched on a wide range of issues including reforms the agency undertook under her leadership and the future of the international development field.


A Conversation on Asia's Economic Challenges

A Conversation on Asia's Economic Challenges

Frederic Neumann '00, PhD '05, Co-Head Of Asian Economic Research and Managing Director, Global Research, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC)

Moderated by John Lipsky, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute and Peter G. Peterson Distinguished Scholar, Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

February 13, 2017

Frederic Neumann took on the imposing task of analyzing challenges facing Asia today and deliberating over its future prospects. Neumann described the present situation as a balancing act involving delicate and difficult choices in the midst of miscellaneous pressures.

The discussion started with a brief history of how the West and the East have gotten where they are today; the former stagnating and the latter soaring. He attributed the troubles in the West as the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, and said Asia's strong growth is due to the region’s ability to push up leverage and offset slow demand from the West. Neumann argued that the problem with debt-driven growth is that it is not sustainable and the region must pursue export-led growth to restore the balance. Yet the demographic trends, growing labor costs, surging protectionism and changing consumption patterns all slow trade and suggest a new reality for Asia, he contended. Most of the factors that drive these bleak prospects are structural and there is no quick medicine for solving them. Neumann argued that the answer to regional problems lies in raising productivity growth, which means that hard domestic choices await. 

Questions from the audience covered a broad range of topics, including China’s dwindling forex reserves, demonetization in India, deflation in Japan, and innovation in China.


Who's Coming to the Embassy Tonight?

Diversity and Inclusion in Foreign Policy

Who's Coming to the Embassy Tonight?

Diversity and Inclusion in Foreign Policy

Lora Berg '84, Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
Laurie S. Fulton, Chair of Global Engagement for Meridian Board of Trustees and former US Ambassador to Denmark
Minjon Tholen, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist with Cook Ross
Mischa Thompson, Policy Advisor for the U.S. Helsinki Commission
Presider, Kent Davis-Packard, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies and American Foreign Policy

February 13, 2017

SAIS Women Lead and the Global Theory and History program co-hosted a roundtable luncheon with foreign affairs experts on implementing diversity and inclusion measures.

Minjon Tholen explained how a rapidly changing marketplace and workforce are creating a strong business case for diversity and inclusion. To illustrate the meaning behind the terms, Tholen said "diversity is being invited to the party, and inclusion is being asked to dance."

Mischa Thompson shared a case study for establishing diversity and inclusion as organizational priorities. She advocated for a bill passed by the US Congress in December which directs the Department of State to track and report its efforts to recruit a more diverse staff.

Ambassador Laurie Fulton illustrated that inclusion is not always easy, even in Denmark—a worldwide model for tolerance. "Traditional Danes" are increasingly under pressure to reconcile their aspirations for tolerance with the fact that immigrants have struggled to achieve integration in Danish society. Working with local officials in many neighborhoods and towns outside the urban capital, Fulton brought immigrants and traditional Danes together to celebrate their common ground and the richness of what unites them as human beings and as Danes.

Drawing from her career in the Foreign Service, Lora Berg shared examples of different countries and their relationships to diversity and inclusion. To explain that awareness is not enough, Berg led an exercise helping participants to develop a personal diversity mission statement.


New Challenges for the Refugee Regime

New Challenges for the Refugee Regime

Anne C. Richard, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration
Michel Gabaudan, President, Refugees International
Ruth Wedgwood, Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy
Moderated by Maureen White, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute

February 7, 2017

Experts gathered at the Washington, DC campus for a discussion on the consequences of President Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order suspends the US refugee admission program, severely restricts entry from seven majority-Muslim countries, and bars all Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely.

Michel Gabaudan said that the order risks conflating victims with perpetrators by associating refugees with terrorists. He also reminded the audience that the situation in the United States is completely different from that in Europe. Refugees who were able to enter the US were all vetted before arrival, while those in Europe are evaluated once they are already on European soil.

Anne Richard talked about the previous administration’s efforts to show leadership on the issue of refugees. She also noted that while many have called for “extreme vetting,” it is unclear what this means. Maureen White pointed out that vetting for refugees is already very thorough. It currently involves eight federal agencies, six security databases, five background checks, four biometrics security checks, three separate in-person interviews and two inter-agency security checks.

Ruth Wedgwood argued against the flawed notion that 'if the US does not welcome refugees someone else will.' In the case of refugees, the United States' identity as the indispensable nation holds true, Wedgwood said.


A Conversation With TIAA CEO Roger W. Ferguson, Jr

A Conversation With TIAA CEO Roger W. Ferguson, Jr

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr, President and CEO of TIAA
Moderated by John Lipsky, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute and Peter G. Peterson Distinguished Scholar, Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs

February 3, 2017

The outlook for the American economy continues to be bright and improving in the near term, according to Roger Ferguson of financial services giant, TIAA. The consensus view among economists is for sustained growth globally, although at a slower rate than recent expansions, Ferguson reported.    

Asked by moderator John Lipsky to comment on the most pressing economic challenges for the new US administration, Ferguson said these issues include boosting growth, managing tax cuts and reforms, infrastructure building, and controlling inflation. Regarding the effectiveness of post-2008 financial sector reforms, including Dodd-Frank regulations, Ferguson acknowledged that capital in the banking sector has increased and that a drive has emerged toward stronger management culture. However, he added that the slow progress of rebuilding public trust in financial markets is still troublesome.

On the challenge of ensuring financial security in retirement, Ferguson said the major roadblocks include the issues of poor enrollment rates in retirement programs, low savings among Americans, and the changing expectations for retirement age. Ferguson concluded by offering lessons learned through his leadership in boardroom diversity efforts, tying the event into the school's celebration of Black History Month 2017.

Photo album


The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force

The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force

Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs
Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies
Ambassador Eric Edelman, Practitioner in Residence at Johns Hopkins SAIS and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Moderater: Thomas Mahnken, Senior Research Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS and President and CEO of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments 

February 3, 2017

The Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies hosted a discussion and book signing with author Eliot Cohen on his new release, The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force. Cohen explained that hard power remains essential for American foreign policy, while acknowledging that the United States must be careful about why, when, and how it uses force. Panelists discussed how military power, even as only a silent threat and not in action, is key to effective diplomacy. The strategic importance of the United States’ alliances was a point of emphasis for the panelists, who expressed concern that America's commitment to these alliances is being questioned.

In the question and answer portion, Cohen explained that his book was completed before the 2016 US elections roiled our national politics. In light of growing populist and anti-globalist movements in the US and abroad, he shared updated analysis on the challenges of using military might and soft power to sustain the global order. 

Photo album


Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies

Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies

Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies

February 2, 2017

Islam inherently promotes peace and mutual understanding, argued the scholar Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah at a special roundtable conversation hosted by the Foreign Policy Institute. Bin Bayyah, listed by the Muslim 500 as the 9th most influential Muslim in the world, discussed how his organization, the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, uses Islamic traditions to challenge the view that religion is often used to justify rather than solve problems of violence.  

Bin Bayyah's forum uses a methodology based on Islamic texts and traditions and refutes the argument that Islam promotes violence by showing that it encourages peace.  Forum scholars also challenge other thinkers, who claim that Islam does not encourage peace, by teasing out the lack of logic in their claims. The forum is notably in favor of protecting minority rights and supports equality and notions of modern citizenship. The works of Bin Bayyah and other forum scholars aim to explain how Islamic thought largely supports modern, progressive goals. 


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.

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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


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