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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 Future of US Leadership with Bill Gates


The Future of US Leadership with Bill Gates


June 27, 2018

Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Moderated by Cinnamon Dornsife, Associate Practitioner-in-Residence and Senior Advisor of International Development and Jeremy Shiffman, Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Health Policy

Philanthropist and tech giant Bill Gates visited the Johns Hopkins SAIS community to discuss global health and development and how public and private funders have different roles to play in international development projects.

Gates presented key achievements of global health efforts, noting that despite political strife depicted daily in the media, the world is far better and less violent today than it has ever been. For example, Gates said 12 million children under five years of age died in 1990. Today, due to aid from the US, many NGOs and foundations, the number of child deaths has been reduced to 5 million a year and is on track to be halved again soon.

Professor Jeremy Shiffman asked Gates what he hoped to accomplish at his testimony later that day with US senators and congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. Gates said he will emphasize the need for the US to remain a strong leader in global health and development spending. "It's hard to overstate how much people count on the US, and until recently they always had the expectation that the US would be there. There is no Plan B, and if the US cuts this investment, [we don't know] what would happen."

Questions from the audience explored issues of climate change, online education, China's emergence as a global development funder, and the political power of youth to improve governance in Nigeria.

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Shaping a New Balance of Power in the Middle East


Shaping a New Balance of Power in the Middle East


June 12, 2018

Ross Harrison, Non-resident Senior Fellow at Middle East Institute
P. Terrence Hopmann, Professor of Conflict Management, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Randa Slim, Foreign Policy Institute Fellow, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Camille Pecastaing, Professor of Middle East Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS

The school's Conflict Management Program partnered with Aljazeera Centre for Studies, SETA Foundation, Middle East Institute, Gulf International Forum, Brookings Institution, Arabia Institute, and Harvard Law School to host a symposium exploring the balance of power in the Middle East.

Experts described the collapse of the regional system of the Arab world that has occurred since the end of the Cold War. The traditional role of large states which used to be the leading powers of the region has diminished considerably. Iraq has been preoccupied with sectarian politics, terrorism and corruption. Egypt failed to transform into a democratic system. Syria has fallen onto the battleground of competing powers. 

Meanwhile, the American hold on unipolarity in the Middle East has been slipping and the Arab world now is a region with multiple centers of power including Turkey, Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Instead of the balance of power, the region suffers from security vacuum and each center struggles for advantage, which draws these nations into a downward spiral of conflicts.

Non-state actors such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have mediated positive outcomes, such as the cease-fire OSCE negotiated to end the Russia-Chechnya War in 1996. The organization also resolved a secession attempt by South Ossetia and implemented a peace deal after Tajikistan's civil war. Panelists discussed how these examples provide multilateral alternatives to the balance of power system which can possibly be applied to conflicts throughout the Middle East.

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1 Journey Festival and The Children of Karam House


Changing the Narrative of Refugees in the U.S.

1 Journey Festival and The Children of Karam House


Changing the Narrative of Refugees in the U.S.

June 2, 2018

The 1 Journey Festival brought a day-long celebration of refugees to the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral. Participants at the free festival built connections among cultures through food, fashion, music, and dance while celebrating refugee talents and stories. The festival aims to change the native narrative about refugees and empower participants to take actions to stand in solidarity with displaced persons worldwide. 

Among the day’s highlights, Chef Jose Andres and a refugee chef hosted a cooking demonstration and discussed the importance of food and culture. Actor, model, and UN spokesperson Ger Duany shared insights from his personal story as one of the “lost boys” of Sudan. The celebrated Pihcintu Multicultural Children’s Chorus performed a song written especially for the festival. Refugee and immigrant music and dance groups performed throughout the day. Children participating in craft workshops made henna designs, built homemade kites, and enjoyed calligraphy lessons taught by refugee families.

The festival featured a marketplace offering handmade wares and creations from the original home countries of refugees. Festival goers also connected with refugees living at camp settlements through virtual reality films and live chat features via Shared Studios’ immersive video technology booth.

In conjunction with the festival, the Foreign Policy Institute continued its series exploring international affairs through arts and culture as The Big Picture hosted The Children of Karam House: an exhibition of photography and written testimonials of Syrian refugee youth in Turkey. View the exhibition online at bigpicturesais.com.

 

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Digital Challenges to the International System


Inaugural event of the Johns Hopkins SAIS Foresight series

Digital Challenges to the International System


Inaugural event of the Johns Hopkins SAIS Foresight series

May 31, 2018

Giuliana Auinger, Director, KPMG Global Strategy Group
Francis Gavin, Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
Sean Kanuck, Director of Cyber, Space and Future Conflict, International Institute for Strategic Studies
Dan Kelly, Senior Security Research, Area 1 Security
Sabrina Lin, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
John Lipsky, Distinguished Scholar at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute
Vali Nasr, Dean of Johns Hopkins SAIS
James Rickards, Editor, Strategic Intelligence
Thomas Rid, Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor of Strategic Studies

Johns Hopkins SAIS Foresight, a new annual event series based in Asia and bringing together leaders in business, technology, finance, and academia to explore pressing global issues, debuted in Hong Kong May 31. The event was co-hosted by Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Alumni, guests, and professionals in technology, international finance, and cyber security enjoyed networking and panel discussions on the theme of "Digital Challenges to the International System." 

Asia Society Hong Kong's Executive Director S. Alice Mong and Board of Trustees Chairman Ronnie Chan provided welcoming remarks and thanked the school for partnering with the society to establish the new forum.  

Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean Vali Nasr opened the forum with an overview of the school and its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. In highlighting the evening's agenda, Nasr emphasized the importance of information security in financial markets and in industries led by multinational companies.

Francis Gavin of the school's Henry A. Kissinger Center shared insights from his celebrated works on the history of international monetary policy and the challenges and achievements of monetary cooperation among global powers. 

The first panel, moderated by KPMG's Giuliana Auinger, explored the new landscape of cyber threats to national and global security. Dan Kelly, Sean Kanuck, and Professor Thomas Rid discussed practices used by cyber security experts to protect private and government interests from malicious actors. 

The keynote address on "The US Dollar and the International Financial System in the Digital Age" was delivered by Johns Hopkins University alumnus and best-selling author James Rickards. Rickards provided insights from his decades of Wall Street expertise on currency values and the potential for crypto currencies to displace the US dollar as the dominant reserve currency. 

The second panel featured former managing director of the International Monetary Fund John Lipsky with Sabrina Lin of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology joining Rickards for an off-the-record discussion of economic trends. 

Following the latter panel, attendees and speakers networked together at a reception offering sweeping views of the Hong Kong skyline.

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Celebrating the Class of 2018


Celebrating the Class of 2018


May 23, 2018

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) held its Washington, DC commencement ceremony on May 23. The school conferred degrees to more than 500 students in the Master of Arts, Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance, Master of Arts in Global Policy, Master of International Public Policy, and Doctorate programs. 

Hailing from 69 different countries, Dean Vali Nasr said the Class of 2018 represented a rich diversity of ambitions and goals. In his address, he called on graduates to advance the cause of global cooperation in which the school was founded, noting the potential for graduates to make their mark as the international order is at the threshold of change.   

The keynote address was delivered by Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Co-Founder and Managing Partner at WestExec Advisors. Flournory encouraged graduates to frame their future careers in terms of lifelong service, no matter what roles they choose. "In these challenging times, your service and commitment are more important than ever. I urge you to step up; don’t opt out," Flournoy said.   

Jeffrey and Shari Aronson received the Founders Award for extraordinary support of the school. The Aronsons' long record of support includes commitments of more than $10 million in new resources across many divisions of the university, allowing the school to strengthen faculty expertise in strategic areas of study.

Vice Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs Peter Lewis presented awards recognizing members of the class for individual achievements. Quinn Campbell received the William C. Foster Award for distinguished service to the school. The Christian A. Herter Award for outstanding academic achievement was presented to Elias Dammann, Brendan McCartney, Lauren Sidner, Emily Weiss, Rachel Xian, and Hao Zhang.

Master of Arts graduate Abigail Gage delivered the student address, emphasizing the close relationships and wide spectrum of perspectives she and her classmates will take with them into the world. Student Government Association President Natalia Arenas remarked on the ways the Class of 2018 made the most of their graduate school experience. In closing, Dean Nasr invited family, friends, and graduates to the Arena Stage for a celebratory reception. 

A commencement celebration was held at SAIS Europe on May 19 featuring a keynote address by Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs of The Scottish Government, Annabelle Ewing B’82. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center commencement ceremony will be held June 15. 

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Celebrating SAIS Europe 2018 Graduates


Celebrating SAIS Europe 2018 Graduates


May 19, 2018

Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe celebrated the graduates of the Master of Arts in Global Risk (MAGR), Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA), Master of International Public Policy (MIPP), and Diploma degree programs on Saturday, May 19th in Bologna, Italy. Commencement speaker Annabelle Ewing (B’82), Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs of the Scottish Government, offered inspiring remarks about how her time at SAIS Europe prepared her for a career in public service.

The Class of 2018 voted to honor Adjunct Professor of International Economics Fabrizio Jacobellis with the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association's Excellence in Teaching Award. Five students were awarded the Grove C. Haines prizes in recognition of their outstanding papers in international economics, international policy areas, regions of the world and best MAIA thesis. Student Government Association President Deboleena Rakshit closed the ceremony with the student address.

The Washington, DC campus held its commencement May 23. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center will recognize graduates June 15.

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Future Strategy Forum


Future Strategy Forum


May 18, 2018

The Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) co-sponsored the inaugural Future Strategy Forum at the CSIS headquarters in Washington, DC. The forum is designed to empower female scholars who research national security and connect them with its leading practitioners. More than 100 participants came from around the country to hear leading women scholars and policymakers discuss “The Future of Force.”

Kathleen Hicks, senior vice president of CSIS and the Donald Marron Scholar at the Kissinger Center, and Francis Gavin, Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and director of the Kissinger Center, offered welcome remarks. The first panel tackled the future of U.S. security regarding emerging states, chiefly Russia and China. Panelists, including Johns Hopkins SAIS Alumna Amanda Dory, Faculty, National War College, argued that while direct conflict between the United States and China or Russia is unlikely in the near-term, both powers wish to establish dominance within their respective regions, upholding the liberal international order when it suits their interests but violating its rules when they do not.

The second panel addressed the influence of non-state actors on international security. Panelists agreed that the state remains the dominant force in international affairs, but highlighted the success of non-violent movements in promoting sustainable political change and the bureaucratic and political challenges of combating violent non-state actors who cross international borders.

The third panel examined the influence of new technologies. Panelists, including Johns Hopkins SAIS Alumna Katherine Charlet, Director, Technology and International Affairs Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, emphasized the need to secure an offense-defense balance, and to recruit a talented workforce in order to maximize the potential of new technology.

Mara Karlin, associate professor of the practice and director of the Strategic Studies program, led the fourth panel, which included Johns Hopkins SAIS Alumna Kelly Magsamen, Vice President for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress. The panel assessed the United States’ success integrating all the tools of foreign policy – from diplomacy, intelligence, and development to economic statecraft, education policy, and humanitarian assistance.

The forum concluded with a keynote discussion in which a distinguished panel of scholars and practitioners, including Shamila Chaundhary, senior advisor to Dean Vali Nasr, discussed ways to bridge the persistent gap between academia and policymaking, as well as the many ways in which the two complement and enrich each other.  

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Reflections on a Life Lived Fully with Gloria Estefan


Reflections on a Life Lived Fully with Gloria Estefan


May 9, 2018

Gloria Estefan, Singer-Songwriter and Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient

Johns Hopkins SAIS was honored to welcome Gloria Estefan as part of the Women Who Inspire lecture series. Estefan shared her experiences as a Cuban-American woman and generously dispensed advice for not just the students of the school but all members of the community. The discussion was moderated by Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins SAIS Foreign Policy Institute.

To understand the beginning, sometimes it’s necessary to start from the end: Estefan spoke about how she has the luxury of choice today–when starting out, we may have to do things that we may not necessarily want to and “ride on the momentum.” Today though, Estefan can choose where to focus her energies: on family, for example. She highlighted the role her husband, Emilio, has played throughout her life–balancing her out, being each other’s best cheerleader, and their combined desire to maintain who they were in the music industry and evaluating the value of their work in order to ultimately stick to that commitment. “[You] don’t want to succeed [while] not doing what you like. [If] you’re going to do that for the rest of your life, you better like it!” Estefan advised.

Estefan also talked about the power of example and how being around the women in her family who did everything showed her that there was no glass ceiling. In the same vein, she encourages cultural diplomacy in her music by broadening the scope of her songs to reach as many people as possible, while pushing open the doors for other artists such as Shakira, Ricky Martin, among others. On speaking about her accident, she pointed out that fame was never the goal and it can easily be taken away. Instead, she emphasized the power of connectivity–that everything we do can make a difference in someone else’s life.

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