M. Taylor Fravel, associate professor of political science and member of the Security Studies Program at MIT, will become acting director of the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS) on July 1, 2017.
Fravel will serve in this capacity while Richard Samuels, CIS director and Ford International Professor of Political Science, is on sabbatical leave. During his leave from the Institute, Samuels will be completing research and writing of his study of the history of the Japanese intelligence community. Samuels will return to MIT in July 2018.
Fravel joined MIT in 2004 as assistant professor of political science and member of the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP). SSP is widely recognized as a leader in its field, generating important insights into international security issues and training graduate students for influential careers in academia, government, business, and civil society organizations. CIS provides the intellectual home and the administrative infrastructure for SSP.
"CIS is a core portal for MIT’s engagement with the world, from Starr Forums on the most pressing issues of the day to student internships in dozens of countries abroad through MISTI. Its faculty-led programs and activities help spread and share MIT's research on critical international issues," said Fravel.
Fravel studies international relations, with a focus on international security, China, and East Asia. His first book, Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China's Territorial Disputes, was published in 2008. He is completing a book-length study of major changes in China's military strategy and also examining how to prevent conflict in East Asia's maritime disputes.
"Taylor is a leader in the study of Asian security and international relations, and has made tremendous contributions to the Institute for more than a decade. I am delighted that he has agreed to serve in this capacity," said Samuels.