• Spring 2020
SPRING 2020 : précis Activities
May 19, 2020

Visit our website to learn about all of the Center's spring activities. Many events are captured on video and available to view on YouTube.

Starr Forums explore topics through the lens of Covid-19

The Center hosted several public forums that touched upon the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including: "Rethinking National Security in the Age of Pandemics," with Jim Walsh (MIT), Vipin Narang (MIT), Joe Cirincione (Ploughshares Fund), and Yasmeen Silva (Beyond the Bomb); "Amazon Burning. Covid 19. Ghosts of Climate Future?" with Carlos Nobre (University of Sao Paulo) and Elizabeth Leeds (MIT); "Violence Against Women and Girls: The Case of Saudi Arabia" with Hala Aldosari (MIT) and Rothna Begum (Human Rights Watch). Visit the Starr Forum web site for a full listing of spring 2020 events, including videos and transcripts.

Covid-19: On the ground in India

The MIT India program and the Sloan School co-sponsored an event featuring MIT alumni working in India on Covid-19 initiatives. Highlights included: Anirudh Sharma, founder of Graviky, who spoke about collaborating with experts across different disciplines to provide low-cost PPE kits. Anushka Shah, founder of Civic Studios, who teamed up with the Indian Police Foundation to produce videos to help address the challenges faced by law enforcement officers on the frontlines of the pandemic; and Hank Levine, founder of iPlace, who described the efforts of his recruiting team to simultaneously adjust to working remotely and, through hard work and innovative ideas, ensure people are still placed in jobs amidst the pandemic. Watch the webinar.

MIT challenge: Africa takes on Covid-19

MIT hosted a series of open challenges to take action on the COVID-19 crisis. Among them was the virtual event, Africa Takes on Covid-19. This was part of a series of virtual hackathons with partners from across the MIT (including the MIT Africa Program) and healthcare ecosystems. 

CIS awards 17 summer study grants

Seventeen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT were awarded summer study grants. Each will receive up to $3,500. Among the students was Sara Plana, who was awarded the first annual Jeanne Guillemin prize. “The awards were made to an outstanding cohort of MIT students from across the Institute. We're so pleased that the appeal of these grants has broadened and students are responding,” said John Tirman, CIS executive director and principal research scientist.

SSP Wednesday Seminars

The Security Studies Program's lunchtime series included: Bridget Coggins, University of California, Santa Barbara, on "Domestic Anarchy in a World of States"; Robert Johnson, Oxford University, on "The Revolution That Failed: Nuclear Competition, Arms Control, and the Cold War"; Annette Idler, Harvard University, on "The Strategic Challenge of Society-centric Warfare"; Charles Glaser, George Washington University, on "Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War"; and Jacqueline L Hazelton, US Naval War College, on "National Security Challenges Posed by China's Rise." A complete list of SSP Wednesday Seminars for spring 2020 is available here.

Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration 

The International Migration Committee's seminar series explores global population movements and their impact upon sending and receiving countries and relations among them. The spring events included: Lama Mourad (Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania) on "Open Borders, Local Closures: Municipal Curfews and the Lebanese Response to the Syrian Refugee Influx"; and Mario Zucconi, Princeton University, on "The Failed Accession of Turkey to the European Union and the Migrant Crisis." Videos and transcripts are available on the program's web site

SHASS Infinite Miles Awards

Alicia Raun (assistant director at MISTI and managing director of the MIT-Spain and MIT-Portugal Programs) and Fatih Basaga (Systems Administrator) are among the winners of this year's Infinite Mile Awards sponsored annually by the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Raun was recognized in the category of "Great Ideas" for her many contributions to the MISTI program and the direct impact she has had on MIT students and faculty. Basaga was named an "Unsung Hero" for his numerous and varied contributions that regularly extend beyond the job description.

The Policy Lab completed 5th annual call for proposals

The Policy Lab at CIS works with MIT researchers across the Institute who seek to build relationships with the policy community and engage with policymakers. The program helps identify policy-relevant research and implement strategies to engage relevant policymakers and other stakeholders. The program concluded its fifth call for proposals with a near record turnout of 40 proposals from faculty across the Institute. Learn more about the Policy Lab