• Spring 2019
May 9, 2019

Visit our website to learn about all of the Center's spring 2019 activities. Many events are captured on video and available to view on YouTube.

SSP congressional meeting

On April 17-19, the Security Studies Program hosted its fifth biennial senior congressional and executive branch staff seminar, titled “Regions and Rivals: American Strategy In A Time Of Uncertainty.” Bringing 25 staffers from across the legislative and executive branches to MIT’s campus for an intensive 3-day seminar, MIT faculty and outside speakers presented on nuclear and geographical threats affecting US interests across the globe. The seminar is funded through a generous grant from the Frankel Foundation.

2019 summer study grants

Eighteen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT were awarded grants for summer study. Each will receive up to $3,500 either for fieldwork and/or archival research, or for home-based research and write-up. The awards were made to an outstanding cohort of MIT students from across the Institute.

Through MISTI, faculty launch collaborations around the world

MISTI Global Seed Funds program awards another $2 million to researchers across the Institute. Over $2 million was awarded to 106 winners from 24 departments across all five schools. That brings the total amount of funding awarded to $17.7 million over the 11-year life of the program. Read more

MISTI team receives SHASS Infinite Mile Award

Mala Ghosh, Maria Segala, and Madeline Smith have been selected to receive the SHASS Infinite Mile Award for Inclusion. As MISTI's team lead for diversity, equity and inclusion, Ghosh has worked closely with colleagues to promote inclusion across MISTI programs. The multifaceted plan she developed includes outreach to partners across campus, data assessment, creating new events and resources for students and staff info sessions, among other things. Her successful proposals to the ICEO Committee on Race & Diversity enabled MISTI to launch IdentityX program student pre-departure sessions, a blog, and student leadership development. Both Smith and Segala have been instrumental in building these activities as a part of the team Ghosh brought together. Smith has been coordinating outreach, organizing event logistics, and developing communication around the student programs. Segala has expanded critical data collection to better assess and track our progress, provides comprehensive analysis on student data around inclusion, and facilitates LGBTQ trainings.

MIT Starr Forums address Uyghur crisis, nuclear warfare, climate science, and more

The Center hosted a series of public talks including: the "MIT-Harvard Conference on the Uyghur Human Rights" with Sean Roberts (George Washington University), Darren Byler (University of Washington), Rian Thum (Loyola University New Orleans), Jessica Batke (ChinaFile), Gene Bunin (Xinjiang Victims Database curator), and Joi Ito (MIT); "Night Watch: A discussion about nuclear warfare" with Alex Maggio (Madame Secretary producer) and Vipin Narang (MIT); "From Cold War to Hot Peace" with Ambassador Michael McFaul (Stanford University); "The Madhouse Effect" with Michael Mann (Penn State), and "Abolish ICE?" with Juliette Kayyem (Harvard) and Chappell Lawson (MIT). Most Starr Forums are available to view on the Center’s YouTube channel. Transcripts, when available, are posted here.

Focus on Russia

Each semester the MIT Security Studies Program, together with the MISTI MIT-Russia Program, and the MIT Center for International Studies, presents a speaker series entitled “Focus on Russia,” which considers a number of current issues in Russian domestic and foreign policies. The spring semester's events included: "From Cold War to Hot Peace" (Ambassador Michael McFaul, Stanford University) & "Putinism” (Brian Taylor, Syracuse University).

SSP Wednesday Seminars

The Security Studies Program's lunchtime series included: Lien-Hang Nguyen, Columbia University, on "New Histories of the Tet Offensive: Fifty Years Later"; TV Paul, McGill University, on "Restraining Great Powers: Soft Balancing From Empires to the Global Era"; Jacob Shapiro, Princeton University, on "Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict"; Emily Goldman on "Cyberspace Strategy and Great Power Competition"; Jim Walsh, MIT, on "Laser Enrichment and Nuclear Proliferation: Unexpected Results & the Lessons for Scholarship"; and Rosemary Kelanic, University of Notre Dame, on "Oil and Great Power Strategy". A complete list of SSP Wednesday Seminars for spring 2019 is available here.

MIT-Lockheed Martin Seed Fund launches

Lockheed Martin and MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) have announced the creation of the MIT-Lockheed Martin Seed Fund to promote early-stage collaborations between MIT faculty and researchers with universities and public research institutions in Israel. The seed fund will also take place in Germany, and additional countries will be considered after the pilot year of 2019. Read more

Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar

The following lectures were hosted this spring by the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar: "Worst Humanitarian Crisis of our Time: Displacement and Destruction in Syria and Yemen" with Denis J. Sullivan (Northeastern University) and "No Country for Young Men (And Women): Education, Employment and Inequality in the Middle East and North Africa" with Djavad Salehi-Isfahani (Virginia Tech).