The Center is closely involved in the war in Ukraine via analysis, advice, and informing the public. Coverage from our Russia scholars and security studies faculty on the invasion that began on February 24, 2022, is available on our web site and can be found on our War in Ukraine web page.
Seventeen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT were awarded summer study grants. Each will receive up to $3,500. The summer study fellowship competition is open to advanced doctoral students in international affairs, regardless of home department. The awards were made to an outstanding cohort of MIT students from across the Institute.
Inspired by Israel: Arts education, and innovation at MIT
The MISTI MIT-Israel program together with the office of the Consulate General of Israel to New England hosted an event in late April called, “Inspired by Israel: Arts Education, and Innovation at MIT.” The event featured Joshua Angrist, Ford Professor of Economics at MIT, as a keynote speaker. Israeli artist Shuli Sade was in attendance and spoke to guests about the inspiration behind her artwork that is hanging at MIT.
CIS and the MIT-Africa Program partnered for the second year with TRUE Africa University (TAU) to host a webinar series focusing on sustainable development in Africa. MIT alumnus and CIS research affiliate Claude Grunitzky, who spearheaded the series, interviewed the thinkers, shapers, and doers whom he sees as the inventors of the future of Africa. Highlights from this year’s series include: "The Africa we want," featuring Claude Grunitzky, CIS research affiliate and founder of the MIT X TAU series; "Africa's growth prospects," featuring Thabi Leoka, economist; "Africa's innovation in education," featuring David Moinina Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Chief Innovation Officer in Sierra Leone; and "Africa's information technologies," featuring Cina Lawson, Minister of Digital Economy and Transformation in Togo. View all the MIT X TAU events on the CIS YouTube playlist here.
CIS congratulates the graduates
Among those who graduated from the Department of Political Science this past year were eight graduate students focused on international relations and security studies, including Sean Atkins (PhD), Matthew Cancian (PhD), Helen Landwehr (SM), Emma Campbell-Mohn (SM), Andrew Halterman (PhD), Sara Plana (PhD), Erik Sand (PhD), and Rachel Tecott (PhD). A complete list of Department of Political Science graduates is available here.
MIT-France celebrates seed fund anniversary
The MIT-France Program celebrated the 20th anniversary of its seed fund program with a symposium in Paris on July 12 and 13. The event brought together experts from France and MIT on artificial intelligence and its implications for health, environment, privacy, work and governance. French Minister for Digital Transition and Telecommunications Jean-Noël Barrot opened the symposium, followed by introductory talks by MIT President Rafael Reif and the directors of leading French research institutions. Faculty participants from MIT included professors Daniela Rus, Regina Barzilay, Caroline Uhler, Jeff Grossman, Elsa Olivetti, Aleksander Madry, Marzyeh Ghassemi, Antonio Torralba and Suzanne Berger, and senior lecturer Luis Videgaray. Since 2002, the MIT-France Seed Fund has provided more than $2 million to 142 research projects spurring collaboration between MIT faculty and scientists and counterparts in France.
Each semester the Bustani Seminar invites scholars, journalists, consultants, and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to present recent research findings on contemporary politics, society, and culture, and economic and technological development in the Middle East. Recent talks included: “The US and the Middle East: What went wrong?” with Steven Simon (MIT) and “The racial Muslim: When racism quashes religious freedom,” with Sahar Aziz (Boston University).
The Security Studies Program weekly seminar series featured weekly talks on campus for the MIT community and virtually on YouTube for the public. The spring talks included: featured weekly talks on campus for the MIT community and virtually on the SSP YouTube channel, and now also available in podcast format. The spring talks included: “The civilian casualty files,” with Azmat Khan (Columbia University); "The logic and impacts of rebel public services provision: evidence from Taliban courts in Afghanistan," with Renard Sexton (Emory University); “Nuclear deterrence in a multipolar world,” with Stacie Pettyjohn (Center for a New American Security); “Words of war: Diplomacy as a tool of conflict,” Erin Min (UCLA); “Spies, lies, and algorithms: The history and future of American intelligence,” Amy Zegart. (Stanford University); “Israel and the Middle East: Challenges for 2022,” Amos Yadlin (Harvard University); and “Born in blackness: Africa, Africans, and the making of the modern world, 1471 to the Second World War,” Howard French (Columbia University). View the seminars on the SSP YouTube channel.
The Center hosted multiple virtual Starr Forums on global issues with record-breaking attendance on events focused on the war in Ukraine. Recent events included: “Republics of myth: National narratives and the US-Iran conflict,” with John Tirman (MIT), Hussein Banai (Indiana University-Bloomington), and Malcolm Byrne (George Washington University). “The collapse of the Soviet empire and the seeds of the new European war," with Vladislav Zubok (London School of Economics and Political Science), Carol Saivetz (MIT), and Elizabeth Wood (MIT). "The wider implications of the war in Ukraine," with Jacqueline Bhabha (Harvard), Joel Brenner (MIT), Taylor Fravel (MIT), Roger Petersen (MIT), Jim Walsh (MIT), Carol Saivetz (MIT), and Elizabeth Wood (MIT). "Autocracy's assault on press freedom," with Ada Petriczko (MIT), Valerie Hopkins (NYT), Paulina Milewska (European University Institute), and Veronica Munk (Hungarian journalist); and "The future of US-China relations," with Taylor Fravel (MIT), Eric Heginbotham (MIT), Ketian Zhang (George Mason University), and Ali Wyne (Eurasia Group). View all the Starr Forums on the CIS YouTube playlist here.