• Spring 2015
May 1, 2015

Visit our website and events calendar for a complete listing of spring 2015 activities. Many of our events are captured on video and available to view on YouTube.

Dolev Receives MIT Excellence Award

David Dolev, assistant director of MISTI and managing director of MIT-Israel, was honored with the Excellence Award for Advancing Inclusion and Global Perspectives in recognition of the programs he has developed that promote greater understanding across the MIT community and beyond. His inventive program MISTI 2.0 is designed to develop MIT students into dynamic leaders with a global perspective. In the MIT-Israel program, he has created opportunities for hundreds of MIT students to work and do research in Israel, a pioneer in fields like energy and the environment. In the MIT-MEET program, Dolev helps recruit and prepare MIT students to promote interaction and camaraderie between Israeli and Palestinian high-school students as they bond around a passion for new technologies.

Wickremesinghe Elected PM of Sri Lanka

The Center is thrilled to announce that Ranil Wickremesinghe was recently elected prime minister of Sri Lanka. Wickremesinghe was a CIS Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow in the spring of 2014. While at MIT, he focused on how to formulate a constitution sans an executive presidency. He also worked with faculty and students interested in Asian regional issues and was the key speaker at a Starr Forum: The Indian Ocean: The Vortex of Destiny. Wickremesinghe was prime minister of Sri Lanka twice before, from May 7, 1993 to August 19, 1994 and from December 9, 2001 to April 6, 2004.

Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration

The Center hosted three seminars including: "Migration, National Security, and New Forms of Policing: Dubai and Abu Dhabi," with Noora A. Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University; "Dreaming Europe in the Wake of the Arab Revolts: Causes and Consequences of Migration from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe," with Philippe Fargues, Professor and Director of the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute; and "Theorizing International Migration: Towards a Unified Field of Study," with Professor James F. Hollifield, Director of the Tower Center for Political Studies, Southern Methodist University.

Sferza Receives Infinite Mile Award

Serenella Sferza, co-director of the MIT-Italy Program, received a SHASS Infinite Mile award this year in the "Great Ideas" category. This award recognizes Serenella's creation and development of MISTI Global Teaching Labs, a program that now sends some 150 students abroad over IAP to teach STEM subjects in foreign high schools. Thanks to Serenella's contagious enthusiasm for GTL, this highly competitive program has now been replicated in a handful of MISTI countries, creating new ways for hundreds of MIT students to gain a unique hands-on learning experience abroad. 

Hrant Dink Memorial Lecture

The Center launched a lecture series honoring the late human-rights activist Hrant Dink. The series welcomes distinguished speakers to MIT to address issues of human rights. Hrant Dink was a well-known activist on behalf of human rights in Turkey, his native land, and was widely lauded for promoting Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, human rights, and minority rights in Turkey. He was often critical of Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide and of the Armenian diaspora's enmity toward Turks. He was the founding editor of Agos, an Armenian-language newspaper in Istanbul. In January 2007, he was assassinated by a Turkish nationalist. More than 200,000 people attended his funeral. The inaugural lecture was given by Jennifer Leaning, the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, at the Harvard School of Public Health. A video of her talk "Forced Migration and Human Rights: Can we maintain the promise of protection?" is available here. The Center's Hrant Dink Memorial Lecture is made possible by the generous support of the Gubenkian Foundation and Harry Parsekian.

Christia Receives Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

The Carnegie Corporation of New York has announced the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows, among them MIT's Fotini Christia, associate professor of political science. Each fellow will receive up to $200,000 to support his or her research in the social sciences and humanities. Christia's research—which has involved extensive fieldwork in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iran, the Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, and most recently, Syria and Yemen—considers issues of conflict and cooperation in the Muslim world. 

SSP Wed Seminars

The Security Studies Program's lunchtime lectures included: Steven Simon, Middle East Institute, on "The U.S. and the Middle East;" Steven Wilkinson, Yale University, on "Army and Nation: coup-proofing the military in South Asia;" Wendy Pearlman, Northwestern University, on " Protest Cascades in Syria;" and Sally Paine, Naval War College, on " China between Continental and Maritime World Orders." A full list of SSP Seminars for spring 2015 is available here.

Starr Forums

The Center hosted multiple Starr Forums this spring including: a conversation on security dynamics in Asia with the following speakers: Ambassador Shivshankar Menon, India's former national security advisor and foreign secretary, and a recent Robert E. WIlhelm Fellow at CIS; Taylor Fravel, associate professor of political science at MIT and member of the Security Studies Program, and Vipin Narang, associate professor of political science at MIT and also a member of the Security Studies Program. Another event was on demystifying ISIS with speakers Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan and Richard Nielsen, assistant professor of political science at MIT. Science and innovation diplomacy was the topic of another event and included the following speakers: Fiona Murray, William Porter (1967) Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and faculty director at both the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the Legatum Center; Phil Budden, senior lecturer at MIT Sloan, affiliated with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the TIES Group; Nina Fedoroff, Evan Pugh professor at Pennsylvania State University and former Science and Technology Advisor to the US Secretary of State; and Kenneth Oye, who holds a joint appointment at MIT in Political Science and Engineering Systems. Moderating the discussion was Calestous Juma, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Visiting Professor at MIT and Professor of the Practice of International Development at Harvard. For a full list for spring Starr Forums and a link to the videos, click here.