Director's Message

Richard J Samuels 
Photo courtesy Pablo Castagnola Fotograf & Einstein Stiftung, Berlin


More than 70 years ago, MIT established the Center for International Studies to conduct research to help the United States in its cold war struggle against the Soviet Union. Before long, however, the Center broadened its focus to include research and teaching in a wide range of international subjects, among them development studies, comparative politics, international relations, social movements, security studies, and international science and technology.

MIT and the Center have always sought to bridge the worlds of the scholar and the policymaker by offering each a place to exchange thoughts and perspectives with the other and by encouraging academics to work on policy-relevant problems.

As we struggle in the midst of a global pandemic and wrestle with racial and social injustice at home and abroad, it should go without saying that world affairs continue to challenge us all. The relevance of the knowledge we generate and the quality of the recommendations we make are tested daily, reminding us with often painful urgency of our responsibilities as educators and public intellectuals. Center scholars continue to strive to be up to the challenges.

– Richard J Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science