News + Media

Robert Wilhelm visit to CIS with VIPs


June 27, 2022

CIS honors Robert Wilhelm

The Robert E Wilhelm Fellows Program brings real-world experience and new scholarship to CIS and is a vital part of its research community. Since its inception in 2004, the Center has hosted 18 Wilhelm Fellows from around the globe, including Egypt, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Evan Lieberman and his book


June 27, 2022

From South Africa, a success story for democracy

In a new book, MIT political scientist Evan Lieberman examines a quarter-century of post-Apartheid government and finds meaningful progress. He hopes readers will both absorb the substantive case for regarding South African democracy as a success, while also considering that speaking up about the value of democracy is a part of sustaining it.

People taking notes


June 27, 2022


What Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for the world; 3 Questions: The future of international education; Traveling the world to make a global impact; Mobilizing across borders to address global challenges; Congressional seminar introduces MIT faculty to 30 Washington staffers; Eleanor Freund receives Jeanne Guillemin Prize

John Tirman


June 27, 2022

National narratives and the US-Iran conflict

In memory of John Tirman, the author of this feature story, who passed away suddenly on Friday, August 19, 2022. Read the obituary and tributes.
Iran and the US have differing interests and grievances about each other, but their often-deadly confrontation derives from the very different national narratives that shape their politics, actions, and vision of their own destiny in the world. In Republics of Myth, a new book published by the Johns Hopkins University Press, Hussein Banai, Malcolm Byrne, and John Tirman argue that a major contributing factor to this tenacious enmity is how each nation views itself. Featured here is an excerpt written by John Tirman. He served as executive director of and was a principal research scientist at CIS.

Firefighters extinguish a fire following a Russian bombardment at a park in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (Felipe Dana/AP)

In the News

June 21, 2022

As war drags on in Ukraine, is it time to talk compromise?

WBUR On Point

"What is the US interest commensurate with the possibility of nuclear escalation?" Steven Simon, a Robert E Wilhelm Fellow at CIS, asks. "There really isn't one." As war drags on, is it time to talk compromise? Tune in to this edition of On Point featuring Simon, Anne Applebaum (The Atlantic), and Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze (Ukrainian Parliament from the opposition European Solidarity Party).

Jim Braude, Carol Saivetz, Gautam Mukunda on the set of Greater Boston

In the News

June 13, 2022

Could Trump’s hostility toward NATO allies be a winning strategy at home?

Jim BraudeWGBH Greater Boston

Even as it seems Trump's claims are untrue, could they be a winning strategy here at home? And what lies ahead for his London trip and meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin? Jim Braude was joined by Carol Saivetz, senior adviser at MIT's Security Studies Program and Gautam Mukunda, a Harvard Kennedy School fellow, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and author of “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter.”

Officials meeting in Singapore

In the News

June 11, 2022

Shangri-La Dialogue opens in Singapore

Anand NaidooThe Heat

Described as Asia’s premier security summit, military officials and diplomats from more than 40 countries met in Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue. On Friday, a highly anticipated meeting took place between the Defense Ministers of China and the United States. Jim Walsh weighs in.

Melissa Nobles

Analysis + Opinion

June 10, 2022

Science must overcome its racist legacy: Nature’s guest editors speak

Melissa Nobles, Chad Womack, Ambroise Wonkam, and Elizabeth WathutiNature

Top scholars, including MIT chancellor Melissa Nobles, are leading Nature on a journey to help decolonize research and forge a path towards restorative justice and reconciliation.

Guest attending the Robert E Wilhelm Event at CIS


June 9, 2022

CIS honors Robert E Wilhelm ’62, founding supporter of its distinguished fellows program

Michelle EnglishCIS

CIS recently welcomed Robert Wilhelm, and his wife Gena Whitten, to campus to express our gratitude for his ongoing support for its most distinguished fellows program and to inaugurate a new conference room named in his honor. 

US and Iran flags with defeated person walking between them

In the News

June 9, 2022

America’s Iran follies

Michael HirshForeign Policy

After more than two decades of failed policies—fluctuating wildly between confrontation and cooperation—Washington and the West still find themselves facing down a hostile Iran. And today, though it is in dire shape economically, Tehran may be close to delivering the final rebuff, with experts saying it is just weeks away from achieving nuclear bomb capability.