African Technology and Innovation Leaders Visit MIT
High-ranking African leaders in science, technology and innovation gathered at MIT on September 23 and 24 to explore areas for mutual cooperation. The visit is a reflection of the rising interest among African countries in putting science and technology at the center of their development process. As part of their visit, the African leaders participated in a Starr Forum event "Africa Rebooted: Science Technology, and Innovation in Development." This public event was hosted by the Center for International Studies and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
CIS Welcomes Mohamed ElBaradei
The Center welcomed Mohamed ElBaradei on December 8 for an off-the-record conversation about Egypt and the Middle East, as well as nuclear issues. ElBaradei was director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1997 to 2009. He and the agency shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. After his tenure at IAEA, he became involved in the politics of his homeland, Egypt, serving as a leading advocate for democratic reform, and, briefly as acting vice president in 2013. During the period 2011-2013, ElBaradei played a prominent role in the Egyption uprising and quest for democracy. He holds a doctorate in international law from New York University Law School where he was also an adjunct professor.
MIT Alumnus Elected Governor of Pennsylvania
Tom Wolf, an alumnus of the MIT Department of Political Science, has been elected governor of Pennsylvania. He came to MIT in 1974 after studying Indian history in London and serving three years in the Peace Corps in Orissa. At MIT he was a student of Walter Dean Burnham in American political history and Myron Weiner in political demography. His doctoral dissertation won the E.E. Schattschneider Prize of the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of American politics. Notwithstanding his very promising prospects as an academic, governor-elect Wolf chose to return to his home town and expand the family business. From that base, he became one of southeastern Pennsylvania's most philanthropic business leaders. He has served on the department's visiting committee and is a charter member of the CIS advisory board. CIS director, Richard Samuels, who was his class mate in the political science PhD program, remarked, "The citizens of Pennsylvania have made a splendid choice. They are fortunate to have so bright and dedicated a leader."
Malachy Sumaila on Boko Haram
Malachy Sumaila, a lecturer from Ahmadu Bello University in Northern Nigeria and currently at MIT as a distinguished MIT-Empowering the Teachers fellow, shared his experiences with Boko Haram from the perspective of his university, community and family. The talk was hosted by the MIT Africa Program.
Bustani Middle East Seminar
The Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar hosted two talks: "The Islamic State and the Future of Iraq: Terrorism, Sectarianism, and Democracy," with Eric Davis (Department of Political Science, Rutgers University); and "Gaza: Inventions and Illuminations," with Sara Roy (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University).
MISTI Excellence Awards
Each year MISTI presents three types of awards to outstanding students who embody the mission and spirit of MISTI. MISTI provides a $1,000 award to the honorees. The 2014 awards and recipients are: the MISTI Ambassador Award went to the following students: Akanksha Midha, Sloan MBA, Global Startup Labs (Sri Lanka) Camille Richman, junior in MechE, MIT-Israel and MISTI 2.0 Programs. The MISTI Achievement Award, presented to an MIT student or recent alumnus who has made a particularly noteworthy contribution to his or her host organization in the course of his or her internship, went to Joseph Chism, Sophomore in Management Science and Mathematics, MIT-Russia Program. The Suzanne Berger Award for Future Global Leaders, which is presented to a graduating senior who, through his or her coursework and practical experience abroad, has demonstrated his or her potential to become a global leader went to Jellimo Maswan, junior in EECS, MIT-Germany Program; and for the first time, MISTI honored a student with the Clarisse Lebel Internship in 2014. This award went to Sasha Churikova, sophomore in Physics, MIT-France Program.
SSP Wed Seminars
The Security Studies Program's lunchtime lectures included: Nora Bensahel, Center for a New American Security, on "Iraq, Syria, and the Role of the U.S. Military"; Shai Feldman, Brandeis University, on "The IDF's Doctrine and Force Structure: The Effects of the Gaza War"; Paul Staniland, University of Chicago, on "Governing Coercion: Armed Politics and the State in South Asia"; and Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, on "The United Nations and Disarmament: Old Problems, New Opportunities, and Challenges Ahead." A full list of SSP Seminars for fall 2014 is available here.
The Center hosted multiple Starr Forums this fall, including: a screening ofDocumented and a conversation with the filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas ; a discussion on U.S. grand strategy with four scholars: Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and the director of MIT's Security Studies Program; Frank Gavin, Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy studies and professor of political science at MIT; Stephen Walt, the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard; and Jacqueline Hazelton, assistant professor at the Naval War College. The forum was moderated by Ken Oye, who holds a joint appointment in political science and engineering systems. A spirited discussion on "Palestine Now" with speaker Husam Zomlot, a Palestinian and specialist on Middle East affairs. And a book talk with Mary Sarotte, professor of history at the University of Southern California. She discussed her recent monograph, The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall. Introduction and commentary was made by Noam Chomsky. For a full list for fall Starr Forums, click here.