• Fall 2009
November 1, 2009

CIS Advisory Board led by Admiral Fallon

Admiral William J. Fallon

Admiral William J. Fallon

Under the leadership of Adm. William J. Fallon (USN-ret.), the CIS Wilhelm Fellow in 2008-2009, the Center has formed an advisory board of distinguished individuals to provide guidance in the coming years. "This is an exciting development for the Center," says Professor Richard Samuels, CIS director. "We now have an exceptionally knowledgeable, accomplished, and global cohort of thinkers and doers to give us frank advice and connect us ever more deeply to interesting people and networks around the world." 

In addition to Admiral Fallon, the group includes Mary Boies, an attorney and high-level government adviser; Jon Borschow, a businessman based in Puerto Rico and an MIT alumnus; Susan Chira, foreign editor of the New York Times; Chas W. Freeman, Jr., former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia; M. Shafik Gabr, a Cairo-based head of a major investment group; Alexis F. Habib, managing director of Spinnaker Capital Limited, London; Dana Mead, Chairman of the MIT Corporation; Yukio Okamoto, former adviser to the Japanese government; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank who earned her PhD at MIT; John Reed, retired Chairman of Citigroup, and an MIT alumnus; Siddharth C.R. Shriram, an industrialist based in New Delhi; Jeffrey L. Silverman, a graduate of the Sloan School at MIT and a commodities trader in Chicago; Anthony Sun, a high-tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who earned degrees in engineering at MIT; Lynn Chatman Todman, director of the Institute on Social Exclusion in Chicago, and a MIT PhD in urban planning; and Thomas Wolf, a political science PhD from MIT and a Pennsylvania businessman who has served in the governor's cabinet. 

MISTI Expands to Brazil and Africa

São Paulo

São Paulo

MISTI launched the MIT-Brazil Program this fall to connect MIT students and faculty with research and innovation in Brazil. 

Working with corporations, universities and research institutes, MIT-Brazil will match MIT students with professional and research internships in Brazil. Industries may include energy, software, aeronautics, agriculture and telecommunications. The program will also offer seed funds to faculty for research with Brazilian counterparts. 

The program will be co-directed by Ben Ross Schneider, Professor of Political Science, and Richard Locke, Deputy Dean, Sloan School of Management; Alvin J. Siteman (1948) Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Political Science. For more information, contact program coordinator Karina Xavier

MISTI also has begun a new collaboration with AITI as a part of MISTI Africa. 

AITI, or Africa Information Technology Initiative, is an MIT student-run organization that promotes economic development in Africa by cultivating young technology entrepreneurs. During the summer and IAP, AITI sends MIT student instructors to Africa to hold courses at African universities. Courses focus on mobile technologies and are structured to introduce students to the commercial possibilities of the technologies. Since 2000, AITI has sent nearly 100 MIT instructors to teach over 1200 African students, resulting in the creation of African businesses and the addition of course offerings at its partner universities. 

MISTI will work closely with AITI to increase the opportunities for MIT students to learn in Africa. 

BBC Journalist Joins CIS

Firle Davies

Firle Davies

Firle Davies, a journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation, has been named the 2009-10 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. Davies is the fifth recipient of the annual fellowship, which gives a woman journalist working in print, broadcast or online media the opportunity to focus exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues. The award is offered through the International Women's Media Foundation and is sponsored in part by CIS. 

While at CIS, Davis will spend nine months in a tailor-made academic research program. During that time, she will also work at the Boston Globe and New York Times

"Firle is a tenacious journalist who tackles dangerous topics with finesse. Her vast work on domestic issues in Africa demonstrates both bravery and an arduous pursuit of social justice. We look forward to her time with us," said Richard Samuels, director of the Center for International Studies and Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT. 

A journalist for more than two decades, Davies has worked for the BBC since 2000. She has reported for domestic and world service radio, domestic and world television, and has produced online and current affairs documentaries. She has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Zaire, among other countries. 

Global Web Site Seeks Visions for Jerusalem

Envisioning Jerusalem through Media Barrios and Performance Spaces

Envisioning Jerusalem through Media Barrios and Performance Spaces
Image courtesy of

Protests, anger, controversy, arrests, evacuation—words used in the news to describe Jerusalem today. Still, the Center's Jerusalem 2050 Program seeks visions for a city of peace by mid-century—now through The site is loaded with interactive tools and resources to help foster dialogue, ideas, and solutions for cities of conflict, beginning with Jerusalem. is the next phase in the Program's efforts to organize a global problem-solving exercise. "The hope is that people around the world will be inspired and work together to generate new art, new organizations, and new cooperative projects and synergies as inclusive pathways towards peace—solutions as opposed to THE SOLUTION of track 1 diplomacy. The site aims to create an open forum to engage global civil society in dialogue, envisioning, brainstorming, presenting, critiquing, and re-developing ideas for, not only a just, peaceful, and sustainable Jerusalem, but also for peaceful cities worldwide," said Diane Davis, professor of political sociology and head of the International Development Group at MIT. 

The site also showcases the exhibition and visions from the Program's Just Jerusalem Competition—an open exercise in futurist planning. The winning teams hailed from around the world and were selected in spring 2008 by a world-class jury.

New Audits of the Conventional Wisdom

The Center's Audits of the Conventional Wisdom addressed the following topics this past semester: Israel-Palestine; Iran's nuclear program, and the war in Afghanistan. All Audits are available at:

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