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Director’s message: Spring 2019

July 2, 2019

Resat Kasaba at the Jackson Graduation 2019

Dear Friends,

Jackson School Convocation on June 13 marked the end of another busy spring quarter and a very successful academic year. Our faculty, staff and students continued to work hard to make sense of a fast-changing world and share their experience, knowledge and commitment with each other and with our communities in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Our popular Trump in the World lecture series returned for a fourth time this Spring. Seven Jackson School faculty were joined by Daniel Immerwahr of Northwestern University to examine the global impact of the policies enacted by the Trump administration. More than 200 students and community members joined us each week to listen to deeply informative and engaging lectures.

This year, our annual D.C. trip took place on May 2. We cooperated with the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University to discuss the role of experts in foreign policy. The day-long conference brought together representatives from academia, private sector and policymakers. We discussed the factors that contributed to past mistakes and explored ways of improving the interaction of experts and policy makers so that they can cooperate in a more open, democratic and inclusive way.

Our students continue to make the Jackson School a very special place to come to work every day. Many of them spend their time not only studying and learning about the world but to engage with the changes around them and make a difference.

Among them is Francis Abugbilla, who used a small Jackson School grant to bring computers to a village in Ghana and then developed ways of using solar energy to power the machines, Grace Sorensen, who is the winner of the Jackson Leadership Award this year, tutored English to adult migrant populations, volunteered  as legal interpreter in naturalization clinics and guided and accompanied immigrants through the entire naturalization process.

Worried about the deteriorating U.S.-China relations, Zhiqin Gao took it upon himself to pull together resources from around the campus and organized a series of high level discussions on this topic with a very distinguished group of speakers from the U.S. and China.

We celebrated the graduation of 281 of our exceptionally accomplished and motivated students at our Convocation on June 13. Once again we were dazzled by the personal stories of our graduates and exceptionally proud to have six U.S. Fulbright Student Scholar awards, two Bonderman Fellows and two members of the UW’s Husky 100 group among them.

We are looking forward to another busy year in 2019-2020. The Jackson School is pleased also to be the recipient of a grant from NATO to host a day-long conference on October 17 to mark the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of that important organization. We will host a yearlong series of speakers on new approaches to U.S. Foreign Policy; lectures that will be especially useful as the country gets ready for elections in 2020. Please check our website for updates on hundreds of events, courses and other activities that we sponsor throughout the year.

In closing, I would like to mark the retirement of Joel Migdal, who, after 39 years stepped down from his position in the Jackson School. In addition to being an award-winning teacher, mentor, and scholar, Joel also played a crucial role in building the International Studies curriculum in the School. I am pleased to express our gratitude to Joel and wish him  a happy retirement and many more years of engagement with international affairs.

I hope that you will enjoy reading more about these and some of our other activities and accomplishments in this newsletter. I thank you for your interest and your continued support.

Reşat Kasaba
Director – Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies