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Director’s message: Welcome to autumn 2020

October 2, 2020

I have begun my term as Director of the Jackson School in a unique way. We have started the academic year largely online as we continue to face the risks of COVID-19. Most of our work has shifted to virtual connections and communications. It is already clear to me that the richness, dedication and excellence of the Jackson School community will allow us to both navigate these challenges and provide critical leadership as we move forward in times that often seem uncertain and challenging.

I am looking forward to getting to know and engaging with all of you through a full year of public events and intellectual endeavors.  The School is poised to lead on critical public issues that range from the U.S. elections to international perspectives on race and justice to questions of climate change and global inequality.

As we navigate the intensity of the present conditions of our virtual world, we are also positioned to develop the School’s intellectual leadership for what our post-COVID world will look like. The pandemic will have lasting effects on the ways in which organizations and businesses do their work and on the nature of inequality. The political implications of technological change and intensifying inequality have profound implications for democratic and human rights.

The Jackson School community of faculty, staff and students has the depth and commitment to provide the kind of leadership that is needed to move the world forward to new solutions and new visions of justice and equality. As we move forward in this collective endeavor, I am committed to developing new ways of thinking about international education that can address the interdependencies that shape our world. The challenges we face also provide immense opportunities for change. I look forward to working with you in these endeavors over the coming months and years.

With best wishes,

Leela Fernandes
Director and Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies
Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies