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Director’s Message: Welcome to Autumn 2021

September 10, 2021

Leela Fernandes in front of Thomson Hall
Leela Fernandes, September 2021. Photo credit: Tara Brown for University Photography

We begin this year with much that is changing. We are starting with the hope of being able to reconnect in person in safe ways even as we continue to work through the continued impact of COVID-19. Change always provides us with the possibility of creating new and better ways of being in the world. The challenges unfolding in the world underline the importance of the work that we do at the Jackson School.

The coming year brings with it some exciting new changes in the Jackson School. We have just launched a new Global and Regional Studies major. Students can now enjoy open admissions, more choices in courses and new configurations of geographical and thematic specializations. We have also added a new capstone option with a series of Calderwood Seminars in Public Writing that will provide students with critical skills to have real public impact.

We will also have the exciting opportunity to expand the faculty of the Jackson school through three searches that we will be conducting over the coming academic year. We will be working on hiring in environmental justice and development, cybersecurity and a brand new visiting professor of practice appointment focused on foreign policy in the Middle East. These opportunities will allow the Jackson School to maintain the intellectual leadership it has shown since it was first established in 1909. Over the coming year, we will be working on reforming on our Ph.D. program in order to keep up with changing national and global trends in graduate education and international studies. We will also continue to work on the objectives of expanding diversity, equity and inclusion in the school.

As we move forward, it is likely that we will continue to feel some of the uncertainties of the world in very personal ways. We have already been experiencing the impact of global climate change on our local communities. The challenges that we face foreground how interconnected we all are.  These challenges also give us an opportunity to change our relationship with each other and with the world. I look forward to working with you to creating such spaces for transformation.

With best wishes,

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