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Director’s Note: End of Spring Quarter

July 25, 2016

Reşat Kasaba,
Jackson School Director Reşat Kasaba

While we wrapped up the 2015-2016 academic year in June with milestones and awards and new initiatives, we also responded to make sense of what’s happening in the world, from terrorist attacks to political upheaval in Europe and the Middle East and beyond.

In this newsletter, you can read more about highlights from the June 10 spring Convocation ceremony, including how this year we graduated our first Ph.D. candidates in the School’s history.

The Jackson School continues to grow with new programs, faculty and initiatives. We are excited about the start of an Israel Studies program, which has been made possible with a generous gift from the Benaroya family. We will be conducting a search in 2016-17 to hire a scholar who will teach in Israel Studies program.

We are lucky to be the recipient of yet another generous gift from an anonymous donor which will make it possible to start a Taiwan Studies program and hire a full time faculty member to teach courses related to Taiwan.

The newsletter also includes a sampling of the commitment of our students to have a positive impact on their world. Whether on a Fulbright to help refugees or to undertake research for a year on solar energy in Peru, our students demonstrate time and again the value of the skills they acquire in the Jackson School.

Our faculty and staff continue to share our knowledge as a “go-to” resource for media on some of the biggest global news stories in the past few months and weeks.

Here are a few examples:

Professor Daniel Chirot gave interviews on the terrorist attacks in Brussels and on “Brexit“.

Professor of Scandinavian Studies and Chair of the European Studies Program Christine Ingebritsen discussed the implications of “Brexit” in “Britain leaves the EU: A small state of mind” in the Seattle Times.

I gave TV and radio interviews about the July 25th attempted coup in Turkey and the earlier airport bombings in Istanbul.

In closing, I would like pay respects to two professors who made valuable contributions to the Jackson School and who passed away during spring quarter:

  • Professor Farhat Jacob Ziadeh, founder of the Middle East Center and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization at the University of Washington, who died on June 8.
  • Ambassador Ron Woods, a Jackson School Board member and affiliate professor who launched a course called “American Foreign Policy” in 1992 thanks to a grant from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, who passed away on April 15.

Fall quarter begins September 28th, and I hope many of you will be able to join us at several exciting events that are happening in those first weeks, including an international conference on migration and refugees, on October 14, 2016.

Please keep in touch as well through our news and events website pages or alumni network, or come back to Thomson Hall for a visit.

I wish you a good rest of the summer.


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