As we come to the end of a tumultuous year in world affairs, I am proud of the way the Jackson School has responded to the many crises in international affairs. Our monthly evening sessions provided forums for discussing the rise of ISIS, the nuclear agreement with Iran, the refugee crisis, and the two Paris incidents. And we offer a range of classes that provide the historical background to global problems and tackle current events.
This year we inaugurated the International Policy Institute, where Jackson School faculty and students are working with local business, government, and non-governmental leaders to address cyber-security, climate change, and international relations of space. The Jackson School — and especially Professor David Bachman — provided much needed background and support to University leaders and to local government as they prepared for the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Seattle in the fall.
Our undergraduate and graduate programs continue to attract excellent students. I am especially proud of the growing reputation of our two newest graduate programs: the master’s in applied international studies and the Ph.D. in international studies.
It does not look like the new year will be any quieter than the one we are leaving behind. None of the problems that made 2015 such a fraught year are likely to be resolved any time soon. On the contrary, growing intolerance and prejudice in the world, and the sharpening rhetoric around the elections in the United States, are likely to make the global tensions even more intractable. However, I am confident that the Jackson School will appropriately address these problems in various settings and continue to be a hub of international research, teaching, and community outreach.
Of the many programs we will be organizing in 2016, I would like to draw your attention to four in particular. On February 8 we will host journalist, author and television commentator Robin Wright, one of the most informed writers on the Middle East. On February 22: British expert on the Middle East and author, Emma Sky, will discuss her book The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq. She will be joined in conversation with the world-renowned foreign affairs journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran.
In the spring, the Jackson School will host an international conference on Forced Migrations and Human Rights where participants will address the current refugee crisis from several different perspectives. And the International Policy Institute will host its second conference in Washington, D.C.
In maintaining the Jackson School’s stature as the preeminent place for studying the world, my colleagues and I rely on the support of an ever-growing circle of friends. Thank you for being a part of our community and I wish you and your loved ones happy holidays.
Professor and Director, Jackson School of International Studies
Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies