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From the Director: Making Sense of our World

December 3, 2015


Reşat Kasaba

As I write, the tragic attack in Paris looms large here at the Jackson School. Making sense of such events is part of our mission, and on Nov. 24 we hosted a public discussion, in partnership with the department of history, that examined this latest terrorism act through the lens of historical and modern contexts and refugee policy. You can view the entire event here.

Resat Kasaba

Reşat Kasaba,
Director – Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

This is just one example of how busy we have been engaging the UW community and general public in current events this quarter. In this newsletter, you will get a sense of a larger sample, from our focus on the Middle East, the Syria refugee crisis and human rights in El Salvador to emerging issues in the Arctic, cybersecurity and outer space.

We are also shaping perspectives through interviews and commentary in local, national and global media. Whether the Paris attacks or the Washington state visit of China President Xi Jinping, our faculty are providing critical analysis, opinion and background. Here is a recent example in The Seattle Times.

On another note, we welcomed new beginnings with the arrival of the first Asia-Pacific Military Fellow Lieutenant Colonel Jaren D. Price. The launch of this year-long Fellowship program also brought Major-General William Hix in October to the University of Washington and the Jackson School for the first time, where he met with faculty, deans and students.

Our academic offerings this year continue to draw a diverse and energized student body, with growing interest among international studies undergraduate and graduate students. Our master of arts in applied international studies has tripled its number of students from last year’s inauguration of the program, while the Ph.D. program continues to enjoy record application numbers, with applicants doubling in the two years since the program started in 2013.

I’ll leave you with two exciting “Save the Date” evening events coming up after the winter holidays:

  • Monday, February 8, 2016 – Journalist, author and television commentator Robin Wright will talk about changes in the Middle East.
  • Monday, February 22, 2016 – British Middle East expert and author Emma Sky, and author and journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, will join in conversation on Iraq.

As always, I encourage you to look at our website for the latest updates on our activities and upcoming events. I hope to see many of you in the audience!

All best,

Reşat Kasaba
Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies