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SFS Distinguished Professor Andrew Natsios wrote about Sudan's oil crisis, and how that is the least of Bashir's problems, with threats of being overthrown and an economy in tatters looming for Foreign Affairs this week.

But the referendum and the South's formal declaration of independence have not produced a lasting peace, yet. Despite the mediation of former South African President Thabo Mbeki, negotiations before independence (and since) left several unresolved issues to fester: How much the South would pay to transport oil through the North, where the actual border would lie (especially the status of the disputed region of Abyei), debt sharing, and what the citizenship status of South Sudanese remaining in the North, and vice versa, would be. In addition to tension surrounding these questions, a wider opposition that includes the three major Darfur rebel movements, the Northern arm of the Southern political movement, is growing. It is making this moment all the more precarious for Khartoum. In fact, the tangle of contestations and conflicts across the country marks the most serious challenge to the survival of Omar al-Bashir's Islamist government since it usurped power more than two decades ago.

Read more about the troubles in the Republic of South Sudan in Foreign Affairs.

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Distinguished Professor Andrew Natsios wrote about the benefits of Southern Sudan becoming a U.S. ally on the CNN's Global Public Square blog.

With independence, the U.S. and European governments ought to consider a long-term strategic alliance with the Republic of South Sudan that would not be costly at a time when the federal budget deficit is so large.  First, the United States and Europe should consider a free trade agreement with the South, tying its economies to theirs and facilitating western business investment.   Adding the influential American and European business communities to those supporting closer ties with the South would cement this alliance.

 

Read the full version of Southern Sudan: A new strategic ally?

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Georgetown professor and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged more than 100 recipients of the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) degree to make learning a lifelong endeavor, keynoting the program's awards ceremony as 2011 commencement activities continued on the Hilltop Friday night.

The key to wisdom is being open to new ideas; "those who believe they are in full possession of the truth can be dangerous," Albright said during an MSFS Tropaia event that proved a raucous celebration of achievements for students and hundreds of their family and friends in Gaston Hall.

Albright said that whether the issue is nuclear proliferation, food security or personal freedom, issues can look very different from one side of the world to the other.  "The challenge is to make them so we're not defined solely by our differences," she said.

Alumni honoree Ben Powell (G '00), founder of a nonprofit that invests in entrepreneurs in the developing world, told graduates to stay in touch with one another.  "There is enormous social capital in this room," said Powell, "and it can grow or diminish based on your actions.  Nurture it."

Student speaker Mahveen Azam said that in MSFS, she found what she had sought when she came to Georgetown from Pakistan to study international affairs.  "What truly makes this a great program is... great people who are seriously invested in each other's success," she said.

Honorees included 15 graduates who completed the MSFS oral examination with distinction.

Marco Schad, a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and a 2003 MSFS and Law Center graduate delivered the benediction.

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Student speaker Matthew Shapiro's remarks were a highlight of the BSFS Tropaia awards ceremony Friday afternoon:

As a 2011graduate of the School of Foreign Service (SFS), Matthew Shapiro says he is most grateful for the sense of community he was able to establish while a student at Georgetown.

“The most valuable lessons of the past four years have not come from the classroom, but from everyone in this room and the larger Georgetown community,” Shapiro said at this year’s SFS Tropaia ceremony. “We were here to support each other and to challenge one another to do things we might have thought were impossible before meeting each other.”

Click to read more.

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The Georgetown Leadership Seminar -- SFS' yearly executive education program -- was a success again this year.  Among participants:  Peter Taylor, former Minister of Legal Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago.  Taylor's participation was noted in the T&T Guardian:

On this occasion the focus of the discussions were U.S. statecraft and the Washington policy-making environment, foreign policy challenges and opportunities, global issues and the international economy. Speakers included School of Foreign Service Dean Carol Lancaster; former Senator Chuck Hagel; former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios; journalist and GLS alum John Walcott; international trade expert Marc Busch; and many more.

The Georgetown Leadership Seminar is run by SFS' Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

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