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Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ann Van Dusen as Interim Director of the new Master of Arts in Global Human Development program. This two-year degree is designed to prepare graduates to be change-makers and leaders in development practice in the dynamic world of the 21st century. The first students will be enrolled in September 2012.

Dr. Van Dusen comes to this assignment after a distinguished career in development, in both the public and private sector and in academia. She worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for 25 years as both a social scientist and senior manager, serving in Washington in USAID’s Bureau for Policy and Program Coordination, Bureau for Asia and the Near East, Bureau for Science and Technology and Bureau for Global Programs, Field Support and Research. She has also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Save the Children/US and Interim CEO of EnterpriseWorks/VITA.

Dr. Van Dusen has taught courses on development at SFS since 1999 and has also taught at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She serves on the boards of a number of international non-profits and foundations and has advised for-profit companies and private foundations on strategies to achieve development impact.

“Dr. Van Dusen is already well-known to the development community and to the School of Foreign Service, where she has taught as a full-time visiting professor and as an adjunct over the years,” said SFS Dean Carol Lancaster. “With her unique combination of academic and practical experience, I know she will help establish a master’s program that will become one of the premier programs of its kind.”

Dr. Van Dusen received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Her doctoral research focused on social change in the Arab world and the impact on women and the family. She has published articles on social indicators, health and poverty, women and family in the Arab world, foreign aid reform and most recently on education system reform in the developing world. She also received her master’s from Johns Hopkins SAIS as well as a B.A. from Wellesley College.

The Global Human Development degree will provide students with exposure to the theories and accumulated knowledge of development – including economic development and social, political and cultural elements of development – as well as practical skills, such as program and project design, monitoring and evaluation, budgeting, accounting and finance, and statistical methods for development. The program will also provide students with a unique opportunity to blend theory and practice through a summer program in a developing country, a capstone project to provide consulting assistance to public, private and not for profit development agencies, and an innovation lab to introduce students to technology and development innovations. The goal of the program is to prepare students for the challenges of working in different development organizations and environments. Learn more at ghd.georgetown.edu.

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The National Journal's widely read quadrennial feature on Capitol Hill staff standouts features four SFS graduates.

Rita Lari Jochum (F'84/L'91), Minority Chief Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee:

Jochum still has a note of awe in her voice when she talks about working on constitutional issues, the kind of tone that is not uncommon with first-generation Americans. The daughter of a Thai mother and an Italian father, she hails from nearby McLean, Va. A “double Hoya,” Jochum graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and went to Georgetown Law at night while working as a paralegal.

Bethany Little (F'95), Majority Chief Education Counsel, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee

A graduate of Georgetown University, Little began her career at the Education Department. She went on work at the White House Domestic Policy Council and served as a policy adviser to President Clinton (F'68) and Vice President Al Gore.

Doug Seay (F'80), Majority Senior Professional Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee

He attended Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, getting his start in government as a Foreign Service Officer in Turkey for four years. He still speaks some Turkish and also studied French and Russian.

Matt Weidinger (F'87), Majority Staff Director, Human Resources Subcommittee, House Ways and Means Committee

Except for a brief stint as manager of government relations for USX, Weidinger has been on the Hill since; he has held his current post as Republican staff director for the Human Resources panel since 2001. There, he focuses on welfare, child-welfare, unemployment, and related benefits programs. Weidinger majored in foreign service at Georgetown University before heading to the University of Chicago for a master’s degree in political science.

It's also worth noting that there are ten total Hoyas profiled -- more than any other college or university!

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The White House announced that Michael A. Hammer (F'85) has been nominated to fill the position of assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. State Department.

President Obama said, “Our nation will be greatly served by the talent and expertise these individuals bring to their new roles. I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Michael A. Hammer, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, currently serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.  Prior to this assignment, Mr. Hammer served as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Press and Communications, and National Security Council Spokesman from January 2009 to January 2011. Previous assignments at the National Security Council include Deputy Spokesman and Director of Andean Affairs.  Since joining the Foreign Service in 1988, Mr. Hammer has served abroad in Bolivia, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.

Read more about Hammer and other recently announced nominations.

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Our friends at the College of William & Mary have passed along the terrific news that recent BSFS recipient (as a STIA major) Elisabeth Ferland is a winner of the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship.

During her undergraduate study, Elisabeth was accepted into SFS' especially selective five-year joint degree program combining the BSFS with the M.A. in Security Studies (SSP), a degree she is on track to earn in 2012.

Read more below.  Congratulations, Elisabeth!

Georgetown University Graduate Elisabeth Ferland Chosen as a 2011 Harriman Fellow

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 28, the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship Board announced this year’s recipients of the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowships: Noura Elfarra of Stanford University, Elisabeth Ferland of Georgetown University, and Lucia Tapia of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Elisabeth Ferland will serve her fellowship at the U.S. Embassy in London. Originally from Leesburg, Virginia, Ferland is a recent graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, earning the BSFS degree with a major in Science, Technology and International Affairs.

She has previously interned at the U.S. Senate, International Trade Commission, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Next year she will complete an accelerated master’s degree in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and intends to pursue a career as a Foreign Service Officer.

When asked about receiving the Fellowship, Ferland said, “Receiving the Pamela Harriman Foreign Service Fellowship is an incredible honor that comes with the expectation of great achievement -- one I hope to live up to. This fellowship has reinforced my desire to work in the Foreign Service. I will always be motivated by the grace and dignity with which Ms. Harriman served her adopted country.”

Harriman Fellowships are nationally competitive and highly selective, providing funding for students participating in summer internships at the U.S. Embassies in London and Paris, and the Secretary of State’s Office in Washington, D.C. College juniors and seniors selected by the U.S. State Department to intern at these locations may apply to receive one of three $5,000 stipends to cover travel and living expenses.

The College of William & Mary established the fellowships in 2000 in conjunction with the U.S. State Department to honor former Ambassador to France Pamela Harriman and inspire the best of a new generation to pursue careers in public service. An esteemed diplomat and recipient of France’s Legion of Honor medal, Harriman set a standard that the Harriman Fellowships now challenge young Americans to meet. According to Former Ambassador and Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas Foley, "She made a great contribution to public life by her example, energy and devotion, and her belief in the honor of work for one's country."

For more information about the Harriman Fellowships, please visit http://www.wm.edu/sites/harriman/.

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Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla (G’89) urged students to nurture their values in her keynote address to the Class of 2011 during SFS undergraduate commencement ceremonies May 21.

President Chinchilla spoke about some of her administration’s accomplishments in Costa Rica, including broadened internet access and her work on climate change. Costa Rica is one of the oldest democracies in its region of the world, and she attributed its success to three things.  “I come from a country that holds dear this triad of values: freedom, solidarity and peace,” Chinchilla said.

She continued that freedom depends on respect for the freedom of others and that we must live at peace with ourselves to realize our full potential.

Chinchilla mentioned that conservation efforts in Costa Rica started about 40 years ago with reforestation. She said hopes to make Costa Rica carbon-neutral in the next decade. “Our solidarity with future generations depends on our solidarity with nature,” she said.

The Georgetown Public Policy Institute graduate was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.  Erick Langer, a professor and director of the Center for Latin American Studies, read the honorary degree citation. “Today, in recognizing Laura Chinchilla Miranda, the first woman to be president of Costa Rica, Georgetown University honors a life dedicated to building democracy and community,” he said.

Chinchilla’s career in public service includes work as a consultant on judicial and public security reform in Latin America and Africa on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.N. Development Program and the Inter-American Development Bank. Chinchilla concluded by saying, “It is my fondest hope that you find the freedom to choose your path, the solidarity of your loved ones to pursue it and the peace that comes with knowing that you are well on your way.”

“I thought it was a beautiful ceremony,” Sylmarie Trujillo (F ’11) said after commencement.

“It was very well-done,” Daniel Lim (F ’11) added in regard to the entire commencement. “The procession went very smoothly,” he added.

A total of 351 students in earned the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree at Georgetown’s Washington campus.  Another 47 earned the BSFS degree at SFS-Qatar, bringing the size of the graduating class to 398.  The undergraduate and graduate SFS ceremonies concluded a week of celebrations that also included senior convocation, the senior ball and BSFS and MSFS Tropaia ceremonies.

Read more about undergraduate Commencement and the BSFS and MSFS Tropaia events.

Jen Lennon | June 2011

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A team of Georgetown University students won the Deloitte Consulting Diversity and Inclusion Case Competition.  MSFS student April Nigh was among four members of the first place team!

Read more from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

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This spring’s two installments of the Michael Jurist Distinguished Alumni Roundtable Series (MJDARTS) focused on establishing non-profits and working on Capitol Hill.

Learning from Each Other

On February 28, “Forming Your Own Non-profit” featured three SFS alumni: Jess Rimington, executive director of the One World Youth Project; Indra Sen, executive director and co-founder of Inspire Dreams; and Osman Ashai, engagement manager at Ashoka and co-founder of Kashmir Corps. Each speaker has balanced or is currently juggling full-time school or a job with running a non-profit.

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“The time commitment is definitely needed. If the motivation and the energy is there, you’ll find it’s doable,” Ashai said. He added that nights and weekends become busy.

All of the speakers advised to find something that makes students passionate. Sen, whose organization Inspire Dreams provides academic, athletic and arts-based education programs to young Palestinian refugees, said to consider whether there’s a real need for something in society and not just to consider future scholarships or accolades.

Ashai emphasized forming partnerships and delivering on those partnerships. “It’s a very collaborative industry. There are a lot of young folks who are starting NGOs,” he said.  He said that people are willing to share best practices and intellectual property more than in the private sector because they’re all just starting out. He advised students to take advantage of that but to do their part and help others, as well.

Rimington, whose organization One World Youth Project helps classrooms connect around the world to build global literacy, agreed that networking is key.

“One thing I tried to do was meet with ten people a week and tell them the story,” she said about making connections.  “It’s about being intentional with each step.”

Networking, Networking, Networking

On March 28, “Working on Capitol Hill” featured Lauryn Bruck (F ’08) and Brent Woolfork (G ’08/MSFS), currently working  as staff members of the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee and the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee respectively.

Bruck encouraged people to get internships and to keep up conversations with people who are from the same state and are affiliated with the same party as they are.  She stressed following up with contacts that students make through Georgetown.  She noted that she completed six internships during her undergraduate years.

Bruck is currently working on her master’s degree and told students that working on the Hill offers a lot of opportunity for education. “SFS really adequately prepared me both for the stress of my job and also for my graduate degree,” she said.

Woolfork said that he felt comfortable at interviews after going through the MSFS orals process. When asked about turnover in jobs on the Hill, he advised, “Always just keep an ear to the ground to see what’s happening in other offices.”  He also stressed that going to events, networking and staying active in events on the Hill can help keep options open in the worst-case scenario.

“Just get on peoples’ radar. Even if they don’t have a position, if they get on in the near future, they’ll remember you,” Bruck said.

Remembering Michael Jurist

The Michael Jurist Distinguished Alumni Roundtable Series is named in memory of Michael Jurist (F ’07). It is designed to expose School of Foreign Service undergraduates to the rich and varied accomplishments of SFS alumni who return to campus in an informal, roundtable setting to speak about where their degree has taken them and their personal experiences as well as the successes and challenges they have faced since graduation.

Jen Lennon | May 2011

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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 School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Q) has marked the graduation of its third undergraduate class! In an official commencement ceremony, John J. DeGioia, Georgetown University president, delivered the keynote address to the 46 students, who received their Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degrees in International Politics and in Culture and Politics.

The ceremony, held in the Grand Hyatt hotel in Doha was attended by more than 500 guests including family, friends and members of the Doha community, as well as high-profile international and regional figures.

Click here to read more from the team at SFS-Q.

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As the world digests the news that U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in a raid on his compound in Pakistan, faculty across the School of Foreign Service have been tapped by American and international media to lend insight.

We'll update this list throughout the week of May 2.

  • Paul Pillar -- director of graduate studies at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University and a former CIA National Intelligence officer appeared on Monday's Diane Rehm Show, broadcast from WAMU-FM in Washington and heard on NPR stations nationwide.

U.S. and allied counterterrorism efforts must continue, and in the short term perhaps even increase. The risk of revenge attacks should lead to a focus on bolstering defenses. Even more important, aggressive strikes on al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and the global intelligence and policy campaign must not end. Al Qaeda will be in disarray, and arresting or killing remaining leaders, hindering their communications, and foiling their plots can put them on the run.

Bin Laden's death will not immobilize the core. Indeed, it may seek to launch any off-the-shelf or in-process attacks as soon as possible to prove its relevance. However, this is an organization built along personal lines, with a new leader needing to win the loyalty and support of his followers. With Bin Laden's death, his successor—most likely his No. 2, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri—will need to consolidate his power. This is hard to do when he is on the run and cannot communicate freely.

We do not know whether the Taliban are actually popular among Afghans, and we won't know until U.S. forces are out of the equation in Afghanistan. Which leaves Pakistan as the main interest of U.S. policy -- Washington does in fact have strategic interest in Pakistan not going south.  So there is a strong argument for facilitating negotiations for the inevitable power-sharing arrangement, and starting the drawdown of U.S. forces.

  • Bruce Hoffman -- director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies and the Security Studies Program, as well as a professor -- wrote on The National Interest that Bin Laden's death shattered conventional wisdom about al-Qaeda's leader:

His presence in an urban hub, presumably with a variety of modes of contact, calls into question the supposedly hands-off, irrelevant role he had been believed to play in al-Qaeda’s strategy and perhaps even day-to-day operations. Indeed, it may have been his active participation in key al-Qaeda decision-making and operational matters that allowed us to track him to his hideout—there must have been an unusual number people coming and going, functioning essentially as couriers. It may thus be that he’s had much more of a role in al-Qaeda than we believed.

  • John Esposito -- director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and professor of religion, international Affairs and Islamic studies -- told Reuters that he hopes that this will take some pressure off of Muslims who are victim to Islamophobia in the US.
  • Esposito also wrote Monday for The Washington Post with colleague John Voll -- associate director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and professor of Islamic history -- questioning if the death of Bin Laden should be considered an ending or a turning point.

It is clear that the death of bin Laden does not mean an end to the global terrorist threat. Both President Obama and surviving leaders of al-Qaeda affirm that the attacks by terrorists against the whole world, including the United States, will continue. The death of the major leader of al-Qaeda does not mean an end to the organization but it does mean that trends toward a more decentralized network of militants will be strengthened.

  • Esposito commented to the Los Angeles Times that there is no simple answer to how Bin Laden's death will affect Muslims in America.

I think intelligent Muslims will be aware that this is a turning point but only the beginning of a turning point.

  • Hoffman commented to USA Today that though this doesn't mean the end of the movement, that a counterattack could go off half-cocked and allow US officials to learn more about surviving terror networks.
  • Hoffman spoke about Al-Qaida's next leader, the possibility that it might be Ayman al-Zawahiri and how he could be even stronger than Bin Laden to NPR.

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