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Archive for July 2011

Professor James Millward interviews Professor Carol Benedict about her new book, Gold-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550-2010.

From the long-stemmed pipe to snuff, the water pipe, hand-rolled cigarettes, and finally, manufactured cigarettes, the history of tobacco in China is the fascinating story of a commodity that became a hallmark of modern mass consumerism. Carol Benedict follows the spread of Chinese tobacco use from the sixteenth century, when it was introduced to China from the New World, through the development of commercialized tobacco cultivation, and to the present day. Along the way, she analyzes the factors that have shaped China’s highly gendered tobacco cultures, and shows how they have evolved within a broad, comparative world-historical framework. Drawing from a wealth of historical sources—gazetteers, literati jottings (biji), Chinese materia medica, Qing poetry, modern short stories, late Qing and early Republican newspapers, travel memoirs, social surveys, advertisements, and more—Golden-Silk Smoke not only uncovers the long and dynamic history of tobacco in China but also sheds new light on global histories of fashion and consumption.

(University of California Press, 2010)

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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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SFS' Madeleine Albright and Chuck Hagel wrote a piece for the USA Today about the funding cuts to International Education and Foreign Language Studies, stressing that language skills are crucial for diplomatic, intelligence and national security capacities as well as to remain competitive in global markets.

On May 1, after more than a decade, the search for Osama bin Laden came to an end. It took patience and perseverance. And it took not only military prowess, but also intelligence that depended on a solid understanding of that region of the world and capabilities in a number of foreign languages that are not widely known in the United States.

Our years of work in diplomacy and national security have made very clear to both of us the critical need to maintain and expand the cadre of Americans who have studied the history and politics of countries who affect our well-being. Specifically, the United States' ability to both confront challenges and exploit opportunities relies heavily on Americans being able to understand and speak less commonly taught languages.

Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Pashto, Farsi and Swahili are of obvious importance to addressing prominent challenges facing us today, but the need is not limited to those.

We believe that a grievous last-minute mistake was made when funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies was cut for this fiscal year. In the context of billions and even trillions of cuts being discussed, a $50 million reduction sounds insignificant. But this particular $50 million cut from the Department of Education's budget amounted to a 40% reduction in the relatively small account that supports these programs at higher education institutions across the U.S. This is a dramatic cut that will have long-lasting and serious consequences — it not only threatens the nation's diplomatic, intelligence, and national security capacities, but also our ability to maximize our competitiveness in global markets. This cut was a last-minute decision made with the specter of a government shutdown hanging over it.


Read the full article for the USA Today.

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Victor Cha, Director of the Asian Studies program, spoke about the use of sports as a diplomatic tool. The Georgetown men's basketball team will be traveling to China from August 13 to the 24 to participate in a range of athletic, educational and cultural activities. For more on the Hoyas trip to China, check out the Georgetown University website.

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Yann de Rochefort (F'89) -- the owner of highly regarded restaurants in New York -- will be opening his first Washington, DC restaurant this fall, according to the Washington Post:

New York is sending another restaurant our way. Blessedly, Boqueria won’t involve hamburgers or steak, but rather, the flavors of Spain. Expected to open late this fall at 1837 M St. NW in Dupont Circle, the restaurant also comes with more of a connection than most imports: Owner Yann de Rochefort is a 1989 graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

He’ll be returning to familiar ground. His first job out of college, for a small consulting firm, was half a block away from where his third Boqueria will replace the shuttered Penang.

Read the whole story from the Post.

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SFS' Keir Lieber co-authored a piece for Foreign Affairs online arguing that the Obama administration is right to have proposed a major campaign to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

The bottom line is that when it comes to determining a national nuclear weapons policy, at least to this point, the political system has worked. Debates within the administration between the disarmament camp and the deterrence camp, along with input from Congress, have produced a nuclear policy that wisely balances the desire for fewer weapons with the demands of twenty-first-century deterrence.

Read the full piece and read more about Keir Lieber.

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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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USAID's Africa Bureau expects to have a limited number of Summer 2011 internships available in a few overseas missions in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in Washington, D.C. This is an excellent opportunity for outstanding students interested in pursuing careers in international development.

Click here to read more.

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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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