September 8, 2020
Dear friends of the Hamilton Lugar School,
2020 is tough. IU is tougher! That’s what comes to mind as we begin the fall semester in Bloomington.
The decision of our students, supported by their families, to move ahead with their studies is testimony to their resilience and character. The same is true for our faculty and staff, who have worked more or less non-stop since campus shut down last March to ensure that our students continue to receive a world-class and globally-minded education during this difficult and uncertain time.
Tenacity and the ability to adapt to a changing world are essential skills for a global career. It is no coincidence that these qualities also define the guys whose name is on the sign outside our door—Rep. Lee Hamilton and the late Sen. Richard Lugar. They succeeded, not by sowing division, but by bridging political and cultural divides, at home and across the world. We could use a lot more of that, and I’m confident our graduates, inspired by the example of the Congressman and Senator, will lead the way.
Unity is one of the aims of our new speaker series, Race, Gender & Power in Global Affairs. The series continues next week with “Do Black Lives Matter in Russia?,” sponsored by the Russian & East European Institute. Join us on Facebook Live at Noon on September 18 and September 25. Earlier speakers included Johns Hopkins scholar Robbie Shilliam, who discussed the essential role of race and the legacy of colonialism in international politics, and Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, who spoke about how to overcome the dismaying dearth of diversity in diplomacy. She also expressed her concern, as a former official with deep experience in the field, about the unwinding of arms control agreements.
Dignity and human rights combined with challenges to disarmament earlier this month when the German government determined that Aleksei Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent from a class of chemical weapons developed by the Soviet Union and outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention. The attack against the leader of the opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin came amidst the mass protests in Belarus against the dictatorship of Aleksandr Lukashenko, and his unreal claim that he won the August 9 election with 80 percent of the vote. Before the election, I joined colleagues around the world in calling for a free and fair democratic election in Belarus through the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal.
On the thirtieth anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Ambassador Feisal Istrabadi, director of the HLS Center for the Study of the Middle East, offered his views on the relations between Kuwait, Iraq, and the United States.
International Studies professor Clemence Pinaud, who formerly worked with Doctors Without Borders, has published an important article in Human Rights Quarterly on the genocidal violence against civilians in South Sudan since 2013.
Assistant Dean Shruti Rana co-authored an article in Above the Law about the difficulties women and caregivers face during the pandemic. And Ashlynne Bender, assistant director of professional development at HLS, was selected to the James T. Morris Global Leadership Series inaugural class. The series, sponsored by the International Center of Indianapolis, honors Jim Morris, who has served our state and the world with great distinction.
Congratulations to International Studies professor Sarah Bauerle Danzman and Political Science professor Will Winecoff on winning a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a project on the Political Economy of Political-Business Connections. This grant supports development of the first database of national and transnational ties between politicians and firms.
Closer to home, our school hosted a scavenger hunt over the weekend to help new students and faculty get to know the IU campus, as well as each other. Prizes were given for most school spirit, best collaboration, and most creative. I am also pleased to announce that Katherine Ntiamoah, an alumna of the Department of International Studies, is the newest member of our Dean’s Advisory Council. Ms. Ntiamoah is a foreign service officer, currently serving as deputy spokesperson in the Office of Population, Refugees, and Migration at Main State, with previous postings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Singapore, Mexico, Belgium, and Pakistan. Please join me in welcoming her back to IU.
Be well and be safe.