As a graduate student of International Affairs at Columbia University, I was awarded a Program Assistantship at the SIPA Office of Communications, which helped me cover my tuition bills. As part of the assistantship, I covered events at SIPA — from talks given by professors to papers presented by students and distinguished guests. I also helped structure the school’s social media and communication strategy. Here are some clips of the work I did as a PA:
Students Draw a Crowd for Discussion of Research Trip to North Korea
Six days with no cellphones or passports; little conversation lest they be overheard; an apparent lack of any poverty in the capital city; souvenir stores that had no foreign currency; the incongruity of thrilling rides at an amusement park in a country where some cars run on charcoal; the unexpected sight of young people holding hands. A team of 15 SIPA students led by Professor Elisabeth Lindenmayer came away from North Korea with insights into the logic behind the seemingly illogical.
Guéhenno Discusses Challenges of Syria Crisis
Jean-Marie Guéhenno knew he faced a challenge when his former boss at the UN, Kofi Annan, asked him to be the deputy joint special envoy of the UN and the Arab League for Syria.
“I felt a bit like an oncologist who cannot say ‘I only deal with the easy cancers,’” said Guéhenno, who is the director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution and the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice at SIPA. “But you don’t pick and choose. Even if you know the odds are very low, you have got to try.”
Helping Journalists in Africa Who Cover Extractive Sector
In early 2008, IMAC director Anya Schiffrin began working with SIPA students on a project to help journalists who cover the extractive sector in Africa, and she remains interested in the topic more than five years later. In the last year, Schiffrin made presentations at both the World Bank Institute and at SIPA, drawing in each case on a pair of student research projects — part of a body of work dating back to the project’s inception. The research has also had a lasting impact on some of the students who took part.
Why Growth Matters
In a new book, the frequent collaborators Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya — preeminent experts on India’s economy — argue that economic growth is the only reliable development strategy for addressing widespread poverty in India, Southeast Asia, Africa, and elsewhere.
UNSP Celebrates International Women’s Day
A recent panel featured female UN leaders who discussed progress made by and for women at the United Nations, and challenges that remain.
Richard Reiter MIA ’85 Looks Back on 2012-13 Davis Fellowship
Richard Reiter MIA’85, the recipient of the 2012-2013 Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Foreign Service Fellowship at SIPA, has recently been appointed to Vice President Joe Biden’s national security team. Much of his focus will be on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan as the drawdown of U.S. forces in 2014 approaches.
Reiter, who speaks Croatian, Portuguese and Spanish, joined the State Department in 1992 and has served in Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Afghanistan, Portugal, and Belgium. Most recently, he did a second tour in Afghanistan as chief of staff to the U.S. senior civilian representative in the eastern part of the country. Before joining the State Department, Reiter was a school teacher in Honduras and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica. He spoke with SIPA News about his experience as Davis Foreign Service Fellow and what he gained from SIPA.
Fiction Offers Insight into Wartime Service
Ted Janis MIA ’13 drew on his experience in Afghanistan when he contributed to a new anthology of fiction by veterans. Here he talks about his years in the military, writing, and attending SIPA.