APSIA Summer 2014 Newsletter: Celebrating Grads

leigh   July 28, 2014   News

What do you do with an APSIA degree: Aleem Ahmed and Caroline Mauldin

leigh   July 25, 2014   News

ScreenShot1453HKSAleem Ahmed MPA 2015 and Caroline Mauldin MPA 2015 are benefitting two countries with a single grain.

Ahmed and Mauldin launched Love Grain last year to produce gluten-free cereals, pastas, and pancake and waffle mixes all made with teff — a high-protein, high-fiber grain that’s a staple in the Ethiopian diet.

“I am impressed with Love Grain’s commitment to the small hold farmers that grow teff in Ethiopia,” says Amy Davies, director of MPA Programs. “It’s been a pleasure to watch Love Grain grow as a result of Caroline and Aleem’s good work, and a pleasure to eat the pancakes — as I can personally attest that they are delicious.”

Love Grain was inspired by Ahmed’s experience working for the Teff Value Chain Program at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, where he helped three million farmers increase their yields. In the process, Ahmed learned that some seven-million teff farmers lack a market for their grain.

Ahmed and Mauldin saw an opportunity to bring healthy, gluten-free products to the U.S. market while at the same time, helping to improve the lives of Ethiopian farmers and their families in a sustainable way.

The partners are running Love Grain while both pursuing joint MPA/MBA degrees from Harvard Kennedy School and MIT Sloan. The idea evolved into a business plan that incorporated advice from professors and classmates, and the company took off from there.

What do you do with an APSIA degree: Jennifer K. Hong

leigh   July 24, 2014   News

hong-jenniferCreating Change
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy graduate Jennifer K. Hong (MPP ’11) is a Reports and Political Affairs Officer at the Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

“I don’t have day-to-day contact with the victims, but the most gratifying thing about the work I do is that it’s affecting the lives of trafficking victims around the world,” says Jennifer K. Hong (MPP ’11). Hong is a Reports and Political Affairs Officer at the Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and is responsible for diplomatic engagement around the issue of human trafficking in 19 Asian and Pacific Island countries. 

From July to February of each year, Hong travels to these countries and works with government officials, as well as civil and international organizations, to further the U.S. agenda to eradicate modern-day slavery. Her work entails advocating for new laws, increase in prosecution and convictions of trafficking offenders, better protection for trafficking victims, and awareness campaigns among vulnerable populations.

Hers is a grueling schedule: a recent trip to four different islands involved 16 flights. One trip, from Timor-Leste to Solomon Islands, took 36 hours. ”But it’s what I love,” Hong says. “It’s a privilege that I’m able to represent the United States in a human rights issue that I care deeply about. I don’t take any day or any exchanges that I have—with the foreign embassies here or our embassy abroad or with government interlocutors—for granted.”

As preparation for her career, Hong credits the Gerald R. Ford School’s Susan Waltz’s ability to offer a “three-dimensional look into a policy issue. It’s been so crucial for what I do,” she says. “The issue isn’t just ‘trafficking and victims’ or ‘trafficking and the government isn’t doing anything.’ It’s all about how they interplay together.”

Bon voyage, and best wishes to the graduating class of 2014

leigh     News

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy 2014 Commencement“You are not just graduates of a great university,” Senator Carl Levin told the Ford School’s centennial graduating class. “You are graduates of a school of public policy, which implies that you—your ideas and passions, your hard work and drive and grit—can help shape the policies that government adopts.”

Senator Levin, who gave the keynote speech at the Ford School’s centennial commencement ceremony, spoke about the difficult challenges policymakers face, and the rewarding nature of the work.

“To accept the responsibility of influencing public policy is to accept the responsibility to advocate for what may be unpopular at the moment,” he told graduates, reflecting on President Gerald R. Ford’s decision to pardon Richard Nixon after Watergate, and the principled decisions of many other politicians and policymakers. “Advocating for an unpopular position means acknowledging the real challenges we face. Whether it’s Afghanistan or health care reform or the budget, anything worth doing risks the possibility of failure….”

Watch the commencement ceremony video
Download a copy of Senator Levin’s remarks

What do you do with an APSIA degree: Anjuli Pandit

leigh     News

Anjuli_PanditAnjuli Pandit, Sciences Po – PSIA 2013, speaks of the confidence and expertise she developed during her Master in International Public Management, and how it has translated into professional opportunities for her.

As an American with Indian origins, I grew up in 9 countries. Before PSIA, I was Project Manager for the Climate Project India. I returned to India post-graduation as Director of Global Communications for Greenlight Planet, a social business that sells solar lights to the world’s 1.5 billion off-grid villagers. It was a fantastic position, but as the days went on I realized that all the skills I had developed in PSIA were not being fully put to use. I had promised myself that post-graduation I would plunge into the policy world head first, because PSIA had given me the confidence that I could survive and even excel in this new career choice.

In January 2014, just 6 months after graduation, I joined the chairman’s office of Tata Sons, the holding firm of the 100 billion USD TATA Group, as Manager Public Affairs. This move has been the plunge I was seeking as I have found myself with responsibilities and a scope for real impact in public relations. Often I find myself in situations which fit perfectly into the exercises our Sciences Po professors guided us through, except this time it is real! Prepare a policy document for your boss who is about to meet the Foreign Affairs Minister of a country in which you would like to expand business. Pitch a business plan for building a large hydro plant to various European ECAs for funding. I’m ready to take on such challenges, Sciences Po prepared me for this.

Announcing the 2014 Rosenthal Fellowship Class

leigh   June 4, 2014   News

The Harold W. Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations and its partner, the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), announce the selection of thirty fellows for Summer 2014.  The Fellowship provides graduate students at APSIA member schools the opportunity to spend a summer working on international relations related issues in the US government Executive Branch or the Congress.

View the list of 2014 fellows and placement offices

Established in 1977 in memory of Harold Rosenthal, a Congressional staffer and victim of international terrorism while on official duty, there have been 227 Fellows to date.  Since the inception of the Rosenthal Fellowship, many Rosenthal Fellows have also participated as EVP Fellows in The European Union Visitors Program (EVP).

In a joint statement, Carmen Mezzera, Executive Director of APSIA, and Rick Gilmore, Chairman of the Rosenthal Fellowship, said, “The program’s success depends first and foremost on the outstanding caliber of our fellows, the extraordinary support we receive from host offices in the Congress and Executive Branch, APSIA member school support, and the generous contributions and support of our Board, donor institutions, and longstanding friends of the program. The Fellowship is living proof that terrorism cannot overwhelm the human spirit.  We’re a program whose purpose is to provide exceptional students with unique government experience. They are our future leaders in new approaches to problem solving in international relations.”  The program is particularly pleased to continue its collaboration with the Robertson Foundation for Government and welcomes its support of four Fellowships. We also take great pride in the Alumni Advisory Council and the Rosenthal Roundtables where recognized experts and practitioners in international relations address Rosenthal and Robertson fellows and alumni.

This year’s Fellows represent 16 APSIA schools and will intern at the Departments of Defense, Labor, State, Treasury, USDA, and in committees and individual offices of Members of Congress.

Run in association with APSIA, the Rosenthal Fellowship receives support from a number of individual donors as well as the Robertson Foundation for Government, the Rotary Foundation and, previously, from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.  Fellows are current graduate students in international affairs nominated by their schools and are both US citizens and foreign nationals.  Former Senator and Vice President, Fritz Mondale, serves as honorary chairman of the Fellowship.

2014 Rosenthal Fellows and Host Offices

Benjamin Briese (University of Denver), U.S. House of Representatives, Office of Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA)

Frank Broomell (Harvard University), APSA/SEA/South Asia Directorate

Clarke Burns (Georgetown University), APSA.AOC/Pakistan/Directorate

Emily Cole (Tufts University), US House of Representatives, Ways and Means Committee

Sean Patrick Comber (Syracuse University), Department of State, Embassy of the United States in Manila, Philippines

Lara Danielle Crouch (Georgetown University), Department of Defense, Strategy, Plans and Force Development

Sam duPont (Princeton University), Office of the US Trade Representative and Rotary-Rosenthal Fellow

Owen Fletcher (Johns Hopkins University), US Department of Defense, Office of Secretary of Defense, China Desk/ APSA/East Asia

Barak Gatenyo (Sciences Po), US House of Representatives, Office of Ami Bera (D-CA)

Tschuna Gibson (American University), US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Alexandra Hackbarth (Syracuse University), US Department of Defense/Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict

Mark Hoover (Tufts University), US Department of State, Embassy of the United States, Burkina Faso

Brianna January (University of Maryland), US Department of Labor

Joyce Kang (University of California-San Diego), US Department of Labor

Kendrick Kuo (Johns Hopkins University), US Department of Treasury, Office of International Monetary and Financial Policy

Erica Lally (Johns Hopkins University), US Department of State/The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan

Rachel Mann (American University), US Department of State,The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

Arthur Paul Massaro III (University of Maryland), US Department of State,The Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Jamie Morgan (Princeton University), US Department of Defense

Rebeca Orrie (Texas A&M), Department of Defense/ Mideast Partnership Program

Kaitlin Oujo (Columbia University), US Department of Defense, International Security Affairs/Middle East 

Sarah Park (Columbia University), US Department of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Andrew Reighart (University of Maryland), US Department of State/Bureau of Energy Resources

Dan Rothstein (University of California-San Diego), US Southern Command, Miami

Jennifer Rowland (Harvard University), US Department of Defense, International Security Affairs, Africa

Jenny Russell (Texas A&M), US Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs

Amanda Van Dort (University of Michigan), US Department of State, Embassy of the United States, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Diana Won (University of Michigan), US Department of State, Embassy of the United States, Lima, Peru

Satomi Yanagidani (Yale University), Office of Sen. Levin and Office of Cong. Jim McDermott

Olivia Zetter (Harvard University), US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

LBJ Returns to the Nation’s Capital with New Washington Center Offering Unique 18-Month, D.C.-Focused Curriculum

leigh   May 12, 2014   News

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2014 – The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin is creating the LBJ School Washington Center enabling students to earn a master’s degree in 18 months with a unique focus on federal public policy. The Center, initially co-located with Politico in Arlington, VA, will also provide a platform and forum for nonpartisan policy analysis on the critical issues facing the country and the world and serve as a hub for the dissemination of faculty research.

LBJ School Announcement Reception 159 (1)“We are very proud to be able to say that LBJ is returning to Washington where our School’s namesake dominated the political landscape for nearly 20 years,” said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School. “We want this Center to be at the heart of empowering a new generation of policymakers who can get things done in government just like President Johnson did 50 years ago. Our Washington Center will offer a unique program that is focused on policymaking at the federal level and designed to launch students into their D.C. careers. The Center will also serve as a vehicle for enhanced engagement of our faculty experts and their research in the national political dialogue.” (Download a PDF of Dean Robert Hutchings’ formal remarks announcing the Center at the Library of Congress)

The LBJ School, among the top graduate public affairs schools in the nation, will provide students the option of a Master of Public Affairs or Master of Global Policy Studies degree with a specifically tailored curriculum.

Students will begin the program at the LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin for the first phase of the program, receiving a rigorous analytical and theoretical foundation in public policy as well as an understanding of policy issues at the local, state and national levels. The Washington portion of the program would include a 6-month, Monday-to-Thursday apprenticeship with a public or non-profit agency and course work on Fridays and Saturdays geared toward the essentials of policymaking at the federal level. The LBJ School will begin accepting applications in fall 2014 with the first cohort beginning class in fall 2015.

In the creation of the Washington Center, the LBJ School has formed a Founding Committee, which includes: Robert Allbritton, Bill Archer, the Honorable Ben Barnes, the Honorable Tom Daschle, the Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison, Luci Baines Johnson, Joe O’Neill, and Lynda Johnson Robb.  LBJ School Announcement Reception 182

“When LBJ founded the School in 1970 it was always with the aspiration that the School would develop a pipeline for dedicated, well-trained policy professionals to get to Washington to make a difference on the national stage,” said Ben Barnes, Former Speaker of the House, Former Lieutenant Governor of Texas and LBJ Foundation Trustee. “It is highly gratifying to see the former president’s dream for his school realized.”

The LBJ School of Public Affairs is a professional graduate school that draws on the legacy of its namesake to empower the next “get it done” generation to take on effective leadership roles in public service. The LBJ School offers three master degree programs: the Master of Public Affairs, the Master of Global Policy Studies, and the Executive Master in Public Leadership, as well as a Ph.D. in Public Policy.


Susan Binford, Assistant Dean for Communication, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 512-415-4820, susan.binford@austin.utexas.edu

Kerri Battles, Communications Manager, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 512-507-4335, kerribattles@austin.utexas.edu

Images courtesy of Madonna Belton

Travel Program Brings 15 Young Leaders to Japan

leigh   May 5, 2014   News

For the sixth year, the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, in collaboration with the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), will sponsor 15 graduate students on a ten day study-tour through Japan, with site visits to Tokyo, Sendai, Hiroshima, and Osaka.

Students selected for the 2014 program are:

  • Matt Buttweiler, University of California, San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies
  • Jenna Gibson, Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • David Gitter, George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Whitney Hoot, University of Maryland School of Public Policy
  • Rebecca Hostetler, University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies
  • Nicole Kessler, University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Daniel Khalessi, Yale University MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
  • Saumya Kurup, Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
  • Emily Rodriguez, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  • Emmett Sapp, Princeton University Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
  • Eugene Shapsyuk, Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Clint Shoemake, Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Brett Tolman, Yale University MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
  • Diana Won, University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy
  • Calita Woods, American University School of International Service

The Program works to foster a new generation of leaders in the United States who have first-hand knowledge of Japan and how it is trying to fulfill its shared global responsibilities. During the trip, students engage with Japanese experts in the fields of politics, economics, and civil society; visit government ministries, think tanks, policy institutes, businesses, and non-profit organizations; conduct a self-organized research day in Tokyo in small groups; and enjoy cultural excursions.

Since 1991, the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership has worked to strengthening the global US-Japan partnership and cultivating the next generation of public intellectuals necessary to sustain this partnership. APSIA represents 70 leading schools of international affairs around the world, dedicated to the improvement of professional education in international affairs and the advancement thereby of international understanding, prosperity, peace, and security.

APSIA Launches Career Trends Series

leigh   April 14, 2014   News

In spring 2014, APSIA launched an ongoing series of conference calls and webinars to educate the career services staff at its member schools. Presenters have included management staff from Deloitte Consulting, Oxford HR (UK), and Bread for the World, in addition to members of the White House Presidential Personnel Office.

Discussions focus on hiring trends in the field and how members can best prepare APSIA graduates for the marketplace.

Nancy Rhodes of Bread for the World stressed the value of highlighting “cross-cultural skills, analytical abilities, and real accomplishments” on a resume, rather than a list of tasks.  Similarly, White House staff noted that individuals with excellent communication skills, tact, and a broad range of perspectives excelled in executive branch positions.

Joni Swedlund and Jonathan Rice described the “entrepreneurial, collaborative, and team-oriented” attitude needed for success at Deloitte;  while Hazel Douglas explained how Oxford HR has shifted from searching for candidates with a background in humanitarian aid to needing individuals with trade, finance, education, and other skills who can “support the development of economic infrastructure in developing countries.”

In addition to their advice on hiring trends, the presenters walked APSIA directors through the formal and informal hiring processes at their organizations.

Due to positive feedback, APSIA will continue this series into summer 2014.  Through these and other programs, APSIA strives to promote excellence in professional, international affairs education worldwide by sharing information and ideas among our member schools.

Penn State School of International Affairs launches specialized study tracks

leigh   April 3, 2014   News



New study tracks announced by Penn State University’s School of International Affairs (SIA) provide graduate students the opportunity to develop general international affairs skills in navigating global challenges and expertise in a specific field. The six new study tracks—International Security Studies; Development Policy; International Education; Dispute Resolution; Environment and Resources; and Humanitarian Response and Human Rights tap into the strengths of SIA’s faculty expertise. In addition, the tracks reflect critical areas of global international affairs practice. 

“We are very excited to offer these compelling enhancements to students who have expressed both a vocational and academic interest in these study areas ,” said SIA Director Tiyanjana Maluwa who is also the Associate Dean for International Affairs at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law. “Participants can continue to create their own curriculum choosing from dozens of electives, or take advantage of the outstanding opportunities afforded by our new study tracks.” Director Maluwa emphasized that the Master of International Affairs program is designed to equip its graduates with the doctrine and skills required of effective leaders in the global marketplace.

The new tracks capitalize on the strong relationship between SIA and Penn State Law School which are co-located and share a number of Law and International Affairs faculty members. Faculty leading the tracks include: Richard Butler, Johannes W. Fedderke, Scott Sigmund Gartner, Amy Gaudion, Dennis C. Jett, John A. Kelmelis, Flynt Leverett, Tiyanjana Maluwa, Sophia McClennen ,  and Catherine A. Rogers.

“The focus of our program has not changed,” said Professor Maluwa. “We are fortunate that our students come from all over the world—more than half of our students are from outside of the U.S. Our goal continues to be to augment the abilities and skills students bring into the program with the capacity to think, communicate, and practice as an international affairs expert.”

Professor Maluwa said, “our emphasis is on graduating students with the skills and confidence to begin an international affairs career anywhere in the world.”

About SIA

A Master of International Affairs degree from Penn State’s School of International Affairs is designed to train leaders who create, research, and enact global solutions. Through our curriculum, faculty mentorship, career services, and integration with Penn State University, a top global research institution, students can map a program of study that marries their personal interests  and professional goals. SIA is an affiliate member of APSIA (the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs).