EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

NATO: MAINTAINING SECURITY IN A CHANGING WORLD

On September 26, the annual Ambassador Donald and Vera Blinken Lecture on Global Governance — sponsored by SIPA’s Center on Global Economic Governance in partnership with Columbia University’s World Leaders Forum — welcomed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In his remarks, Stoltenberg argued that NATO remains the best way to protect open, democratic societies.

THE DYNAMICS OF GLOBAL FEMINISM

On October 1, scholars and professionals discussed “The Dynamics of Global Feminism” in a panel event keyed to the launch of the latest issue of SIPA’s student-run Journal of International Affairs. The event featured senior lecturer Eugenia “Jenny” McGill MIA ’00, who is also interim director of SIPA’s Economic and Political Development (EPD) concentration; adjunct associate professor Savita Bailur, research director at Caribou Digital; and Marina Kumskova, a human rights advocate and researcher who is currently UN liaison at the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict. Lecturer Yasmine Ergas, director of the Gender and Public Policy specialization, moderated.

KENNETH N. WALTZ LECTURE IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

In a visit to SIPA on October 9, Professor Erica Chenoweth of Harvard discussed the remarkable changes that civil resistance movements have led to over the past century — movements that she said have started to decline from their height in the 1980s. Her lecture, “The Paradox of Civil Resistance in the 21st Century,” was the 11th annual Waltz Lecture, hosted by the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies.

2019 GABRIEL SILVER MEMORIAL LECTURE

In the annual Silver Lecture on October 11, former World Bank president Robert Zoellick  offered a historical perspective on American trade policy. He was joined by Dean Merit E. Janow and European Institute director Adam Tooze.

VOLT EUROPA FOUNDERS RETURN TO SIPA

On October 31, Andrea Venzon MPA ’17 and Damian Boeselager MPA ’17 — cofounders of a new transnational progressive party called Volt Europa — returned to SIPA for an event cosponsored by the Columbia European Union Student Association, European Institute, SIPA’s Office of Alumni Affairs, and the Center on Global Economic Governance.

FOURTH ANNUAL CYBER 9/12

Hosted by SIPA’s Tech and Policy Initiative in partnership with the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, the fourth annual Cyber 9/12 competition on November 8 and 9 was organized, staffed, and executed by SIPA’s Digital and Cyber Group (DCG), a student organization. Competitors included more than 120 students representing undergraduate and graduate schools across the country — institutions as diverse as Georgetown, Texas A&M, and the US Military Academy.

MOVING FORWARD

On December 5, Move On national spokesperson and former NBC/MSNBC commentator Karine Jean-Pierre MPA ’03 (left, with SIPA professors David N. Dinkins and Ester Fuchs) visited SIPA to discuss her new book, Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America.

WASHINGTON, DC, CAREER CONFERENCE

SIPA’s 44th annual Washington, DC, Career Conference was capped by a January 17 discussion of foreign policy that featured Stephen Hadley, who served as national security advisor during President George W. Bush’s second term.

THE HOUSE OF YAN: A FAMILY AT THE HEART OF A CENTURY IN CHINESE HISTORY

On January 28, Chinese business leader Lan Yan visited SIPA to discuss The House of Yan: A Family at the Heart of a Century in Chinese History. Published more than 50 years after the start of China’s Cultural Revolution, the memoir reveals the Yan family’s painful memories of that significant historical upheaval. 

PANEL DISCUSSION ON CENTRAL BANK INDEPENDENCE

On February 3, SIPA’s Patricia C. Mosser, director of the MPA Program in Economic Policy Management, moderated a panel on central bank independence with Stanley Fischer, former vice chair of the Federal Reserve and former governor of the Bank of Israel; Ilan Goldfajn, former governor of the Central Bank of Brazil; Kathryn Judge, professor of law at Columbia Law School; and Simon Potter, former executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

CIVIC POWER: REBUILDING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY IN AN ERA OF CRISIS

On February 5, Hollie Russon Gilman, fellow at Columbia World Projects and adjunct associate research scholar at SIPA, and K. Sabeel Rahman, associate professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, celebrated the launch of their new book, Civic Power: Rebuilding American Democracy in an Era of Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2019). The book “argues for a bold revival of our democracy by engaging grassroots communities and dismantling the structures that concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the few.”

GEORGE W. BALL LECTURE

Toomas Hendrik Ilves (pictured) — a former president of Estonia and SIPA’s George W. Ball Adjunct Professor for spring 2020 — delivered the George W. Ball Lecture, “Cybersecurity, the Digital State, and Democratic Governance,” as part of the Niejelow Rodin Global Digital Futures Policy Forum on February 21.

GENDERED DIMENSIONS OF THE PANDEMIC: IMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19

An April 17 webinar convened by Yasmine Ergas, director of the Gender and Public Policy specialization, with Michele Bornstein MIA ’15, Aizhan Kamidola MPA ’21, and Jazgul Kochkorova MIA ’20 investigated the intersection of gender and the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers from Africa, Canada, Central Asia, Europe, Japan, Latin America, and the United States discussed issues ranging from the dangers associated with authoritarian instrumentalization of the pandemic to the importance of adopting gender-based perspectives in disaster prevention.

DARREN WALKER ADDRESSES SIPA CLASS OF 2020

On May 17, SIPA honored 727 graduates representing 69 nations with a virtual celebration. Featured speaker Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, delivered his address via video: “I find hope in both the promise of your tomorrows and the promising work that you are doing already. You are already meeting this moment with fearlessness, courage, and fortitude.”

WEBINAR SERIES ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19

In a series of virtual events moderated by Dean Merit E. Janow, scholars from SIPA and across Columbia convened to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on policy and the economy.

  • “Echoes of 1918? COVID-19 and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic” featured research and insights from SIPA professors Douglas Almond and Scott Barrett. (April 14)
  •  “US Economic Fallout and Policy Responses to COVID-19” featured Columbia Business School dean emeritus R. Glenn Hubbard with SIPA’s Jacob J. Lew and Patricia C. Mosser. (May 1)
  • “US and China Relations in the Era of COVID-19” gathered SIPA’s Thomas J. Christensen and Shang-Jin Wei, Columbia Law School’s Benjamin L. Liebman, and Roberta Lipson ’77BUS, CEO of New Frontier Health. (May 18)

 

CENTERS AND INSTITUTES

CENTER FOR DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS AND POLICY (CDEP)

Founded: 2013
Codirectors: Eric Verhoogen and Cristian “Kiki” Pop-Eleches

In 2019–20, CDEP added 14 working papers from affiliated scholars and hosted 15 academic seminars and 25 graduate student workshops.

CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS AND POLICY (CEEP)

Founded: 2019
Codirectors: Douglas Almond and Wolfram Schlenker 

CEEP’s goal is to undertake original research into the causes of environmental change, the consequences of this change for humanity, and the policies that can prevent and, where possible, reverse the harmful environmental change to ensure sustainable development. 

CEEP has 18 faculty affiliates across the University. Since its launch in fall 2019, the faculty associates, scholars, and students have published 11 working papers. Six PhD in Sustainable Development candidates were awarded student research grants to support their predissertation or dissertation research on ecosystem services, climate change, health effects of pollution, or environmental policy design. On October 18, CEEP held its inaugural conference with over 120 participants, a keynote by Professor James Stock of Harvard, and highlighted research findings by five alumni and three PhD in Sustainable Development candidates.

CENTER ON GLOBAL ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE (CGEG)

Founded: 2012
Director: Jan Svejnar

In 2019–20, CGEG faculty associates and scholars published 47 research papers, 54 working papers, 12 books and book chapters, and 91 op-eds. The center hosted 22 research symposia and conferences, welcoming 146 visiting guest lecturers, 47 Columbia faculty speakers, and 1,658 attendees. The CGEG visiting scholar program hosted six international visiting scholars with backgrounds in journalism, economics, finance, and development.

CENTER ON GLOBAL ENERGY POLICY (CGEP)

Founded: 2013 
Founding director: Jason Bordoff

In 2019–20, CGEP published 75 reports, commentaries, op-eds, and articles in scientific and academic journals, including written congressional testimony. The center produced more than 59 episodes of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, featuring in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia, and civil society. 

CGEP hosted more than 95 events, which draw a diverse global audience that includes policymakers, journalists, business and civil society leaders, students, and the general public. The reach of these events is enhanced by our investment in a full range of digital channels, including a secure and interactive online meeting platform, livestreaming capacity, online video recordings and podcasts, and social media campaigns. 

Twenty journalists from five countries attended CGEP’s Energy Journalism Initiative, a program that educates journalists about disciplines associated with the energy sector. The center fostered a community of more than 1,500 women through its Women in Energy program, which elevates women in energy by advancing equality and empowering women to achieve career growth through educational programming and broader networks.

DEEPAK AND NEERA RAJ CENTER ON INDIAN ECONOMIC POLICIES

Founded: 2015
Director: Arvind Panagariya

The Raj Center continued to produce its popular podcast, Transforming India, which was launched last year. The podcast is produced in conjunction with the Times of India and averages 2,000 listeners per episode, attracting interdisciplinary guest speakers from both academia and political affairs. 

While the pandemic interrupted many of the center’s planned in-person events, director Arvind Panagariya continued to participate in online panels and events in both the US and India. Professor Panagariya also published his newest book, New India: Reclaiming the Lost Glory (Oxford University Press, 2020), in which he outlines a strategy to transform India from a primarily rural and agricultural economy to an urban and industrial economy with well-paid jobs for those with limited skills.

SALTZMAN INSTITUTE OF WAR AND PEACE STUDIES (SIWPS)

Founded: 1951
Director: Richard K. Betts (2019–20 Academic Year); Keren Yarhi-Milo (2020–21 Academic Year)

In 2019–20, Saltzman Institute members produced six books, 16 research papers, 22 journal articles, and 23 op-eds. Institute members traveled to 35 countries to deliver lectures and perform scholarly research. The institute hosted 27 public and 10 private events, welcoming 1,878 attendees.

 

INITIATIVES

CENTRAL BANKING AND FINANCIAL POLICY INITIATIVE

In a year filled with high-profile events, the Central Banking and Financial Policy Initiative (CBFP) hosted the July 2019 annual meeting of the Central Bank Research Association (CEBRA).  Speakers included three Federal Reserve Bank presidents (New York, Boston, and St. Louis), Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda, three former central bank governors, and the former chair of the CFTC. More than 250 distinguished academics and central bankers participated in 30-plus research sessions over the course of two and a half days in New York.

CBFP also hosted two lectures on climate change; central bank policy panel discussions on practical policymaking challenges and central bank independence; and the annual Research Conference on Bank Regulation, attended by 120-plus researchers, regulators, and financial industry experts. Key remote events in the spring and summer included six webinars on the extraordinary policy responses of central banks and governments to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DEAN’S PUBLIC POLICY CHALLENGE GRANT 

The winning teams in this year’s Dean’s Public Policy Challenge Grant competition were allocated a total of $50,000 in prize money to support the implementation of their projects. Two teams, Tịnh Tâm and VocatiNest, tied for first place, and each received $20,000. 

Tịnh Tâm (Pure Mind in Vietnamese) is a comprehensive mobile application for young adults in Vietnam that provides real-time assessment gauging the needs of each user, flags critical mental-health scenarios, and connects individuals to appropriate mental-health resources. 

VocatiNest is an artificial intelligence–based online job platform that provides end-to-end services such as integrated personality and cognitive tests, tailored digital résumés, and skill and personality job-matching features for Indonesian vocational students and employers.

Since launching in spring 2014, the Dean’s Challenge Grant has supported 346 students with $1,031,407 in total funding.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION 

In July 2020, Dean Janow announced a slate of new diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives developed in collaboration with the Diversity Committee, as well as faculty and staff, and other interested students to help make SIPA an even more meaningfully diverse and inclusive school. 

The School inaugurated a self-assessment of diversity and inclusion at SIPA. This self-assessment — which will draw on input from throughout the School, as well as outside expert third parties with expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion matters — will lay the foundation for a diversity report that will be made public before the end of the 2020–21 academic year.

Read the Dean’s full statement

In the 2019–20 academic year, the Diversity Committee continued to grow its programming and support of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Notably, the committee offered several new programs, including the SIPA Story Slam and Critical Conversations, in both in-person and virtual formats. Alongside SIPA Students of Color (SSOC), the Diversity Committee launched the Intersectionality Conference, a two-day exploration of how various marginalized identities map on to systems of power, privilege, and oppression. 

SIPA also served as the pilot school for two University-wide initiatives, Pronouns In Use and the Inclusion, Belonging and Community Citizenship Initiative, an offering of virtual and in-person workshops. All student leaders were required to participate in the program.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND POLICY INITIATIVE

Columbia SIPA’s Entrepreneurship and Policy Initiative completed its fourth academic year of programming and activities in June 2020. Once again, the initiative brought together world-renowned scholars, global and New York City entrepreneurs, and leaders from the public and private sectors to advance understanding of the conditions and means to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and social entrepreneurship. The initiative continued to focus on entrepreneurship that leverages digital technologies and implicates public policy globally. The initiative supported research and activities in three core areas: cities and innovation, digital innovation and entrepreneurial solutions, and emerging global digital policy.

In his new research project, Mapping Data Flows, serial entrepreneur and SIPA senior research scholar John Battelle — with student researchers Natasha Bhuta MPA-DP ’20 and Zoe Martin MPA ’20 and 2019 Journalism alumni Matthew Albasi and Veronica Penney — developed an interactive visualization that helps users understand how large technology companies collect, use, and share user information across the internet.

THE KENT GLOBAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION

In December 2019, SIPA inaugurated an innovative program to train leaders in the field of conflict resolution as a result of a $6 million gift from Muhtar Kent, the former chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.

The Kent Global Leadership Program on Conflict Resolution will prepare the next generation of global practitioners to meet the increasingly complex challenges posed by increasing uncertainty and conflict. The centerpiece of the program is an intensive training session for rising professionals from governments and intergovernmental institutions, to be held annually in New York City beginning in 2021.

The Kent Global Leadership Program will also sponsor programming throughout the academic year, a visiting professorship, and fellowships for outstanding SIPA graduate students, in addition to providing support for policy research.

TECH AND POLICY INITIATIVE

Senior research scholar Jason Healey published six major research and analytic pieces in different outlets, including the Journal of Strategic Studies Quarterly, Lawfare and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He also participated in 22 external engagements, including a Lawfare podcast appearance alongside Stewart Baker on persistent engagement, an HBO documentary interview based on David Sanger’s book The Perfect Weapon (released in October 2020), and various panel discussions at academic, military, and governmental institutions.

Beginning in spring 2019, Gregory Rattray, adjunct senior research scholar, spearheaded two new projects under the initiative. Global Cyber Dialogues started with the goal of understanding the cyber and digital challenges that affect the US and the global community. The dialogues launched the first Japan Cyber Dialogues in April in collaboration with Keio University. Rattray also leads the initiative’s second New York Cyber Task Force, which began in late fall and has focused on operational collaboration.

This year’s Niejelow Rodin Global Digital Futures Policy Forum featured a keynote by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a former president of Estonia and SIPA’s George W. Ball Adjunct Professor for spring 2020, on “Cybersecurity, the Digital State, and Democratic Governance.” The event brought together over 130 attendees, including students, faculty, cyber professionals, and journalists for a day of engaging panels and discussions. 

Tech and Policy’s main student organization, the Digital and Cyber Group (DCG), hosted or collaborated on a range of events for students, including a conversation with Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, USMC (Ret.), former vice commander of US Cyber Command. 

The initiative held three Uptown Cyber Socials throughout the year at which students, alumni, faculty, and New York City–area cyber executives come together for a night of networking and engaging conversation.