LEADERS in GRADUATE EDUCATION: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS PUBLIC POLICY GLOBAL STUDIES

Foreign Policy, Winter 2020 | Go to article overview

LEADERS in GRADUATE EDUCATION: INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS PUBLIC POLICY GLOBAL STUDIES


INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS & LEADERS

EIGHT LEADING SCHOOLS

GRADUATE PROGRAMS DIRECTORY

"We believe that change comes from unity, building bridges, celebrating differences, and seeking shared understanding," says former US Ambassador Lee Feinstein, the founding dean of Indiana University's Hamilton Lugar School. This FP Guide tells the stories of leading deans, directors, and professors who are teaching the next generation of international affairs professionals to collaborate in tackling today's most intractable problems. They include:

* A professor with Washington, DC, experience in immigration policy who teaches an intense class about refugees, after a decade in which the number of refugees worldwide doubled to almost 26 million.

* As a teenage climate activist is named the 2019 Time Person of the Year, a new dean who has worked on climate change issues at the United Nations and World Bank and now aims to teach climate change as a "threat intensifier across the full range of international relations."

* In an increasingly interconnected world economy pocked by trade wars, a center director who sometimes uses game theory to help students understand what makes trade agreements sustainable.

* A professor who is preparing nontechnical students to someday help create the international norms and policies that will counter ever-growing cyber threats.

See this FP Guide online at https://fpguide.foreignpolicy.com/-leaders-grad-ed

Johannes Urpelainen, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources, and Environment

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Johannes Urpelainen, a top energy policy expert who advises governments, international organizations, and the private sector, aims to teach "action-oriented" classes. As director of the Energy, Resources, and Environment program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), he led a redesign of the program last year, so that students begin with a broad introductory class and then move on to more specialized courses.

"I try to get our students to think about concrete problems and how to go about systematically solving them," explains Urpelainen, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz professor. Exercises could include writing policy briefs, memos, or research papers that are "built around addressing a practical problem in a realistic and feasible way."

In a class last year on energy access, the assignment was to select a country that has trouble providing energy to its population because of, say, a shortage of reliable electricity or insufficient access to clean cooking fuel. "I asked the students to come up with some concrete recommendations for how the government could address the situation," says Urpelainen. "So instead of keeping it at a high theoretical level, I made it very concrete."

One student conducted research to understand why the government of Angola had not succeeded with its policies for using solar power to improve energy access in rural areas. The result was "a terrific analysis of the institutional limitations of Angola's energy policy system," says Urpelainen. The student wrote a blog post based on that analysis, and it was featured on the website of the 200,000-member Energy Central Power Industry Network.

There are 40 to 50 students enrolled each year in the Energy, Resources, and Environment program, and they can study at any of the school's three campuses--in Washington, DC; Bologna, Italy; and Nanjing, China. All three locations offer the same introductory course, to provide a common foundation. Mirroring the overall approach of Johns Hopkins SAIS, the program is interdisciplinary, bringing together elements of science and technology, economics, and politics and governance.

Students gain experience working on projects for major corporate clients, such as BP, ExxonMobil, Google, and Tesla. In Washington, students benefit from the proximity of US government institutions, the World Bank Group, and the International Monetary Fund--all within walking distance. …

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