MAY 2014

Congratulations to all graduates! View highlights of SIS Commencement here.

Diplomat Delivers Commencement Address
Paula Dobriansky, a diplomat and foreign policy expert who served under five U.S. presidents, delivered this year’s SIS commencement address. Dobriansky, a specialist on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, served most recently as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. Read More.
Student Speaker Interested in the “Other”
Priyanka Srinivasa was the SIS Class of 2014 student commencement speaker. She studied international relations and anthropology at SIS and has focused her studies on Muslim-Hindu relations and political Islam and Hinduism. Read More.
Graduate Overcomes Obstacles
For much of his life, Serge Okogo has faced seemingly insurmountable odds. This month, he earned his master’s degree from SIS, capping an amazing journey. Read More.
Student Honored for Service in DC
SIS Global Scholar Jennifer Johnson was recognized by area universities for her work with the Latino immigrant community in Washington, DC. Read More.
Professor Sees a “Multiplex” World
In his new book, The End of American World Order, SIS Professor and UNESCO Chair Amitav Acharya argues that the American-led international order, as we know it, is coming to an end. Read More. Watch the SIS Spotlight video.
SIS Names 2014 Alumnus of the Year
Chad Bissonnette, SIS/BA ’05, was honored at the residence of the Brazilian ambassador with the SIS Alumnus of the Year award for his work in Haiti. Read More. Nominate an alum for next year’s award!


SIS Ph.D. student Kia Hall won an AU Outstanding Scholarship at the Graduate Level award. Read More.

SIS Global Scholar Kate Brunette received the AU Outstanding Service to the University Community award. Read More.

SIS student Fu Hamabe received the AU Carlton Savage award for organizing student dialogue groups to promote peace in East Asia. Read More.

SIS senior Mary Caroline Brazill was selected to be a Truman Scholar, and Kate Brunette and Antonio Rivera-Martínez were finalists. Read More.

AU was tied for number two nationally in the Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) competition with thirty-four finalists, fifteen of whom are at SIS. Read More.

AU Ranks tenth among Master's International programs, and ninth among Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship programs. All Peace Corps Fellows are SIS Students. Read More. Find out more about SIS's Peace Corps Programs.

Many other SIS students received honors, awards, and scholarships, including nine Boren Scholars, seven Boren Fellows, four Fulbright grantees, a Pickering Fellowship, and much more. Read More.

SIS bestowed faculty awards to Sharon Weiner who won the F. Gunther Eyck Award; Christine Chin for SIS Scholar/Teacher of the Year; Mohammed Abu-Nimer for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Professional Contributions; Sikina Jinnah with the William Cromwell Award for Outstanding Teaching; Guy Ziv for Outstanding Term Faculty Teaching; Tamar Gutner with the Darrell Randall Award for Outstanding Service to the University Community; and Colman McCarthy and Hillary Mann Leverett for Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Teaching. Read More, including SIS staff awards.

Who is the Greenest of Them All?

Professor Robin Broad (pictured above with Provost Scott Bass and Naomi Baron, Executive Director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning) was awarded the 2014 AU Green Teacher of the Year award. Broad was recognized for her commitment to make her courses greener and for helping her students become “green students” as well as “green citizens." Read More.

President of Uruguay Speaks at SIS

José Mujica, President of Uruguay, spoke at SIS about Uruguay’s progressive human and civil rights agenda with Dean Jim Goldgeier. Watch the Video.

TEDx Comes to American University

Assistant Professor Malini Ranganathan (pictured above) and Assistant Professor Simon Nicholson gave talks at the first TEDx event at American University. Read More.

Public Diplomacy In the Digital Age

Tara Sonenshine, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, discussed public diplomacy at a Dean’s Discussion with Dean Jim Goldgeier. Watch the Video.
Will Diplomacy Work in Iran?

SIS hosted a University Conversation, convened by the Wilson Center, on efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program. Pictured above with Dean Jim Goldgeier are: Jane Harman, Director, President, and CEO of the Wilson Center; Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives at the Wilson Center; Thomas Pickering, retired U.S. Career Ambassador; Michael Doran, Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Shaul Bakhash, Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University. Watch the Video.


Professor Paul Williams was elected to the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.

Associate Professor Derrick Cogburn participated in the High-Level Multistakeholder Committee at NETMundial, the international meeting on the future of Internet governance.


Stay up to date on alumni news and events. Keep up with your classmates on the Class Notes page.

Check out photos of the Senior Class BBQ Series hosted by President Neil Kerwin.

SIS in the News

Scholar in Residence Benjamin Jensen: "How Ukraine Wins," US News & World Report, May 14.

Assistant Professor Kristin Diwan: "Kuwait’s Royals Are Taking Their Feuds Public," Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, May 8.

Assistant Professor Carl LeVan: "The Nigerian Schoolgirl Abduction,"WAMU's Diane Rehm Show, May 5.

Assistant Professor Carl LeVan: "Distress Over Kidnapped Girls Fuels Protest," PBS Newshour, May 5.

Dean Jim Goldgeier and Andrew Weiss: "Trying to 'Win' Ukraine Could Lead to Its Collapse," The New Republic, May 5.

Professor Amitav Acharya: "International Studies: A Dying Discipline?" World Policy Blog, May 2.

Assistant Professor Jeffrey Colgan: "Could Energy Sanctions on Russia Work?" The Wilson Center Blog, May 5.

Professorial Lecturer Neil K. Shenai: "The Rupee Dilemma," Foreign Affairs, April 30.

Professor Gordon Adams: "Through the Fiscal Looking Glass," Foreign Policy, April 28.

Dean Jim Goldgeier: "The Pivot to Asia Requires a Stronger Europe," Debate Club, US News & World Report, April 28.

Associate Professor Keith Darden: "The War on Truth in Ukraine," The New York Times, April 27.

Scholar in Residence Johanna Mendelson Forman: "Latin America’s Hottest New Tourism Trend: Culinary Branding," VOXXI, April 23.

Assistant Professor Simon Nicholson: "Can We Reverse the Damage Done to the Earth?" Huffington Post Live, April 22.

Dean Jim Goldgeier: "Stop Blaming NATO for Putin's Provocations," The New Republic, April 17.

Professor Clarence Lusane: "Condoleezza Rice Is All Wrong on Ukraine Crisis," The Progressive, April 16.

Associate Professor Keith Darden: "How to Save Ukraine," Foreign Affairs, April 14.

Professorial Lecturer Jeffrey Bachman: "Nothing to See Here," Congress Blog, The Hill, April 13.

Assistant Professor David Bosco: "Threat of Justice," Foreign Policy, April 9.

Read More Media Mentions

The School of International Service prepares graduates for global service.