May 8, 2006
The Newspaper of the Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
Volume 5 No. 5
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED President’s visit a decided success BY NATALIE AHN resident George W. Bush spent about an hour and a half—“an extraordinary amount of time” according to a White House representative—speaking to approximately 125 students and faculty on the morning of April 10, answering wide-ranging questions and making off-thecuff jokes. The President came to SAIS not to announce a new policy initiative, but to demonstrate a more interactive and informal style of public engagement. The success of the high-profile event was an important victory for the public affairs office at SAIS, and for students who both engaged the President and respectfully protested his visit.
President Bush, famous for his unwillingness to stray off-topic during public appearances, conveyed the White House messages of the day: Iraqi leaders need to form a “unity government,” media reports on Iran war plans are “wild speculation,” and the CIA leak case is an “ongoing legal proceeding” – though Bush “declassified” the case’s document in question, a 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. Students questioned him on issues ranging from Iran’s nuclear programs to human trafficking and economic development, allowing for some stock answers and at least two demurrals - the President explained, “I don’t know but I’ll ask the Secretary.” Meanwhile 145 students signed a letter of
President Bush shakes hands with students after his speech polite protest of some of the current administration’s policies— particularly on multilateralism, civil liberties, and respect for diverse values. Roughly one in ten students at the event wore large red tags with the letter’s main points printed on one side, and the message “I don’t support Bush” on the other, but they did
not disrupt the event. Most students interviewed comment little on the substance of the President’s comments, however, except to mention that he said nothing new. Students instead analyzed the personal character of the current President, reacting to “his sincerity and conviction,
however simplistic it may appear,” his expanded form of “answering the question he wanted to be asked” as he became, in his own words, “wound up” about certain issues, and even his evident frustration at the difficulty of conveying those passionate convictions to an increasingly skeptical American people.
“I think they’re trying to get the President out there more, in a less confined or less scripted environment,” said SAIS Office of Public Affairs director Felisa Neuringer. Referring to SAIS students’ knowledge and character, she said that “[The White House Continued on page 7
Pump it up: the year of energy that was BY NIKOS TSAFOS of Energy at SAIS: a T hisyearwasfulltheofYearenergy drama during which our sense of insecurity only increased. As SAIS began its year, oil cost $60/barrel; at year’s end, prices were over $72. In these nine months, SAIS grappled with the energy world—its limits and its implications, its present and future, its promise and its perils. The world was moving fast, and so was SAIS’ attempt to make sense of it all. Our year began with Nick Butler, Vice President of Strategy and Policy Development for British Petroleum. This inaugural event in September laid the foundation for the year of energy. Mr. Butler made the case for energy - why it
supply. Dr. Birol’s speech was meant to alert us to a looming shortfall - to highlight the topic with the hope to change it too.
matters for students in international affairs. Implicit in his vision was the need to take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding energy, and the need to study the energy component of political issues as well. In November, as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), presented the World Energy Outlook 2005 at SAIS. Focusing on the Middle East and North Africa, his concern was that insufficient investment could dramatically affect future prices. As Dr. Birol spoke, only Saudi Arabia had any spare production capacity—markets were tight, and incremental demand was outpacing incremental
Dr. El-Baradei will address SAIS gaduates on May 25th
As SAIS went to exams, out came SAISphere, our annual magazine. Energy was the theme, and our faculty probed the various issues that make up our energy world. SAIS students were pleased to read the profiles of SAIS alums and to see that many energy analysts come from SAIS. The publication reminded us why this is a great place to study energy - to probe interdisciplinary topics, to converse intelligently about derivatives as well as internal politics, to understand the energy side of China’s rise, as well as how regulation affects the price at the pump. Continued on page 10
THE SAIS OBSERVER
May 8, 2006
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
All SAISed out Before coming to SAIS, you probably had some preconceptions, or misperceptions, about what it would be like. Maybe you thought all of your classes would be small. How wrong you were - that 1st semester Macroeconomics class was surprisingly crowded. Maybe you thought SAIS students didn't actually do economics. Now you're planning for a summer Trade Theory bonanza. You overheard someone complaining that the school was populated by humorless foreign policy drones, able to recite obscure C-Span programs from memory, but unable to laugh at the absurdity of politics itself. Or you had convinced yourself that SAIS professors might be hopelessly aloof, shunning their students in favor of lavish cocktail parties, op-ed smackdowns, and the myriad trappings of Washington intellectual life. Or maybe you worried that you might be about to spend an enormous chunk of change on a degree that will lead you down an uncertain path to a nonexistent career. Perhaps, at your lowest moment, you considered what had been previously unthinkable: Law School. Fear not - we don't fault you for reacting desperately to the news that your college roommate is now six figures and living on the beach. We trust that no self-respecting SAIS student would drift so morally astray. We hope that during your time at SAIS you have debunked and set aside many, if not most, of these myths. So to graduating second-years, we bid you farewell and good luck. To continuing firstyears, we will see you again in the fall. Oh, and we heard that everyone at the World Bank wears a scarf, even indoors during the summer. Anybody know if that's true?
Suit up for summer First year SAIS students share their summer plans BY ROBYN WEINSTEIN time, so I t’sbreaksummer out your suit! Your business suit, that is. This summer first year students at SAIS are thinking less about the beach and more about their resumes. From working with the coast guard to researching economic development in Latin America, a summer away from SAIS is certainly more than a vacation from school. Here are seven different summer positions that SAIS students have chosen to build their careers. Lauren Silva, Latin American Studies, is working at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, www.bbh.com the oldest privately funded bank in America. She will be researching investment in emerging markets, sovereign bonds and currencies. Lauren will be living in the upper west side of Manhattan. Alejandra Kempff, Latin American Studies, is going to Rio Dejanero to work for a development consulting
firm named Development Alternatives Incorporated, which www.dai.com, works mainly with USAID. She will be working on micro and medium enterprise development in Brazil while researching different areas of the country, and possibly traveling to the North East of Brazil. Mirentxu Arrivillaga, Strategic Studies, Will work for Management Systems International (MSI) www.msi-inc.com writing proposals in the business development unit. The proposals will cover many regions and technical skills. Mirientxu started there part-time spring semester, and they offered her a full time internship for the summer. Recently she has been doing a lot of work on instability crisis recovery programs and corruption. Ben Deering, Energy, is waiting to hear from AT Kearney Consulting www.atkearney.com. He will be working in their global policy department. As a part of the position he
The SAIS Observer Editors-in-Chief Eric Jaffe Jon Raviv Soledad Birnbaum Contibutors Natalie Ahn Christian and Louis Cabanilla Pothik Chatterjee Santiago Florez Saul Garlick Todd Holland Leslie Hough Erica Kaster Adam Mendelson Jonathan McClelland Brice Richards Arati Shroff Nikos Tsafos Kate Turner Robyn Weinstein The SAIS Observer is an international affairs news monthly written, edited, and produced by the students of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of The Johns Hopkins University. SAIS students, faculty and members of the administration at the Washington, D.C. campus, Bologna campus, and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center are encouraged to submit articles, letters to the editor, photographs, cartoons and other items for consideration. Material for consideration or inquiries may be submitted to : email@example.com. The SAIS Observer is an approved SAIS student organization. Opinions expressed in the SAIS Observer are not necessarily the views of the editors, SAIS, or the University.
The Observer welcomes accolades, denials, comments, critiques, and hate mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
will work on a crisis simulation in the fall, which will be jointly sponsored by the Chinese Communist party and the US Department Of Defense. The simulation involves three teams, a Chinese team, a US delegation, and a group of senior level business executives. The simulation will examine the results of a complete shut off of energy flows to Asia. Kate Phillips, Strategic Studies, has accepted a fellowship for the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence for Terrorism Risk Analysis. She will be analyzing risk assessment of importing nuclear weapons. Later in the summer she will travel to Washington State to work with the Seattle Coast Guard to gain on-the-ground experience overseeing port inspections.
Dan Yawitz, International Development, is going to Kyrgyzstan as a part of the International Development Department’s summer internship project. Dan will be working with a micro finance program developing a plan to use mobile technology to develop lending programs in more rural areas of Kyrgyzstan. Rachna Saxena, International Development, will stay in Washington, DC and work for the World Bank as a part of the Moving out of Poverty S t u d y www.worldbank.org/empo werment. The study focuses on examining the ability of individuals and groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired solutions and outcomes. Her internship is full time. Robyn Weinstein is a parttime SAIS student.
By the numbers:
Office of Infotainment & Obfuscation BY TODD HOLLAND Percent of DC SAIS students who are planning to bring herbicide to graduation in order to fight any outbreaks of laurel crown: 82% Percent of all SAIS students who will fall asleep during the graduation speaker: 13% Number of times the average SAIS student will think to themselves “why didn’t I ever hook up with him/her?” in the next 3 weeks: 7 Average percentage of those hookups that will then occur: 43% Number of times per year the average SAIS student will hear the word “neo-con” after leaving this building: 3
Percent of SAIS students that can find Westphalia on a map: 24% Percent of SAIS students that will now go look that up in anticipation of orals: 46% Number of times a SAIS graduate will have to explain that, no, I did not graduate from the Saudi Arabian International School : 0 Real reason for the long delay in the repair of the Nitze elevator: Bin Laden Number of SAIS professors facing deportation if the U.S. House of Representatives gets its way: 14 Number of those professors who are criminals and probably deserve to be deported: 1
Number of days per week that a SAIS student can eat for free just by attending every event: 3.5 Ratio of the amount of time that SAIS professors spend giving interviews compared to the amount of time that they hold office hours: 3 to 1 Cost to watch an upcoming pay-perview wrestling match featuring the tag team of Frank “I’m not a Neocon” Fukuyama and Eliot “Who knew Bush blew?” Cohen against Charles “Sour-Kraut” Krauthammer and John “Jew-smear” Mearsheimer: $1.99 Todd Holland is a 2nd year M.A. student concentrating in Western Hemisphere / Latin American Studies.
THE SAIS OBSERVER
May 8, 2006
Some final thoughts... What Sets SAIS Graduates Apart?
Jonathan McClelland International Policy
Those that know me know that my concentration and my passion is energy. SAIS has given me the freedom to explore this passion. Thanks to Professor Kohl I now have the knowledge to match my interest. Thanks to Dean Einhorn, I now have the Year of Energy to look back on. And each of you has your own passion. Your own specialization here at SAIS, be it energy, development, strategy, conflict management, foreign policy, law, or maybe one of the 12 regional concentrations. Each of us is unique and SAIS promotes that. So what is it that binds this student body together? Why is it easy to spot a SAIS graduate when we are all so different in background and interests? I think it is this. At SAIS you learn about consequences. For every decision
Todd Holland Latin American Studies
Adam Mendelson Latin American Studies and Emerging Markets
As I near the end of my SAIS experience, I have the same thought that I have every time I leave something - like college, a job, or a city that I love. That I just didn’t have enough time to do everything that I wanted to do. SAIS can really tempt you into over-extending yourself in a way that, to me, didn’t even really feel like a burden. Except, of course, for those two weeks at the end of each semester, and every time I had to ask for a paper extension, and every time I forgot somebody’s birthday, and… you get the idea. For me, the key motivation was that everything was new. International affairs as an academic discipline was new to me, the city of Washington needed exploring, and I didn’t know a soul when I got to campus. Plus, I was
I believe I am becoming complacent. After two years at SAIS, I no longer ogle a foreign dignitary, I don’t do a double-take when a high ranking US Administration representative saunters by, and I don’t hang on to every word of a Brookings Institute policy buff. I have had lunch with ambassadors, questioned exPresidents Cardoso of Brazil and Salinas of Colombia about their respective policies, and sat close enough to Karl Rove during President Bush’s speech at SAIS to verify that he is not, to my surprise, a ventriloquist. After two years at SAIS, it seems completely natural to discuss China’s meteoric rise with Chinese students, debate the future of Iraq with an Iraqi student, and “do lunch” at the World Bank. It seems as though everyone I now
made by a politician, a business leader, a military general, or by a people there are effects. They are economic, social, and political. They are often so obscure that old-fashioned logic does not apply; so complex that the outcome is often opposite to the intent. SAIS gives you the skills to understand those effects. So that when you are in a position to make decisions, you can make the right choices. This is what sets SAIS graduates apart. For all of us, SAIS has been an experience. For many it has involved long hours in the SAIS library or the school cafeteria, wrestling with foreign languages. For others it has been similar hours trying to comprehend exchange rate theory or the relative merits of balance of power politics. There were difficult times, times when the light at the end of the tunnel
coming back to school after a few years of working, so my perspective on what I really wanted to get out of it might be a bit different than the average (read: younger) student. I was thrilled to be in academia again, thrilled to have a flexible schedule, time to hang out and chat over lunch, time to go to every speaker who looked interesting, and so on. I know already that this is what I’ll miss about it, that freedom we have to spend time learning something new. The working world offers lots of opportunities to learn and grow, but you get naturally drawn into learning what’s immediately relevant to the task at hand. Learning for the sake of learning typically happens on your own time, and when you’re working a full time job, the amount of “your own time” that you
know speaks at least 3 languages and can distinguish between a Malbec and a Tempranillo (the more important question is can they distinguish between Natty Light and PBR?). Without a doubt, SAIS has catapulted me into a world of opportunity and privilege, and after two years, it has all become mundane. SAIS seems to invert the world, transforming the extraordinary into the banal. It is paramount that we SAIS students and soon-to-be graduates recognize this. As we move forward with our lives, this experience will literally follow us around the world. Last summer I had the opportunity to go to Buenos Aires for a couple of days where I stayed with a SAIS graduate and had dinner with Dr. Roett, who happened to be teaching in the city for the sum-
seemed so small and so distant. And then came that moment… that Eureka moment, that moment when the clouds parted and you saw the world clearly. Not from the eighth floor of Nitze but from eight miles up. You see how everything falls into place. Why common sense is not a function of intelligence but of culture, of geography, of circumstance. You see why what made sense yesterday no longer applies today and conversely, why we can all learn from those that have gone before us. For the things that we don’t understand and for the answers we lack, we at least now have the frameworks, approaches and most importantly confidence to tackle them head-on. Whatever we do with our SAIS degrees, let us always remember our time here. Wherever the future leads, I will carry with me the lessons learnt at SAIS. I hope you do too.
have just never seems to be enough. In terms of things I’ll regret, I already know that too. I just didn’t have enough time to build relationships like I would have liked. Again, the working world offers lots of social opportunities, but a group this diverse? This interesting? All at similar points in life and wondering how the future is going to play out? Groups like this are unique to a university. I did my best to be social, and I’ve made some great friends, but as with every transition in my life, looking back I really recognize that there are lots of SAIS folks that I’d like to know better than I do. Oh, and we really should have partied more. Maybe we can remedy that in the last few weeks.
mer. Needless to say, the SAIS community is pervasive, and will be a part of our lives no matter where in the world we end up. The question is, do we realize that we have experienced two years of grandeur and luxury? Will we take it all for granted? Will we allow ourselves to become complacent? Whether we go into politics, business, international development, or intelligence, I believe that we all have the same responsibility. We must not lose sight of the fact that we are incredibly fortunate and that SAIS fed us with a silver spoon. Therefore, I say we take a step back and really acknowledge the opportunity SAIS has afforded us. Because if you don’t appreciate it, someone else really would have.
Famous last words most appropriate for our graduates: “I’ve had eighteen straight “All my possessions for a “Go on, get out - last “Now comes the mystery.” whiskies, I think that’s the moment of time.” words are for fools who Henry Ward Beecher, evangelist, record.” Elizabeth I, Queen of England, d. 1603 haven’t said enough.” To d. March 8, 1887 his housekeeper, who Dylan Thomas, poet, d. 1953 urged him to tell her his courtesy of Todd Holland, a “I have offended God and “Don’t let it end like this. last words so she could Quotes 2nd year M.A. student concentratmankind because my work Tell them I said some- write them down for pos- ing in Western Hemisphere / Latin American Studies. terity. did not reach the quality it thing.” should have.” Pancho Villa, revolutionary, d. 1923 Karl Marx, revolutionary, d. 1883 Leonardo da Vinci, artist, d. 1519
May 8, 2006
THE SAIS OBSERVER
What SAIS has done and will do for our careers prospects, something that Lambert “loves.”
BY JON RAVIV a year in office as A fter SGA president, Dan
With considerable private sector experience, SAIS graduate Aldo Morri was recently hired to be in charge of employer outreach, involving marketing the SAIS degree to traditionally unfamiliar sectors. And Lambert continues to meet with employers across the country, connect with alumni, and make sure they all know about where the school can fit into their respective organizations. In April, he traveled to Seattle to meet with Starbucks, Microsoft, and Russell Investments among others, to “expand the kinds of employers and find the niches.”
Tobin (MA ’03) commented that “SAIS possesses enormous strengths, including an outstanding faculty, a prime location, a dedicated staff, and a diverse and brilliant student body. Together, we can make our careers equally successful.” He also made several recommendations ranging from setting aside blocks for “career time” to revamping the school’s alumni outreach programs. That was last March. With the class of 2006 about to (re)enter the working world MA in hand, what has changed? The Professional Development Committee, set up last year by Dean Einhorn, has been the main moving force behind new According to Career Services, the Class of 2005 is programs, classes, and initia- creating formal professional private sector, having a core set tives. Comprised of three skills courses, which were of professional skills is a tenured faculty members introduced ahead of schedule tremendous asset.” In his opin(Professors Gordon Bodnar, thanks to student interest. ion, “any graduate Eliot Cohen, and Karl Experienced professionals, school…should offer its stuJackson); staff members alumni, and in most cases cur- dents [such an] (Career Services, Admissions, rent students taught six differ- opportunity…as it can only and Alumni Affairs); Deans ent classes spanning Excel, benefit their careers.” Bonnie Wilson, John Powerpoint, writing, and leadHarrington, and Ted Baker; ership skills. The program Despite the popularity, attenand three students, the commit- attracted 145 students to enroll dance was a big problem. tee has moved to make real in the free classes. Professional Ladhani recounts how some changes to SAIS’ professional development skills course students would “register for a program. Realizing that cos- coordinator and first-year stu- course, and then either back out metics would not suffice, there dent Aliya Ladhani notes that at the last minute, show up late, had to be a real institutional “this was the first time a for- or not show up at all without commitment. mal, coordinated program was notifying anyone.” Distracted undertaken” and that “overall by classes, papers, and other Ron Lambert, Director of student responses were favor- assignments, SAIS students Career Services, notes that able to both the instructors and were sometimes too academi“cross department-discussions the courses.” cally swamped to invest much have been very collegial…it is time in the skills courses. great to have students, faculty, The Excel course was so overand deans all talking about pro- subscribed the first time that it Even for Career Services, setfessional development.” He had to be offered again. With ting aside time and place during continues, “At end of day we previous experience at Merrill the week for professional develdefinitely have a strong aca- Lynch, first-year student and opment has been a challenge. demic focus with world-class excel teacher Brian Kim Friday was a popular choice, faculty – but students also knows the value of the class after the common business come to advance their careers.” and others like his. He com- school practice of devoting the ments that “students under- day to careers; but too many After meeting in November, stand that whether they are faculty members teach on the Committee recommended going to work in the public or Friday afternoons. The rest of
working in a variety of sectors the week is even busier. On top of that, it is questionable whether an academic institution should pursue career development at the expense of, rather than in addition to, learning. To get around this issue, the committee is discussing whether to create a Professional Development Week before the start of the first semester. They will first consult the SGAto gauge interest before creating such a program. Leveraging the rest of SAIS’ population is equally important as having students teach skills courses. One of the school’s main selling points is the depth of the student body’s professional experience. While close contact with alumni in targeted fields is encouraged, internal networking can be just as valuable. In the fall, Career Services will launch a new searchable electronic database of current students’ prior employers and locations. Furthermore, the new SAIS
Catalog will clearly list what skills each class stresses, letting students choose classes they feel will be more beneficial. The fall career trip will make a comeback in September after a year-long hiatus, giving students the opportunity to make connections with various firms who almost exclusively recruit in the Fall. Meanwhile, the Energy Career Club worked closely with the Development Office to set up a Houston trip during spring break. And a current student organized and led the first career trip to San Francisco in the winter as a complement to New York. Career Clubs represent an especially encouraging side of SAIS’ professional efforts, with current students taking the initiative to work together for everyone’s benefit. Working with the Professional Development Committee and the SGA, the clubs have offered students a venue within which to be more pro-active about their post-SAIS
The conclusion seems to be that the SAIS degree can certainly fit a number of molds, but that it is just a question of spreading the word. Still, the transition period is not easy, especially in a two-year program with such a quick turnaround. Some students are finding it easier to avoid the career center and make connections on their own, but are still disappointed that some of their prospective employers had never heard of the benefits of a SAIS degree, let alone the school itself. Others have viewed Career Services as little more than a “post office” for collecting and forwarding relevant documents, with varying degrees of success. The 2005 Catalog says that “SAIS prepares students for careers in all three vital sectors of modern society - public, nonprofit, and private.” While some students question whether the process is as complete as the Catalog would indicate, it is clear that a process does indeed exist. Jon Raviv is editor of SAIS Observer.
Su c ces s s to ri e s f ro m t h e pr iv a te s e c to r BY POTHIK CHATTERJEE good news for job-seeking T here’s SAIS graduates. The National Association of Colleges and Employers just released a survey predicting a 15% increase in the hiring of graduate students. The improved job market should encourage SAIS students’ efforts to search for private sector employment. Several second years already have solid jobs lined up. Aashray Kannan, an International Policy student, will join Lehman Brothers in New York as an Investment Banking Analyst. His
work will include financial modeling, pitchbooks, and getting coffee to sustain the long hours. Summer internships were major assets on Kannan’s resume that won him the coveted position, and even helped him bypass the stressful interview process that most candidates undergo. After all, Lehman contacted Kannan about a full-time position on the strength of his past experiences. Caroline Cullinane, a Middle Eastern and IP student, was also offered a position as Investment Banking Associate with Deutsche Bank. But she had to go through about twenty interviews
before receiving an offer. Several SAIS students are looking beyond New York, accepting offers abroad. Stephen Chesney, a Japan Studies student, will head to Tokyo this summer to work for Union Bank of Switzerland, or UBS. As an Equity Research Associate, he will cover the Japanese pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. Answering case study questions in Japanese was the most challenging part of his interviews. Management consulting also offers career paths with an international fla-
vor. Antara Ganguli, studying South Asian studies and IP, will be an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton in Dubai whose emergence as a regional business hub offers a wide variety of opportunities. First years are also taking advantage of foreign opportunities through internships. Maria Malas, an IDEV student, will work as a Summer Associate with the Fixed Income Sovereign desk at Morgan Stanley in London. Her work will involve debt origination and sovereign underwrit Continued on page 11
THE SAIS OBSERVER
May 8, 2006
Internship requirement taken off the table BY JON RAVIV to A ccording Government,
U.S. after September 11, 2001 several changes were made to visa procedures to “make sure that both U.S. citizens and visitors within our borders are safe.” The State Department’s motto for its attractive “Destination USA” web portal is “Secure borders. Open doors.” But sometimes one comes at the expense the other. Ever since 2001, American immigration law has gotten increasingly difficult to understand. According to the Institute of International Education, in 20032004 the number of international students dropped by 2.4%, while last year it dropped by 1.3%. While many are encouraged by the fact that the time to get a visa is improving, laws are still ambiguous. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS), says that student visa-holders have to have studied in the U.S. for one year in order to be eligible for “curricular practical training,”
The Johns Hopkins University General Counsel’s office was sufficiently worried by the law’s ambiguity, that it did not feel comfortable having the school recommend unpaid internships to international students lacking a previous year of study. About 35% of SAIS students are international, and many only come to the U.S. after a year in Bologna. Those who find unpaid work without having first been in the country for one year, might technically be in violation of U.S. Immigration law. Therefore, non-American Bologna returnees and other first-year international students could encounter problems if they pursue unpaid internships during their first, and in the case of Bologna returnees, their final year, on campus.
One way around this dilemma is to create an internship graduation requirement, thus bypassing the restrictions on the employment of foreigners. To that end, SAIS’ Professional Development Committee proposed creating a “non-credit practicum requirement” for graduation. Students could fulfill this requirement by doing paid or unpaid internships during the term of the summer, or if they had relevant pre-SAIS experience, the requirement could be waived. In order to institute a new graduation requirement, the Academic Board must first offer its approval. Professor David Lampton, Dean of Faculty and head of the China Studies Program, was involved in the discussions and highlights that among the wide range of views, “everyone is worried that there can be too much emphasis on internships.” At the same time, many realize the importance of keeping them open to all students. Professor Eliot Cohen, head of the Strategic Studies Department, comments that “Internships are
frequently valuable experiences, but we are weary of adding additional requirements since SAIS already demands an awful lot of its students.” Despite the possible adverse affects on international students, the Board eventually turned down the proposal. According to Dean Lampton, they “did not want to be perceived as trying to skirt government policy.” Instead, it would be better to go the DHS for clarification, rather than dance around an unclear law.
a broader problem: developing a professional program at SAIS. The Professional Development Committee has discussed whether there should be a professional development requirement of three “units” -composed of internships and skill courses. Such a program is credited as having benefits beyond solving an immigration issue. Dean Wilson argues that such a program would give more students “information on internships available and the types that SAIS students have gotten in the past.”
For now, international students’ work status needs clarification – something the Administration is trying to get from DHS. At this point, Dean Wilson says that “there is no way the Administration can prevent international students from doing unpaid internships, but we must warn them that they could confront problems in the future.” She pointed out, however, that international students can still work on campus or with international organizations.
Ron Lambert, head of Career Services, touts the multiple advantages of a professional requirement which simultaneously “solves the international student visa issue and sets up a better professional development atmosphere.” He points to George Washington University’s Elliott School as a place where a professional requirement program has worked well. But despite the possibility of success, the idea has yet to get out of committee.
This issue is only a narrow part of
Jon Raviv is editor of SAIS Observer.
consisting of internships or work related to the program of study. Historically, the SAIS Administration has interpreted this to mean a paid internship or work. But this year it was brought to attention that this rule might apply equally to unpaid as well as paid opportunities.
Write for the SAIS Observer...next year. BRICE RICHARDS
Happy Summer and Good Luck!!
May 8, 2006
THE SAIS OBSERVER
In search of Dr. Wonderful: What a difference a Director makes BY ERICA KASTER Studies Program at SAIS T hehasAfrican been searching for a permanent director for a number of years. The Department lacks money, events, strong DC connections, and most importantly it lacks students. As fondly regarded acting Director Gilbert Khadiagala departs, the search to fill the permanent position is still in progress. If it bears fruit by the time classes begin next fall, the new Director will by anyone’s standards have a lot of catching up to do.
about the Middle East and American Foreign Policy programs and their respective directors. Complaints about each are noisy, plentiful, and astoundingly diverse, but lurking in both are less vociferous patriots eager to extol what they believe are under-appreciated virtues of their beloved leaders. By most accounts, Dr. Fouad Ajami, for example, has by most accounts not been described as a professors’ professor.
Nobody can deny that the busy professor has brought plentiful funding, prestige, and especially relevant expert speakers to the program. Many students acknowledged that they were aware before entering the program that Dr. Ajami would not frequently be on campus and insist that “if you make a connection with him, he’s willing to do absolutely everything he can to help you.” Other students believe the program should just hire an additional profes-
In some cases, Departmental Director searches cast a wide net and interview the best of the best—they look for an exceptional individual whose professional interests, energy, and teaching and administrative talents are aligned with those of both the institution and the students. Most of the time, however, even very qualified candidates aren’t perfect - as illustrated by the seemingly endless search for an African Studies Director. It seems that to properly conduct a search, the qualities of each candidate must be carefully weighed and prioritized. But perhaps it is more important that someone is eventually chosen to run the department than to choose the perfect person. Delays can seriously hurt a program, lest the program itself crumble while the search committee—which traditionally does not include students—engages in endless deliberation. So what should this (or any) director bring to a program? Money! Prestige! Publications! Trips! Symposiums! Fellowships! Personality! Contacts! Internships! Song and dance! Outstanding analytical capacity and teaching ability would be helpful, as well. And it doesn’t hurt if you ride a Harley or wear a bowtie, either. When expectations run high, it’s the little things that put program directors over the top. Mere humans need not apply. But they do! And they’re somehow running our departments. Is this cause for concern? Right about now, semester-end stress has us all ripe for a gripe, but students in some programs have been vocal enough to grab the attention of the SAIS Observer and provoke an investigation of just what it is the disgruntled masses really want in a director, anyway. This article is not intended to aggregate day-to-day bitching into 800-1000 words, but to discern what SAIS students believe are the most important characteristics of a good director. I make no apologies for interviewing people almost exclusively
nerships with other clubs. Saul Garlick said, “AFP students largely agree that Professor Mandelbaum is a top-notch teacher who sets high standards and holds students to them.” But other students complain of a lack of community in the department. More distressing, one student attributes the shrinking size of AFP to the lack of access. to opportunities granted by the program relative to those available in other programs, noting that although Mandelbaum “is one of the most connected people in the field, he doesn’t take the role of helping students make contacts.” Another AFP concentrator remarked, “Students are going to IDev or Strat, or maybe International Law instead. If people want to be big in State, they should do AFP, but the program is getting smaller each year.” Yet another student emphasized that the job of a director is “not only to be available and be a good professor, but to be an effective administrator and a resource… If Mandelbaum doesn’t want to do it, he needs to bring onboard someone who does.” Meanwhile, Brian Carleson responded, “A lot of people will say AFP is small, not cohesive, and we don’t do a lot together. But that’s not the important thing. We came here for the academics. If students pick a concentration because they want to play paintball, that’s a different story. If students in AFP or other programs want to do more together, they shouldn’t leave it to expect that this is up to the program director and should take it upon themselves.”
Director of the Middle East Program, he has been criticized by some students in the program for spending only five days a week at SAIS, and more strenuously lambasted by liberal-leaning others students who claim to have avoided the ME concentration because his lectures are to be rife with monoperspective anecdotes aligned with the American Right’s foreign policy doctrine and dismissive of alternative viewpoints. One ME concentrator comments that while Ajami carries a big reputation and amazing high-level experience with Middle Eastern issues, “He doesn’t use all the skills he has to enlighten the students.” Former SAIS student and Assistant Professor and SAIS ’05 PhD grad Sanam Vakil responds, “It’s the prerogative of students to get to know him. I’ve worked with him, and we respect our differences. It surprises me that people criticize him and don’t recognize that it took courage to do the things he has done. His intellectual rigor is much more profound than students suggest.”
sor. Addressing the political critics of Ajami’s overly-professed political persuasions, another student emphasizes that “What you must get from Dr. Ajami is the ideas of a man who has spent his life working in the Middle East. He is cynical. His cynicism is an expression of his experiences.” ME concentrator Jason Fill emphasized, “Being an Arab, he is taking more of a dangerous step of being critical of the governments in the region and showing where they can improve.” Program Coordinator Megan Ring added, “It’s because of everything else he does that he’s an attractive professor.” Across the hall from the ME program in Nitze, students of SAIS’s miniscule American Foreign Policy program complain that while Director Michael Mandelbaum is the professors’ professor—meticulously theoretical and balanced—the program has not created that many ME students yearn for, few visible results exist that demonstrate serious effort to build the program in terms of career networks, funding, events, and engaging part-
There are certainly no objective criteria for what makes a good director; students know one when they see one. Witness the Strat Studies Utopia that has lured several students from other departments this year alone. Some directors have the capacity and ambition to build a strong and well-known program, while others excel more at establishing close teaching relationships with their students. The gripes of students in the Middle East and American Foreign Policy programs illustrate that students will always have different expectations from such individuals. Ultimately, it should not have to come down to choosing when it boils down to establishing a preference between teaching quality and program-building., SAIS students reject the decision trade-off as such: “Because SAIS is SAIS… you get the guy (or woman) who can do both.” Let’s hope that future committee searches keep this in mind and successfully pick the right winners. Erica Kaster is a 1st year M.A. student concentrating in International Development.
May 8, 2006
THE SAIS OBSERVER
Living space and growing pains BY SAUL GARLICK is short on space. We need more of it to meet the S AIS growing demands of a professionally oriented student population and to attract the most prominent and prestigious faculty members. More space means bigger offices, newer facilities and a more spacious academic environment. To put it in the words of the Senior Associate Dean of Finance and Administration, Ted Baker, “Today’s student requires more: better ambiance, facilities and resources [because students] are getting smarter.” Not smarter intellectually, smarter because we are demanding a better experience. Perhaps, then, the administration should consider buying another building. When students walk down Massachusetts Ave past the Rome building, they might notice the wretched structure standing next to it. The red brick abomination that boasts grass growing through the driveway and a new homeless visitor on the doorstep every night is the former home to the Filipino embassy. The Filipinos no longer occupy the building, but they still own it, and have made no progress on its future. Many students wonder why not? Here is the scoop: Over six years ago, the Filipino Government left the building. The Embassy, now across the street, confronts the typical bureaucratic hurdles and has yet to make a decision to do anything with the land. SAIS has made offers to buy it and continues to do so. Though the administration has plans to expand the Rome Auditorium by 50 seats and literally “build the buildings together,” as Baker puts it, there has been little progress. And it is not for lack of connections. Dean Baker knows
Continued from page 1 representatives] said they knew this would be a challenging environment, and that’s what they wanted.” It was also clear from the start that the White House wanted to focus on students and include considerable time for questions, according to Neuringer. “You’ve got [the President] for an extraordinary amount of time” in an unusually intimate setting for a Presidential address, the White House told Neuringer. The White House reserved only five or six seats for Cabinet members and other guests from the KenneyHerter capacity of 250, in contrast to the 100 seats set aside for White House guests when former President Bill Clinton spoke at SAIS in 2000 to announce an initiative for normalized trade with China. As students speculated about the President’s motives for visiting SAIS, they also considered how the visit would affect SAIS. The announcement of Bush’s visit sparked a long and heated debate on an email list composed of second years who spent last year at the SAIS Bologna Center in Italy. This president’s policies enjoy limited support among SAIS students, who voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry in a school-wide poll conducted during the 2004 presidential election. The Bologna students proposed a number of ideas for protesting the President, some that involved active demonstration, which provoked concern among other students and SAIS staff. Not all of the students who disagree with Bush’s policies, however, favored publicly demonstrating those views during his visit.
the former President of the Philippines after being the goto guy in the Department of Defense for that region of the world before coming to SAIS. Somehow, however, it has not been enough, so the school has been forced to look elsewhere for additional wiggle room. As Baker puts it, the goal for SAIS is not to get more space so it can accommodate more students. It is to decompress the space that SAIS students use so that their experiences can be enhanced. “When SAIS students come here, they are on average 27 years old, and come to expect facilities similar to what they were enjoying before they went back to school. Not all of them worked at McDonald’s before they got here,” he noted. He is right, and students are right to be more demanding. Leading up to President Bush’s speech here on April 10, many students voiced dismay at the lack of a larger auditorium to let them see the President speaking at their own school. After all, there are not even 500 students here in DC. Rest assured, if the school had the space, we probably would have a larger auditorium. But because we do not, SAIS is actively looking elsewhere. SAIS, in the meantime, has been expanding into the MorrisOffit Building (already owned by Johns Hopkins) across the street at 1717 Mass Ave. In that building, we SAIS owns the 5th floor, has a stake in the 6th, and just purchased the 7th. Moving professors into the 7th floor will begin this summer. This will mean as much as 39,000 sq. feet of space in 1717, over half the size of Nitze. This raises a few questions. Why is SAIS buying space from Johns Hopkins? Aren’t we technically a part of the University? Indeed we are, but space is not cheap, and each school has to pay to play. SAIS is responsible for its own finances, even though it is part of a much larger organization.
At one point several years ago, SAIS was poised to obtain the building at 1724 Massachusetts Ave, but a donor fell through. While funding issues have arisen, President Brody and Provost Knapp “like SAIS” and members of the administration are all on the “same sheet of music,” according to Baker.
The sad state of affairs at the old Filipino Embassy With this freedom in mind, SAIS is now undergoing a review of its general goals and ability to achieve greatness in its “Rollback to the Future,” ten-year plan. There are plans for increasing space, faculty, students, and number of classes offered. It appears they are making progress - some rooms boast swanky new technological capabilities and even sustainable student to power-plug ratios. But the preponderance of nights spent in an all-too-stuffy cafeteria or “lounging” in a concrete courtyard show that there is still much to be done. Besides, if more of us came from McDonalds, it may be cheaper for SAIS, and we might even be less needy. Saul Garlick is a 1st year M.A. student concentrating in American Foreign Policy.
Bush at SAIS
Second-year MA student Kathleen Heesch expressed concern that “someone might do something with this visit that would prevent other visits. [Other high-profile speakers] would avoid coming to SAIS to provide the same experience to future stu-
dents.” Heesch participated in the email debates “to temper the discussion and therefore temper the options that were being discussed.” Not every high-profile appearance at SAIS has gone well. When Henry Kissinger spoke at SAIS in 1970, a student asked the National Security Advisor and future Secretary of State if he considered himself a war criminal. Kissinger paused, said to the moderator, “Get your people under control,” and then left the auditorium—to which he has not returned since. Incidentally, personal appeals do make a difference; when Kissinger recounted the story to current SAIS Dean Jessica Einhorn, she told him, “I know, I was there.” Einhorn was a student at SAIS at the time and in the audience; she says Kissinger is now willing to come back anytime. Johan Saebo, a second-year MA student, helped lead the effort to protest Bush’s visit. His primary
concern was similar to Heesch’s. Citing prominent faculty, former Dean Paul Wolfowitz and other factors behind what he considers SAIS’s conservative reputation, “It would be bad for the school if
we did nothing” because “it would reinforce that conservative reputation.” He did not want Bush to exploit the school to enhance his image, treat it like his “home turf,” and harm the SAIS image in the process. Saebo also indicated that the decision was a personal issue for him and other students, who felt they would compromise their integrity by attending the event without making their reservations clear. “The impact might have been minimal in terms of a change of policies, but it was important for ourselves that we do this.” He said that although the letter was sent to the White House, the purpose was to present a coherent viewpoint to the media. The Washington Post and CNN both mentioned the letter, and it also circulated among some alumni and faculty, nearby universities and students currently attending the Bologna Center. The German weekly newspaper Freitag ran a
full article on the SAIS protest. Maria Guerra, second year MA student and president of the Student Government Association (SGA), said that the protest letter and tags “demonstrated that SAIS students are capable of being critical and expressing their disapproval of, in this case the Bush administration, in a very respectful yet upfront manner.” She said that the overall event “demonstrated the importance of the school in the sphere of international politics.” Einhorn believes that a variety of factors convinced the White House to choose SAIS, notably Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, thenNational Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, and other VIPs’ recent appearances, which found “an intelligent, informed and courteous audience” here. “I think the glory really goes to the SAIS faculty and student body, who have a reputation for providing a place where you can come give an intelligent speech and have a serious conversation,” she said. Earlier this year, Einhorn indicated to the Pentagon and White House her interest in hosting speakers at SAIS, expecting Rumsfeld to seek a venue for announcing the recently released Quadrennial Defense Review. “I let them know that if he was going to give a major speech on the QDR, I hoped they would think of SAIS,” Einhorn said, and recounted a similar message to the White House. Rather than respond to invitations, Einhorn said, when the White House wants to visit, they call you. After an initial call to the Dean’s Office on March 22, work began to prepare SAIS for the President. An advance team with personnel from the Secret
Service, the White House Press Office and the White House Communications Agency (responsible for secure internal communications) met with SAIS staff for a walk-through tour of the facilities, assessing both security and presentation considerations. They decided to drape the walls in black and bring in broadcast-quality sound and lighting equipment, a presidential podium— the smaller, contemporary version which Bush casually stood beside for question time—and custommade backdrops flown in from California. The White House paid for the preparations, but not for the custom-made backdrops, which SAIS plans to use again in the future. SGA treasurer Liana Bianchi was star-struck by the presence of “the leader of the world’s greatest superpower,” even though Bianchi disagrees with most of his policies and remains unimpressed by his speaking ability. She considered the event an honor and a publicity success for SAIS. The verdict: Bush did fine, “adequate in most of his responses” as first year Anthony Diaz put it. “SAIS did a great job” in the words of first year Henry Nuzum, “the event ran flawlessly” and “the protest seemed articulate and respectful.” From a public affairs perspective, said Neuringer, “the event went off without a hitch” and provided SAIS with “hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in ink and airtime,” dominating CNN airwaves for much of the day and even making headlines on MTV. “It was a phenomenal success.” Natalie Ahn is a second-year M.A. student concentrating in Strategic Studies.
May 8, 2006
THE SAIS OBSERVER
Friedman was wrong: free lunch found at SAIS BY CHRISTIAN AND LOUIS CABANILLA at i ng soggy cor ndogs out of t he t r ash at 2 AM is not s ometh in g I’ m proud o f , and explaining to a doct or w hy I have s even r acc o o n bi t es on m y lower extr emities is downright embarrassing. Bu t i f t hat i s w hat it takes to comp le te a f ul l w eek of eating only fre e f ood at SA IS, then s o be it. My fr i ends- l et me s har e my jour n e y w i t h you. You will laugh, you will cr y, you w i l l s ave s ome cas h, a n d i f you deci de to f ollow in my fo o tst eps you m i g ht jus t wake up in a dar k al l ey at 3 AM s uff er ing from some unidentified foodb o rn e i l l ness.
Ma n y of you m ay have s een me at s o me poi nt dur i ng this little ques t. Ma y be I hobnobb ed with you and a te c or n chut ney in the over f low room during the Central Asian Ca u cus som et hi ng , or maybe we e x c h anged si del o ng glances as I n ib b l ed on an 8, 000 calor ie walnut brownie at the We s t e r n He m i sphere M i crof inance lectur e. Maybe you saw me introduce my s el f t o som eone near the f r ont o f the l i ne for the f ilet mignon d u ring aft er a Time- War ner C E O le c tur e, and t hen cas ually r ef us e to le ave af t er t he chat had r un its c o u rse. C ert ai nl y you’ ve noticed me p i cki ng t hr ough lef tover s in th e cafet eri a sal v aging s tr angely c o lo r ed spreadable chees e, large cups of mayo and non-descript peppers to make a meal more h e a rt y t han ever conceived by the lu n c h crew. If th ere can be a downs ide to eatin g f or f r ee, i t w ould be the pr ice p a id by m y body. I did gain a bit o f w ei ght - 33 pounds to be pr ec is e . I m m edi at el y upon f inis hing my w eek w i t h t he s tudent cookie (n o w veggi e) hour, I cons ulted my physician who, after extensive b lo o d- w or k, i nfor med me that my cholesterol was higher than P a u ley Shore i n Encino M an. And th e re w as a good chance that my to o th l oss w as due to a r ar e cas e o f s c urvy. Ma n y of you r eading this would s a y, “But C hri s, what about the c o s t t o your sel f es teem? Seeing your classmates, famous profess o rs , and hi ghl y r egar ded gues ts watch you pick through steal g ra p es off a cent e r piece and cut in lin e for H i - C and M unch’ ems has g o t t o be em barr as s ing. ” B ut you wo u l d be w r ong. I f eel a cer tain p rid e i n know i ng that I ’ ve s aved $ 5 0 dol l ars t hat w ould have other w i s e b e e n w a s t e d a t Ta c o B e l l . Th a t m oney w as now available to e a s il y pur chase t hr ee thir ty- packs o f M i l l er L i ght . And af ter ninety b e e rs such “poi nts of pr ide” ar e e a s il y over l ooked . I f you enjoyed th e i nt el l ect ual rever ie of watching President Bush address the S AIS crow d, j ust imagine doing it with a bl ood al cohol level high e n o u gh t o sham e Gar y B us ey. On a ser i ous not e , all of you who s a w m e and m ade clever comments
like “H e y, Ch r i s! W h y d o n ’t y o u feast on this?” before throwing s ome p a p e r a t m e , p o i n t i n g t o h i s or her p r i v a t e a r e a s, o r m a k i n g s ome ot h e r i n a p p r o p r i a t e g e st u r e you s ho u l d k n o w t h a t r e a l l y h u r t . T her e’s n o n e e d f o r r u ff i a n s l i k e this in a n i n st i t u t i o n f o r h i g h e r lear ning . S e r i o u sl y. L ike al l g o o d t h i n g s i n l i f e , t h i s new f o r m o f e n l i g h t e n m e n t t h a t I discovered took a lot of blood, s weat, a n d t e a r s… a n d b i l e . T h i s endeavor was undertaken with cons ide r a b l e r i sk t o l i f e a n d l i m b . On s eve r a l o c c a si o n s I w a s i n t i m i dated by members of Johns H o p k i n s s e c u r i t y, w h o s h a l l r emain u n n a m e d , si m p l y f o r t o ssing s om e t r a sh o n t h e f l o o r w h i l e scavenging for any precious sunken eatable treasure. M or eov e r, t h e r e w a s a n i n c i d e n t behind t h e Bi g H u n t l a st Tu e sd a y when the owner discovered me digging f o r c h i c k e n b o n e s. I t w a s unf or tu n a t e t h a t t h e i n c i d e n t c u l minated w i t h m e a t t h e w r o n g e n d of s ome b e a r m a c e a n d t h r e e t r u n -
c h e o n s . H o w e v e r, I ’ v e c o m e t o l e a r n t h a t a l i t t l e p e r so n a l i t y a n d a good pair of tennis shoes can o f t e n h e l p t o a v o i d su c h u n p l e a s a n t n e ss. I would be remiss if I didn’t address some of the more profound points that I learned while flirting with enlightenment - the lessons learned beyond saved expenses and trivial weight gain. Above all, I learned about the symmetry of life. Every time I picked up a half eaten burger carelessly flung aside, it seemed that another table had some uneaten pickles or a still-good coffee with a cookie floating in it. For every melted ice cream cone out there, I found a discarded paper cup, half filled with a dispensable liquid which was neither sallow, nor so overpowering as to mask the chocolate flavor. Waste not want not, ask and you shall receive, dig deeper, one mans trash is another mans treasure (or feast); it seems there are endless clichés that are apropos for this point.
I suppose all that remains to ruminate upon now is the future. Shall I continue on with this lifestyle? Dare I? Can my body sustain a lifestyle of binge and purge free food consumption, and 45 beer nights alone in my apartment? The long and short of it is, F**k no. Why would I divulge such grapes of wisdom if it would only serve to increase competition at the next Chinese culture night? The sad fact is that free food is a drug best enjoyed in moderation. So while you will no longer see me drifting from hall to hall, I can, without conviction encourage any of you to follow in my footsteps. And who knows. Some day down the road, you might just see me out there, scraping the nacho cheese off a plastic tray with some leftover French bread, seeking some deeper truth. Christian Cabanilla is a 1st year M.A. student concentrating in In t e r n a t i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t . L o u i s C a b a n i l l a i s C h r i s t i a n ’s g r a c i o u s b ro t h e r w h o h e l p e d .
THE SAIS OBSERVER
May 8, 2006
What we think we know War and warriors, politics and perceptions BY KATE TURNER few months ago, a stranger sent an A email to my fiancé Bob, while he was serving in Iraq. It said: “I am a 23-year-old recent college graduate who has decided to join the Army…My family is composed entirely of Democrats and while they are not at the far left end of the political spectrum they proudly call themselves liberals (as do I)…Mentioned is their belief (supported by various polls) that the Army, really the military in general, is overwhelmingly conservative and therefore might not be welcoming to a self-proclaimed liberal…Are liberals/Democrats endangered in the military; perhaps not physically but would I be a pariah? I am not that out front about my views but I’m not ashamed of who I am either…” What a shame that this young recruit’s perception of political bias in the military is so strong that it shakes his intentions to serve. The pressure comes from two directions: from the military itself, and from his family and friends. He seems to fear that he wouldn’t belong anywhere and that he risks being branded a traitor by his fellow liberals, and a “liberal” (uttered as a pejorative) by his professional colleagues. Of course not every liberal scorns the military, and not everyone in the military votes Republican. These stereotypes break down in many places and need to be broken down in others. And yet stereotypes persist for a reason. Granted, anecdote does not equal data.
But to me, the email highlights fundamental problems in American civil-military relations. First, there are problems for the military as an institution. Non-partisanship is a central tenet of the officer corps of the U.S.
sions. Second, this dynamic presents obvious problems for the political parties, specifically the Democrats. As long as the Republican Party is perceived to be the party of national security, voters will see
Dissent is largely directed against the civilian leadership in the Pentagon and senior officials in the Administration, and thus not necessarily reflecting on the Republican Party as a whole. Nevertheless, the public may eventually see the war in Iraq as a liability for the Party at large. This doesn’t mean the Democrats get de facto points on defense issues. However, it does suggest that Republicans are losing hold of their monopoly on credibility in matters of national security. The 2006 elections will provide some indicator of how much ground they have lost. Bob responded to the young potential recruit: “In the end what matters is that you live according to your ideals. I can tell you unequivocally that this is possible in the Army…The point is, however, that officers do not discuss politics, except as they interact with our mission…Besides, if the military is too conservative, isn’t it your moral duty to work to make it just that much less, by your own actions?”
military, upheld by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. Officers serve under the Commander-in-Chief, regardless of political affiliation. Why should the military be detached from political parties? Students of international relations should understand – witness military dictatorships today and throughout history. By establishing a certain degree of distance between the civilian and military worlds, the U.S. Constitution guards against either party gaining control over the guns. When the military becomes too closely aligned with one party or the other, a nation risks blurring the essential distinction between political and military deci-
Democrats as less trustworthy on defense issues. That is, Democrats may put forth military-savvy politicians and smart defense policy alternatives, but they will be hard-pressed to overturn an ingrained perception that is biased against them. Further, members of the military, who are istorically conservative on a range of issues, will continue to tend to identify with the Republican Party. But what happens when Republicans lose some of their decades-old credibility? Right now we are witnessing the ‘Revolt of the Generals’ amidst growing disapproval of the Bush Administration’s policies in Iraq.
Regardless of what is now happening in the policy world as a result of Bush’s failed policies in Iraq, we should pay more attention to two worrisome trends. First, the perception of bias in our military establishment does a disservice to the military itself, and to the nation it seeks to defend. Second, there is a dangerous gap between civilians on both ends of the political spectrum, and the men and women of our armed forces. In a time of war, especially a long one, we must work to reverse these trends. Kate Turner is a 1st year M.A. student concentrating in South Asia Studies.
SAIS student’s NGO sponsors rural education BY SANTIAGO FLOREZ April 5, a group of O nstudents gathered at the Marx Café in Mount Pleasant to drink in support of education in Guatemala.. “Drinking, dancing and helping others is always a good combination“, said Juan Cruz, a former SAIS student who attended the fundraiser. That was precisely the idea that Karen Towers, a second year International Development I-Dev studentconcentrator, had in mind when she costarted Amigos de Patzún, an non-profitNGO that sponsors educational opportunities for disadvantaged students in rural Guatemala. Thanks to the money raised that one evening, one child’s school year will be covered including tuition, books, uniforms, and transportation. But why does Towers spend her time and energy helping kids in a remote area of Guatemala?
If the Guatmelans don’t seem to care, why should an American girl pick up the slack? The answer:Because she wants to give back to life, Towers says, in order to return what life has given to her. Towers She grew up in Dickinson City, a small town in Pennsylvania. In middle school she earned a scholarship to attend Scranton Preparatory, a private Jesuit school. Good gradesGood performance got won her another scholarship to study at the University of Scranton. Upon graduation she received yet another prize, this time a prestigious Fullbright Scholarship to go to Mauritius to work as a research assistant. She says, “Life taught me, if you work hard, life will offer opportunities and different perspectives.”
After Africa, Towers joined the Peace Corps and went to Guatemala to teach in an elementary school in the rural area of Patzún. She was essentially home again, back in a small town, but this time teaching in a place that reminded her of the isolation of her reminsicent of her own childhood.: isolated perspective with limited opportunities to get out. Perhaps her rural business classes could help push these kids forward, she thought. Like many Peace Corps experiences, the going was tough at first. Towers felt frustrated that no one seemed to understand the lessons. But then she met Johnny, an exceptional student who had gotten a perfect score in her class, but whose future was bleak considering that less than 1% of primary school graduates in Patzún go on to high school. Towers felt
Johnny is one of many students Amigos de Patzún has sent to school that she could help rescue him the same way she was rescued back in rural Pennsylvania: through scholarships. With two other Peace Corps friends, she solicited for funds to support Johnny’s education. Unexpectedly, they were able to secure $5,000 in donations - enough to
support not only Johnny, but nine other kids as well. With this, Towers and her friends created Amigos de Patzún, which has sent 40 kids to school on scholarship since being founded. And the work of the NGO non-profit contin-
ues. According to Towers, “Education is the only way to see other possibilities., I want other kids to have the possibilities I had.” Santiago Florez is a 1st year M.A. student concentrating in International Law.
THE SAIS OBSERVER
May 8, 2006
The Fall of SAIS BY LESLIE HOUGH around with S itting friends over at coffee the other day I started to tell a story. It was about how running late to meet the guy I’ve been seeing at the symphony I’d stopped at a 7-11 to buy him a pack of gum. That way I could hide $15 in the packaging and ensure that he’d unwittingly violate Slavic gender protocol and accept repayment for the symphony ticket. But as I looked up, both of my girlfriends were staring at their phones, furiously texting the guys they’ve been seeing. “Go on, I’m listening” one said without looking up, “you bought the blue gum instead of the green.” And I paused, not because I realized how lame the story was. (Though eventually I did go on to recount how when handing the gum over he’d pulled out an identical pack from his pocket purchased on impulse at the 7-11 on his
way to the symphony, as if this confirmed our deeprooted spiritual connection.) But because I realized how lame we were. Not just the three of us there but the whole community of friends who seemed to have all coupled off in rapid succession over the past few months. Why was this happening? Why were the platonically gratifying nights of piling onto couches in a smoke filled living room listening to someone play guitar until 6am giving way to structured cultural activities that ended by 10pm? Why were people who’d gone to the same parties for 4 semesters now suddenly seeing each other in a new romantic light? What was inspiring this mass defection from community into coupledom? In Oone explanation, is that impending graduation is to blame. We all see the state structure of SAIS
Energy Continued from page 1 As we prepared to return from winter break in January, Gazprom – the fourth largest publicly traded company in the world and half-owned by the Russian government - cut off gas to Ukraine, an unkind new year’s gift from the country on whose energy we will become increasingly more dependent in the future. In the same month, George W. Bush declared that America is “addicted to oil,” refocusing the country’s dialogue on energy. March was a busy month. The number of attacks against oil targets in Iraq reached 300 since the war began, extremists tried to blow up the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia, the internal situation in Nigeria deteriorated, and America signed a nuclear deal with India. Meanwhile, SAIS hosted Claude Mandil, executive director of the International Energy Agency. His cautioned that energy use is unsustainable. At the same time, most solutions are unrealistic: there is no silver bullet and no single energy source will make the arduous transition painless. Gains will be made, but on the margin; serious tradeoffs are involved, between domestic and international politics, between the current generation and the next. Over Spring Break, twenty-one students traveled to Houston for a first-hand look at the industry and to meet with its leaders. As they returned, the energy year was reaching its peak: a gala dinner with Pulitzer-Prize winner Daniel Yergin, one of the foremost authorities on oil. His vision was somber, commenting that we need to rethink energy security. The whole supply chain should be our focal point, not just foreign threats; we need a better way to integrate India and China, not just fear their ascent; and we need to remember that markets are part of the solution, not of the problem. Ever looming this year has been the
about to collapse like the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia and are gripped with existential fear of the unknown. In a month’s time we’ll all disperse across the globe. There will be no more beelining into Fox and Hound’s for a burger or beer after class. No more walking down the street and spontaneously joining people on their way to get coffee. Where will these comforts come from when the SGA falls and the Bologna list-serve ceases to organize our social life? Just as in the chaos of a failed state, people will be forced to form tight-knit kinship groups that provide for their basic social needs. For some, communal house structures will remain intact and offer a reliable source of social existence. But for others, coupling off is a surefire way to simultaneously diminish the desire to party until sunrise on a Saturday night and guarantee that there’s someone to get brunch with Sunday
afternoon when you can’t count on half of SAIS taking over three tables at Tonic or owning the outdoor patio at Rosemary’s Thyme. Then there’s the domino effect. At my 29th birthday dinner this year I sat in between two tables. One was populated by married friends with ever-expanding waist-lines who drank a polite beer with their steaks, talked about the “good old days” and left by 10pm, while the other was frenetic with svelte single friends throwing back hard alcohol and salads in preparation for the night’s club-hopping agenda. The two tables were postured in a stand-off of smugness. The one side thinking thought themselves to be so evolved and mature and the other side self-satisfied with the saga of their ongoing adventures. The debaucherous night eventually ended with me going back to the Chelsea hotel
with a guy so good-looking, I thought he was ahe seemed like a birthday present. The fact that I had to call a friend to get his name in the morning became the next week’s anecdote to trade among my single friends and a point of shame I deliberately withheld from the married contingent. Meanwhile, now in the fledgling stages of pre-coupledom, I’ve realized that both sides are engaged in a war of attrition. “Your new guy is so great. I really hope it works out with him” a friend in a stable relationship beckoned me to her team. Another noted, “Wow, you’ve been wearing longer skirts and going home earlier lately, huh? How’re things going with that new guy by the way?” hoping I’d make the connection and return to my senses and her team soon. While some may wind up in the flourishing Estonias and Slovenias of couple-
dom after the fall of SAIS, others are doomed to get stuck with the Tajikistan or Kosovo that leaves them single again and drained of social resources after a period of domestic conflict. Since we know all states big and small can benefit from economic cooperation, it seems smart for each of us, whether we move in twos or on our own, to fight the fear of the fall of SAIS and continue to rely on the alliances we’ve made here. Hopefully, the imagined community of SAIS will reign over our social lives long after its imposed structures have gone and we will all be able to keep our lives and conversations rooted in the present together so that the “good old days” will remain constantly unfolding into the future. Leslie Hough is a 2nd year M.A. student concentrating in Conflict Management.
specter of a nuclear Iran. It is fitting then that the this year’s graduation speaker will be Nobel Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), fresh off his return from Tehran. As the world commemorates the 20 th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, nuclear power is in the headlines, as are the fears of nuclear proliferation. Next year’s IEA World Energy Outlook will be devoted to the topic, showing the atom’s role in our energy future. On the anniversary of Chernobyl, here is what the scientific journal Nature opined: “The true lesson of Chernobyl … is not that nuclear power is unsafe, but that it is unsafe in the hands of a corrupt, unaccountable, irresponsible political system that fails to take reasonable measures to protect its citizens. The future of nuclear energy does not hinge primarily on the development of a safer reactor or a more geologically reliable waste repository, but on the ability of states to build public trust in their ability to safely implement and manage the technology.”
Getting down and dirty on Spring Break...SAIS style
Therein lies the message of the year of energy: geology and technology impose physical limits; but everything else is for us to make. Our edge as students comes from our education here at SAIS - our ability to think deeply and widely, to probe within and connect between issues. The past nine months have made us think creatively about energy, and they have prompted us to engage with the world beyond. A good cause this is, and a year well spent. Nikos Tsafos is a 1st year M.A. student concentrating in International Energy Policy and Middle East Studies.
SAIS students pose with Daniel Yergin after his speech on April 24th
May 8, 2006
THE SAIS OBSERVER
SAIS and private sector Continued from page 4 ing, drawing directly on her course experience while at SAIS. Malas will also assist the Global Capital Markets department responsible for raising capital for Middle Eastern companies and governments. What motivates SAIS students to pursue private sector jobs? A high salary might be a factor. According to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, the average salary for a Master ’s graduate in 2005 was between $47,000 and $55,200. The average salary for a Master’s graduate in investment banking or consulting can be more than double; ranging from $70,000 to $150,000. A high degree of flexibility and the rapid accumulation of transferable industry skills are additional reasons for working in this sector. Kannan explains, “Other than getting out of debt, I am most looking forward to building a fungible set of skills that can be applied in several other fields.” Cullinane offers insight into her personal motivations: “Banking is an opportunity to look at the behavior of actors in society. Corporations often escape the attention we give to personalities and politics, but I find the way that they behave and adapt to the world fascinating.” Transitioning from a journalism background with CBS nNews, Cullinane told a convincing story to recruiters to explain her reasons for her career shift. W h e re t o st art on embar king on a p riv at e sect or car eer ? T he entir e p ro c ess of appl yi ng and inter viewin g i s st rew n w i t h pitf alls and dif fic u l t i es at SA I S. Students huntin g for pri vat e sector jobs have to le a p over t hree major hur dles : 1) Ou r progr am ’s l ack of a “br and n a me”, 2) absence of s ignif icant o n -c am pus r ecr uiting, and 3) the “ An al yst versus As s ociate” tr ap. The first reaction of many private sector employers upon hearing “SAIS” is mild confusion. Cullinane reveals, “Often, in discussions with recruiters, I got the impression they had never heard of SAIS and were surprised to find how relevant the degree is to the work they do.” Kannan’s challenge was “trying to sell an unorthodox, but valuable, degree like a SAIS MA. Since recruiters are unfamiliar, you need to have your pitch down-pat”. Malas points out just how frustrating this knowledge gap can be: “The biggest disappointment is that I have to keep explaining myself and justifying why I came to SAIS.” MBA graduates are the main competition for SAIS students in finance and consulting. Ganguli describes the applicant pool: “I interviewed at Wharton where I competed with students from Sloan and Harvard. The final round was in Miami where Booz Allen made offers to twenty percent of the candidates.” Ganguli learned from her experience that “there’s no secret sauce in the business schools. We can do it too”. The second major hurdle for students is that many big-name employers do not recruit on-campus. While several organized presentations and resume drops, few conducted any interviews in DC. This fact
is often a major shock and disappointment to first-years lured by Orientation talk of an excellent Finance program and great job opportunities. Kannan declares, “Marketing must be ramped-up: recruiters at the banks should receive packets and CD’s on our Finance curriculum.” The final hurdle for SAIS students is the tendency of firms to dismiss the added value of an MA program in International Affairs, creating the “Analyst versus Associate” trap. Many SAIS students are trapped into joining as analysts side by side with newly minted BAs, while MBA graduates automatically enter a step up. The titular difference can mean salary premiums and higher levels of work and responsibility. Two ways SAIS can escape this trap are to demonstrate relevant work experience in the private sector (usually 3 years or more) and to aggressively network. Ganguli offers some reassurance: “Students have to think of the work as a long term investment because you can get promoted within a year.” Networ k i n g c a n c o u n t f o r a l o t . M alas ’ c o l l e a g u e f r o m h e r p r e v i ous job a t t h e L e b a n o n M i n i st r y o f Finance r a l l i e d t o g e t h e r a n i n t e r view w i t h M o rg a n St a n l e y. Ba c k i n S e p t e m b e r, C u l l i n a n e u s e d Pr incet o n ’s d a t a b a se a b o u t a n h o u r per day setting up around 50 phone interviews, each lasting anywhe r e f r o m 1 5 t o 4 5 m i n u t e s. She wa r n s, “ I f y o u h a v e c o n n e c tions bu t n o sk i l l s, y o u m a y g e t a n inter vie w b u t y o u w o n ’t g e t t h e job. ” Yo u st i l l h a v e t o d o y o u homewo r k , sp e n d i n g l o n g h o u r s o n research and practice. Ganguli pr epar e d f o r h e r c a se st u d y i n t e r views b y p o u r i n g t h r o u g h f i v e d i f ferent books from top business s chools . By t h e e n d , sh e sa y s, “ I mus t h a v e d o n e t w e n t y t o t h i r t y cas e s tu d i e s. ” Peering outside the SAIS bubble can always help, too. Chesney attended the Boston Career Forum after submitting an online application to several banks with operations in Tokyo. He explains, “This career forum basically targets Japanese nationals who attended U.S. universities and miss out on the recruiting that occurs domestically in Japan. In Boston I went through several rounds of interviews and dinners with UBS and another bank. The final round was one of those all day affairs at their Tokyo office. There was also a follow up interview in New York.” All in all, the process included three cities and about three months. Chesney’s best advice is to specialize. He adds, “I was a good candidate due to my previous experience in the pharmaceutical sector and my Japanese language ability. Before SAIS I spent three and a half years doing cancer research for Schering AG. I have also lived and worked in Japan off and on, including an internship last summer at Mitsubishi Research Institute in Tokyo.” Kannan’s main wisdom to aspiring bankers is to “start your full-time job search this summer by contacting alumni and attending alumni reception events in New York. Starting in September is probably too late.” Pothik Chatterjee is a 1st year M.A. student concentrating in International Policy.
H o w I g o t w ild , g o t hugged, and got a degree BY ARATI SHROFF What will I miss about SAIS? Heat induced naps in the stale 8th floor newspaper room Chinese language class including a field trip to the (Japanese) cherry blossoms Random conversations resulting in Google searches Converting other SAISers into listening to Keane on repeat during paper writing marathons SAISers’ fascination, perhaps obsession with Chipotle Realizing that studying at SAIS is similar to being in the movie “Mean Girls” everyone has a scathing comment about each other’s eating habits, inane comments in class, and job hunt status
Intersession - working in Tanzania while chilling on Zanzibari beaches and going on safari Unlike jobs, classes start when you want them to start Taking time to read things just for learning’s sake Realizing I wasn’t the only one that didn’t understand what Amartya Sen was talking about
the Nitze buildingGeppetto Catering, your days are numbered What am I not looking forward to? Post- SAIS monetary compensation might reach an all time low, but happiness economics says there is nothing wrong with that What would I change about SAIS?
Attending a zillion brownbags
Include alumni more have an annual reunion to keep connectivity…
Hearing professors express themselves outside of class during the spring IDEV retreat
Conduct interviews for admissions - might keep out the weirdos, including myself
Attending Starr-menbashi’s “Famous Walk Through” Central Asia class
Advice for first years and incoming students
What Do I Regret? Endless grazing on the leftovers from SAIS events every time I went through
Don’t be that jerk - no one forgets and yes, everyone really is talking about you Arati Shroff is a 2nd year M.A. student concentrating in International Development.
Ambassadors, CEOs, Directors, Thinkers, Presidents, Ministers, Writers, Senators, Congressmen, Chairmen, Vice Presidents, Philosophers...all of the great minds that can call Kenney home. SAIS.
May 8, 2006
THE SAIS OBSERVER
Continued on page 7 matters for students in international affairs. Implicit in his vision was the need to take an interdisciplinary approach...