American University’s School of International Service (SIS) and CLALS have launched an initiative to promote and disseminate cutting edge social science research focused on processes of North American integration. Starting in fall 2016, AU will convene a select group of early career scholars who will explore North American progress toward the ideal of integration championed by the late SIS Professor Robert A. Pastor. By supporting the production, exchange, and dissemination of innovative social science devoted to the region and its potential, the Robert A. Pastor North America Research Initiative (NARI) places AU at the forefront of a long term research agenda that will inform future policy on North America.
The University will recruit 6–9 early career scholars from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere who have conducted research on North America either in their doctoral dissertations or in subsequent work. Their research will include a wide range of topics including those related to political economy, development, inequality and trade; migration; the rule of law; and the role of regional cooperation in ameliorating inequality and insecurity, advancing democracy, and reducing disparities among and within the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Scholars will meet twice a year to share their research, develop new ideas, and brainstorm about promising new directions for scholarship, advocacy, and policy. Each year, NARI will sponsor a high-profile public event to raise awareness of challenges and opportunities for North American integration. We hope through this effort to build a community of scholars dedicated to generating scholarship and defining the research agenda on North American integration for coming decades.
About Robert A. Pastor
Robert A. Pastor was Professor of International Relations and Founding Director of the Center for North American Studies and the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University. Combining a career in government, non-governmental organizations, and academe, Dr. Pastor was Director of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs on the National Security Council (1977-81), Consultant to the State and Defense Departments, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be Ambassador to Panama. He was Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on North America, and was a Member and Executive Director of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker, III.
Dr. Pastor was a Fulbright Professor at El Colegio de Mexico, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he received his PhD in Government and an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. From 1986 to 2002, Dr. Pastor was Professor at Emory University and Fellow and Founding Director of Programs on Latin America, Democracy, and China Elections at The Carter Center, as well as serving as a Senior Advisor to the Center on conflict resolution in the Middle East. As Interim Co-Director he helped establish The Elders, a group of twelve statespersons, led by Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter, from 2007-08.
From 2002-07, Dr. Pastor was Vice President of International Affairs at American University where he transformed and expanded the study abroad program, helped establish the American University of Nigeria, and initiated new programs on language immersion and “Abroad at AU.” He served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Nigeria and of the American University of Afghanistan.