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CIER Young Alumni Panel

Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Photo of CIER Young Alumni Panelists

From left: Jen Harkins, David Parker, Shannon Mockler, Khrystyna Kushnir, and Ben Duncanson

The Council for International Economic Relations (CIER), the IER student group, hosted a panel of young alumni for a dinner talk about career strategies, the international economic policy field, and what they've learned along the way. President Jen Harkins moderated a four-member panel introduced by Prof. Arturo Porzecanski, consisting of:

Ben Duncanson, IER '14, Policy Analysis and Development Director, U.S. Farm Credit Council

Khrystyna L. Kushnir, IER '09, Analyst, The World Bank 

Shannon Mockler, IER '09, Economist, U.S. Federal Government 

David Parker, IER '13, Research Associate, Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Poland: An Assessment of its First Decade in the EU

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2014

Photo of Prof. Randall Henning and Ms. Malgorzata Kaluzynska

Prof. Randall Henning, SIS, and Ms. Malgorzata Kaluzynska, Director of the Department of Economic Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, listen to a question from a student.

The IER program was pleased to host Ms. Malgorzata Kaluzynska, Director of the Department of Economic Policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, in a launch event for the Ministry's new report, "Poland's 10 Years in the European Union."

The report details the substantial economic development Poland has undergone in the 10 years since its accession to the EU, and also describes benefits the EU has enjoyed through Poland's membership, which saw 49% GDP growth in the 2004-2014 decade. Poland was the only EU member state not to see a recession during that decade. In response to questions from host Prof. Randall Henning as well as the audience, Ms. Malgorzata also discussed her thoughts on Poland's future, including possible accession to the Eurozone, energy policy in Europe, and the leadership of former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who becomes President of the European Council on December 1, 2014.

Success in Federal Finance Careers: A Talk by Dr. Tara Rice

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dr. Tara Rice

The IER program was pleased to welcome back Dr. Tara Rice of the Federal Reserve Board, an AU alum and Fall 2013 scholar-in-residence, for a talk on how best to achieve success in federal finance careers, specifically the Federal Reserve Board and banks system.

Dr. Rice discussed the opportunities available to M.A. graduates at the Fed, described the qualities and skills demanded by them, and provided recommendations on course selection and skills development in internships. She also discussed application and interview procedures, and outlined the structure of the Federal Reserve system, including how that structure is reflected in hiring processes. Finally, Dr. Rice counseled students on resume-writing for high-level financial positions.

Dr. Rice earned a B.A. in International Relations at the University of Denver, an M.A. in Economics from American University, and finally a Ph.D. in Finance from Boston College. Her first job upon completing her studies was as Financial Economist with the Supervision & Regulation Department (2002-2004) and then the Research Department (2004-2008) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She then transferred to the Board of Governors in Washington DC, initially as an Economist in the Division of Monetary Affairs (2008-2010) and then in the Division of International Finance (2010-2011), and in recent years has served as Chief of the Global Financial Institutions Section in the Division of International Finance. She is the author of a number of published articles on financial markets and institutions, and recently of two papers on the international transmission of banking shocks and on how U.S. community banks were affected by the 2008 financial crisis.

Fall Welcome Party

September 19, 2014

IER Students at Welcome Party

IER Students Ryan Siegel, Amanda Saville, and Natalie Chambers at the Fall 2014 IER Welcome Party

Dr. and Mrs. Porzecanski again hosted the IER Fall Welcome Party for students and faculty at their home. Food and conversation were thoroughly enjoyed, and no one could have asked for a more beautiful Washington evening to get to know one another.

Welcome Party CC
Prof. Clark Crook-Castan, left, with students Shona Carter and Kyle Toman at the 2014 Fall Welcome Party


Welcome Reception for New Professor Miles Kahler

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Photo of Miles Kahler's Reception

IER delighted to attend a reception to welcome our new full-time professor, Dr. Miles Kahler, to the School of International Service and to the program. 

Dr. Kahler is an expert on international politics and international political economy, including international monetary cooperation, global governance, and regional institutions. He was most recently Rohr Professor of Pacific International Relations and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) and the Political Science Department, University of California, San Diego. He has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2012-2013), at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University (2007-2008), and at the Council on Foreign Relations (1994-1996 and currently). He is a member of the Editorial Board of International Organization. His current research centers on the role of emerging economies in global governance and challenges to the nation-state as a dominant unit in the international system. Recent publications include Integrating Regions: Asia in Comparative Context (co-editor, Stanford University Press), Politics in the New Hard Times (co-editor and contributor, Cornell University Press), and "Rising Powers and Global Governance: Negotiating Change in a Resilient Status Quo," (International Affairs, 2013). He received A. B. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University and a B. Phil. (M. Phil.) degree from Oxford University.

Dr. Kahler will be teaching courses beginning in the Spring semester, including the inaugural class of SIS-753 "Global Financial Governance."

School of International Service Spring 2014 Commencement

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Alex Choy and Family

Alex Choy, '14 Grad, and his family with Prof. Arturo Porzecanski

The International Economic Relations Program is proud to welcome over a dozen Spring 2014 graduates to our alumni family!

American University held its 128th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 10, 2014. At the School of International Service ceremony, the Hon. Paula J. Dobriansky, a seasoned American diplomat and foreign policy expert, addressed graduates. Ambassador Dobriansky , who received an honorary Doctor of International Affairs degree, has served under five U.S. presidents, is a senior fellow at Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and is chair of the National Board of Directors of the World Affairs Councils of America.

We encourage all of our alumni to keep us updated on their progress and accomplishments and to return for events and conversation as they proceed in their exciting careers.

IER Graduate Reception

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A photo of IER Spring 2014 graduate and his family with Dr. Arturo Porzecanski, Program Director.

IER Graduate Albert Espinoza (fourth from right) with his family and program director Prof. Arturo Porzecanski (third from left).

Along with our friends in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program, IER held a lovely reception prior to Commencement. We were very pleased to see many of our graduates' loved ones in attendance!

Dr. Daniel Bernhofen Gives Talk on Revolution in World Trade

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photo of Dr. Daniel Bernhofen at Event on Apr.23

As part of the American University Economics Department Seminar Series, Dr. Daniel Bernhofen gave a talk, "Estimating the Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade," based on a paper of the same title which he co-authored with Zouheir El-Sahli of Lund University and Richard Kneller of the University of Nottingham. The talk presented innovative tools for analyzing the effects of the container revolution on world trade in the context of globalization.

CIER Hosts Alumni Panel

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photos of the panelists for CIER's Spring 2014 Alumni Panel

The Council for International Economic Relations (CIER), the IER student group, hosted two distinguished alumni for a question-and-answer session and networking dinner. The laid-back event was very enlightening for students, especially those anticipating their upcoming graduation!

Mr. Jon Menaster '10 is a senior financial markets analyst with the Government Accountability Office. His work focuses on housing, banking, and securities markets and the agencies that oversee those markets. He also teaches improv at the Washington Improv Theater and personal finance with Knowledge Commons DC. Jon grew up in Los Angeles, CA, but loves to travel.

Mr. Justin Hoffmann '08 is a Senior International Economic for the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. He focuses on market access issues related to industrial goods and is the Department of Commerce lead for industrial goods market access in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Justin has also covered market access negotiations in the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks.

Spring Alumni Career Panel

Friday, February 21, 2014

Photo of IER Spring Alumni Panel

From left: student moderator Alex Choy of CIER with alumni Caesar Layton '02, Cerena Mitchell '07, Timothy Olsen '11, and Nargiza Salidjanova '07

As a sequel to CIER's successful alumni panel last Fall, the IER program recently sponsored a panel discussion with four diverse alums: Caesar Layton '02, the Senior Vice President of Relay Foods; Cerena Mitchell '07, an Advisory Services Manager at Ernst & Young LLP; Timothy Olsen '11, an Intelligence, Risk, and Security Consultant at IHS, Inc.; and Nargiza Salidjanova '07, an Economic Policy Analyst at the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The panelists shared frank advice about networking, professional growth, career paths and transitions, professor-student relationships, and the job market in general, as well as answering targeted questions from the audience. The attendees also socialized with panelists over a light dinner and coffee following the event.

Mr. Caesar Layton, IEP ’02, worked as an international development consultant for over a decade following his Magna Cum Laude graduation from AU. In 2012, he began transitioning in the Washington, D.C. start-up industry as a business development expert. Currently, he is the Senior Vice President of Relay Foods.

Ms. Cerena Mitchell, IER '07, concentrated in development finance at SIS. However, a job as a federal credit consultant during her time at AU led her to becoming an AGA-certified Government Financial Manager. Currently, she is an Advisory Services Manager at Ernst & Young. Ms. Mitchell has consulted for USAID, OPIC, the DOE, and countless other federal agencies.

Mr. Timothy Olsen, IER '11, interned at
the U.S. embassy in Azerbaijan and at the Council on Foreign Relations' Center for Geoeconomic Studies while at AU. After completing a research internship at Brookings focusing on the impact of resource scarcity on US Foreign Policy as well as graduating with a concentration in energy security, Mr. Olsen obtained his current position as an Intelligence, Risk, and Security Consultant at IHS, Inc.

Ms. Nargiza Salidjanova, IER '07, first pursued her interest in Chinese economic policy as an intern at the USDA's China Program while completing her 5-year BA/MA at SIS. Ms. Salidjanova then began a research fellowship at the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, where she is currently an Economic Policy Analyst

Panel Discussion with IER Alumni, Council for International Economic Relations

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

CIER Alumni Panel Event

CIER President Alex Choy (left) with alumni panelists Allison Rose-Sonnesyn '04, Lawrence Lamonica '02, and Monica Zhang '09.

The IER student organization Council for International Economic Relations sponsored and organized an extremely informative panel discussion with three distinguished alumni: Allison Rose-Sonnesyn, with the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology; Lawrence Lamonica, with SOL Capital Management Company; and Yun Zhang, with the National Foundation for Cancer Research. The panelists spoke about their career paths and current job responsibilities; discussed the educational background and practical skills most needed to find and perform well in their professional positions; provided tips for job searches and networking opportunities; and answered specific questions from the IER students in attendance.

Ms. Allison Rose-Sonnesyn, IER ’04, has been a professional staff member of the House Judiciary Committee (2011-13) and is now employed by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The Committee’s work includes oversight of space activities of the U.S. Treasury and Department of Commerce. She previously worked as a project manager for The First Church of Christ, Scientist (2007-10) and a financial advisor for the investment banking firm Morgan Stanley (2006-07).

Mr. Lawrence Lamonica, IER '02, is a Vice President of Business Development at SOL Capital Management, a boutique investment advisory firm with offices in Washington, DC and New York City, where he manages relationship with high-net-worth individuals, families, and institutions in Latin America. He also implements strategic business plans in various markets throughout the region. His previous work includes stints as an international economist at the U.S. Treasury (2002-04) and the Chilean Finance Ministry (2004-05) where he assisted in the development and implementation of that country's foreign economic policy. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chilean-American Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting underprivileged children in his native Chile.

Ms. Yun (Monica) Zhang, IER ’09, is Marketing & Communications Associate with the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Her area of focus in recent years has been China, working with the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association as a member of its board of directors and as Vice President for Marketing & Communications. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2009) and an economic analyst at the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq (2009).

Presentation: “Shock Transmission through International Banks: How Vulnerable Are Affiliate Markets? Evidence from U.S. Banks” with Dr. Tara Rice

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

Dr. Rice Event Photo

Faculty Fellow Tara Rice, in residence at IER/SIS during Fall 2013 while on leave from her position as Chief of the Global Financial Institutions Section, Division of International Finance, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, gave a presentation as part of AU's Department of Economics Research Seminar Series.

Her underlying research paper, which is co-authored with Ricardo Correa from the Fed, Bill Goulding from MIT, and Juan C. Gozzi Valdez from the University of Warwick, examined U.S. banks' foreign exposures during 1977-2012, a period covering both domestic and global banking crises originating in emerging market economies, Japan, Europe, and the United States. It used a novel dataset of U.S. banks' foreign claims to identify changes in the supply of funds to foreign residents, focusing specifically on changes in foreign claims during periods of banking crisis. It constitutes the first study the transmission of banking shocks over multiple crisis periods using U.S. bank-level data on exposures to foreign countries over a long time horizon. The preliminary results suggest that U.S. banks have experienced "common lender" effects as a result of their exposure to banking-crisis countries over the last 30 years; and that having a local presence in a country does not make U.S. banks claims on that country to be more "sticky" when faced with potential losses due to exposures to a crisis country.

Presentation: “Is the Euro Area Crisis Over?” with Dr. Ali Al-Eyd and Janyne Quarm, International Monetary Fund

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013

IMF Event Photo

Prof. Arturo Porzecanski (left) with panelists Prof. Randall Henning, SIS alumna Janyne Quarm of the IMF, and Dr. Ali Al-Eyd.

The International Economic Relations Program hosted a presentation by Dr. Ali Al-Eyd and Janyne Quarm of the International Monetary Fund's European Department. Al-Eyd (Ph.D., Imperial College London) is a Senior Economist in the IMF's European Department and previously worked at Citigroup, Dresdner Kleinwort and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Ms. Quarm (B.A. & M.A. from SIS, American University) is a Research Analyst in the Fund's European Department and previously worked at the U.S. Congress and the Treasury Department, and was an intern with Chile's Ministry of Foreign Relations and Puerto Rico's Federal Affairs Administration.

Prof. Randall Henning was the discussant and Prof. Arturo Porzecanski the moderator for the event.

The guest speakers explained that a variety of economic policy actions have reduced major risks and stabilized financial conditions in the Euro Area, although growth in the periphery is still constrained by credit bottlenecks. The region is expected to gradually pull out of recession, with growth reaching 1 percent in 2014, following GDP contractions in both 2012 and 2013. However, financial reforms remain unfinished; the channels of monetary policy transmission are still impaired; there is an overhang of corporate debt in some countries; government debt levels remain too high; and wide-ranging structural reforms (beyond banking) are yet to be undertaken in many countries.

Book Launch: “Holding the Shop Together” with Prof. Stephen Silvia

Monday, Nov. 11, 2013

Silvia Photo for Events Page

The International Economic Relations Program celebrated the launch of Dr. Silvia's new book, "Holding the Shop Together: German Industrial Relations in the Postwar Era". In this work, Dr. Stephen Silvia, a prominent scholar of comparative industrial relations and labor markets and also of German politics, contends that the powerhouse German economy has been fueled by the strength of its industrial relations system, which has penetrated German capitalism more deeply than in any other state. Through this lens, he examines the Germany economy as a whole, the impact of Germany's industrial relations on industrial relations abroad, the actions of trade unions and employers' associations, and the ways in which German labor and management teams have dealt with the crisis of membership losses.

According to Andrei Markovits, Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan: "Holding the Shop Together" represents scholarship at its best; Stephen J. Silvia's immense erudition is visible and palpable in every sentence and every thought. This is far and away the best book on German trade unions and industrial relations bar none, in any language. Silvia tells a complex story and concludes that the fate of unions is decided by the political culture in which they operate."

Presentation: “A Ricardian Factor Content Characterization of the Gains from Trade: Evidence from Japan’s Opening Up” with Prof. Daniel Bernhofen

Friday, Nov. 8, 2013

Bernhofen Event Photo

Dr. Daniel Bernhofen

The Washington-Area Economic History Seminar hosted by the Department of Economics at American University featured the presentation of a paper co-authored by Dr. Daniel Bernhofen, a leading scholar in international trade, and Prof. John Brown of Clark University, a noted economic historian. The paper, titled "A Ricardian Factor Content Characterization of the Gains from Trade: Evidence from Japan's Opening Up," offered an assessment of the gains from trade rooted in production theory using the case of Japan in 19th century.

A generalization of Ricardo's 1817 formulation of the gains from trade interprets the value of trade to an economy as a relaxation of its endowment constraints. An advantage of this production-based approach is that it imposes no restrictive assumptions on consumer behavior and potentially only requires data from an economy in a trade equilibrium. A high-quality data set on product and task-specific factor employment from Japan allowed the authors to apply this approach to answer the following counterfactual: What factor augmentation would have been necessary to compensate the economy for an overnight suspension of trade in its early trade years of 1865-1876? Over the entire period, the authors found that trade was revealed to be equivalent to a 4% increase in Japan's female labor force, a 2.5% increase in its male labor force and a 2.5% increase in its arable land. If Japan had not opened up to trade, it may well have suffered efficiency losses averaging 6.3-7.7% of the economy's potential, results remarkably consistent with an earlier analysis based upon a consumption-based approach to measuring the gains from trade.

Conference: “The NAFTA Promise and the North American Reality: The Gap and How to Narrow it” with Prof. Manuel Suárez-Mier

Thursday-Friday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2013

NAFTA Event Photo

Prof. Manuel Suárez-Mier, Director of American University's Center for North American Studies as of Jan. 1, 2014, was the co-organizer of a major conference that took place on campus on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), to look to the future to sketch both the vision and a blueprint for North American integration by learning from past challenges, both resolved an unresolved.

The conference covered five broad issues in five panels, beginning at 2 PM, October 31: Competitiveness in a World of Three Regions; Shared Responsibility and Institutional Collaboration for Security Issues and Judicial Reform; Energy and the Environment; Immigration: The Social Transformation of North America; and Organizing the Three Governments and Nations to Close the Gap: Visions and Institutions. It included a dinner sponsored by the Embassy of Mexico on the first day, and concluded on November 1 with a summary of the results before a panel of senior representatives of the three governments, followed by a reception hosted by the Embassy of Canada. A video of the closing panel is available here.

AY 2013/14 Welcome Reception

Friday, Sep. 20, 2013

IER Reception Photo for Events Page

Prof. & Mrs. Arturo Porzecanski hosted in their home, conveniently located near the AU campus, the traditional Fall Welcome Reception for new and returning IER students. Most faculty members and students affiliated with the IER program attended the event which featured drinks, food and pleasant company for several hours –- an excellent opportunity for new students, in particular, to meet their professors and also their second-year counterparts.

SIS IER Photo of Dr. Stephen Silvia talking to student Alex Choy.

Prof. Stephen Silvia talks to student Alex Choy at the Fall 2013 Welcoming Reception.

Dr. Manuel Suarez-Mier talks to IER student Elizabeth Felling

Prof. Manuel Suarez-Mier talks with IER student Elizabeth Felling.

Photo of Dr. Stephen Silvia and student Brett Collop at the 2013 IER Reception.
Dr. Stephen Silvia (right) speaks with IER student Brett Collop at the Fall Welcoming Reception.

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