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School of International Service Spring 2017 Commencement

May 14, 2017

Prof. Porzecanski with Yolanda Ngo, Jon Mallek, Kelsey Ross, and Albe Gjonbalaj

Prof. Porzecanski with Yolanda Ngo '17, Jonathan (Jon) Mallek '17, Kelsey Ross '17, and Albe Gjonbalaj '17

IER is pleased to report the graduation of its International Economic Relations and International Economics Classes of 2017! This year's graduates are: Haley Beckett, Prajakta Diwan, Albe Gjonbalaj, Emily Kaput, Jonathan Mallek, Alexi Maxwell, Jeffrey Meyer, Kelsey Ross, Yolanda Ngo, Dimitrije Tasic, Robert Vainshtein, and Eric Ward.

Graduates gathered in SIS-333 after Commencement for a dinner reception with their loved ones and faculty to celebrate their accomplishments.

Prof. Porzecanski with Emily Kaput, Dimitrije Tasic, and Prof. Brunel

Prof. Porzecanski with Emily Kaput '17, Dimitrije Tasic '17, and Prof. Brunel

Master's Student Awards Ceremony 2016-2017

April 28, 2017

Kelsey Ross Master's Award Reception

Dr. Porzecanski with Kelsey Ross and Dean James Goldgeier

Kelsey Ross and Dimitrije Tasic were winners of the inaugural Goodman Award for Outstanding Academic Performance. They were recognized by SIS Dean James Goldgeier and by IER/IE Program Director Arturo Porzecanski at an awards ceremony that took place at the end of April.

Kelsey achieved a near-perfect grade point average, the highest of any SIS student in the International Economic Relations program graduating in 2017. She was an excellent teaching assistant for SISU-300, the gateway undergraduate class in international economics; performed admirably as an economic intern at the U.S. State Department's East Asia and Pacific Bureau; and did exceptionally good work as an economic-impact analyst at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Kelsey is a graduate of Cornell University.

Dimitrije attained a near-perfect grade point average, the highest of any SIS student in the International Economics program graduating in 2017. He provided exceptional research and teaching assistance to three of our faculty members; was an excellent research-methods counselor at the Center for Teaching, Research & Learning (CTRL); and performed outstandingly well during a prestigious internship at the Institute of International Finance (IIF). Dimitrije is a graduate of Indiana University.

The recently established Goodman Awards, for which the "best and brightest" Master's students from all SIS programs are eligible, honor the leadership of Professor Louis W. Goodman, who served as Dean of SIS for 25 years. He oversaw a remarkable period of growth for the School and he embodies the spirit of scholarly excellence, kindness and service that SIS represents. The cash awards were endowed by Professor Arturo and Mrs. Nina Porzecanski, who wanted SIS to start recognizing the school's top-performing graduate students every year, and to do so in perpetuity.

Dimitrije Tasic Masters Student Award

Dr. Porzecanski with Dimitrije Tasic and Dean James Goldgeier

The Global Financial Crisis and Reform of the International Financial Architecture

April 5, 2017

Dr Elson Global Financial Crisis event

Dr. Anthony Elson, formerly a senior staff member of the International Monetary Fund, consultant to the World Bank, lecturer at Duke's Center for International Development and SAIS (Johns Hopkins University), and author of three recent books, discussed to what extent reforms to financial regulations and the IMF's operations have been sufficient to deal with the defects in the international financial architecture that contributed to the 2008-09 crisis, and he identified areas where further reforms are needed.

Elson's talk was based on his latest book, titled The Global Financial Crisis in Retrospect: Evolution, Resolution, and Lessons for Prevention. The book provides a uniquely comprehensive explanation of the 2008-09 global financial crisis and resulting scholarly research in the context of building an agenda for reform. With the clarity provided by almost a decade of hindsight and a careful eye toward planning for prevention, Elson guides readers through both historical fact and scholarly interpretation, highlighting areas where careful critique of and changes in the international financial architecture and the mainstream macroeconomic paradigm can promote greater financial stability in the future. Given the great public concern over growing income and wealth inequality, the book examines their links to the increased financialization of the economy, both prior to and since the crisis.

Elson identified a number of lessons that need to be recognized if adequate and effective reforms are to be introduced to avoid a financial crisis of similar magnitude in the future. With regard to the international financial architecture (IFA), they include the following: the recent growth of financial globalization has exceeded the capacity of the IFA to manage it; the regulatory perimeter of governments proved to be overly territorial; the IMF should be given authority to recommend some form of collective action in the event that a country becomes a major financial threat to other countries; and there should be a renewed effort to create an international sovereign debt restructuring mechanism.


International Economic Law, the World Trade Organization, and Investor-State Dispute Settlement in the Trump Era

March 1, 2017

Todd Tucker Trade Event Photo

Dr. Todd Tucker, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, discussed his doctoral research into the collegial dynamics within international investment tribunals. He developed a qualitative typology of adjudicator-level interactions based on original interviews with arbitrators from over 90% of finalized investment arbitrations. His finding is that collegial dynamics contribute to making awards more investor-friendly or fact specific. A leading scholar on the intersection of the domestic and global economy, Tucker has testified before legislatures and expert committees around the world. His interests revolve around global economic governance, including dispute settlement and the domestic regulatory implications of international trade, investment and tax treaties. During the talk, Dr. Tucker mentioned that under US law, President Trump has a great deal of leeway when it comes to international economic relations -- in particular, foreign trade and international investment agreements -- if he were to use his powers alleging a national-security consideration. That is because, for many decades now, the U.S. Congress has given the president virtually unlimited discretion to act to address emergencies and preserve national security. Therefore, there is a risk that all types of "gentlemen's agreements" that have come to guide the international economic conduct of governments -- in particular, the U.S. government -- will no longer stand.

IER/IE Fall Welcome Reception

September 23, 2016

Picture of Professor Silvia with four IER students during Welcome Reception.

Prof. Silvia with students Maoyuan (Sherry) Zhang, Nabila Ferdous, Michael Lucci, and Yolanda Ngo.

The Fall Welcome Reception is a tradition of the IER/IE programs. As they have done now for many years, Prof. and Mrs. Porzecanski graciously hosted the gathering 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.

Dr. Porzecanski with three IER students for Welcome Reception.
Prof. Porzecanski with students AnnElizabeth Konkel, Alexis Cherry, and Julie Geiger.

Book Talk: Michael D. Tanner's "Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the U.S. Entitlement Crisis"

September 7, 2016

Book cover for Going for Broke

In Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and The U.S. Entitlement Crisis, CATO Institute fellow Michael D. Tanner, a nationally recognized expert on U.S. government entitlements, health care reform, and social-welfare policy, examines the growing U.S. national debt and its dire implications for our future, explaining why a looming financial meltdown may be far worse than anyone expects. Many politicians on the left and right know entitlements are unsustainable but fear the consequences of reforming them. In contrast, Tanner offers effective reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—changes that will improve our lives as well as prevent a fiscal meltdown.

Michael Tanner is the author of numerous other books on public policy, including Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution; Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It; The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society; and A New Deal for Social Security. Tanner’s writings have appeared in nearly every major American newspaper, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

On September 7, Mr. Tanner came to SIS and presented the highlights of his recently published book in a program co-sponsored by CIER (the student-run Council for International Economic Relations) and the IER/IE programs. The event was moderated by CIER’s Sudanshu Neema, a 2nd-year IER student.


School of International Service Spring 2016 Commencement

May 7, 2016

Rochelle Osei-Tutu and Dr. Porzecanski

Prof. Arturo Porzecanski with Rochelle Osei-Tutu '16

IER is pleased to report the graduation of its International Economic Relations and International Economics Classes of 2016! This year’s graduates are: Shona Carter, Angelo Curto, Leticia Donoso Peña, Jeff Eversman, Elizabeth Felling, Brian Gilbert, Gabriel Hernandez, Rochelle Osei-Tutu, Jaqueline Pierson, Kevin Rosendo Horvath, George Siegel, Tetyana Sydorenko, Amber Voigt, and Dita Dobranja.

Graduates gathered in SIS 233 after Commencement for an hors d'oeuvre reception with their loved ones and faculty to celebrate their accomplishments.

Jeff Eversman and Henning picture

Prof. Randall Henning with Jeff Eversman '16 and family

Dita Dobranja and family

Prof. Daniel Bernhofen with Dita Dobranja '16 and family

Alumni Panel: Careers in International Economic Relations

April 15, 2016

IER alumni panel Apr 15

Standing (L to R): Prof. Arturo Porzecanski, Carolyne Spackman, Cerena Mitchell, Rodolfo Añez, and Sudhanshu Neema

 On Friday, April 15, IER/IE held the second Spring 2016 session of its Careers in International Economic Relations series, and alums and students joined together for a panel discussion, question-and-answer, and networking opportunity over dinner. Sudhanshu Neema, a candidate M.A. in International Economic Relations, moderated the discussion. We would like to thank the following alums for their participation and insight:

Rodolfo Añez ‘08 currently works as a Statistical Analyst for the Inter-American Development Bank. He is part of the team that recently implemented the merge-out of all private sector operations of the Bank into the newly created Inter-American Investment Corporation. Previous to the IDB, he worked for six years at the Statistics Department of the International Monetary Fund, specializing in monetary statistics and working with central banks of several countries on improving data reporting standards and adherence to international monetary and financial methodology. Prior to the IMF, as a Research Analyst with the RiskMetrics Group, he carried out research on Latin American companies, analyzing their financials and providing recommendations on decisions made at the shareholder level. Before coming to AU’s IER program, Rodolfo obtained a BA in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

Cerena Mitchell ‘07 is Manager in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP, based in Washington DC, where she has worked for nearly six years. Previously, she was an Account Manager at Midland Loan Services, part of the PNC Financial Services Group, where she was part of the team which serviced USAID's economic development loans to foreign nations and microenterprises, as well as OPIC’s microfinance loan portfolio. She has nearly a decade of progressive experience in lending and investments to promote impactful and sustainable economic development domestically and abroad, and has developed a strong background in credit risk, financial analysis, loan servicing, and commercial and residential lending practices and principles, specifically in emerging markets around the world. A graduate of Florida State University, she wrote her SRP while at AU’s IER program on public-private partnerships in microfinance.

Carolyne Spackman ’08 is Vice President/Chief Economist, Country Risk, in AIG’s Credit & Political Risk Specialty Lines, where she is responsible for monitoring, advising, and presenting on global economic and political conditions and country risk analysis across both emerging and developed market countries. During May 2009-May 2011, she was an economist at AIG Global Economics responsible for macroeconomic forecasting and scenario modeling, as well as country risk analysis of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and traveled nationwide to present AIG's macroeconomic outlook. From 1999 to 2004, Carolyne was a Product Manager for HSBC Asset Management. While attending AU, she gained experience at the US Treasury interning as an international economist/desk officer and working for almost a year at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She obtained an MA degree in Economics, in addition to her MA from IER, and had previously graduated from the University of Chicago. She earned a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation in 2004.

Alumni Panel: Careers in International Economic Relations

March 18, 2016

IER alumni panel Mar 18

Sitting (L to R): Robert Vainshtein, Adam Graham, Renee Berry, and Jared Kotler

On Friday, March 18, IER/IE held the first Spring 2016 session of its Careers in International Economic Relations series, and alums and students joined together for a panel discussion, question-and-answer, and networking opportunity over dinner. Robert Vainshtein, a candidate M.A. in International Economic Relations, moderated the discussion. We would like to thank the following alums for their participation and insight:

Renee Berry ‘09 is an International Trade Analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commission. She works primarily in support of the USITC’s mission to provide fact-finding reports, which may be requested by either Congress or USTR and cover a wide range of topics related to U.S. trade and competitiveness. She came to the USITC as a Presidential Management Fellow, having served a 6-month detail at USTR, where she worked for the chief negotiator on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Renee now works in the agriculture and fisheries division at the USITC, where she has contributed to reports on the global olive oil and rice industries. In 2013-14, she served as project leader for a major report to Congress examining the effect of India’s trade and industrial policies on U.S. businesses. She continues to play a leadership role in agency projects and is currently engaged in the USITC’s statutory work assessing the potential impact of TPP. As an IER student, Renee interned at the Department of Commerce and at a small economic-development consulting firm.

Adam Graham ‘10 is a Grants Management Specialist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At NIH, he evaluates the management aspects of grant applications including development of criteria and standards for the planning, implementation and evaluation of grant proposals, and provides technical assistance on complex grants-related policies and procedures. Adam previously worked as a Financial Management Analyst and Budget Analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), where he was the lead analyst for labor-market information and occupational safety and health statistics cooperative agreements. In addition, Adam coordinated interagency agreements between BLS and the U.S. Census Bureau for programs including the Current Population Survey and the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Jared Kotler ‘07 is Head of Political Risk and Credit, North America, at Talbot Underwriting, part of the Validus Group, specialist underwriters with the expertise to write policies in areas as diverse as marine, terrorism, onshore energy, aviation and other specialty lines. At Talbot, Jared is in charge of underwriting and marketing political-risk insurance and trade-credit insurance throughout the North American region. Jared’s clients include financial institutions and multinational companies who are either lending or investing in emerging markets. Before joining Talbot, he was Assistant Vice President at Ace Political Risk and Credit, where his responsibilities were similar to those that he currently has at Talbot. Prior to Ace, Jared worked as an underwriter and financial and political risk analyst at Zurich Credit and Political Risk. He received a BA in Mathematics and Statistics from Rutgers University, and in addition to this MA from IER, he earned an MBA in Finance from AU’s Kogod School of Business. 

Alumni Panel: Careers in International Economic Relations

November 13, 2015

sis ier Alumni Panel Fall 2015

Standing (L to R): Prof. Porzecanski, Emily Kaput and Sudhanshu Neema. Sitting (L to R): Alana Fook, Justin Hoffman and Danielle Kukwa

On Friday, November 13, IER/IE held the first Fall 2015 session of its Careers in International Economic Relations series, and alums and students joined together for a panel discussion, question-and-answer, and networking opportunity over dinner. Emily Kaput, a candidate M.A. in International Economics, moderated the discussion. We would like to thank the following alums for their participation and insight:

Alana Fook '12 is a financial sector analyst at the World Bank. She holds a BBA in International Business, with a concentration in Finance, from Howard University and MA in International Affairs: International Economic Relations, with a concentration in Development, from American University, where she was the recipient of the prestigious Hall of Nations Award. While at AU, Alana was active on campus, serving as the IER Program Representative on the SIS Graduate Student Council and working as a teaching assistant to Professors Porzecanski, Tuomi and Suárez-Mier. She also interned at the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Gender Action, the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and the Organization of American States. Upon graduation in 2012 from SIS, Alana joined the Finance and Markets Global Practice of the World Bank, where her work has focused on remittances, payment systems and credit reporting issues.

Justin Hoffmann '08 is a senior international economist at the International Trade Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. He served as the Department’s lead negotiator for industrial goods’ market access in the recently completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. In that capacity, he was responsible for developing the U.S. tariff offers and requests for industrial goods. Upon the conclusion of the TPP negotiations in October, Justin assumed a leading role in the Department’s congressional and public outreach efforts on TPP.

Danielle Kukwa '10 is a senior analyst at Econ One Research, an economic consulting firm which specializes in litigation-related research. She has been with the company for three years, and her responsibilities include providing written and quantitative analysis for expert reports used in international arbitration cases, involving macroeconomic research (e.g., on inflation and exchange rates), industry-specific research (e.g., market trends), and business valuation analysis (e.g., discounted cash-flow models). She has direct experience in the oil and energy, agriculture, and telecommunication industries. Previously, she worked for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), as a Project Control Analyst. And during 2009-11, she worked for the United States Air Force, first as a financial and budget analyst based in Washington DC at the USAF General Counsel's office, then as a research analyst in the USAF Negotiation Center of Excellence (Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL).

IER/IE Fall Welcome Reception

September 11, 2015

IER students on balcony overlooking Washington

IER Students: Jackie Pierson, Nabila Ferdous, Yolanda Ngo, Cossette Chen, CIER president Sudhanshu Neema

The Fall Welcome Reception is a tradition of the IER/IE program. Dr. and Mrs. Porzecanski graciously 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. We are proud to offer such an event to current students and faculty!

School of International Service Spring 2014 Commencement

May 10, 2015

Natalie Graduation

IER Graduate Natalie Chambers and her mother with SIS Dean Jim Goldgeier.

IER is pleased to report the graduation of its International Economic Relations and International Economics Classes of 2015! The latter, IE, graduated its inaugural class consisting of four students.

Graduates gathered in the IER suite after Commencement for an hors d'oeuvre reception with their loved ones and faculty to celebrate their accomplishments.

Photo of Pouya Ahmadi with Prof. Daniel Bernhofen

IER Grad Pouya Ahmadi with Prof. Daniel Bernhofen.

Sarah Colten Family with Prof. Porzecanski

Grad Sarah Colten with Prof. Arturo Porzecanski, IER Director, and her family.

Alumni Panel: Careers in International Economic Relations

Friday, April 10, 2015


From left: IER Alum Natalie Patten speaks with IER Director Prof. Arturo Porzecanski, International Economics student Eliot St. John, and IER students Patrick Wang and Emily Kaput.

On Friday, April 10, IER held the second Spring 2015 session of its Careers in International Economic Relations series, and alums and students joined together for a panel discussion, question-and-answer, and networking over dinner. Incumbent Council for International Economics Relations (CIER) President Sudhanshu Neema moderated the discussion. IER would like to thank the following alums for their participation and insight:

Luke Henninger '10 is an analyst at Telecote Research, Inc., a leading provider of cost estimating, financial management, and other business services. Previously, he was as an economic research associate for A. Gary Shilling &Company, an economic consultancy and investment advisory company in the outskirts of New York City, and also worked on the company's operations side, helping to handle the management of investment accounts.

Robin Koepke '10 is an economist in the Global Macroeconomic Analysis Department at the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a think-tank based in Washington, DC, which is the leading voice for the financial services industry on global regulatory issues, and it offers an independent source of international economic and financial research. Robin carries out applied macroeconomic research and forecasting, including of the U.S. economy;has authored numerous reports on capital flows;and developed the IIF's Portfolio Flows Tracker, a high-frequency measure of portfolio flows to emerging markets that is widely used and cited.

Natalie Hinton Patten '13 is a senior analyst at Summit Consulting, a world-class analytics advisory firm that guides federal agencies, financial institutions and litigators. She has worked on projects with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Her practicum project while at SIS involved advising the National Geographic Society on how to increase and diversify revenue streams in international markets.

Book Talk: Kevin Gallagher's "Ruling Capital: Emerging Markets and the Reregulation of Cross-Border Finance"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kevin Gallagher presenting his Book Talk April 13 2015

In Ruling Capital: Emerging Markets and the Reregulation of Cross-Border Finance, Boston University professor Kevin P. Gallagher, currently a visiting scholar in the International Development Program at Johns Hopkins SAIS, shows how emerging markets were able to re-regulate cross-border financial flows into their countries in the wake of the financial crisis—despite the seemingly insurmountable political and economic odds. Gallagher relays this process along with outlining policy solutions for the deep challenges which remain in a modernizing financial world.

On March 26, Dr. Gallagher joined IER and Economics faculty and students for a discussion of the central themes in and ideological conflict surrounding "Ruling Capital." The event was moderated by CAS Economics' Prof. Robert Blecker, while IER's Prof. Arturo Porzecanski served as discussant.

Careers in International Economic Relations

Friday, February 6, 2015

Photo of alums from IER panel Feb 6, 2015.

From left: Ted Liu, Katie Garcia, James Bullock, Heather Sykes, and Amanda Myers.

On Friday, February 6, four IER alumni visited SIS for a panel discussion on careers in the field. Ranging from mentorship to professional skills development, and from internships to the value of humility, the conversation offered valuable advice to attendees. IER would like to thank our moderator, IER student Ted Liu, for his leadership, and our alums.

James Bullock '03, currently works for Deloitte Consulting. His most recent project has been with the Transportation Security Administration performing planning and execution of acquisition, procurement, and strategic activities for the Electronic Baggage Screening Program (EBSP) with a focus on the management and preparation of equipment recapitalization plans. Previously, James has conducted due diligence for both government and commercial clients.

Katie Garcia '06, leads the Private Sector Engagement Division in the Office of Market and Partnership Innovations in the Bureau for Food Security. She originally joined USAID as a Presidential Management Fellow based in the former Office of Agriculture, and completed rotations at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the State Department, and the Global Development Alliance Office. Previously, she worked for an international development consulting firm and served as an agroforestry and environmental education Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador.

Amanda Myers, '06, is an Economist with the Office of the Chief Economist at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Before joining USPTO, Amanda worked as an Economist in the United States Treasury Department, holding positions at the United States Mint and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. University.  

Heather Sykes '02, is currently the Program Manager for Trade Agreements and Anti- Dumping/Countervailing Duty at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which is based out of the National Intellectual Property Rights Center in Crystal City. Prior to joining HSI in October 2014, she held multiple positions at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and was previously an International Trade Analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

CIER Young Alumni Panel

Friday, November 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, concentrated on agricultural economics and international trade while at SIS, and is currently Director of Policy Analysis and Development at the U.S. Farm Credit Council.

Khrystyna L. Kushnir, IER '09, joined the World Bank's Doing Business team as an Analyst in November 2013 and currently works on the Trading Across Borders indicator. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Ms. Kushnir worked as a Research Assistant for Central and Eastern Europe at the Heritage Foundation and as a Research Analyst for the Japanese consultancy Washington CORE on Russian and Asian markets.

Shannon Mockler, IER '09, graduated from AU in 2009 and worked at the IMF as a Research Assistant on debt sustainability from 2007 to 2010. Since 2010 she has worked as an economist with the US government in the intelligence community.

David Parker, IER '13, is currently a Research Associate with the Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He began at the think tank as a graduate intern while at SIS, during which time he also served as a Teaching and Research Assistant, President of CIER, a Graduate Student Council member, and as the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Graduate Leadership Council.

Poland: An Assessment of its First Decade in the EU

Tuesday, September 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

Friday, 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.

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.