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Fall 2016 Practica

Fall 2017 Practica

Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding


DescriptionThis practicum focuses on key aspects of contemporary peacebuilding: specifically on rebuilding, or building, social and political infrastructure in fragile and conflict prone states. Students work with international nongovernmental organizations, such as the Dakar-based Soros Open Society initiative for West Africa; government agencies, such as The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) at the United States Department of State; and for-profit clients such as Creative Associates International. Topics include civil society building, empowerment of youth and women, economic and political governance, rule of law, human rights and countering violent extremism.

About the professorHrach Gregorian is the President of the Institute of World Affairs, a DC NGO that for decades has been engaged in conflict resolution and peacebuilding training, research and consultation in the US and overseas. He was a Director at the US Institute of Peace from 1988 to 1993, and is a co-founder and current board member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

Intelligence Analysis


DescriptionThe Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is the client for this practicum on intelligence. The class produces an intelligence report intended to serve as a DIA product to be posted on their internal website serving the intelligence, defense, and State Department communities. The topic is selected after discussions with DIA management and based on intelligence priorities.

About the ProfessorAki Peritz is a Senior fellow at George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, and an adjunct professor at American University. He is a former US government analyst and coauthor of Find Fix Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns that Killed bin Laden & Devastated Al Qaeda. He recently worked at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and at Third Way, where he synthesized complex national security issues for Members of Congress. Aki has written for and provided insight on national security topics to numerous media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, National Public Radio, BBC World, Bloomberg, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and Foreign Policy.

A Wicked Problem for US National Security


DescriptionThis practicum will study Turkey and will develop policy recommendations for the U.S. Government. Specifically, it will study (a) the deterioration of Turkey's democratic system; (b) the Turkish Government's role in Syria; (c) the Turkish Government's fractious relationship with Turkish Kurds and Syrian Kurds; (d) the Turkish Government's tense relationship with the European Union; (e) Turkey's seemingly warming relationship with Russia and what that means for Turkey's role in NATO; and (f) the tensions in the U.S.'s relationship with Turkey. New issues in the U.S.-Turkey relationship may arise prior to and/or during the course of the spring 2017 semester. Students will make policy recommendations for U.S. Department of State officials (likely to be the "client") and will include the pros and cons of each policy recommendation.

About the Professor: Ambassador Sally Shelton‐Colby has held a number of senior positions in the public, corporate and nonprofit sectors and in international organizations. She has been Deputy Secretary‐General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France; Assistant Administrator for Global Programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Ambassador to Grenada, Barbados and several other Eastern Caribbean countries; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America; and Legislative Assistant to Senator (later Secretary of the Treasury) Lloyd Bentsen. She was Vice President of Bankers Trust Co., where she was responsible for managing the bank's political risk in developing countries during the third world debt crisis of the 1980s.

Cultural Diplomacy and International Exchange


DescriptionInternational exchange programs are an essential component of public diplomacy. Practicum participants will learn about major actors and resources in the field. They will study a conceptual framework for evaluating the effectiveness of exchanges. They will also focus on efforts to conduct advocacy on behalf of U.S. Department of State sponsored flagship exchange programs, such as the Fulbright Program and the International Visitor Leadership Program, by building partnerships with elected officials.

About the professorSherry Lee Mueller, Ph.D. developed and taught the first course in public diplomacy at SIS in 1981 (and continued teaching throughout the 1980s) as an adjunct professor. She returned in 2012 as Distinguished Practitioner in Residence to pioneer a course in cultural diplomacy and international exchange. Her professional career included serving as Director of Professional Exchange Programs at the Institute of International Education and President of the National Council for International Visitors (now Global Ties >U.S.) She has served as a U.S. State Department speaker on NGO leadership in Saudi Arabia and Japan. In Spring of 2015 she served on an IBTCI, Inc. bi-national team evaluating an AID funded scholarship program for Indonesian graduate students.

ONLINE - Great Power Competition 2.0


DescriptionThe Department of Defense is undergoing significant shifts in strategic planning and prioritization to focus on emerging strategic competitors. This practicum will focus on the emerging long-term strategic competition between the United States and other state actors such as Russia and China. Students will research and write a research report, provide an executive summary, and present their findings and recommendations to members of the Department of Defense examining some aspect of state-to-state strategic competition in order to aid in shaping its activities across the elements of national power in order to address emerging challenges.

About the Professor: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Mancinelli is the China country Director, Deputy Directorate for Politico Military Affairs Asia, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, J5, the Joint Staff. In his current position, he monitors, assesses, and evaluates developments in U.S.China security and foreign relations to develop planning guidance and recommendations for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Military Departments, and Unified Commands. His responsibilities include interfacing with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, State Department, National Security Staff, and Intelligence Community to coordinate inter agency policy and strategy options for U.S. leadership.

ONLINE - Issues of Multinational Enterprise


DescriptionStudents gain experience in the field of international business consulting by undertaking research projects for US and foreign multinational enterprises, giving the clients advice on real-life business and regulatory problems. The Practicum emphasizes research, data presentation and analytic skills, while teaching the students how to work together as a team. Students learn how to manage the clients' demands and expectations while working closely with high-level business executives who take a personal interest in the students' growth and learning experiences. Practicum students also learn new oral and written presentation skills to enhance their resumes. 

About the Professor: Catherine Bocskor is in-house counsel for a Washington-based multinational corporation. In 2012 she taught macroeconomics, international business and business law at Prince Mohammad University in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. During the 1990's her law practice was in Budapest, Hungary where she also formed and managed two investment funds. This experience led to her research interest in Transitional Justice. Prof. Bocskor has now returned to teach at SIS, her undergraduate alma mater.

Spring Practica

  • Climate Change Communication
  • Affecting Institutional Culture Change for Intercultural Competence
  • Global Health: Family Planning
  • Intelligence Analysis with Prof. Deni
  • Intelligence Analysis with Prof. Peritz
  • Dangerous Decline of Democracy
  • Central America Security Challenges and Opportunities
  • Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
  • Leadership and Management of Peacebuilding NGOs
  • Issues of Multinational Enterprise
  • U.S. Agricultural Policy
  • U.S. Policy toward Egypt
  • Human Rights and National Security
  • Global Political Economy & Sustainable Development
  • Service Success: Refugee Workforce Placement
  • Securing Sustainable Gains in Afghanistan