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Research Centers & Initiatives

In addition to individual faculty research, SIS houses a number of research centers and initiatives that cover a broad, interdisciplinary range of research and programming activities. These efforts round out the scholarly endeavors and student experiences here at SIS.

Current Initiatives

Accountability Research Center

The Accountability Research Center (ARC) is a new action-research incubator based in the School of International Service at American University. Its mission is to promote balanced practitioner-researcher partnerships with public interest groups and reformist policymakers in the global South to support their organizational learning and applied research initiatives around transparency, participation and government accountability to citizens.

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American University's ASEAN Studies Initiative, the first of its kind to be established in the United States, was formally launched at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 14, 2009.

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Bridging the Gap (BtG)

Supported largely by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and housed at the School of International Service at American University, Bridging the Gap maintains a core belief that responsible global engagement should be systematically proactive, seeking both to understand significant medium- and long-term global challenges, and to influence strategically how such trends affect U.S. interests and those of the rest of the world.

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Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment (FCEA)

The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment is an initiative of the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. We are concerned with the social, political, and legal implications of climate engineering technologies. Our public outreach efforts are guided by the observation that, to date, the conversation about climate engineering's development, deployment, and implications has been confined to a relatively narrow set of voices.

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Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP)

We prepare transformative disability policy leaders and serve as a collaborative "think tank" on disability policy for the ASEAN region through an unparalleled network of 20 leading universities and 4 outreach partners, with founding and sustained support from The Nippon Foundation.

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Model G20

Model G20 (MG20) Initiative is an innovative academic program designed by the School of International Service to advance the understanding of the G20 and international economic cooperation by fully simulating a G20 Leaders' Summit. Recognizing the G20's global influence, MG20 seeks to prepare young leaders to successfully face current and future global challenges.

Over the course of three days, the MG20 Summit at American University offers a unique learning experience that supplements the classic Model UN circuit. Designed in concert with a former high-level G20 diplomat, this is the first US-based complete and accurate simulation of the G20. The program includes an MG20 Symposium of high-level practitioners, speakers and experts, followed by a G20 simulation that begins with the initial negotiation process and leads up to the G20 Leaders' Summit itself.

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The Robert A. Pastor North American Research Institute

American University's SIS and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (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.

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TRANSCEND (Transnational Challenges and Emerging Nations Dialogue)

TRANSCEND (Transnational Challenges and Emerging Nations Dialogue) is an initiative of the UNESCO Chair in Transnational Challenges and Governance, established at SIS in 2011. It is a worldwide network of academic research centers, policy think-tanks, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations dedicated to developing new approaches to global governance. It specifically aims to forge a shared understanding among the developed and developing countries of how to manage the current diffusion of world power in the face of growing transnational challenges. TRANSCEND creates a collaborative research, teaching, and training framework to study the nexus between transnational challenges and emerging nations and to help scholars and policymakers from the emerging nations better understand and respond to these challenges.


U.S.-Pakistan Women's Council

The US-Pakistan Women's Council was launched by Secretary Clinton in September 2012.The Council is a public-private partnership between the U.S. State Department and American University (AU), supported by the Organization for Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN). We are working with Pakistani and U.S. leaders in industry, academia and civil society to increase economic opportunities for women. We are focused on promoting entrepreneurship, employment, and education.

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