Charles Jamieson Embraces Research, Refines Middle East Experience at SFS

 

Charles Jamieson
Master of Arts in Arab Studies, Class of 2017
Aberdeen, Scotland
Summer 2016 Experience: Arabic language study in Jordan
Favorite Classes: International Political Economy seminar with Professor Jim Vreeland, Political Economy of the Middle East with Professor Joseph Sassoon, and Politics of Syria with Professor Daniel Neep
D.C. Jobs and Internships:
Newsom Graduate Fellow, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy
Research Assistant, Institute for the Study of International Migration

 

May 12, 2017
by Matt Raab

For Charles Jamieson (MAAS’17), the SFS has been a place to tie together different interests and experiences into a future focusing on economics and politics in the Middle East.

Jamieson came to the Arab Studies graduate program with experience in Saudi Arabia and an interest in public policy.

“I had worked in Saudi Arabia after I finished my undergraduate degree and the experience sparked my interest in the Arab world. For me, Arabic is a beautiful and rewarding language to learn and I wanted to continue my studies of it at an advanced level,” he said. “I also had a strong interest in mixing an area focus with my interest in public policy and economics and the structure of the Georgetown programmes let me do this.”

Jamieson approached his interests in a variety of ways at SFS. As a Newsom Graduate Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, he researched the role of emerging economies in the Middle East, including their effect on U.S. diplomacy.

“I had the benefit of a fantastic advisor as part of a fellowship I have been doing at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy,” Jamieson said. “Raj Wadhwani, a fellow on leave from the State Department, lent me his huge expertise on the role Indian business and political actors are playing in the Middle East.”

Jamieson also spent a summer in Jordan, focusing on language studies, and has engaged with faculty and students on various projects during his time at Georgetown.

“I have been constantly impressed with the time that Georgetown faculty have been willing to devote to advising students,” he said, noting in particular the contributions of faculty members Marwa Daoudy, Joseph Sassoon, Daniel Neep, Marko Klasnja and Jim Vreeland to his studies at SFS.

This access to expertise, which extends to the broader city, is a key component of graduate studies at Georgetown.

“I think my favourite aspect [of my time at Georgetown] has been the buzz,” Jamieson said. “There are always so many things going on that you want to be a part of – I remember at one point wishing that there could be fewer events so I could sit down and get some work done! At the same time, it is great to be able to access expertise across the city.”

Jamieson also highlighted the stimulating academic environment on the Hilltop as a valued part of his experience.

“I will miss the intellectual challenge the most,” he reflected. “It seems to me that it is difficult to find an atmosphere outside an academic institution where you are encouraged to think about issues in such depth. At Georgetown and SFS specifically, the level of commitment to doing this is extraordinarily high.”

It has been great to have been part of a community with such breadth [and] diverse knowledge about international issues, and I am sorry to be moving away from it.

Fortunately, Jamieson has some of developments to look forward to after graduating that should give him room to keep his mind at work.

“Well first, I am getting married. That’s obviously exciting,” he said. ‘I am then planning to move to Dubai, where I have an offer to start at the consulting firm McKinsey in September. That’s exciting too.”