SFS News

Mastro looks at China’s hidden global ambitions

In an op-ed in Foreign Affairs, Professor Oriana Skylar Mastro writes that China has continuously assured the world that its ambition is not to become a global hegemon. In doing so, however, China disguises its true aims: complete dominance in the Indo-Pacific region, and enough power to counter Washington when needed.

Sekerci raises concerns about CVE programs

Kristin Sekerci, an Islamophobia researcher with Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative, spoke to The Chicago Reader about the problems with Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs. “The theory of radicalization is an Islamophobic, junk science theory.”

Ambassador Alaina Teplitz (SFS’91) discusses her goals as newly-appointed US Ambassador to Sri Lanka

SFS alumna Alaina Teplitz (SFS’91) is the newly-appointed US Ambassador to Sri Lanka. In an interview with the Sri Lanka Mirror, Teplitz outlined her hopes and goals for her time as ambassador: “Among those is strengthening our business ties, looking for opportunities for US investments here, and greater trade. Whilst the US is Sri Lanka’s largest export market, I’d also like to see more import of US products, investments, and businesses in Sri Lanka, and contributing to the growth of the country. I’d like to see progress in our mutual security challenges, including maritime.”

Christine Fair

SFS Professor Christine C. Fair analyzes the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army

Professor Christine C. Fair writes about the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and whether or not it’s an Islamist organization and how that affects the Rohingya population of Myanmar. While the government of Myanmar claims that ARSA is an Islamist organization, but Fair points out that they do not align themselves enough to Islamism to be considered Islamist. However, this is making it difficult for Myanmar to consider the wishes of Rohingya refugees: to come back home to Myanmar under “government recognition as a distinct ethnic group.” The consensus at this point seems to be that displaced Rohingya refugees will remain in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Abraham Newman Breaks Down Arrest of Huawei Executive

In this Washington Post article, Professor Abraham Newman breaks down the “arrest and possible extradition to the United States of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese communications giant Huawei, in Canada for possible sanctions violations.” Abraham explains that the arrest is not “a simple criminal case, or even a crude effort to exert economic pressure on China.” Instead, “it shows how the geostrategic relationship between the Washington and Beijing is changing.”

Joanna Lewis Discusses Impact of U.S.-China Relations on Climate Leadership

In this New York Times Article, Professor Joanna Lewis discusses the impact of U.S.-China Relations on the fight against climate change. Specifically, Lewis notes that “the rest of the world looks to the U.S. and China for leadership, and it has become clear that, as the alliance has waned, global momentum to address climate change has slowed.”

Faculty Profile: David Edelstein

In this faculty profile, Professor David Edelstein discusses his hometown, his favorite thing about the Security Studies Program, and his advice to SSP students as they start their careers.

In Search of the Colombian Pearl: An MSFS Student’s Perspective on Carlos Vives’s visit to Georgetown

Carlos Vives, a Grammy Award-winning Colombian singer and composer lit up the ICC Auditorium on Monday, September 24 — not just with his songs, but also with his ardent passion for social impact projects in Colombia. Vives was at Georgetown for a panel discussion — titled “Tras la Perla” (in search of the Pearl): Carlos Vives’ Social Impact Project — focusing on his not-for-profit initiative, Tras la Perla. Hosted by The Center for Latin American Studies and the Latin America Leadership Program, the event featured panelists from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Dr. Ricardo Ernst, Executive Director of the Latin America Leadership Program.

Michael Green Analyzes Japan’s New Defense Plan

In this op-ed published on War on the Rocks, Professor Michael Green explores Japan’s new defense plan, discussing whether or not it is “ambitious enough.” Green concludes that “under Abe, Japan has significantly increased capabilities to meet the increasing regional security challenges,” adding that “Abe is also increasing the risk Japan accepts by becoming more joint with the United States and being willing to exercise collective self-defense with those with whom it has close security relations. “


A total of 16 Georgetown students have been named Millennium Fellows by the United Nations Academic Impact and the Millennium Campus Network. Each was chosen to elevate undergraduate leadership with their sustainable development-related projects to advance U.N. Sustainable Development Goals in their communities. Two School of Foreign Service seniors – Camille Bangug and Faye Al Saadoon – are serving as campus directors for the Georgetown Millennium Fellow Class of 2018.

Travel Grants Support Graduate Student Research and Internships in Latin America

Each year, the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) awards 15 to 20 graduate students a travel grant, which they can use to fund an independent study or unpaid internship in their country of interest during the summer. The grants, which are funded by the School of Foreign Service Dean’s Office, have sponsored student trips to virtually every country in Latin America. Recent projects have focused on a variety of topics, including social welfare in Brazil, baseball and bilingualism in the Dominican Republic, and international trade in Ecuador.

Ken Opalo Discusses Kenyan Trade Strategy

In this article published on Africa Check, Professor Ken Opalo offered Kenya two strategies to improve its trade relationship with China. First, Opalo said Kenya should “deepen its existing markets to ensure that trade goes beyond exporting raw commodities and importing finished products.” Second, they should “diversify the portfolio of trading partners by opening up new markets so as not to be too dependent on one country or region.”

Out of the Woods: Ty Loft (SFS’19) studies the power of national parks in breaking cycles of conflict

Growing up in Marin County, California, Ty Loft (SFS ’19) understands first-hand the importance of national parks—not just for environmental conservation, but also for their impact on the people around them. It was this fascination with the outdoors and a desire to increase their accessibility across the globe that led Loft to pursue a major in Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA), devoting his studies of the politics of conservation in post-conflict environments.


Dennis Wilder Reviews “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower”

In this Politico article, Georgetown Professor Dennis Wilder provides a review of Michael Pillsbury’s “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower.” Wilder says that he does not “believe China has the kind of well worked out grand strategy that [Pillsbury] professes,” adding that Pillsbury’s work is “shoddy and filled with inaccuracies and false quotations.” Assessing the implications of this kind of writing, Wilder said that a book like this could “make people overestimate the Chinese in a way that I think can make people make questionable policy positions.”

Erick Langer

Erick Langer Recounts Tales of “Bolivia’s Worst President”

In this Ozy article, Professor Erick Langer recounts a story of “Bolivia’s Worst President.” According to Langer, Mariano Melgarejo, who assumed the Bolivian Presidency after shooting the standing president dead following a battle between the two, was eventually “ousted by General Agustín Morales, who swept to victory on the coattails of a massive rebellion of native Bolivians after Melgarejo attempted to introduce legislation to seize the land of indigenous communities.”

Marc Busch

Professor Marc Busch discusses AI, robotics, and trade

Professor Marc Busch breaks down and analyzes the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its relationship to robotics as a “merger of two technologies.” However, Busch points out that both technologies provide a challenge to trade. AI forces us to rethink our idea of a “natural” person regarding jurisdiction(s), while robots come across as “goods,” which would push us to create a separate category for them. An important question about if a robot malfunctions or breaks, and it is fixed or updated, Busch looks at the importance of where this fixing takes place.

Christine Fair

Professor Christine Fair analyzes “a way forward” for Afghanistan with help from Iran and India

Professor Christine Fair explained India’s ongoing project to construct a deep-sea port in Chabahar, Iran for The Diplomat. This port would allow India to access Afghanistan, which has been difficult for them to do since Pakistan has restricted access to Afghanistan. By having this connection, on top of Afghanistan’s emerging connections to Iran, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, the country could slowly achieve economic independence from Pakistan. However, Professor Fair noted that throughout this process, Pakistan would attempt arbitrage and employ the Taliban to continue to make Afghanistan dependent on them.

SFS Professor Elizabeth Saunders comments on Congress’s long-awaited “reboot”

Congress has been failing to abide by its role as a legislative institution, and instead, has divided itself along party lines to execute respective agendas, leading to “ping-pong policy reversals.” One problem has been how members of Congress struggle to address modern issues, like social media and the Internet; they lack policy experts who are knowledgeable enough for these topics. Professor Elizabeth Saunders commented that: “The payoff of being known as being one of these big foreign policy people has declined. It’s just not going to really change much until you give them an existential reason to focus their attention on a big enemy.”


The Georgetown BMW Center for German and European Studies hosted a roundtable on “Decolonizing the Museum,” featuring historians from Howard University, the University of Virginia and George Mason University.

Zach Oschin (SFS ’20) Wins $15,000 at Second Annual “Bark Tank” Event

Zach Oschin (SFS’20) won $15,000 of the Leonsis Family Entrepreneurship Prize at the second annual “Bark Tank” pitch competition at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Oschin was awarded the prize for his work as the founder of Elenas, a digital direct sales platform where Latin American women earn income selling beauty products in a modern and risk-free way.