In the Media

Professor Elizabeth Saunders on Trump’s Handling of Iran

Professor Elizabeth Saunders was recently quoted in an article about President Trump’s decision to halt retaliatory strikes against Iran. Trump responded to pundits’ struggle to define him as either a “hawk” or “dove.”  Saunders said, “I don’t think he’s looking for a major intervention and a major war. He has in the past been receptive to pinpoint strikes that demonstrate strikes that show strength. Such an option may be completely illusory, but if it could be sold to him that way, that’s what he could grab on to.”

Professor Sarah Johnson on Whether There is Life on Mars

Though NASA’s Curiosity rover has recently detected a potential biological source, some researchers believe it is too early to claim whether there is life on Mars. Professor Sarah Johnson stated that answers to this question may be presented in a statistical form, rather than as a definitive yes or no. “We’re trying to move away from this binary ‘This Is Life / This Is Not Life’ … but really change the approach into something like ‘this is 3-sigma away from what we would expect from abiotic processes,’” Johnson said.

Professor Sarah Saunders on Trump’s Shifting Signals to Iran

Following his decision not to launch a military airstrike against Iran, President Trump has presented shifting accounts that demonstrate uncertainty within his own administration. In an article by the Los Angeles Times, Saunders said, “The thing in his tweets that’s really alarming is when he says ‘10 minutes before’ the strike he asked how many people would die. An experienced leader would be asking that hours before that.”

In the World

Rebecca Hinkhouse (SFS’19) Organizes Advocacy for Inclusion of Women in International Peace Processes on Capitol Hill

As a HoyasForShe Fellow working with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), Rebecca Hinkhouse (SFS’19) organized a series of meetingsfor Georgetown students on Capitol Hill, where they advocated for the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Act. This act promotes the inclusion of women at every stage of international conflict management. “Leading this legislative advocacy campaign from the early planning stages through to our Hill meetings was a super gratifying experience. It taught me that student voices have value in national political conversations and that you have to be willing to exercise your voice if you want to make a difference,” said Hinkhouse.

Interdisciplinary research team studies the environmental impact of long-term refugee camps in Zambia

Interdisciplinary research team studies the environmental impact of long-term refugee camps in Zambia

Professor Lahra Smith and Professor Douglas Howard, along with students Tessa Coggio (MAGES’19), Rebecca Ohman (SFS’19), and Signe Stroming (SFS’19), ISIM Research Associate Nili Yossinger and Marley Chertok of US Geological Survey, spent the start of winter break at the Meheba refugee camp in Zambia. The goal of the research is to develop solutions to the resource management issues presented by long-term refugee settlements. “This is very challenging and difficult work, and it’s all the more important in the world we live in, where many countries don’t want more refugees to come,” Smith said.


Georgetown Announces 2019 Commencement Speakers

SFS is honored to announce that former Secretary of State and beloved Georgetown professor Madeleine Albright is this year’s SFS commencement speaker. First joining the SFS faculty in 1982, Albright has played a pivotal role on the global stage and in the history of the SFS.


GIWPS Cited in Statement By Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) mentioned the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security in his opening statements chairing a hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Rubio is the chair of the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and the hearing was titled “Women in Conflict: Advancing Women’s Role in Peace and Security.” In his opening statement, Rubio cited research by Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security which found that women are instrumental in building lasting positive peace agreements.

Professor Mendenhall Researches Language, Culture, and Mental Health in Kenya

The words and idioms used to describe distress and mental health problems vary across cultures and languages. Research conducted by Professor Emily Mendenhall focuses on words and idioms used to describe feelings of depression in Kenya. Some use the phrase “thinking too much” (kufikiria sana in Swahili) to describe depression-like symptoms, but the significance that phrase carries is not the same everywhere in Kenya. Tracking and studying language surrounding mental health can be vital in determining who may need clinical support.

Professor Abraham Newman Discusses Bottlenecks in the Technology Industry

In article in The Economist, Professor Abraham Newman discusses how the US-China tech cold war has made companies more aware of the bottlenecks that exist in the technology industry. “All these bottlenecks, and America’s direct or indirect sway over many of them, makes it tempting for hardliners in Washington to ‘weaponise interdependence,'” writes Newman with his co-author Henry Farrell of George Washington University.