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CIS Starr Forum

The CIS Starr Forum is a public event series sponsored by the Starr Foundation of New York. We bring to the MIT campus leading academics, policymakers and journalists to discuss pressing issues in the world of international relations and U.S. foreign policy. CIS Starr Forums are open to the general public as well as to the MIT community.

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CIS Starr Forum Event Archive
Speakers' titles are as of the date of the given event.




2014 EVENTS  
  • November 05, 2014

  • Starr Forum: The Collapse:
    The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall

    Book talk with the author Mary Sarotte on her recent book "The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall" and discussion on 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Introduction and some commentary by Noam Chomsky

    Mary Sarotte is Dean's Professor of History at the University of Southern California and a visiting professor in both the government and history departments at Harvard. She recently published a study of the end of the Cold War entitled "The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall." Her last book, "1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe" (2009) was a "Financial Times" Book of the Year and received a number of other awards. Sarotte earned her AB at Harvard and her PhD in history at Yale. She was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and is a member of the Council.

    Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. Sometimes described as the "father of modern linguistics", Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy. He has spent most of his career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently Professor Emeritus, and has authored over 100 books. He has been described as a prominent cultural figure, and was voted the "world's top public intellectual" in a 2005 poll.

    See event flyer

  • October 31, 2014

  • Starr Forum: Palestine Now
    A conversation with Husam Zomlot

    Dr Husam Zomlot is a specialist on Middle East affairs. He is Palestinian and has served as a visiting fellow at Harvard's center for Middle Eastern Studies. He served as a PLO representative to the UK (2003-2008). Mr Zomlot previous work experience includes the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute and the United Nation's Office of the Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories.

    Watch the video

  • October 09, 2014

  • Starr Forum: Whither US Grand Strategy?

    Barry Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and the director of MIT's Security Studies Program. His most recent book is "Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy" (Cornell University Press, 2014)

    Frank Gavin is the first Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy studies and Professor of Political Science at MIT. He is the author of many books including "Nuclear Statecraft: History and Strategy in America's Atomic Age" (Cornell University Press, 2012).

    Stephen Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs. Among the books he has written is "Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy" (W. W. Norton & Company, 2005)

    Watch the video
    See event flyer

  • September 24, 2014

  • Starr Forum: Africa Rebooted:
    Science, Technology, and Innovations in Development

    Introductory remarks:
    MIT Vice President Claude Canizares, Bruno Rossi Professor of Physics, Associate Director for MIT of the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
    Professor Hazel Sive, Professor of Biology, MIT Founding Director MIT-South Africa Program Member, Whitehead Institute Associate Dean for the MIT School of Science
    Calestous Juma, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
    Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, United National Conference on Trade and Development, Geneva
    Professor Aderemi Kuku, President, African Academy of Sciences, Nairobi
    Dr. Beatrice Khamati-Njenga, Division Head, Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union, Addis Ababa
    Contributing Remarks
    Dr. Aggrey Ambali, Director of Science and Technology, NEPAD Agency, African Union, Pretoria, South Africa
    Dr. Hambali Masheleni, Senior Policy Officer, Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union, Addis Ababa

    Cosponsored by the Center for International Studies and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning; in cooperation with the MIT-Africa Program. The event is convened by MIT in partnership with the African Union's NEPAD Agency

    Watch the video
    See event flyer

  • September 16, 2014

  • Starr Forum: "Documented"
    A film by an (illegal immigrant) undocumented American.

    Film screening and conversation with the filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas Speaker:
    Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and the founder of Define American, a media and culture campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration and citizenship in a changing America. Documented is the first project of his production company, Apo Anak Productions, named in honor of his grandparents and mother (in Tagalog, his native language, "apo" means grandchild and "anak" means "child").

    See the event flyer here
    More about the film

  • May 01, 2014

  • Starr Forum- Indian Ocean: The vortex of destiny

    Ranil Wickremesinghe, the former prime minister of Sri Lanka, is currently a Robert E. Wilhelm fellow at the Center for International Studies at MIT. The Sri Lankan politician and current leader of the Opposition in the Sri Lankan parliament was prime minister of Sri Lanka twice, from May 7, 1993 to August 19, 1994 and from December 9, 2001 to April 6, 2004. A member of the United National Party he was appointed party leader in November 1994. During his one month stay at MIT, Wickremesinghe will study how to formulate a constitution sans an executive presidency. He will also work with faculty and students interested in Asian regional issues.

    Kenneth Oye, holds a joint appointment in Political Science and Engineering Systems and directs the MIT Program on Emerging Technologies (PoET). He is currently a faculty PI in the NSF Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center and PI on an NSF grant on "Creating a Research Agenda on Ecological Implications of Synthetic Biology."

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • April 18, 2014

  • "Time to React"
    A book talk with author Heidi Hardt, University of Texas-Arlington

    Moderated by Ken Oye, MIT

    About the Book
    The speed with which international organizations respond to crises affects prospects for sustainable peace, but scholars have yet to understand why some organizations take longer than others to do so. Building on interview evidence from 50 ambassadors across four leading organizations, this manuscript identifies a key explanation for variation: differences in informal institutional cultures. In particular, unspoken rules and social networks among decision-makers at organization's peace and security committees dictate the pace of proceedings. This book examines the dominant role of informal relations and rules in crisis decision-making and delimits the impact of an organization's affluence.

    More about the book

  • April 17, 2014

  • Starr Forum: Junk Food and the Modern Mind
    Experts discuss the research and the global implications of the modern American diet.

    Capt Joseph Hibbeln, MD, is Lead Clinical Investigator, Unit on Nutrition in Psychiatry, NIAAA, Washington DC; & a Commander in the United States Public Health Service. A psychiatrist & lipid biochemist by training, Dr Hibbeln is now one of the world's leading experts on the importance of dietary fats for human brain development & function. Dr Hibbeln received a BA with special honors from the University of Chicago and an MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Rachel V Gow is currently working as a Guest Researcher in the Section of Nutritional Neurosciences at the National Institutes of Health. Her main research interests are in the role of brain selective nutrients such as omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids & neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD & conduct disorder related behaviors. Dr Gow completed a PhD in the department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.

    Lynn C Todman is currently a visiting scholar in the Center for International Studies at MIT. Dr Todman's areas of interest include urban poverty, social exclusion, community development, & the social determinants of health & mental health. Dr Todman earned a BA from Wellesley College and a Master's in City Planning & a PhD in Urban & Regional Planning at MIT

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • April 03, 2014

  • Starr Forum: Brazil, 50 Years After the Coup
    Film screening of the documentary "The Day That Lasted 21 Years"
    Original title "O dia que durou 21 anos" (Brazil, 2013, 77 min.)

    Discussion with:
    Camilo Tavares, Pequi Filmes, director of the documentary.
    Ben Schneider, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT-Brazil Program.

    Co-sponsored by MIT Center for International Studies and MIT-Brazil

  • March 14, 2014

  • Starr Forum: Ukraine: What's Next?

    John Herbst, Director of the Center for Complex Operations at National Defense University and the former ambassador to Ukraine
    Eugene Fishel, Division Chief in the Office of Russian and Eurasian Analysis of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State
    Oxana Shevel, Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts University
    Carol Saivetz, Research Affiliate at MIT Security Studies Program

    Chairing the discussion
    Barry Posen, Director of the MIT Security Studies Program and Ford International Professor of Political Science

    Co-sponsored by MIT Center for International Studies, Security Studies Program and MIT Russia

    Watch the video

  • March 13, 2014

  • Starr Forum: The Rise of China
    Implications for the Japanese Military and the US-Japan Alliance, a panel discussion

    Taylor Fravel, associate professor of political science and member of the Security Studies Program at MIT, studies China's foreign and security policies.
    Tatsuhiro Tanaka, Major General (Retired, Japan Self Defense Force), senior fellow, Harvard Asia Center, and research principal, Fujitsu System Integration Laboratory.
    Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University, has written on Japan, China, and Asia.
    Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, previously served as an unofficial U.S. representative to Taiwan as director of the American Institute in Taiwan.
    Yukio Okamoto, a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies, is a former special advisor to the prime minister of Japan and a career diplomat in Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT Center for International Studies, is an expert on Japanese studies.

    See the event flyer here

  • March 06, 2014

  • Starr Forum: "The Network"
    Filming screening and discussion with Eva Orner and Fotini Christa.

    About the film
    A documentary set behind the scenes at the largest television network in one of the most unstable and dangerous places on earth, Afghanistan. "Eva Orner's documentary, The Network, tours Afghanistan's first independent TV operation and shows a burgeoning media organization still gaining its look and its polish. ... the movie provides an angle on a country remaking itself after Taliban rule." -New York Times

    Eva Orner, Academy and Emmy Award winning film producer and director based in Los Angeles
    Fotini Christa, Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT

    See the event flyer here
    More about the film

  • February 07, 2014

  • Can Democracy Survive in the Middle East?

    Colonel Miri Eisin (retired) earned a B.A. from Tel Aviv University, an M.A. in security studies from Haifa University, and is a graduate of the Israeli National Defense College. Colonel Eisin served as deputy head of the combat intelligence corps, assistant to the director of Military Intelligence, and as an intelligence officer in combat and research units. She served as the Israeli government spokesperson during the Second Lebanon War (2006), and as international press secretary to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during the Annapolis process. She is working on her doctorate at Haifa University, writing about political narratives in post-modern conflicts.

    Cosponsored by
    MISTI MIT-Israel Program and MIT CIS

2013 EVENTS  
  • December 12, 2013

  • Starr Forum: The "Snowden Affair": Intelligence and Privacy in a Wired World
    A panel discussion on Data Collection and the NSA

    Admiral William Fallon, former head of CENTCOM
    Susan Chira, Assistant Managing Editor, New York Times
    Chas Freeman, retired career diplomat, ambassador, and assistant secretary of defense
    Joel Brenner, former Senior Counsel at National Security Agency

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

    Related articles:
    Snowden and Snooping
    by Amb Chas W Freeman, Jr
    NSA: "Not (So) Secret Anymore
    by Joel Brenner

  • November 22, 2013

  • "Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy under Jefferson, Polk, Truman, and Reagan"
    Book talk with Henry R. Nau
    Joining the discussion will be Steve Van Evera

    About the Speakers
    Henry R. Nau is professor of political science and international affairs in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
    Stephen Van Evera is Ford International Professor and associate director of Security Studies Program at MIT
    About the Book: Debates about U.S. foreign policy have revolved around three main traditions--liberal internationalism, realism, and nationalism. Nau demonstrates that conservative internationalism offers an alternative way. It pursues freedom but not everywhere, prioritizing situations that border on existing free countries--Turkey, for example, rather than Iraq. It uses lesser force early to influence negotiations rather than greater force later after negotiations fail. And it reaches timely compromises to cash in military leverage and sustain public support.

    "In the wake of Syria-related brinkmanship, it is easy to see, at the moment, how enduringly important it is to manage force in human affairs. . . . [Nau] identifies six traditions in American diplomatic history and connects each to at least one important president whose policies capture the tradition's outlook . . . the general reader can learn a good deal . . ."--Wall Street Journal

    More on the book

  • October 24, 2013

  • Starr Forum: "Japan's Continuing Nuclear Nightmare"
    Experts discuss Fukushima and its aftereffects

    Ken Buesseler Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    Patrick Stackpole, US Army (RET). His final assignment was as the Chief of Staff of U.S. Forces Japan during Operation Tomodachi.
    Richard Samuels Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the MIT Center for International Studies
    Ken Oye Associate Professor of Political Science and Engineering Systems

    This event was co-sponsored by CIS, the MIT Japan Program and the New England Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • October 09, 2013

  • Starr Forum- The Passion of Chelsea Manning: The Story behind the Wikileaks
    Book talk with Chase Madar and Noam Chomsky

    The astonishing leaks attributed to Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning are viewed from many angles, from Tunisia to Guantanamo Bay, from Foggy Bottom to Baghdad to small-town Oklahoma. Around the world, the eloquent alleged act of one young soldier forces citizens to ask themselves if they have the right to know what their government is doing.

    About the Speakers:
    Chase Madar is a civil rights attorney in New York and the author of The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story behind the Wikileaks Whistleblower (Verso). He tweets @ChMadar.
    Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political critic, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years.

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • October 04, 2013

  • SYRIA: The Mainstream Media and Its Role in the War
    A photo exhibit and discussion with Jonathan Alpeyrie

    Jonathan Alpeyrie's career, which stretches over a decade, has brought him to more than 25 countries and 9 conflict zones, mostly in East Africa, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and central Asia. In the spring, while in Syria, he was taken hostage for 81 days by Syrian rebels. Born in Paris in 1979, Mr. Alpeyrie moved to the United States in 1993. He graduated from the French high school of New York City in 1998, before going to the University of Chicago to study medieval history. Today he is a staff photographer for Polaris Images. His work has been published in Paris Match, Aftenposten, Time magazine, Newsweek, Boston Globe, Glamour, BBC, World magazine, Popular Photography, the New York Times, and ELLE.

    See the event flyer here
    More about Jonathan Alpeyrie

  • September 19, 2013

  • Starr Forum- Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century
    Book talk with Christian Caryl

    In Strange Rebels, veteran journalist Christian Caryl shows how the world we live in today -and the problems that plague it- began to take shape in this pivotal year. 1979, he explains, saw a series of counterrevolutions against the progressive consensus that had dominated the postwar era. The year's epic upheavals embodied a startling conservative challenge to communist and socialist systems around the globe, fundamentally transforming politics and economics worldwide. Strange Rebels is a groundbreaking account of how far-flung events and disparate actors and movements gave birth to our modern age.

    The Economist: "A timely new book... Caryl tells this story with great skill. He moves effortlessly from one scene to another in this tumultuous year.... Anyone who wants to understand how this new world came into being needs to read Mr. Caryl's excellent book."

    Christian Caryl is an American journalist who is widely published in international politics and foreign affairs. He has reported from some 50 countries and has held top posts in Moscow, Berlin, Tokyo and Washington. He is a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute in London, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine and a senior research affiliate at the Center for International Studies at MIT. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books.
    Free and open to the public | Books will be sold at this event

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • September 11, 2013

  • Starr Forum- Syria: A Just War?
    Foreign policy experts weigh in

    Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and director of MIT's Security Studies Program, is expert in U.S. national security policy, the organization and employment of military force, and great power intervention into civil conflicts.
    Jeanne Guillemin, senior advisor at the MIT Security Studies Program, is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on WMD and works on issues regarding infectious diseases and biological weapons.
    Augustus Richard Norton, professor of international relations and anthropology at Boston University, specializes in inter-sectarian relations in the Middle East, reformist Muslim thought, and strategies of political reform and opposition in authoritarian states.
    Moderator: John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist at CIS, is author or coauthor of multiple books on international affairs, many of them exploring and advocating the human security paradigm in global affairs.

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • May 10, 2013

  • River of Dust
    Book talk with Virginia Pye

    About the author:
    Virginia Pye's debut novel, "River of Dust," is an Indie Next Pick for May 2013. Her award-winning short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines. Ms. Pye holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence where she studied with Joan Silber and Allan Gurganus. At Wesleyan, Annie Dillard was her first mentor. She taught writing at New York University, The University of Pennsylvania, and was chair of James River Writers, a literary non-profit in Richmond, Virginia. She has been awarded fellowships to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Acadia Summer Arts Program, and has attended the Tin House's Writer's Conference. Her father, Lucian W. Pye, was Ford Professor of Political Science Emeritus at MIT and one of America's leading scholars on China. This event is free and open to the public.

    On the windswept plains of northwestern China in 1910, Mongolian nomads swoop down upon an American missionary couple and kidnap their young child. In this story of retribution, these foreigners search for their lost son in a dangerous land that comes to haunt them and change not just what they believe but who they are.

    Co-sponsored by CIS and MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

    See the event flyer here

  • May 1, 2013

  • Starr Forum- Marathon Bombing:
    The Global Context

    Stephen Van Evera, Ford International Professor of Political Science at the MIT Dept of Political Science & MIT Security Studies Program, works on US foreign policy, & international relations of the Middle East.
    Elizabeth Wood, professor of history at MIT, is an expert in the eld of Soviet history. Her current work centers on the performance of power under Vladimir Putin.
    Carol Saivetz, research aliate at the MIT Security Studies Program, has written widely on Soviet & now Russian policy in the Middle East & the other Soviet successor states.
    Bakyt Beshimov, a visiting scholar at the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS), is a leader of parliamentary fraction & deputy chairman of Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan.
    Peter Krause, assistant professor at Boston College and a research associate at CIS, studies international security, Middle East politics, non-state violence, & social movements.
    Jeanne Guillemin, senior advisor at the MIT Security Studies Program, is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on WMD & works on issues regarding infectious diseases & biological weapons.
    Silvia Dominguez, associate professor of sociology at Northeastern University, is an expert on immigrant integration,race & ethnic relations, social networks, & violence & mental heath.

    Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Center for International Studies at MIT

    See the event flyer here
    Watch part 1 of the video
    Watch part 2 of the video

  • April 12, 2013

  • Starr Forum: On the Rocks:
    China and Japan in the East China Sea

    Mike Mochizuki, George Washington University
    Charles Glaser, George Washington University
    Taylor Fravel, Political Science and Security Studies Program, MIT
    Yukio Okamoto, Wilhelm Fellow, MIT Center for International Studies
    Liu Weimin, Minister Counselor, Chinese Embassy in Washington

    Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Center for International Studies at MIT

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • March 14, 2013

  • Starr Forum- Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World
    Book Talk with Shereen El Feki

    About the author:
    SHEREEN EL FEKI is a writer, broadcaster, and academic who started her professional life in medical science before going on to become an award-winning journalist for The Economist and a presenter at Al Jazeera English. She is former vice-chair of the UN's Global Commission on HIV and Law, and a TED Global Fellow. She divides her time between London and Cairo.
    Her newly released book, Sex and the Citadel, is a fascinating, groundbreaking look at changing sexual attitudes and behaviour in the Arab world, and their part in 2011's popular revolts.

    Hilary Rantisi will serve as interlocutor. Rantisi is Director of the Middle East Initiative at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • March 13, 2013

  • Starr Forum- The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine
    Book Talk with Miko Peled

    About the author:
    Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist. His father Mattityahu Peled was was a well-known Israeli public figure who was at various periods of his life a professional military man who reached the rank of Aluf (Major General) in the IDF and was a member of the General Staff during the Six-Day War of 1967; a notable scholar who headed the Arabic Language and Literature Department of Tel Aviv University; a radical peace activist and a leading proponent of Israeli dialogue with the PLO and of complete withdrawal from the Occupied Territories in whose conquest he personally had a major role; and a member of the Knesset who often expressed controversial views considered "extreme left" in Israeli terms, yet was treated with considerable respect by staunch political people.

    See calendar posting
    Watch the video

  • March 11, 2013

  • Starr Forum: Iran and the Nuclear Issue

    About the Speakers:
    Barbara Slavin is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and Washington correspondent for, a new website devoted to news from and about the Middle East. The author of a 2007 book, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation, she is a regular commentator on U.S. foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS and C-SPAN. A career journalist, Slavin previously served as assistant managing editor for world and national security of The Washington Times, senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY, Cairo correspondent for The Economist and as an editor at The New York Times Week in Review.

    Jim Walsh is an expert in international security and a Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program (SSP). Dr. Walsh's research and writings focus on international security, and in particular, topics involving nuclear weapons and terrorism. Dr. Walsh has testified before the United States Senate on the issue of nuclear terrorism and on Iran's nuclear program. He is one of a handful of Americans who has traveled to both Iran and North Korea for talks with officials about nuclear issues. The British newspaper, The Independent, named Dr. Walsh and his co-authors as having offered one of the 10 best and original ideas of 2008.

    See calendar posting
    Watch the video

  • February 19, 2013

  • The Institutionalization of the U.S.-Japan Alliance in the 21st Century: A Theoretical Explanation on Japan's Alliance Policy

    Dr. Yoshida will examine the institutionalization of the Japan-US alliance in the 2000s and explain Japan's alliance policies in the context of Japan's relative decline and increasing tension between China and Japan.
    About the Speaker:
    Dr. Shingo Yoshida, Research Fellow - Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the Tokyo University Institute for Advanced Study on Asia.
    Chairing the discussion:
    Richard Samuels, the Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT Center for International Studies.

    See calendar posting

  • February 14, 2013

  • Starr Forum: The Fate of the Reset

    A roundtable discussion of the future of US-Russian Relation

    During President Obama's first term, Russia and the US concluded a new START treaty and cooperated to support NATO actions in Afghanistan, even as they disagreed over events in the Middle East and US plans for missile defense in Europe. Although newly (re)elected Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited President Obama to Moscow, he consistently blames the United States for domestic unrest and for attempting to undermine Russian allies abroad. Given the dramatic events around the world -from the upheavals in the Middle East, to North Korean threats to launch new missiles, to the Iranian nuclear question- it is time to explore the fate of the "reset."
    The panelists will address the future of US-Russian relation, the obstacles to cooperation in the Middle East, both countries' "pivots" toward Asia, and the general state of US strategic thinking.

    Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director. Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
    Matthew Ouimet, Senior Analyst, Office of Analysis for Russia and Eurasia, Department of State.
    Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director Security Studies Program, MIT
    Carol Saivetz, Research Affiliate, Security Studies Program and Lecturer in Political Science

    This is a Starr Forum event and is part of the Skoltech & MIT-Russia Distinguished Lecture Series

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • January 16, 2013

  • IAP "The Human Cost of India's Race for Development"

    A discussion with Priyanka Borpujari featuring images from her photography exhibit

    While India is perceived as an emerging market, the stories of the plundering of natural resources and the systematic annihilation of the indigenous peoples go unheard. In this race to make India a superpower, and a growing media industry that champions this idea, social inequality has reached its zenith, and easily gets pushed aside. What, then, is the future of the people who grow food with their hands; who have long been guarding forests and rivers - even before climate change could touch them? Why does the media shy away from reporting about the majority of its populace, even while they silently die from landmines and malaria alike? Reporting on the 'hidden civil war in India', Priyanka Borpujari, an independent journalist based in Mumbai, reports and photographs from the dark territories of mineral-rich India, which are rife with violence and disease, which are only silenced.
    The event was funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT

    See the event flyer here

2012 EVENTS  
  • December 05, 2012

  • Starr Forum: An American in China
    A conversation with James Fallows on what the rise of China means for the rest of the world.

    About the Speaker
    James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. His work has also appeared in Slate, The New York Times Magazine, the New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. He has reported extensively from outside the United States, and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book, China Airborne, was published in early May. Books will be sold at the event.

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • November 13, 2012

  • Starr Forum- Attack of the Drones:
    A discussion about ethical, legal and strategic implications of UAV use

    About the Speakers
    Rabia Mehmood is a Lahore based correspondent and producer for the Pakistani television network Express and for the International Herald Tribune. She has covered the survivors and victims of terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and hostage sieges carried out by militants in Lahore. She was a 2010-2011 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies.

    J. Bryan Hehir is Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and former acting Dean of the Harvard Divinity School. His research and writing focus on ethics and foreign policy and the role of religion in world politics and in American society. His writings include: "The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Continuity and Change; Military Intervention and National Sovereignty.

    Barry R. Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT, Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, and serves on the Executive Committee of Seminar XXI.

    Kenneth A. Oye is Director of the MIT Program on Emerging Technologies and holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in Political Science and Engineering Systems. His writings include Cooperation under Anarchy, Economic Discrimination and Political Exchange, and books on Carter, Reagan and Bush foreign policy.

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • November 08, 2012

  • Starr Forum: Looking Beyond the Veil

    A photo exhibit and discussion by Kiana Hayeri

    About the Speaker
    Kiana Hayeri is an artist in residence at CIS. She grew up in Tehran, where the country's morality police restricted her public behavior. She left in 2005 when she was 17 and moved to Toronto, where she studied photography at Ryerson University.

    Ms. Hayeri returned to Iran in 2010 to explore the dual lives of many young women who are expected to behave and dress modestly in public by covering their hair, arms and legs. But behind closed doors, these women act very much like Ms. Hayeri's Canadian friends - dating, singing, studying ballet and even swimming.

    See the event flyer here

  • October 22, 2012

  • Starr Forum- Why Nations Fail:The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

    A book talk featuring Daron Acemoglu and joining the conversation is John Tirman as a discussant

    About the Speakers
    Kamer Daron Acemoglu is a Turkish-American economist of Armenian origin. He is currently the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and winner of the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal.

    John Tirman is the Executive Director and a Principal Research Scientist at MIT's Center for International Studies. He is author of, most recently, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America's Wars (Oxford University Press, 2011).

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • September 27, 2012

  • Starr Forum: How to Start a Revolution
    A film screening and discussion with the director
    SPEAKER: Ruaridh Arrow, the film's director and currently a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School.

    HOW TO START A REVOLUTION reveals how Gene Sharp’s ideas work in action. The film uses extended interviews with Gene, his assistant, his followers and leaders of revolutionary movements worldwide, as well as user-generated content from around the globe, to reveal the power of nonviolent revolution on the streets. The film, from first-time director Ruaridh Arrow, profiles Gene and his followers on three continents and was filmed in 18 months.

    Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp is one of the globe’s greatest thinkers on nonviolent revolutions. His work over the last 50 years has been groundbreaking. His seminal book, From Dictatorship to Democracy, has been the standard manual for leaders of ‘colour’ revolutions around the globe. He has been called the ‘Machiavelli of nonviolent struggle’, and called much worse by the regimes who have fallen as a result of his work.

    See the event flyer here
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  • September 11, 2012

  • Starr Forum: Showdown in the Sonoran Desert: (Religion, Law, and the Immigration Controversy)
    Book Talk with Ananda Rose
    About The Speaker:
    Ananda Rose holds a doctorate from Harvard University. She is a published poet, journalist, and theologian. Her book, Showdown in the Sonoran Desert, Oxford University Press, was published in June 2012.

    Rose traveled to the Sonoran desert, a border region where the remains of some 2,000 migrants have been recovered over the past decade. There she interviewed Minutemen, Border Patrol agents, Catholic nuns, humanitarian aid workers, left-wing protestors, ranchers, and many other ordinary citizens of southern Arizona.

    She discovers two starkly opposed ideological perspectives: that of religious activists who embrace a biblically inspired hospitality that stresses love of strangers and a "borderless" compassion; and that of law enforcement, which insists on safety, security, and strict respect for international borders.

    See the event flyer here
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  • May 07, 2012

  • Starr Forum: Inequality and Instability:
    (Book Talk with James Galbraith)

    About The Speakers:
    James Galbraith is professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Aairs, the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr Chair in Government/Business Relations. He is a leading economist whose books include The Predator State, Inequality and Industrial Change, and Created Unequal.

    David Singer is associate professor of political science at MIT. He studies international political economy, with a focus on international nancial regulation, the inuence of global capital ows on govt policymaking, international institutions and governance, and the political economy of central banking. He is author of Regulating Capital: Setting Standards for the International Financial System.

    Rachel Wellhausen is a PhD candidate in international political economy and comparative politics at the MIT Department of Political Science. Her dissertation seeks to explain why, in an era of economic globalization, emerging economy governments can sometimes break their commitments to protect foreign investors' property rights.

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  • April 13, 2012

  • Arab Spring and its Impact on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    Featuring: Leila Farsakh, associate professor of political science at University of Massachusetts Boston and affiliate of CIS. Her area of expertise is Middle East Politics, Comparative Politics, and the Politics of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

    Anat Biletski, a professor of philosophy at Tel Aviv University and Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT, and an affiliate of CIS.She was acting chairperson (2001-2006) of B'tselem, an Israeli human rights NGO and has served as a B'tselem Board member since 1995.

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  • April 11, 2012

  • Revisiting Port Huron

    Tom Hayden is a political activist, politician, and author. His most recent book is The Long Sixties: From 1960 to Barack Obama

    Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics at MIT (emeritus).

    The Port Huron Statement is the manifesto of the American student activist movement Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), written primarily by Tom Hayden, then the Field Secretary of SDS, and completed on June 15, 1962, at an SDS convention at what is now a state park in Lakeport, Michigan, a community north of Port Huron. The statement determined that race and alienation were the two major flashpoints to exploit for their vision of a better America. The speakers will discuss the relevance 50 years later.

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  • March 14, 2012

  • CIS Starr Forum- Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran

    Book talk with Trita Parsi, author of Single Roll of the Dice. He is the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign policy, and the geopolitics of the Middle East.

    Discussant: Abbas Maleki, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister (1988-1997) ,associate professor of political science at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, director of the International Institute for Caspian Studies, and a senior associate of the Belfer Center's International Security Program at Harvard University. Maleki is in residence at CIS as Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow.

    Moderator: Stephen Kinzer, is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents. His articles and books have led the Washington Post to place him "among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling." Kinzer's most recent book is Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future.

    See the event flyer here
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  • March 06, 2012

  • Starr Forum- Libya: Armed Conflict and its Aftermath
    A photo exhibit and discussion featuring the works of war photographer Michael Brown.

    Michael Brown documented the face of battle in Libya using a camera phone, challenging the standard script for war reportage. Brown forms a series that moves beyond documentary realism and across the distinction between art and journalism, exploring ethical distance and the iconography of warfare. This work will be part of a group exhibition War/Photography: Image of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath, opening in 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Annenberg Space for Photography (California), the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. and various international venues. PBS, NPR, Time, Newsweek, Geo, Foam, The New York Times and The Atlantic have featured his work. He is a contributing photographer at National Geographic Magazine.

    See the event flyer here
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  • January 13, 2012

  • Bringing King to China (and MIT) a film screening
    A film screening and Q&A with Producer/ Director, Kevin McKiernan and Caitrin McKiernan

    About the Film:
    Bringing King to China is a father's "love letter" to his adult daughter, a young American woman struggling to bring Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of nonviolence to China, and then back to the United States. Her life is thrown into turmoil when she learns, mistakenly, that her father, a journalist covering the war in Iraq, has been killed by a suicide bomber. The filmmaker is Kevin McKiernan (Good Kurds, Bad Kurds; The Spirit of Crazy Horse). The cinematographers include Oscar-winner Haskell Wexler (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf; Bound for Glory).

    About the Speakers:
    Kevin McKiernan's career as a journalist and filmmaker has taken him to some of the world's most troubled regions, from Nicaragua to Iraq to West Africa; his work, nominated for the Pulitzer prize, has been published by Time, Newsweek and The New York Times, and appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.

    Caitrin McKiernan first went to China at age 16 for a study-abroad program. She taught in Beijing after attending Stanford . Caitrin graduated from University of California Berkeley Law in 2011.

    More about the film

2011 EVENTS  
  • December 14, 2011

  • Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
    With Daniel Yergin, Chairman IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates

    Daniel Yergin is a highly respected authority on energy, international politics, and economics. Dr. Yergin is a Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of the United States Energy Award for "lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding." He is both a world-recognized author and a business leader, as Chairman and Founder of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). His new book, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, has been hailed by The Economist as "a masterly piece of work and "a comprehensive guide to the world's great energy needs and dilemmas" and, by the New York Times, as ""searching, impartial and alarmingly up to date." The Financial Times called The Quest "a triumph".

    See the event flyer here
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  • November 17, 2011

  • American Anthrax: Fear, Crime, and the Investigation of the Nation's Deadliest Bioterror Attack
    Book Talk with Jeanne Guillemin

    Here's a quote about the book:
    "[An] intriguing and insightful real-life medical mystery. . . Extensively documented and sprightly written, Guillemin's medical detective story is a valuable addition to understanding the apocalyptic world of biological weapons."
    -Publishers Weekly
    "A compelling and marvelously researched history. Guillemin delivers an expert account of the shock, fear, challenges and twists resulting from the 2001 anthrax attacks on America and its psyche."
    -The Honorable Tom Ridge, first secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    See the event flyer here

  • November 07, 2011

  • Starr Forum: The Republican Party and American Foreign Policy

    Michael Singh, managing director of The Washington Institute and a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council.
    Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University

    Steve Van Evera, Ford International Professor in the MIT Department of Political Science

    See the event flyer here
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  • October 20, 2011

  • Starr Forum: Border Security in the 21st Century

    Alan Bersin and Chappell Lawson will speak on border security in the 21st century. Q&A will follow the discussion.

    Alan Bersin, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with the Obama Administration.
    Chappell Lawson, Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT and Director of MISTI (Professor Lawson served as Executive Director and Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at U.S. Customs and Border Protection from Sept 2009 - Feb 2011)

    See the event flyer here
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  • October 03, 2011

  • "Hidden Battles"
    "Hidden Battles" Film screening and Q&A with Director

    "Hidden Battles," a documentary about the psychological impact that killing has on soldiers cross-culturally and globally, offers a humanistic perspective on how soldiers make a life for themselves after war. Following the film there will be a Q & A with the film's director, Victoria Mills.

    Victoria Mills is a full-time practicing psychoanalyst with more than twenty-five years of experience. The award-winning documentary, MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS: MIRRORS THAT BIND was her first film.

    For more information and to see a trailer, visit

  • September 12, 2011

  • Palestinian Statehood and the UN
    A talk and Q&A with Dr. Husam Zomlot

    Dr. Husam Zomlot, a senior adviser to Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath, served as PLO representative to the UK from 2003 to 2008, among other high-level posts. He was a fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center and is author of "State Formation in Palestine."

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  • September 09, 2011

  • Starr Forum: Top Secret America–The Rise of the New American Security State
    Book Talk with Dana Priest, Washington Post

    The top-secret world that the government created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks has become so enormous, so unwieldy, and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs or exactly how many agencies duplicate work being done elsewhere. In TOP SECRET AMERICA, award-winning reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin uncover the enormous size, shape, mission, and consequences of this "invisible universe."

    About the speaker/co-author:
    Investigative reporter Dana Priest has been The Washington Post's intelligence, Pentagon and health-care reporter. She has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for public service for "The Other Walter Reed" and the 2006 Pulitzer for beat reporting for her work on CIA secret prisons and counter-terrorism operations overseas. She is author of the 2003 book, "The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military", (W.W. Norton).

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  • June 17, 2011

  • The Green Movement and Nonviolent Struggle for Democratic Iran
    Guest Speaker:
    Dr. Adeshir Amirarjomand
    Mousavi Representative, Green Movement

    Dr. John Tirman, Executive Director and Principal Research Scientist, MIT Center for International Studies

    Special Guest:
    Dr. Farzin Vahdat, Founding Member Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy

    About the speaker:
    Dr. Ardeshir Amirarjomand was born in 1957 in Tehran. He studied law in Melli University of Iran and in 1978 he received his doctoral degree (Doctorat d'Etat) in international law and diploma in comparative law from the Strasbourg University in France. From 1990, Dr. Amirarjomand was a law professor at Shahid Beheshti University and lectured in PublicLaw,International Law and Human Rights. Dr. Amirarjomand hasinitiated new department and courses of law in Shahid Beheshti University including Human Rights, environmental law and Bioethics law. Dr. Amirarjomand has been a member of Several Scientific and legal Institutes and has focused on promoting citizen rights and humanrights in Iran. Dr. Amirarjomand has been UNESCO chair holder for Human Rights, Democracy and Peace for ten years and also the Founder and director of the Center for Human Rights, Peace and Democracy in Iran. From to 2005 to 2009 Dr. Amirarjomand partnered with of the United Nations Development Programme to promote human rights in Iran. During the reformist government between 1997 to 2004 Dr. Amirarjomand drafted

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  • April 29, 2011

  • Egypt's Revolution
    A conversation with the founders of the April 6 Youth Movement, Ahmed Maher and Waleed Rashed


    Ahmed Maher, co-founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, is a civil engineer and a prominent participant in the anti-Mubarak demonstrations in Egypt in 2011. Maher is now one of Egypt's best known youth activists, leading politically mobilized young Egyptians to develop their political consciousness through the skillful deployment of new technologies and social networking platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter.

    Waleed Rashed, co-founder of the April 6 Youth Movement, has a degree in commerce and is continuing his studies in political science. He is the spokesperson for the April 6 Movement and the organizer of the April 6, 2008, Youth Movement protest in Alexandria where he and 14 members of the movement were arrested. He has traveled to Algeria, UAE, Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar and Lebanon as a member of the Kafaya movement, aka the Egyptian Movement for Change.

    Moderating the event is Jason Pontin.Pontin is editor in chief of the award-winning magazine, Technology Review and, published by MIT.

    See the event flyer here
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  • April 13, 2011

  • Afghanistan: Mending it Not Just Ending It
    Featured speaker: David Miliband, Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom (2007-2010)

    Miliband was the Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010. He will join CIS as a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow in residence from April 11 through 15, 2011. He is an alumnus of the Department of Political Science Department at MIT, and he delivered the MIT Compton Lecture ( ) in spring 2010. Miliband will discuss the war in Afghanistan followed by a Q& A with the audience. Sponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies. Free and open to the public.

    See the event flyer here
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  • March 31, 2011

    A film screening followed by a discussion with the film director/producer

    It takes a village to unite the most divided people on earth.

    Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women's contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today.

    In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat. While this film is about one Palestinian village, it tells a much bigger story about what is possible in the Middle East.

    Discussion with film director Julia Bacha to follow.

  • March 28, 2011

  • ADVANTAGE: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge (A Book Talk)
    Adam Segal, will speak on his recently published book "Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge"

    Adam Segal, Ira A. Lipman Senior Fellow, Counterterrorism and National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
    Introduction by Taylor Fravel, the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Associate Professor of Political Science and member of the Security Studies Program at MIT

  • March 16, 2011

  • Japan's Nuclear Crisis
    MIT experts discuss Japan's nuclear past, present, and future from a political and engineering perspective. The presentation will include an eyewitness account of the crisis and the Japanese government's response.

    Guest speakers:
    Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the MIT Center for International Studies
    Kenneth Oye, Associate Professor of Political Science and Engineering Systems
    Michael Golay, MIT Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering
    Co-sponsored by the MIT Center for International Studies, MIT-Japan Program, and Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

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  • February 25, 2011

  • Inside Tahrir Square
    Featured speaker: Iason Athanasiadis
    Moderating: Kristin Fabbe, David Weinberg

    Fresh from Cairo, Iason Athanasiadis will share about the 24 crucial hours spent inside Tahrir Square on the Wednesday night/Thursday morning when the Mubarak loyalists attacked and how it turned the entire momentum from one of violent repression to one of negotiations and concessions. Athanasiadis is a Farsi-speaking journalist who currently resides in Afghanistan. He studied Arabic and Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford and was a 2008 Nieman fellow at Harvard. He studied for a Masters at the Iranian Foreign Ministry's think-tank in Tehran and was imprisoned in Tehran's Evin Prison on espionage charges during the 2009 post-election unrest. Joining the discussion will be Kristin Fabbe, PhD student, MIT Department of Political Science and David Weinberg, Graduate student, MIT Department of Political Science.

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  • February 22, 2011

  • Sovereign Debt and the IMF: The case of Russia (A Book Talk)
    Speaker: Martin Gilman, Professor of Economics , National Research University (Moscow)
    Moderator: David Singer, Associate Professor of Political Science, MIT

    The presentation by Professor Gilman will be based upon his book, No Precedent, No Plan: Inside Russia’s 1998 Default, recently published by MIT Press.
    About the author: Martin Gilman is Professor of Economics at the National Research University — Higher School of Economics and the Director of its Centre for Advanced Studies, in conjunction with the New Economic School, in Moscow. Previously he was with the International Monetary Fund for 24 years where he was assistant director in the IMF’s policy department.

  • February 14, 2011

  • US-Japan Relations: Where Are We Going?
    A talk by and discussion with Ambassador of Japan, Ichiro Fujisaki. What is the future of the US-Japan alliance? What will be Japan?s place in the world? What is the economic outlook for Japan? Bring your questions and your curiosity as Ambassador Fujisaki engages in a discussion with the MIT community on the future of US-Japan relations.

    Ichiro Fujisaki has served as Ambassador of Japan to the United States since June 2008.He has served as the political minister of the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, from 1995-99. As a diplomat, he has also served in Jakarta, Paris (OECD), and London. Prior to his current post, he served as Ambassador to the UN and to the WTO in Geneva. While there, he served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees). In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, he has held such posts as Deputy Director-General for Asian Affairs and Director-General for North American Affairs before being appointed as the Deputy Foreign Minister. He has also served as the Sherpa, or the personal representative, of the Prime Minister to G8 Summit meetings.

  • February 07, 2011

  • The Shah
    A conversation style book talk with Abbas Milani and Ali Banuazizi about Abbas Milani's book "The Shah"
    Abbas Milani is the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and a visiting professor in the department of political science. In addition, Dr. Milani is a research fellow and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. His expertise is U.S./Iran relations, Iranian cultural, political, and security issues. Dr. Milani will discuss his latest book, The Shah, published January 2011 by Palgrave Macmillan. Joining Dr. Milani for the talk is Dr. Ali Banuazizi, professor of political science and director of the Program in Islamic Civilization & Societies at Boston College. Books will be sold at the event.

    See the event flyer here
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  • January 21, 2011

  • Noam Chomsky on Gaza in Crisis
    Noam Chomsky addresses the ongoing crisis in Gaza followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Joining Chomsky is Nancy Murray, the director of education at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts. She is the author of Rights Matter: the Story of the Bill of Rights. Nancy holds a B.Phil. and Ph.D. in modern history from Oxford University. She has experience as a teacher, scholar and social activist in Great Britain, Kenya, and the Middle East as well as the United States, and has written widely on the themes of civil liberties, civil and human rights.

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2010 EVENTS  
  • November 19, 2010

  • "Enemies of the People"
    A film screening and discussion with co-director Rob Lemkin

    Enemies of the People, 2010 Sundance Festival winner, the film represents the first time the story of Democratic Kampuchea has been told from the inside - there is no tendentiousness or hearsay in the account. The film was co-directed by a remarkable Cambodian journalist, Thet Sambath, who lost his family during the time but nevertheless spent 10 years gaining the confidence of Khmer Rouge officials from Nuon Chea, Pol Pot's deputy, down. The film has been widely praised for putting a human face on the Khmer Rouge, yet it goes further than any account before into the horror of what happened. This apparent contradiction combined with its strong avoidance of anti-communism has meant the film has spoken powerfully to many audiences all over the world. It's currently on theatrical release in the US and will show in slightly shorter form next year on PBS television.
    See the event flyer here

  • November 09, 2010

  • Report Card on President Obama: Climate, Afghanistan, and the Economy
    MIT experts, Barry Posen, Henry Jacoby and Simon Johnson assess Obama's work on Afghanistan, Climate, and the Economy and how the results of the Nov. 2 mid-term elections will affect these important issues.
    Richard Samuels, CIS director and Ford Int'l Professor of Political Science, will moderate the discussion.
    About the Speakers:
    Barry Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and director of the MIT Security Studies Program. Posen's current research interests include U.S. national security policy, the security policy of the European Union, the organization and employment of military force, great power intervention into civil conflicts, and innovation in the U.S. Army, 1970-1980.
    Henry (Jake) Jacoby is the William F. Pounds Professor of Management Emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Managment. He also is co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, which is a world leader in integration of the natural and social sciences and policy analysis in application to the threat of global climate change.
    Simon Johnson an expert on the financial sector and economic crises, is Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He served as economic counselor and director of the research department at the IMF from March 2007 to August 2008. He is the co-author of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and The Next Financial Meltdown, a bestselling assessment of the dangers now posed by the US financial sector.
    See the event flyer here
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  • October 27, 2010

  • "In Between: A One Man Show In Between"
    by Ibrahim Miari

    In Between is a semi-autobiographical one man show that portrays the complexities and contradictions inherent in Palestinian-Israeli identity. On the precipice between two cultures stands Ibrahim Miari, son of a Palestinian Muslim father and Jewish Israeli mother. During an interrogation by Israeli airport security, he recalls his childhood in Acco, memories of his Jewish and Palestinian grandmothers, of war. Questions surrounding his identity become even further complicated by his imminent marriage to a Jewish American woman.
    About the Performer:
    Ibrahim Miari is a Palestinian-Israeli actor who recently graduated from the Boston University School of Theatre. In Between is a semi-autobiographical piece that portrays the complexities and contradictions inherent in Palestinian-Israeli identity. The show recalls Ibrahim’s childhood in Acco, memories of his Jewish and Palestinian grandmothers, of war, and of the struggle to shape and understand his own multi-faceted identity - a struggle further complicated by his imminent marriage to a Jewish American woman. The play was first presented as part of a thesis project at Boston University's School of Theatre, College of Fine Arts.
    See the event flyer here

  • October 19, 2010

  • "Peace Meals "
    Book talk with journalist Anna Badkhen and Fotini Christia

    The book talk was a conversation-style between Anna Badkhen and Fotini Christia
    Speaker bios:
    Anna Badkhen
    has covered wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. She has reported extensively from Iraq since 2003. Her reporting has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The National, FRONTLINE/World, Truthdig, and Salon. Her book, "A War Reporter's Pantry," will be published in January 2011 by Free Press/Simon&Schuster. She lives in Massachusetts.
    Fotini Christia joined the MIT faculty this fall as Assistant Professor in Political Science. She recently completed her PhD in Public Policy at Harvard University, where she was a recipient of research fellowships from the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Her research interests deal with issues of ethnicity and civil wars and her dissertation addresses the question of civil war alliances.She has published work on the role of local elites in civil wars in Comparative Politics, and is presently working on two field projects of an experimental design, one in Afghanistan and one in Bosnia, that address the effects of institutions of cooperation in post-conflict, multi-ethnic societies. Fotini has also worked in the Middle East and Central Asia and has written opinion pieces on her experiences from Afghanistan, Iran, the West Bank and Gaza and Uzbekistan for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. She graduated magna cum laude with a joint BA in Economics-Operations Research from Columbia College and a Masters in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
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  • October 15, 2010

  • "Nuclear Tipping Point"
    Nuclear Tipping Point is a documentary film that focuses on conversations with four men intimately involved in American diplomacy and national security over the last four decades. Former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry and former Senator Sam Nunn share the personal experiences that led them to write two Wall Street Journal op-eds in support of a world free of nuclear weapons and the steps needed to get there.
    George Shultz has had a distinguished career in government, in academia, and in business. He has held four different cabinet posts, has taught at three of the United States' greatest universities, and was president of a major engineering and construction company. Mr. Shultz held two key positions in President Reagan's administration: Chairman of the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981-1982) and Secretary of State (1982-1989)
    See the event flyer here
    More information about the film

  • September 27, 2010

  • Reclaiming the Moral Life of Philanthropy
    The bottom-line mentality that swept American life in the last few decades, often overriding considerations of principle and professionalism in business, politics, the arts, higher education, journalism and other spheres, left its mark on philanthropy and the not-for-profit world as well. Along the way the clarity of core values like justice and equality too often gave way to utilitarian approaches based on effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses.These have their place, but only if grounded in a strong moral framework.
    Speaker: Gara LaMarche, CEO and President, Atlantic Philanthropies Introduction: Deborah Fitzgerald, Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT
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  • September 14, 2010

  • "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War"
    Book Talk with Andrew Bacevich

    Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of international relations and history at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Limits of Power. He also has authored several books and his essays are published widely. At MIT, he will discuss his most recent book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War.Books will be for sale at the event
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  • May 6, 2010

  • "Crossing Mandelbaum Gate" Book Talk with Kai Bird
    Pulitzer prize-winning author, Kai Bird, will be at MIT for a book talk and book signing: "Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978" (Just released April 27, 2010!)
    ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Kai Bird's recent book, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978, was released by Scribner on April 27, 2010. His book is a meld of personal memoir and history, fusin...g his early life in Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt with an account of the American experience in the Middle East and intimate insights into the Arab-Israeli tragedy. He is the co-author with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography,"American Prometheus" (2005)--the first truly comprehensive biography on the life and times of J. Robert Oppenheime, which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and the Duff Cooper Prize for History in London. He lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, with his wife and son. For his complete bio, visit:

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  • April 21, 2010

  • MIT/Harvard Gaza series: "America's Reponse"
    Speakers: Augustus Richard Norton, professor of anthropology and international relations, Boston University Robert Blecher, historian and analyst with the International Crisis Group Uri Zaki, USA Director, B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center

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  • April 08, 2010

  • Yemen: Avoiding the Mistakes and Learning the Lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan
    Ambassador Barbara Bodine's over 30 years in the US Foreign Service were spent primarily on Arabian Peninsula and greater Persian Gulf issues. Her tour as Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen (1997-2001) saw enhanced support for democratization and increased security and counterterrorism cooperation. Bodine also served in Baghdad as deputy principal officer during the Iran-Iraq War; Kuwait as deputy chief of mission during the Iraqi invasion and occupation of 1990-1991; and again, seconded to the Department of Defense, in Iraq in 2003 as the senior State Department official and the first coalition coordinator for reconstruction in Baghdad and the central governorates. Her first assignment in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs was as country officer for the Two Yemens and security assistance coordinator for the peninsula. She later returned to that office as deputy director. Currently, she is a lecturer in public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and as director of the school's Scholars in Nation's Service Initiative.

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  • March 02, 2010

  • Death of the News?
    Journalism is in a crisis. Newspapers are going out of business; editors and reporters are losing their jobs. "Death of the News?" brings together a panel of experts to discuss the rise of online media and its impact on global society. Speakers Maria Balinska, Susan Glasser, & Jason Pontin will discuss about how to save the news in a vanishing era of newspapers. This event is free and open to the public.

    See the event flyer here
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  • February 23, 2010

  • Rebuilding Haiti
    MIT experts discuss how to help Haiti create a future different from the generations of misery it has known. This event is free and open to the public. About the speakers: Cherie Miot Abbanat is a lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Department of Architecture, and co-chair of DUSP?s Undergraduate Committee. Michel DeGraff, a native of Haiti, is associate professor of linguistics at MIT. Erica James is associate professor of anthropology at MIT. Dale Joachim is a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab, where he currently co-teaches the special project class New Media Projects for Haiti

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  • February 22, 2010

  • Why History Matters: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
    Victor Kattan will speak on his book "From Coexistence to Conquest" Kattan is the author of more than half a dozen scholarly articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict in international law journals. His book "From Coexistence to Conquest: International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict" was published in June 2009 by Pluto Books. Currently, Kattan is a teaching fellow at the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Some of his previous posts include: research fellow in public international law at British Institute of International and Comparative Law;director and journalist with the London based media watchdog Arab Media Watch; and UN Development Programme TOKTEN consultant in Occupied Palestinian Territories. Noam Chomsky will introduce Victor Kattan.

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • February 17, 2010

  • Swiss Ambassador to the UN: Challenges Facing the United Nations
    Ambassador Peter Maurer is in his fifth and last year in service to the United Nations before assuming his new position as Swiss Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs in spring 2010. He will present a "state of the union" address concerning the challenges to the United Nations including: climate change, peace-keeping and peace-building, terrorism, and human rights. His discussion will conclude with a Q&A and Swiss-style reception. Peter Maurer, who is currently Switzerland's ambassador to the United Nations in New York, has been named the country's new secretary of state in the Foreign Affairs Office. Maurer has been in the Swiss diplomatic service since 1987. Since 1996, he has been part of the New York UN mission. He holds a doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Bern. Wednesday, February 17, 2010 4:30p- 6:00p E40-496 Lucian Pye Conference Room 1 Amherst Street, Cambridge

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

2009 EVENTS  
  • December 2, 2009

  • Cold War Cinema
    The Center is delighted to introduce a Cold War Cinema series exploring the impact of this era on cinema. The first feature, presented on December 2, is Billy Wilder's 1961 film One, Two, Three. Discussing the film is journalist Christian Caryl, who was in Berlin covering the fall of the wall in 1989. Caryl is currently with Foreign Policy and Newsweek. He is also a senior fellow at CIS. The Starr Forum event was held on Wednesday, December 2 at 6:30 PM, at 6-120.

    See the event flyer here

  • November 30, 2009

  • Immigration, Islam, and the West
    Christopher Caldwell comes to MIT on November 30 to discuss his latest book: Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West. "In Europe, the author argues, the clash between Western civilization and the Muslim world has already been lost—in the latter's favor." Caldwell is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard and a regular contributor to the Financial Times and Slate. His essays and reviews appear in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. The Starr Forum event was held on Monday, November 30 at 4:30 PM, at E25-111.

    See the event flyer here

  • November 4, 2009

  • Iran: Images from Beneath a Chador
    Iran: Images From Beneath a Chador is a photography exhibit that reflects on a pivotal event in the history of US-Iran relations: the November 4, 1979, storming of the US Embassy in Iran and the ensuing hostage crisis. Photojournalist Randy Hope Goodman shares her images and discusses her work on the 30th anniversary of the crisis at the Center for International Studies at MIT.

    The Starr Forum event was held on Wednesday, November 4 at 4:30 PM, at CIS.

    See the event flyer here

  • October 15, 2009

  • Darfur/Darfur: The Crisis | The Exhibit
    The Starr Forum event commences in the Kirsch Auditorium with a panel discussion featuring Robert Rotberg, Belfer Center, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; Susannah Sirkin, Physicians for Human Rights; and Marcus Bleasdale, member of the DARFUR/DARFUR team. The event concludes in the TSMC Lobby with the DARFUR/DARFUR exhibit and reception. DARFUR/DARFUR is a traveling exhibit of digitally-projected images that provide visual education about the richly multi-cultural region while exposing the horrors of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The exhibit is a product of Art Works Projects and curated by Leslie Thomas, founding director of Art Works Projects.

    The Starr Forum event was held on Thursday, October 15 at 7 PM, at the Stata Center.

    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

  • October 5, 2009

  • Book Talk: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn
    CIS and Harvard Book Store are delighted to host New York Times correspondents and Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn for a discussion of their new book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Kristof and WuDunn set out to expose the struggles of women across Asia and Africa, to tell their human stories, and to follow the progress of women who are ultimately given the opportunity to seize control of their own lives. Introducing the authors will be Diane Davis, professor of political sociology at MIT and head of the International Development Group. Davis also directs the Center's Jerusalem 2050 Program. The event will be Monday, October 5, at 6 PM, at the Brattle Theatre. Tickets are available at Harvard Book Store.

    The Starr Forum event was held on Monday, October 5, at 6 PM, at the Brattle Theatre.

  • September 23, 2009

  • "U.S.-Cuba Relations: The beginning of a long thaw? "
    Cuban scholars Julia Sweig and Wayne Smith will be discussants at a CIS Starr Forum entitled: Cuba-U.S. Relations: The Beginning of a Long Thaw? Sweig is a senior fellow and director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is the award-winning author of Inside the Cuban Revolution, and, most recently, Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know. Smith is senior fellow and director of the Cuba Program at the Center for International Policy, and a visiting professor of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University. Smith served in the State Department as executive secretary of President Kennedy's Latin American Task Force and chief of mission at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
    See the event flyer here
    Watch the video

    The Starr Forum event was held on Wed, Sept 23, at 4:30 PM, in the Wong Auditorium, MIT Bldg E51.

  • May 5, 2009

  • "U.S.- Iran Relations"
    Should the U.S. build better relations with Iran? Can we live with a nuclear Iran? Do the Iranian presidential elections provide new opportunities for dialogue? A panel of international security and foreign policy experts will address such issues at a Starr Forum on Tuesday, May 5. Our featured speakers are: Jim Walsh, a research associate at the CIS Security Studies Program (SSP) at MIT, and Suzanne DiMaggio, director of the Asia Society. Stephen Heintz, president of Rockefeller Bros. Fund, will serve as the discussant and Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of SSP, will chair.

    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    Broad Institute Auditorium, MIT Bldg NE30, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge MA 4pm

  • April 30, 2009

  • "Afghanistan"
    Admiral Willam Fallon, USN (RET), will be giving a public talk on Afghanistan. Joining the discussion will be Fotini Christa, an expert on Afghanistan. Fallon joined the Center for International Studies for the 2008-09 academic year as a Robert E. Wilhelm fellow. Christia joined MIT last fall as an assistant professor of political science and a member of the Security Studies Program. The April 30 Starr Forum on Afghanistan commences at 4 PM in the MIT Wong Auditorium.

    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building E51, Wong Auditorium (Tang Center), 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 4pm

  • April 13, 2009

  • "The Most Important Number in the World."
    Science has given us, in the last 18 months, a real bottom line for the planet: a CO2 concentration above which, as NASA's Jim Hansen has put it, we can't maintain the "planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life is adapted." Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College, an American environmentalist and prolific writer on related topics, will be calling on MIT students to join a global movement to share that alarming scientific truth to as many folks as possible. Along with the Center for International Studies this event was co-sponsored by its new program: Environmental Vulnerability, Resilience, and Justice.

    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building E51, Wong Auditorium (Tang Center), 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 4:30pm

  • March 30-31, 2009

  • MIT/Harvard Gaza Symposium
    The second annual Gaza symposium, this year jointly organized by MIT and Harvard, will host a series of panels on the role of U.S. and international actors, as well as human rights and international humanitarian law in the wake of recent events in Gaza. Bringing together experts in the fields of human rights, history, political science, U.S. foreign policy and law, the two-day symposium will include a range of views from US, Israeli, Palestinian and UN/NGO perspectives. The public event will be held at MIT on Monday, March 30, and at Harvard University on Tuesday, March 31. The official web site for the second annual Gaza symposium, including all updates, is located here.
    Watch the videos from day one at MIT, panel 1; panel 2.
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building E51, Wong Auditorium (Tang Center), 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 1:30pm

  • February 19, 2009

  • "The Endless Present"
    On February 19, Israeli architect Eyal Weizman will present a public talk on the "architecture of occupation" in Israel Palestine. Weizman has taught, lectured, curated and organized conferences in many institutions worldwide. His books include Hollow Land, A Civilian Occupation, the series Territories 1, 2, and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books. He became a member of B'Tselem's managing board in 2008.
    Joining the discussion as commentator is Salim Tamari. Tamari is director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies and a professor of sociology at Birzeit University. He edits Hawliyyat al Quds and Jerusalem Quarterly and is the author of several works on urban culture, political sociology, biography and social history, and the social history of the Eastern Mediterranean.
    Along with the Center for International Studies this event was co-sponsored by Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Bustani Lecture Series and Jerusalem 2050
    MIT Building 32-155 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 4:30pm

  • February 11, 2009

  • "The Challenges to the Global Economy."
    Economist Martin Feldstein will be speaking on the challenges that face the global economy. Joining the talk as a discussant, is MIT Sloan School's Simon Johnson.
    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building E51, Wong Auditorium (Tang Center), 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 5:30pm

  • January 29, 2009

  • Mia Kirshner on "I Live Here"
    Actor-author Mia Kirshner will be speaking at MIT on her book, I Live Here. The multimedia publication presents the first-hand stories of refugees and displaced people in four specific areas of the world, through their own words, photographs and stories, and in collaboration with artists of various different media. Mirroring the multimedia approach of the book, Kirshner has been teaching an IAP course at MIT. The course asks students to create their own short video based on hidden stories that need to be heard within the greater Boston community. The results will be featured on the CIS website and will be shown at the event on January 29.
    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building MIT Rm 6-120, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 5pm

  • January 13, 2009

  • Chomsky on Gaza
    Noam Chomsky addresses the crisis in Gaza followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.
    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building E51, Wong Auditorium (Tang Center), 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 4pm

2008 EVENTS  
  • November 19, 2008

  • Science Policy and the Next U.S. Administration
    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building NE30, Broad Institute Auditorium, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 6:00pm

  • October 28, 2008

  • A Conversation with Admiral William Fallon, Former Head of CENTCOM
    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building E51, Wong Auditorium (Tang Center), 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 4:30pm

  • October 22, 2008

  • Healthcare Policy and the Next U.S. Administration
    Join noted health care economist Jonathan Gruber as he diagnoses our ailing health care, explains why other countries' systems are in better shape, and offers a recovery plan-in light of the acute financial crisis-to our next president.
    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Building E25-111 (Whitaker College), 45 Carleton St., Cambridge, MA 6pm

  • September 18, 2008

  • Foreign Policy and the Next U.S. Administration: America's Defining Moment
    MIT scholars Barry Posen, Taylor Fravel, and Carol Saivetz participated in a roundtable discussion on foreign policy and the next U.S. administration. This discussion was the first in a series of forward-thinking talks on pressing global issues in which MIT experts offer advice to the next U.S. president.
    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here
    MIT Tang Center, 51-315, Cambridge, MA 6pm

  • September 8, 2008

  • Climate Security: A conversation with Denmark's Ambassador to the U.S.
    Denmark is to host the United Nations Climate Conference in 2009 when the successor to the Kyoto protocol is to be agreed upon. At least 10,000 participants from around the world will be attending, which will be the most significant gathering since the Kyoto meeting in 1997. Denmark is also among the leading nations in the use of renewable energy and has already reduced CO2-emissions by 15 percent. Denmark's Ambassador to the U.S., Friis Arne Petersen, will discuss expectations for the UN Climate Conference, share how Denmark has implemented its climate and energy policy, and answer questions from the audience.
    See the event flyer here.

    MIT Stata Center, 32-141, Cambridge, MA 3pm

  • June 18, 2008

  • Screening of Koppel on Discovery: The People's Republic of Capitalism

    In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in China's Sichuan province and on the eve of the Olympics this August in Beijing, Discovery Channel Managing Editor Ted Koppel presents Koppel on Discovery: The People's Republic of Capitalism, a sweeping four-part series that examines modern China. An advance screening of the documentary, followed by a question-and-answer session with some of the programs' producers, will be hosted by MIT's Center for International Studies.

    See the event flyer here.
    Broad Institute Auditorium, Cambridge, MA 6pm

  • May 7, 2008

  • The Failings of the Media on Iraq

    Author and Editor Greg Mitchell comes to MIT to talk about his latest book, So Wrong for So Long, which chronicles the failings of the corporate media coverage on the war in Iraq. He is the editor of Editor & Publisher where he writes the column "Pressing Issues," and is the author of eight books.So Wrong for So Long, published February 2008, has received a tremendous response, ranging from appearances on Jim Lehrer NewsHour, NPR and Democracy Now! to reviews in the L.A.

    See the event flyer here.
    MIT Stata Center, 32-141, Cambridge, MA 6pm-7:30pm

  • April 9, 2008

  • Leaderless Jihad: Radicalization in the West

    Marc Sageman, an expert on al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations, discusses how people end up on the path to political violence in a post-9/11 world. His talk builds upon his best-selling book, "Understanding Terror Networks" and is based upon his recent publication, "Leaderless Jihad." Sageman is an independent researcher on terrorism and the founder of Sageman Consulting, LLC. He holds various academic positions at the George Washington University, the University of Maryland and national think tanks, like the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Homeland Security Policy Institute.

    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here.
    Room E51-376, 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 4:30p-6:00pm

  • March 14, 2008

  • Dissolving War: Women as Peacemakers

    Sanam Naraghi Anderlini's latest book, Women Building Peace: What They Do, Why it Matters, continues her ground-breaking exploration of gender and conflict. A longtime consultant to the U.N. and NGOs on these issues, Anderlini has produced several important field studies and analyses of how women build and sustain peace in their war-torn countries and communities, often in unconventional ways. Sanam Naragi Anderlini was born and raised in Iran and educated at Cambridge University in the U.K. She has held leadership posts with International Alert, Women Waging Peace, and is now, in addition to her consultancies, a Research Affiliate of MIT's Center for International Studies. Co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies and the Technology and Culture Forum.

    See the event flyer here.
    32-124, MIT's Stata Center, 32 Vassar St. Cambridge, MA

  • January 8, March 8, April 8, 2008

  • CIS Film Series 2008: Women and the Middle East

    This Spring CIS presents three films from the Middle East, based in Algeria/France, Israel/The Golan Heights and Iraq before, during and after the US war and invasion in 2003. The films focus on the lives of three women, linked together by their Middle Eastern identity and a variety of challenging issues. They are portrayed while following their life paths amidst the political and social trials common to the region. Meriam Belli, Anat Biletzki and Ban Al-Mahfodh from MIT will discuss some background aspects to the three films presented (respectively). They will aim to examine the socio-political context that Middle Eastern women are facing in the region. Both the films and speakers will attempt to throw light on their roles as women within the context of trying circumstances of isolation, tribulation and modern warfare, while holding on to freedom of spirit.

    See the event flyer here.

  • December 10, 2007
    Iraq's Three Civil Wars: Is the US Relevant to Them?
    Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia. After Sept. 11, he launched a Weblog, "Informed Comment," in hope of offering the public a more accurate interpretation of the Middle East, where he had lived off and on for almost ten years. Informed Comment became a phenomenon, generating in some months as many as a million page views, and making him one of the top bloggers in the world. Cole is widely respected as a public intellectual on the Middle East and, in 2004, was invited to address the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations concerning the war in Iraq.

    Watch the video
    See the event flyer here.
    MIT's Landau Building 66-110, 25 Ames St. Cambridge, MA
    Monday, December 10, 2007, 5:00p-6:30pm

  • November 6, 2007
    Don't Be an American Idiot
    How does the U.S. use human rights in its foreign policy?
    Does the occupant of the White House matter when it comes to U.S. human interests abroad? What is the role of civil society in making human rights matter?
    Julie Mertus co-director of Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs Program, American University and award-winning author of Bait and Switch: Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy reflects on these questions and invites discussion on their importance in an election year.
    Watch the video
    MIT's Landau Building, 66-110, 25 Ames St Cambridge, MA

  • October 3, 2007
    The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy
    John Mearsheimer (Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago) and Stephen Walt (Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard) talk about their recent book, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. Joining the discussion is Bruce Riedel (Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution.)
    Watch the video
    MIT's Stata Center, 32-123
    32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

  • May 2, 2007
    No End In Sight Film Screening
    Cited as a "surgical" and "comprehensive" analysis of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war, No End in Sight, a film by MIT alum Charles Ferguson, won a special jury prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Charles Ferguson introduced the film and led a question and answer session following the screening.

  • April 5, 2007
    Is the Terrorist Threat a Fake?
    John Mueller, professor and chair of National Security Studies at the Mershon Center at Ohio State University discussed his book Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate the National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them.

  • March 14, 2007
    The Battle of Algiers Film Screening
    Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 film has made a recent comeback due to world affairs and is cited as a useful illustration of the problems being faced in Iraq. Mériam Belli, Dept. of History, MIT, an expert in social and cultural history of the Arab Middle East, introduced the film (shown in 35mm, 120 minutes).

  • November 9, 2006
    Iran, North Korea and the Second Nuclear Age

    A discussion about the challenges to the world community posed by the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. With David Albright, President of the Institute for Science and International Security; MIT political science professor Barry Posen, Director of the MIT Security Studies Program; and Jim Walsh, SSP Research Associate. Moderated by CIS Executive Director John Tirman.
  • October 3, 2006
    Reporters' Notebook: The U.S. in Iraq

    A discussion with two journalists who reported on the war in Iraq, moderated by one of the senior U.S. officials they covered. With George Packer of The New Yorker, Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post, and Ambassador (ret.) Barbara Bodine, CIS Visiting Scholar.
  • May 8, 2006
    Beyond a Militarized Approach to Terrorism:
    Experience from Sri Lanka

    A talk by former two-time Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a visiting scholar at CIS. (Audio quality improves one minute in.)
    Listen to the audio

  • March 7, 2006
    U.S., Iraq, and the Future of Kurdistan
    A presentation by Kevin McKiernan, author of The Kurds: A People in Search of Their Homeland. (This event aired on C-Span's "Book TV.")

  • October 27, 2005
    The Big Question: How and When to Exit Iraq

    A discussion with Bill Kristol (editor, The Weekly Standard); Phebe Marr (a leading U.S. historian of Iraq, Senior Fellow, United States Institute of Peace); Barry Posen (Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT); Jonathan Schell (peace and disarmament correspondent, The Nation magazine)
  • October 17, 2005
    A Report Card on the War on Terror
    Hosted by former Colorado Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart. With Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, authors of "The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting it Right."
  • September 28, 2005
    Israeli TV anchor Chaim Yavin on his documentary

    "Land of the Settlers"

  • September 27, 2005
    The Sudan Crisis and Human Security

    Speaker: Francis Deng

    (Representative to the UN Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons; former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Sudan)

  • September 26, 2005
    "Implications of an Avian Flu Pandemic"
    With Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellows for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations, and Marc Lipsitch, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health.
  • May 14, 2005
    "Forced Labor in the Global Economy"
    CIS, the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice, and the BBC World Service Trust partnered for a high-profile event on forced labor and what can be done about it. Programs were taped at MIT's Kresge Auditorium for broadcast by National Public Radio and BBC Television: On Point, the WBUR/Boston program distributed by NPR and hosted by Tom Ashbrook; and BBC Television's The World Debate, with host Zeinab Badawi. (A private roundtable discussion with more than 30 experts on forced labor also was held on May 14; a pdf copy of the report is available here.)
  • March 15, 2005
    Author Tracy Dahlby discusses his book
    "Allah's Torch: A Report from Behind the Scenes
    in Asia's War on Terror"

  • February 22, 2005
    "Prospects for Mideast Peace in the Post-Arafat Era"

    Sari Nusseibeh (President, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem)
    Henry Siegman (Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations),
    Naomi Chazan (CIS Wilhelm Fellow)

  • February 10, 2005
    A special event with the Boston Review
    "Debating the Future of U.S. Foreign Policy"

    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
    Stephen Walt (Professor of International Relations at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs)
    John Tirman (Executive Director of MIT's Center for International Studies)
    Robert Vickers (member of the CIA's Senior Executive Service and a visiting fellow at CIS's Security Studies Program)
    Naomi Chazan (professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a former Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset, and 2004-2005 Robert Wilhelm Fellow at MIT's Center for International Studies)
  • February to May 2005
    "The Politics of Reconstructing Iraq"
    From February through May 2005, MIT's Center for International Studies and Department of Urban Studies and Planning presented a public colloquium series on Iraq. "The Politics of Reconstructing Iraq" looked at Iraq 's reconstruction through a variety of lenses and featured a number of experts from Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, as well as from the United States. Click here for a description of the series as well as streaming video of six of the seven events.


  • October 5, 2004
    "30th Anniversary of the Inter-University
    Committe on International Migration"

    Sharon Stanton Russell (Senior Research Scholar at MIT's Center for International Studies; Chair of the Steering Group of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration; Director of the Mellon-MIT Inter-University Program on Non-Governmental Organizations and Forced Migration)
    Nazli Choucri (MIT Professor of Political Science)
    John Harris (Boston University Professor of Economics)
    Sharon Stanton Russell (introduction of keynote speaker)
    Mamphela Ramphele (Co-Chair of the UN Global Commission on International Migration; Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank)
  • September 29, 2004
    "Haiti: Moving Forward After Failed Transitions"
    Suzanne Berger (MIT Raphael Dorman and Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science)
    Myrtho Bonhomme (Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Haiti and
    Special Ambassador, Dean and Founder of The National Diplomatic Academy of Haiti)
    Chappell Lawson (MIT Associate Professor of Political Science)
  • April 21, 2004
    "Fostering Global Citizenship: Future Scientists on Science
    in an Age of Terrorism"
    Co-sponsored by MIT's International Students Office. Supported by the Kailath International Fund for International Students. Not webstreamed.
    Rosalind Williams (Director, MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society)
    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
    Julien Bachmann (MIT graduate student, inorganic chemistry)
    Alexander Brown (MIT graduate student, Program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology)
    Gregory Koblentz (MIT graduate student, political science)
  • January 8, 2004
    "A Conversation with Kanan Makiya"
    Kanan Makiya (Professor in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Brandeis University; member of the Iraq National Congress)
    Hassan Mneimneh (Iraq Research and Documentation Project, Harvard)
    Kenneth Oye (Associate Professor of Political Science, MIT)


  • December 5, 2003
    "Iraq: What Next?"
    Ivo Daalder (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution)
    Juan Cole (Professor Of Modern Middle Eastern and East Asian History, Univ. of Michigan)
    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
    MIT World Video

  • April 15, 2003
    "Water: Casus Belli or Source of Cooperation?
    The Middle East Water Project"
    (not webstreamed)
    Franklin Fisher (Professor of Economics, MIT)

  • April 14, 2003
    "The War with Iraq : Implications for U.S. Alliances and International Institutions"
    Richard Samuels (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
    Suzanne Berger (Professor of Political Science, MIT)
    Thomas Christensen (Professor of Political Science, MIT)
  • March 21, 2003
    "The War with Iraq : Conduct and Consequence"
    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
    Owen Coté, Jr. (Associate Director, MIT Security Studies Program)
    Thomas Christensen (Professor of Political Science, MIT)
    Daryl Press (Assistant Professor of Government, Dartmouth)
  • March 14, 2003
    "Just Back from Iraq : Observations of a Weapons Inspector"
    Rocco Casagrande (UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission/UNMOVIC)
  • February 6, 2003
    "Iraq and North Korea : A Former Insider Assesses U.S. Policy"
    Robert Gallucci (Dean, Georgetown School of Foreign Service, Former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large and Former Deputy Executive Director, UNSCOM.)
    MIT World Video


  • November 7, 2002
    "The Ayalon-Nuseibeh Plan for Israeli-Palestinian Co-Existence"
    (not webstreamed)
    Boaz Tamir (founder, Telrad)

  • October 28, 2002
    "A U.S. Invasion of Iraq: Consequences and Scenarios"
    Daniel Byman (Assistant Professor, Georgetown; 9/11 Inquiry Staff)
    John Dower (Professor of History, MIT)
    Herman Eilts (Emeritus Professor of International Relations, Boston Univ.)
    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
  • October 21, 2002
    "War with Iraq?"
    Kenneth Pollack (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution)
    Owen Coté, Jr. (Associate Director, MIT Security Studies Program)
    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)

  • September 27, 2002
    "The Israeli-Palestinian Stalemate"
    Yoav Peled (Professor of Political Science, Tel Aviv Univ.)
    Raif Zreik (PhD student, Harvard Law School)


  • October 29, 2001
    "The Colombian Civil War and U.S. Policy"
    Jonathan Hartlyn (Director, Institute of Latin American Studies , Univ. North Carolina , Chapel Hill)
    Marc Chernick (Visiting Associate Professor of Government and Latin American Studies, Georgetown)
    Cynthia Arnson (Deputy Director, Latin America Program, Woodrow WilsoN International Center for Scholars)
    Michael Shifter (Program Director, Inter-American Dialogue)
    Chappell Lawson (Assistant Professor of Political Science, MIT)
  • January 9, 2001
    "The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Causes, Implications
    and Prospects for Resolution"
    (not webstreamed)
    Stephen Van Evera (Professor of Political Science, MIT; Associate Director, MIT Center for International Studies)
    Samuel Lewis (fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Israel)
    Ian Lustick (Professor of Political Science, Univ. of Pennsylvania)
    Jeremy Pressman (MIT graduate student in political science)
    Geoffrey Kemp (Director of Regional Strategic Programs, Nixon Center)
    William Quandt (Professor of Politics, Univ. of Virginia)


MIT Center for International Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology