News and Events

MIT Starr Forum on Grand Strategy

Barry Posen and Frank Gavin were speakers at a Starr Forum titled "Whither US Grand Strategy?" on October 9, 2014. more information

Book talk

Video of Barry Posen's book talk on Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, June 12, 2014 at the Cato Institute, is now available. more information

SSP Faculty in the MIT Spotlight

MIT News article about Vipin Narang's SSP Central Asia Series talk: "After the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, then what?" February 19, 2014.

MIT News article about Francis Gavin: "In Major Extension of MIT Nuclear Policy Studies, Gavin Begins Work as First Frank Stanton Chair."

IAP 2014

Contemporary Military Topics: SSP's 2013-2014 Military Fellows led sessions on the following topics: "Mythbusters: The US Navy at the movies," "Future focus of the US Air Force," "Military Planning Process," and "Catch Me If You Can."

MIT Starr Forum on Syria

"Syria: A just war? Foreign policy experts weigh in" took place Wednesday, September 11, 2013. This event was co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies and the MIT Security Studies Program. MIT News Article

Starr Forum--Marathon Bombing: The Global Context

A Starr Forum titled "Marathon Bombing: The Global Context" took place May 1, 2013. Several SSP faculty and affiliates were among the speakers at this event, co-sponsored by SSP, the Center for International Studies, and MISTI Russia.


MIT Senior Congressional and Executive Branch Staff Seminar

The MIT Security Studies Program hosted its first Seminar for Senior Congressional and Executive Branch Staff titled “National Security in a Time of Austerity.” The seminar was held April 3-5, 2013 and was a project of the Frankel (MIT) Global Policy Program Fund. more information

Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies

MIT Political Science and the Stanton Foundation are proud to announce the establishment of the Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies.The Frank Stanton Chair will recognize a faculty member whose research and teaching interests focus on issues of nuclear proliferation, deterrence, and arms control. more information

IAP 2013

Contemporary Military Topics: In individual sessions, SSP's 2012-2013 Military Fellows led sessions on "Persistent and Wide Area Surveillance," Biometrics—Medical and Security Aspects," and "Lunar Laser Communications on the Move."


Barry Posen spoke at The New Internationalism conference, produced by The American Conservative with The American Prospect and the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University on June 17, 2014. His topic: “The Case for Restraint”.

On June 11, 2013, Jim Walsh participated in MIT Alumni Association's Faculty Forum Online. The topic of his talk was "Kim Jong-un and the Dangers of a Nuclear North Korea." more information

Richard Samuels chaired at talk at MIT on February 19, 2013, titled "The Institutionalization of the U.S.-Japan Alliance in the 21st Century." Dr. Shingo Yoshida was the guest speaker.

Fotini Christia moderated a talk on February 19, 2013, titled "Contrasting Secular & Religious Agenda Terror and Guerrilla Warfare: From Che Guevara to Osama bin Laden." Dr. Jonathan Fine was the guest speaker. This event was co-sponsored by the MIT Security Studies Program and MISTI MIT-Israel.

Barry Posen and Carol Saivetz were among the participants at Starr Forum: The Fate of the Reset: a roundtable discussion on the future of US-Russian Relations, February 14, 2013. more information video of the event

Richard Samuels gave a talk at Harvard University on February 5, 2013. The topic: his forthcoming book, 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan.

Professor Barry Posen was one of several speakers at Starr Forum: Attack of the Drones on November 13, 2012, a discussion about the ethical, legal and strategic aspects of UAV use. more information, including a video of the event

On April 18, 2012, Amanda Rothschild gave the keynote address at the 2012 University Fellowships Dinner at Boston College to honor undergraduates who competed for national fellowships this year or received internal fellowships.

On April 17, 2012, Jim Walsh gave a talk at MIT titled "My 5 Dinners with Ahmadinejad: Iran, Nuclear Weapons, the Middle East."

Congressional Testimony

Taylor Fravel testified before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 28, 2012. The topic of the session: "Investigating the Chinese Threat, Part One: Military and Economic Aggression."


Alec Worsnop has won the James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for Excellence in Teaching—for graduate teaching assistants.

Fotini Christia's book Alliance Formation in Civil Wars (CUP, 2012) has won the 2014 Distinguished Book Award of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Section of the International Studies Association (ENMISA).

Mark Bell, Brian Haggerty, Alec Worsnop, and Noel Anderson have all received Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowships for 2014.

Vipin Narang has received a Smith Richardson Foundation International Security Junior Faculty grant. He plans to put the award funds towards research on his second book manuscript, Windows of Volatility.

Fotini Christia has received the 2013 Luebbert Best Book Award for Alliance Formation in Civil Wars (Cambridge UP, 2012). This award, given by the APSA's Comparative Politics section, is for the best book in comparative politics published in the past two years. Her book has also been awarded the 2013 Lepgold Prize for best book on international relations published in 2012.

Amanda Rothschild was selected as one of one hundred graduate students worldwide, as a "Leader of Tomorrow" for the 43rd St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Symposium, "Rewarding Courage," 2–3 May 2013 at the University of St. Gallen. more information

Roger Peterson's book, Western Intervention in the Balkans: The Strategic Use of Emotion in Conflict, has won the AEEES Marshall Shulman Book Prize for outstanding monograph. more information The book has also won the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration section ( ENMISA) Distinguished Book Award from the International Studies Association. more information

Fotini Christia has been awarded the Mark Hyman Jr. Career Development Chair by the Institute, in recognition of her excellent research, teaching and service.

Roger Petersen has been awarded the ASN (Association for the Study of Nationalities) 2012 Joseph Rothschild Prize for his book, Western Intervention in the Balkans.

Jeanne Guillemin's book, American Anthrax, has been selected by the Massachusetts Center for the Book (the Commonwealth affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress) as a 2012 "Must-Read." Twelve books by Massachusetts authors are selected each year and the awardees attend a celebration at the State House in October.

Bjoern H. Seibert's submission, 'From Domaine Réservé to Area of Cooperation' has won the 2011 Air Marshal Sir Timothy Garden Essay Competition (in the UK). The topic of the competition was "Thinking the unthinkable in defence and security.

Kelly Greenhill has been awarded the International Studies Association (ISA) Best Book Award for 2011 for her book Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy. The award will be conferred at the 2012 ISA Annual Convention in San Diego in April. more information

IAP 2012

Contemporary Military Topics: In individual sessions, SSP's 2011-2012 Military Fellows led sessions on US Navy and Marine Corps; US Army and Air Force; and Joint and Combined Operations.

Fravel in the MIT Spotlight

On November 14, 2011, Taylor Fravel was the subject of MIT's home page spotlight. MIT was highlighting a news article about him, titled "Taylor Fravel decodes China's Foreign Policy."

Samuels receives award from Japanese Government

The Japanese Government awarded Professor Richard J. Samuels the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for his contributions to scholarship about Japan and for promoting friendly relations between Japan and the United States.  He received the decoration from Prime Minister Noda on Monday, Nov. 7, and was presented to the Emperor of Japan at the Imperial Palace.  more information

Graduate Student Award

Amanda Rothschild is the recipient of an Undergraduate Award of Ireland & Northern Ireland for her essay "When is the international community justified in using force to protect human rights?" She was recognized by the president of Ireland at a ceremony on October 28, 2011. Please see attached press release for further details.

Jeanne Guillemin at AAAS Event

On October 20, 2011, Jeanne Guillemin spoke about the 2001 anthrax letter attacks at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Center on Science, Technology, and Security Policy. Please see a report on the session by Earl Lane titled: "Ten Years After the Deadly Anthrax Mailings, AAAS Event Explores Lingering Questions."

Jonathan B. Tucker

We were sad to receive news that SSP Alum Jonathan B. Tucker (Ph.D, Political Science, 1990) died unexpectedly July 31, 2011. He was an expert on biological weapons and an advocate of nonproliferation. more information obituary in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Tribute by Harvey Sapolsky

Lt. Thomas Gauvin

We were sad to learn that Lt. Thomas Gauvin, who attended SSP in the Fall of 2007 as a visiting student from the French Military Academy, Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, was killed in Afghanistan on 13 July 2011. more information

Corps of Engineers gets new commander


Several SSP affiliates were in attendance on July 29, 2011 as SSP's 2010-11 Army Fellow, Colonel Charles Samaris, was sworn in as the new commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, at a ceremony in Boston's Faneuil Hall. Click here for a Boston Globe article about the ceremony.



Paul Staniland wins APSA Award

Paul Staniland has won this year's Kenneth N. Waltz Award from the American Political Science Association, for best dissertation in Security Studies submitted and defended in 2010.

Panel discussion on Nuclear Arms Reduction

Jim Walsh was one of three panelists in a talk titled "Putting the Genie Back in the Bottle: MIT Faculty and Nuclear Arms Reduction." The event, which took place May 4, 2011, also featured Aaron Bernstein, MIT Professor Emeritus, Physics, and Alex Wellerstein, History of Science, Harvard University.

Roundtable on East Asia

On April 11, 2011, the Center for International Studies at MIT hosted a roundtable on "Contemporary East Asia" featuring Rt. Hon David Miliband MP, UK former Foreign Secretary, Professor Taylor Fravel, Professor Richard J. Samuels, and Professor Ed Steinfeld.

Panel Discussion

On April 12, 2011, Barry Posen and Bjoern Seibert were panelists at an event titled “After Libya – Revival of the Age of Intervention?” The panel discussion took place at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.

Book talk

Professor Taylor Fravel provided commentary for a book talk on March 28, 2011 featuring Adam Segal discussing his book Advantage: How American Innovation Can Overcome the Asian Challenge. This event was co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies, MIT China, MIT India, and the MIT Security Studies Program.

Starr Forum: Japan's Nuclear Crisis

Professors Richard J. Samuels, Ken Oye, and Michael Golay discussed Japan's nuclear past, present, and future from a political and engineering perspective. The presentation included an  eyewitness account of the crisis and the Japanese government's response.