- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Newsletter Spring 2022

| Spring 2022

Ash and Francesca



Insights from Multiple Fronts

Russia’s brutal invasion of a sovereign democratic country in February shocked the world. Moscow’s forces have targeted civilians across Ukraine, while Vladimir Putin has threatened to unleash weapons of mass destruction. 

The Belfer Center is not a passive observer of this war. Our community of diplomats, national security analysts, intelligence officials, and generals, along with nuclear, energy, and cyber experts, have been working non-stop to advance policy-relevant insights. The Center has ramped up an information arsenal to push back against Russian propaganda and to help NATO and European forces secure a lasting peace.
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International Security

Russian missile test launch

Center Launches Major Initiative on Nuclear Deterrence

The war in Ukraine is the first conventional war fought in Europe since WWII under the shadow of nuclear threats. The urgency of this moment raises serious questions about nuclear deterrence. On May 10, the Center’s Project on Managing the Atom launched the Research Network on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence, a major effort supported by the MacArthur Foundation. 
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Mariana Budjeryn: Personal Perspective on the War in Ukraine

Mariana Budjeryn, a Research Associate with the Center’s Project on Managing the Atom, is a Ukrainian citizen. She grew up in Lviv, Ukraine, and was there visiting family days before the Russian invasion began. In this video, recorded on May 4, she shares her perspective on the war and relates how her family and friends in Ukraine are holding up amid this humanitarian catastrophe.
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Truman Signing Act

Imagining a New National Security Act

On May 11, the Intelligence Project and Applied History Project hosted a conference to discuss development of a new National Security Act to replace the current act from 1947. A conference highlight was introduction of the winners of a Center essay contest that asked applicants to imagine what a new security act would look like. 
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Africa in Focus Logo

Focus on Africa: Transitions and Relationships

This spring, the Belfer Center organized a new event series called Africa in Focus to examine the many factors driving political transitions and geostrategic relations in Africa. This workshop series aims to kickstart an initiative that recruits more African policymakers and experts to discuss African politics and affairs with the Harvard Kennedy School community. 
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A Firefighter silhouetted against a wildfire that has consumed a house.

The Devil Never Sleeps

In The Devil Never Sleeps, Juliette Kayyem’s new book, she explains a new approach for dealing with all kinds of disasters. Disasters inevitably happen, she argues, so we should focus less on preventing them and more on learning how to minimize the death and destruction they leave in their wake.  
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Developing Diversity in Intelligence

In decades of studies, the U.S. Intelligence Community has identified lack of diversity in the workforce as a problem. Through a new report and diversity events including experts like Jeff Fields, the Intelligence Project delved into what has succeeded and failed over the years — an important starting point for building a more robust intelligence workforce.
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Leadership in Action

Center Alums

Alumni Serving the Nation

In our previous newsletter, we named a number of colleagues who have answered the call to serve in government. We are pleased now to list several more who have stepped into important roles. They include former fellows and students Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, Lala Qadir, Rob Knake, Chris McGuire, and Vipin Narang.  
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DeSombre and Lee superimposed in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Testimony on China’s Cyber, Energy Plans

In February and March, Belfer Center Student Fellow Winnona DeSombre and Environment and Natural Resources Program Director Henry Lee testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in Washington, D.C. During separate hearings on China’s capabilities and plans related to cyber and to energy, DeSombre and Lee recommended actions Congress should take for the U.S. to remain competitive with China.
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Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, CIA Director William Burns, and Gen. Paul M. Nakasone

CIA, Military Leaders Offer Insights

The Center was honored this spring to host Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William J. Burns, Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command Paul M. Nakasone, and Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command Jacqueline Van Ovost. They shared insights into their careers with Kennedy School students and fellows.
See photo gallery here »

Preparing Future Leaders

MEI students in the UAE.

In-Person Insights Into Middle East Transformations

In March, a 13-member delegation of Harvard students traveled to the United Arab Emirates to participate in a Harvard Kennedy School experiential field course on “Leadership and Social Transformation in the Arab World.” They met with 29 leaders in four emirates from government, media, academia, and the private sector.
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spring Exercise

Simulated Top-Level Briefings Prepare Tomorrow’s Leaders

As the culmination of their Spring Exercise requirement, Master of Public Policy first-year students at the Kennedy School prepared detailed fictional memos to the U.S. President or European Space Agency Director General with plans to mine rare earth minerals on the moon by 2032. They presented their plans in simulated formal briefings.
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Women in Power logo

Finding Women’s Power Within

This year’s Women in Power Conference asked participants to share stories on how and where they found their “power within.” Speakers told personal stories about how they shattered boundaries in their different walks of life, ranging from fashion design and performance arts to politics and public service.
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Haiti Screenshot

Students Turn Learning Into Action

Central to the Center’s mission is preparing the next generation of leaders in science and international affairs. Here we highlight the Center’s collaborations with student organizations Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (W3D), Africa Caucus, Black Student Union, and European Club. 
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Energy and Climate

Arctic Data Stories

Communicating Arctic Science With Data Stories

On a brisk Sunday morning in late March, 19 students boarded a bus to Woodwell Climate Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, for the final session of the second annual Arctic Data Stories Workshop. After weeks of lectures and group work, plus an intensive “hackathon” the day before, they were eager to present their interactive StoryMaps to an audience of experts on Arctic climate science, policy, and communication.
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Pathways to Dealing With Permafrost Melt

The Center’s Arctic Initiative, in collaboration with Woodwell Climate Research Center, the Alaska Institute for Justice, and the Alaska Native Science Commission, has launched Permafrost Pathways: Connecting Science, People, and Policy for Arctic Justice and Global Climate. The Pathways project is a major effort to address the local and global impacts of Arctic permafrost thaw. 
Read more »

 U.S. offshore wind, carbon capture, and electric grid decarbonization policy brief covers.

Routes to Decarbonizing the U.S. and China

Belfer Center environment/science researchers are collaborating with their counterparts at China’s Tsinghua University to explore technologies most likely to bring about major decarbonization in the two countries. New policy briefs focus on U.S. offshore wind, carbon capture, and electric grid decarbonization.
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Science and Technology

Operationalizing Tech and Public Purpose

The Technology and Public Purpose Project (TAPP) presented its annual “Perspectives on Public Purpose Week” in April to showcase in-depth research projects completed by TAPP fellows. In this video, Director Ash Carter introduces the fellows who discuss their research on issues from the digital divide and data sharing to platform urbanism. 
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Women in STEM

Women in STEM: Experiences and Tips

To honor outstanding women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and to educate and encourage young women to enter STEM fields, Belfer Center Fellow Syra Madad hosted an event series featuring STEM leaders such as Ezinne Uzo-Okoro, Lori Garver, and Nagin Cox.
Read more »

A closeup of app buttons on a phone screen with a hovering thumb.

Controlling Data Privacy and Security

Despite years of efforts to pass national legislation to protect Americans’ personal and business data, there is not yet a law to prevent organizations’ use and sale of data in any way they wish. The Center's Cyber Project is working with partner organizations to develop bipartisan recommendations that should finally lead to passage of a national privacy and security law. 
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Community Spotlight

Belfer DIB Committee Members

Deepening the Center’s Commitment to Diversity

In 2020, every research and core staff team at the Center developed an action plan for achieving progress in diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIB). To continue building on that progress, a  DIB Committee of faculty, staff, and fellows was formed this academic year to assess progress and help develop best future practices.
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Jill Hazelton

Jill Hazelton Named International Security Editor

The Belfer Center is pleased to welcome Jacqueline (Jill) Hazelton as the new Executive Editor of the journal International Security. Hazelton, the Journal’s first female Executive Editor, joins the Center from the Naval War College where she taught strategy and policy. 
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John P. Holdren holding his award.

Center Experts Honored for Outstanding Accomplishments

The Belfer Center is proud of our colleagues who have recently received prestigious awards, honors, and appointments  for outstanding accomplishments in their fields. 

Hot Off the Presses

Four Book Covers

IS Journal Cover

Highlights from the Journal International Security

Among the thought-provoking articles in the Winter 2021/22 issue of the journal International Security are “Prediction and Judgment: Why Artificial Intelligence Increases the Importance of Humans in War” by Avi Goldfarb and Jon R. Lindsay and “Defending the United States: Revisiting National Missile Defense against North Korea” by Jaganath Sankaran and Steve Fetter. Also, see the journal's Spring issue, to be published May 13.
Read more »

Recent Podcasts 

In a documentary-style podcast, “The Great Wager,” produced with NPR and WBUR on the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s historic trip to China, Belfer Center Fellow and New York Times award-winning correspondent Jane Perlez connects the dots from Nixon and Mao to Putin and Xi.

In the Belfer Center's “Immutable: A Blockchain Podcast,” host Josh Burek, Director of Global Communications and Strategy, explores the emerging blockchain-based economy, looking at issues from smart contracts and stable coins to NFTs and definitions of terms related to this new era.


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Ash Carter, Director
Eric Rosenbach, Co-Director
Natalie Colbert, Executive Director

Editor: Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
Designer/Multimedia: Benn Craig Multimedia Producer
Digital Outreach: Julie Balise, Digital Communications Manager
Josh Burek, Director of Global Communications & Strategy

The Communications Office would like to thank the following staff members for their special assistance in producing this newsletter: Natalia Angel, Mariana Budjeryn, Natalie ColbertCarly DemetreLiz Hanlon, Mackenzie Heather, Alison Hillegeist, Brittany JanisSusan Lynch, Erika Manouselis, Emily O'Toole, Maria Robson, Matt ParentAmanda Sardonis, Nicholas Sung, and Lauren Zabierek.

All photos and graphics by Belfer Center unless otherwise noted.


For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Wilke, Sharon, ed. Belfer Center Newsletter Spring 2022. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Spring 2022.