Newsletters

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Staff Spotlight: Julia Martin

| Spring 2020

To say that the Middle East Initiative (MEI) has shaped Julia Martin’s life would be an understatement. When she was a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School, Julia invited a friend to join her for an MEI film screening of The Band’s Visit. Amr accepted. Before long, they became husband and wife, and they are now raising three children together. 

Today, Julia serves as MEI’s Assistant Director, managing its programs, budgets, and strategic planning.

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Spotlight: Tarek Masoud

| Spring 2020

Our Spotlight in this newsletter is on Prof. Tarek Masoud, Faculty Chair of the Middle East Initiative (MEI).  In talking about MEI, Masoud says the Initiative is one of the most important ways in which HKS and Harvard engages with the contemporary Middle East. “It’s a bridge," he says. "My goal to make it into a superhighway.”

 

 

 

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Digital Currency Wars Simulation Tests New Economic Challenges

| Spring 2020

Digital currencies are on the rise. More than a decade after bitcoin made cryptocurrency mainstream, countries and central banks are evaluating whether to issue their own digital cash. The Belfer Center’s Economic Diplomacy Initiative (EDI) is exploring how policymakers should manage economic policy and the national security implications of this disruptive trend.

To illustrate the challenges posed by digital currency, EDI conducted a national security crisis simulation in Harvard Kennedy School’s JFK Jr. Forum. The simulation featured Harvard and MIT faculty and former government officials portraying National Security Council (NSC) members.

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Q&A with Amy Austin Holmes

| Spring 2020

Amy Austin Holmes is the Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar with the Belfer Center’s Middle East Initiative. An Associate Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo, she has lived and taught in the Middle East since 2008 and is an expert on minority groups such as Kurds, Syriac-Assyrian Christians, and Nubians. She is the author of the 2019 book Coups and Revolutions: Mass Mobilization, the Egyptian Military, and the United States from Mubarak to Sisi.

In the Q&A section of this newsletter, we asked Amy Austin Holmes about her work.

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

From the Director

| Spring 2020

The Belfer Center’s commitment to the Middle East transcends study of a contentious part of the world, writes Belfer Center Director Ash Carter. Our higher purpose, he says, is fostering real engagement with diverse populations. In a region where human connection—both between and within borders—remains wanting, the Center understands that there’s no substitute for direct conversation with those who make the Middle East their home.

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

Welcome to New Senior Fellows

| Spring 2020

The Geopolitics of Energy project is pleased to welcome Adnan Amin as a Senior Fellow this year. Ambassador Marcie Ries, a career diplomat with nearly four decades of experience in the U.S. Foreign Service, served in Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Susan M. (Sue) Gordon was Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence until August 2019.

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

In Memoriam: Patricia McLaughlin

| Spring 2020

Patricia (Pat) McLaughlin, our beloved colleague and friend at the Center since 2001, passed away in February after a brief illness. Hired as Faculty Assistant to John Holdren, Co-Director of the Center’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP) nearly 20 years ago, she continued to work with STPP and with John until her illness.

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

Brexit: What Now?

Spring 2020

On January 31, the long-awaited or long-feared Brexit took place: The United Kingdom left the European Union. What does Brexit mean to the UK, EU, and the rest of the world? Brexit experts from the Belfer Center’s Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship and Future of Diplomacy Project shared their thoughts on this major event. Read their remarks below.