Posts Tagged ‘alumni’

Meet the SIPA community

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

There are many reasons people choose to apply and come to SIPA — one of the main reasons is the people who make up the SIPA community.  Students come here with a set of experiences and they leave here with another set of experiences; coupled with experiences they gain once they leave… Stir in some solid academics, resources and networks and you have the making of an influential global leader.

But it all starts with a visit to the Columbia campus in New York — throughout the year prospects meet with current SIPA students, speak with faculty and discuss opportunities with administrators.  Then they leave and find themselves crossing paths with alumni… in Paris, Jakarta, Oklahoma City, Seattle, Perth, and Nairobi.  And before you know it, you want to be a part of the family.  However, if you want to go stealth, it’s best not to mention SIPA (and definitely do not carry a SIPA bag) because you will find yourself in conversation with another fellow seeple, where ever you are in the world.

Admission decisions have gone out to many and the connections being made are in full bloom.  We have connected hundreds of newly admitted students with alumni around the world and soon they will be getting together in person to have a drink or a meal.  Just last week, we had the opportunity to meet some of our newly admitted students in San Francisco.  They attended a lecture on “Corruption in Latin America” presented by one of SIPA’s newest faculty, Professor Paul Lagunes  — alumni and staff were also in attendance — bringing the community together on the west coast.

We’re looking forward to meeting our newest students in New York next week at Admitted Students’ Day — many flying in from other continents.  The ‘meet and greets’ continue with other social and academic driven events around the world in the next few months until the students arrive to start their adventure at SIPA in August.

SIPA provides committed students with the necessary skills and perspectives to become responsible leaders. In 1954, students hailed from six countries outside the United States and graduates worked in 17 different nations. Today, nearly half of SIPA’s 1,200 students are from outside the United States and the School’s 18,000 alumni work in more than 155 nations around the globe.

The connections at SIPA are strong and expanding.

Things to think about (do) before you apply for grad school

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

As the summer draws to an end, many people contemplate going to graduate school.  There are a lot of reasons to go back to school but you should decide if those reasons are good enough reasons to spend a year or two (or three) studying and taking exams and incurring debt while you are out of the job market.  You should also consider what is it that you hope to do when you graduate.  If you are thinking about pursuing a career in global public policy (because almost every aspect of life is affected by policy decisions and because you want to make an impact on the global community); getting into a highly competitive, highly impactful organization takes a higher level of training and expertise that a master’s degree can provide.

Going into a graduate program is a big investment in your career and it’s a way to focus on your passion.  Graduate school programs are very specific, so you should know what you want to get out of it before going into it.  You should look at going to graduate school to enhance and develop certain skill sets that will help you achieve a specific job that you want to have post-graduate school.

The piece of paper you get after you finish a program is not going to guarantee anything; it’s the experiences in and around graduate school such as the networking opportunities with students, faculty, and alumni, how you position yourself through the courses you take, the student organizations you may be involved in, events you attend, the internships and assistantships you obtain; your graduate school experience will make the difference on the impact you hope to have, personally and professionally.

You should research the various programs – make sure it’s the right program that offers you the concentration you are interested in studying that will help you get the job in a specific field that you had your eye on.  Start your research early.  You should visit the school/program websites, speak with the admissions offices, attend information sessions, sit in on a class, meet with a professor doing research in your area of interest, review course descriptions and curriculum outlines, and take the time to speak with students and alumni to get their perspectives about the program and life after school.

Find the right school and program that aligns with your interests and will get you the access to the opportunities that matter.

Ever wonder what SIPA’s Office of Career Services offers?

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

SIPA’s Office of Career Services (OCS) provides students and alumni with the necessary tools to successfully manage their immediate internship and full-time job search as well as their professional development throughout their careers.  Among OCS’s services are individual advising on a range of career-related topics; a required professional development course; career events; recruitment and employer outreach programs; and professional networking opportunities.  Students and alumni are encouraged to partner with OCS and dedicate time to independent research and networking to build bridges with the professional world.  (See more)


The Professional Development class, which is administered through OCS, heightens the awareness and involvement of students in career planning.  This mandatory half-credit course develops the skills needed to compete effectively in the international and public affairs job markets.  Instructors provide direction on writing resumes and cover letters, job search tactics, successful interviewing, networking, negotiating employment offers, and other key career topics.


Students are required to conduct an internship as part of their degree requirement, and this is also administered through OCS.  The internship is typically done in the summer between the first and second year, although it can be completed at any time during the program.


On an individual level, OCS career advisers provide students and alumni with career advice, job search strategy tips, resume and cover letter reviews, and general career information.  OCS also maintains the SIPA Career Coaching (SIPACC) program, which is comprised of alumni working in a variety of jobs who provide industry specific information and advice.  Students can arrange appointments once they have registered for classes in August through SIPAlink, our recruitment software.  (See more )


To update students on programming and services, OCS compiles a weekly newsletter that lists information on career events, fellowship opportunities, upcoming recruitment visits, job/internship postings, and other essential information for their job search.  (See more )


Learn more about pursuing a graduate degree in international affairs

Monday, June 17th, 2013

We’re heading down to DC on Wednesday, June 19th.  Spread the word.  If you are in the area and want to mingle with admissions representatives, alumni and current students; you should plan to stop by.  If you can’t make it to this one, we’ll be back again on July 18th.

Representatives from the following graduate international affairs programs will be available:

  • Columbia University – School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
  • Georgetown University – Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Johns Hopkins University – The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
  • Princeton University – The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
  • Tufts University – The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Registration will start at 5:30 p.m., presentation begins at 6:00 p.m.  If you are interested in attending, you may register in advance through the Summerfest 2013 Eventbrite link:

The event will be held at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS), Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.  The easiest method of transportation is via Metro. SAIS is about a 5-minute walk from the Dupont Circle Metro stop (Red Line).

Hope to see you there.



ASD 2013

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Okay, I know as an admissions blogger it was my job to convince YOU how great SIPA is, but I have to admit yesterday it was kind of the other way around. I started off Admitted Students Day excited to meet future Seeple (that’s our shorthand for SIPA people) obviously, but also pretty groggy. I have had a cold for the past week, on top which I’ve spent most of my free time lately writing my final papers or job searching. Such is the life of a last semester grad student. So it was a truly needed breath of fresh air to spend my day extolling SIPA’s virtues and reminding myself to take advantage of all we have to offer over my last six weeks on campus.

I struck up a conversation first thing in the morning with a prospective student who was interested in energy solutions in the Middle East. Within minutes I was connecting him via email with a classmate who had worked for an oil company in Jordan. Another student at my lunch table asked me about networking opportunities in the Energy and Environment field, I looked across the room and called over a classmate who had just organized the Columbia University Earth Summit. No matter the policy field, I knew an expert.

The thing is these are not just my contacts during my time at Columbia. For the rest of my professional career, when faced with a policy question, I can pick up the phone or send an email to an expert on virtually any policy area in any country in a matter of minutes. Other schools, which are smaller, offer fewer programs or are strictly domestic don’t offer students that kind of network. THAT’S the SIPA advantage.  Now combine that with access to a University- wide alumni network of thousands and SIPA connections are simply beyond compare.

Look for more updates on what I learned at Admitted Students Day coming soon!


-Nancy Leeds


TEDx Columbia SIPA = cool

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

TEDxColumbiaSIPA is a locally-organized, student-led event designed to spark authentic, impassioned, and open-minded dialogue in our community.  Drawing from both TEDx’s mission of “Ideas Worth Spreading” and SIPA’s focus on addressing challenges around the globe, the event will be organized under the theme of “A Better World.”

TEDxColumbiaSIPA will be held on Friday, February 15th, 2013 at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York City.  Speakers include Joel Klein, VP, NewsCorp & former Chancellor of NYC Dept. of Education, Leila Makarechi, COO, MicroClinic International & SIPA alumna, Yvonne Macpherson, Executive Director, BBC Media Action USA, Joseph Stiglitz, Professor at Columbia University & Nobel Prize- winning Economist, Adam Scher, Captain, US Army & current SIPA student, Andrew Rasiej, Founder, Personal Democracy Forum, Paul Krugman, Professor at Princeton University & Nobel Prize-winning Economist, Victor Casanova & Michael Craft, filmmakers, Route2Happiness & SIPA alumni, PigPen Theatre Co., award-winning actors and musicians, and many more…

Unfortunately, the event is sold out — to be expected with fascinating topics and a high-level roster of speakers… But the good news is that the event will be live-streamed so you can catch it online in your pajamas at: 


Top 10 Communication Tips 2011 – #7

Friday, September 9th, 2011

This is the seventh entry in our “Top 10″ list for you to consider when communicating with our office and applying.

Number 7 – Check out our student, alumni, faculty, staff interview page.

One of the most common requests we get is from prospective students is the opportunity to speak with alumni, students, or faculty. The top priority of our faculty is to work with current students and they often are unable to respond to the high volume of email requests. We generally reserve contact with our alumni to current students for the same reason – sheer volume.

We do have student volunteers but their top priority is to focus on their studies and professional development. We do our best to put applicants in touch with current students but often this takes a bit of time and coordination.

However, you can hear from students, alumni, staff, and faculty by visiting our interview page. We have text and video interviews and biographies available and we continually try to add new content. This is a great way to hear directly from those with experience in our programs without having to wait.

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SIPA Video

Monday, September 5th, 2011

The following video, featuring administrators, students, faculty, and alumni, is a great introduction to all that SIPA has to offer.  Enjoy.

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Picture This

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

SIPA students have a lot of talent that they express in different ways and recent graduate Lenny Pridatko (SIPA 2011), has launched with photographs of Columbia University. He is currently working on his first picture book, Columbia University in Pictures. He hopes to make a career out of making picture books.

Pridatko came to SIPA in January 2009, with an interest in merging photography and international relations. A year later, he launched his first photography website,, and soon afterward, began working on a Columbia University picture book, a first in the university’s history. At SIPA, he concentrated in Management and became the school’s honorary photographer at events and parties.

Samantha McCann, 2nd year MPA, joined Pridatko on the project in May 2011, to help write text for and edit the book. (Pridatko avoids writing at all cost). McCann is Editor-in-Chief of SIPA’s bi-weekly newspaper, Communiqué, and is specializing in media and communications. This is her second book project, but her first contribution to a photography book.  Enjoy a few of his photos.

Careers in International Affairs

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Prospective students often ask questions about the types experience we look for and the types of careers graduates of our programs pursue.  One great resource related to this topic is the book Careers in International Affairs.

It is quite common for career services offices at colleges to carry the book so if you are still in school I would recommend dropping by to see if it is available. If not, ask them to order it.  If you are out of school you might check public libraries or it is available in book or digital form via  Below is the very robust table of contents – it is a great book no matter your age or experience level.

Part I: Strategies

Maria Pinto Carland

Maria Pinto Carland

Maria Pinto Carland

Maria Pinto Carland

Candace Faber

Part II: Types of Employers


Careers in the U.S. Government
Matthew McManus

Careers in the U.S. Foreign Service
Maura Harty

Reflections on Joining the Foreign Service
Yvonne Gonzales

Careers on Capitol Hill
Denis McDonough

Careers in Intelligence Analysis
Volko F. Ruhnke

Introduction to the Presidential Management Fellows Program
Robert F. Danbeck

A Presidential Management Fellow Looks Back
Beth Flores


Careers in International Organizations
Jorge Chediek

Starting Out at the United Nations
Alf Ivar Blikberg


Careers in Banking
Jeff Bernstein

Getting Started in Banking
Jae Lee


Careers in Business
Karla Sullivan Bousquet


Careers in Business-Related Organizations
Jonathan Huneke

Getting Started in Business—Government Relations
Stephen Ziehm


Careers in Consulting
Lindsey Tyler Argalas


Careers in International Development
Kristi Ragan

Careers in Relief
Patricia L. Delaney


Careers in Nonprofits
Denis Dragovic


Careers in University Research Institutes
Elizabeth Gardner

Getting Started in Research Institutes
Emile El-Hokayem

Life at SIPA – The Student View

Monday, August 1st, 2011

When I speak with alumni and ask them about their fondest memories of SIPA there is one unanimous first response – fellow students.  Hands down the response is something like the following:

“My fellow students were the best part of my SIPA experience.  I met so many people from all over the world and was able to debate issues, socialize, and learn alongside an incredibly diverse group of people.  And now whenever I go somewhere in the world, I can count on a couch to crash on.”

This is not an exact quote, but basically summarizes most of the conversations I have had.  If you want to get a glimpse into life at SIPA there is no better way than to get an insider perspective.  Last year a group of students conducted a survey of student life at SIPA and posted an entry to the SIPA student blog, The Morningside Post.  Even though the article was written last year, I think it is great fodder for both incoming and prospective students.  Below is the intro to the blog entry written by Stig Pettersen, followed by the link to the full post.

One year ago, my feelings about getting on the plane from Norway to New York were very different from today. While today, I am returning to a reasonably familiar life at SIPA, heading off to live in the Big Apple and attend an Ivy League graduate school for the first time in my life was a very different experience. To be quite honest, I had no idea what to expect when it came to what my life would look like for the next two years.

How much of a workoholic would I need to be? Would I ever have time to socialize and explore the many bars and bustling nightlife of the metropolis? Would I manage to find scholarships to fund the sky high tuition fees, or would my graduation debt ricochet past any previously expected amount? Would I get the precious sleep needed to function normally? Would I make friends, or would I spend a lot of time alone? Would I find time to communicate with the loved ones I was about to part from? And what kind of people would I share my days at SIPA with?

To continue, click here.

Back to the Future? Sustainability and NYC

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Imagine going to sleep and waking up 30 years later. What would sustainability in New York City look like?

Recent SIPA grad Roberto Leal (MPA ESP ’11) looks insightfully ahead in an essay submitted to “Energy for Tomorrow,” an online debate and competition sponsored by Time, Fortune and Shell. Writers were asked to explore energy innovations in the urban environment and how they will affect consumer behavior. Leal’s essay has advanced to the final round.

Leal tells the story of a student who wakes up in the future “to find a sustainable urban environment where consumer trends have adapted to environmental demands: environmentally friendly transport is fuelled by clean energy, new innovations in the power sector have resulted in its decentralization, renewable energy abounds and everyday products are grown in urban farms.”

SIPA Alumni Medal Recipient

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

SIPA congratulates Jian Ni “Nina” Sun (MIA ’01) on being awarded the Columbia Alumni Medal at the 2011 University Commencement. The Alumni Medal is the highest honor bestowed by the Columbia Alumni Association for distinguished service to the University.

Sun graduated from SIPA with a Master of International Affairs focusing on international business. She is co-founder of Sunnybund Consulting, Inc., a public relations agency in Shanghai, China. She serves as co-president of the Columbia Alumni Association of Shanghai and is the international advisory board member for Columbia’s Global Center in Beijing.

She says students from China and other nations around the world return from Columbia and SIPA with an exceptional education and the SIPA spirit – the spirit of providing service.

The Columbia Alumni Medal, first awarded in 1933, recognizes alumni for service to the University – including its schools, alumni associations, regional Columbia Clubs, and University-wide initiatives.

SIPA has more than 18,000 alumni in 153 countries around the world. SIPA sponsors events around the world that provide alumni with meaningful social, intellectual, and professional networking opportunities.

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Career Services – Recruiters’ Guide

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

When describing SIPA to prospective applicants I will often say that SIPA is not an employment agency, however it is our job as a school to produce graduates that are prized in the policy marketplace.  Our curriculum is designed to equip graduates with the tools and skills that are desired by organizations in all sectors – public, private, and nonprofit.

The Office of Career Services (OCS) plays an important part in the development of our students.  OCS is responsible for running our professional development classes and assists students with resume and cover letter writing along with interview training.

The OCS mission extends beyond student development and includes extensive outreach to employers.  This includes site visits to employers, setting up recruitment opportunities at SIPA, hosting an annual career conference in Washington DC, and posting internships and jobs available to SIPA students and alumni.

Newly admitted students will have the opportunity to begin working with OCS during orientation.  As a short preview of the outreach that OCS performs, click here to view the OCS Recruiters’ Guide (PDF document).

Summer Reading

Monday, May 9th, 2011

One question we typically get from admitted applicants this time of year is advice for summer reading prior to the start of the fall term. There are generally two opinions from those I ask at SIPA about this topic.

The first group says something like, “Do as much fun reading as you can!  You won’t have any time to read “fun” stuff while at SIPA because you will be so busy.”  Of course your SIPA reading will be meaningful, but it might not be like reading a page turning popular novel.

The second group offers advice on reading that is directly related to what SIPA is all about.  This can be divided into reading materials specific to courses and reading that is just related to topics in international and public affairs.  A future entry will be posted with information on accessing class listings and example syllabi so you can look forward to that, but for now here are some digital resources for you to consider reading and following in the coming months.

SIPA Faculty Blogging and Online Forums:

Steven Cohen: The Huffington Post
Steven Cohen is director of SIPA’s Energy and Environment concentration; director of the MPA program in Environment Science and Policy; executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Stuart Gottlieb: The Arena on Politico

Stuart Gottlieb teaches American foreign policy and counterterrorism.

Gary Sick: Gary’s Choices on Tumblr
Gary Sick is a senior research scholar at Columbia’s Middle East Institute and an adjunct professor at SIPA. He served on the National Security Council for three presidents, and is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Iran and the Persian Gulf region.

Hassan Abbas: Asia Society and Watandost
Hassan Abbas is Quaid-i-Azam Professor with SIPA and Columbia’s South Asia Institute. He teaches courses focusing on politics, religion and security in South Asia.

Guillermo Calvo: The Ecomomist
Guillermo Calvo is the director of SIPA’s mid-career Program in Economic Policy Management (PEPM).  Professor Calvo’s main field of expertise is macroeconomics of emerging market and transition economies.

Rodolfo de la Garza: WNYC
Rodolfo de la Garza specializes in immigration, Latino political behavior, and public policy. He directs the Project on Immigration, Ethnicity, and Race and is vice-president of the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California.

José Antonio Ocampo: Project Syndicate
José Antonio Ocampo is director of Economic and Political Development concentration at SIPA, and a Fellow of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. Professor Ocampo previously served in a number of positions in the United Nations and the Government of Colombia.

Jagdish Baghwati: The American Interest

Jagdish Baghwati is the Arthur Lehman Professor of Economics and a professor of political science.

Benjamin Orlove: Earth Institute’s State of the Planet
Benjamin Orlove focuses on environment and climate change. He is an anthropologist who has conducted field work in the Peruvian Andes, East Africa, the Italian Alps, and Aboriginal Australia.

Tanya Domi: The New Civil Rights Movement
Tanya Domi is Senior Public Affairs Officer at Columbia University’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs. She teaches human rights at SIPA.

Howard Freidman: The Huffington Post

Howard Friedman works as a statistician and health economist for the United Nations, currently focused on the areas of maternal and newborn child health, health expenditures, and fertility at UNFPA. He teaches health economics at SIPA.

Anne Nelson: PBS Media Shift
Anne Nelson specializes in international media development and has worked extensively as an analyst, evaluator, and practitioner in the field.

Ralph Da Costa-Núñez: The Huffington Post

Ralph Da Costa-Núñez is President and CEO of Homes for the Homeless, and President of Institute for Children and Poverty, an independent think tank which focuses poverty, homelessness, and the impact on children and families.

Student and alumni blogging:

SIPA’s student-run blog: The Morningside Post

Thanassis Cambanis’ graduate seminar blog: Writing About War.

Samantha Barthelemy (MIA ’11/Sciences Po dual-degree): SAMANHATTAN.

Michelle Chahine (MIA ’12): First Generation.

Josh Gartner (MIA ’06): China Policy Pod.

Francisco Noguera (MPA DP ’12): Next Billion

San Francisco Happy Hour

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

For admitted applicants the happy hour in San Francisco is now confirmed.  If you live in the San Francisco area or will be there on April 21st and are an admitted applicant, you are welcome to join.  Location details and registration information is available on the Welcome Page referenced in your admission letter.

This only leaves one event that has been postponed – London.  It now looks like the London event will take place in June and we will post details as they become available.

We also welcome admitted applicants to schedule their own meet ups.  This can be done on the message board, details on how to log in to the message board are on the Welcome Page.

Alumni Notes #2: February 2011

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Last week we featured a post highlighting some of our alumni.  This is the promised follow up post covering some other sectors.  Below are sector titles, names, program, graduation year, organizations, and titles.  Feel free to follow the links for related pages on those referenced.

NGOs and United Nations

Frederick Abrahams – MIA 1995:  Senior Advisor, Human Rights Watch

Diana Bruce – MPA 1997:  Director of Health and Wellness, District of Columbia Public Schools

Judy Cheng-Hopkins – MIA 1978:  Assistant Secretary-General, UN Capital Development Fund

Kimberley George - MIA 2006:  Executive Director, Greater Brooklyn Health Coalition

Joshua Lockwood – MIA 1997:  Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity, New York

Anselme Sadiki – MIA 2003:  Programme Specialist – Governance/Rule of Law, UNDP

David Saltzman – MPA 1985:  Executive Director, Robin Hood Foundation

Hawthorne Smith – MIA 1992:  Clinical Co-Director, Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture

Cihan Sultanoglu - MIA 1981:  Director of the Office of Human Resources, Bureau of Management, UNDP


Patricia Cloherty - MIA 1968:  Director, NYSE Euronext Inc

Kirsten Frivold – EMPA 2003:  Vice President, Goldman Sachs & Co

Lloyd Kass – MPA 1998:  Vice President Energy Solutions, Willdan

Kedin Kilore – MPA 1995:  Head of US Emissions Trading, Barclays Capital

Amy Miller - MIA 1982:  Managing Director and Head of Global Loan Syndications, Scotia Capital

Bart Oosterveld - MPA 1997:  Chief Credit Officer, Moody’s Government and Infrastructure Finance

Brian Wynter – MIA 1985:  Governor, Bank of Jamaica

Academia and Think Tanks

Richard Greenwald – MPA 1993:  Senior Fellow, Center of Civic Innovation, Manhattan Institute

Francesco Mancini – MIA 2003:  Senior Fellow and Director of Research, International Peace Institute

Kara McGuire Minar – MIA 1992:  Director of Career Services, Harvard University Institute of Politics

Luis Carlos Ugalde - MPA 1992:  Faculty of the Department of Political Science, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Alumni Notes #1: February 2011

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Every so often I work with our Director of Alumni Affairs and I get highlights on what some of our alumni are doing.  I received a report from her earlier this week and started to digest it.  I decided to divide the information into two posts.  This first post covers three general sectors and the next post will cover NGOs, the United Nations, business, academia and think tanks.

Below are sector titles, names, program, graduation year, organizations, and titles.  Feel free to follow the links for related pages on those referenced.

Media and Technology

Na Eng - MIA 1999:  News and Documentary Producer, CNBC.

Omoyele  Sowore – MPA 2003:  Founder of

Claire Shipman – MIA 1994:  Senior National Correspondent, ABC News

Richard Smith – MIA 1969:  Chairman, Newsweek

Lan Yang – MIA 1996:  Sun Media Investment Holdings

Politics and Government

Bill de Blasio – MIA 1987:  New York City Public Advocate

Eric Garcetti - MIA 1995:  President, Los Angeles City Council

Patricia Haslach – MIA 1981:  Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy of the Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator for the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, US Department of State

Shannon Lightner-Gometz – MPA 2001:  Deputy Director, Illinois Dept of Public health, Office of Women’s Health

Robert Scher - MIA 1991:  Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, U.S. Department of Defense

Chun Yung Woo – MIA 1994:  Korean Senior Presidential Secretary for Foreign Affairs and National Security, Korean Government.


Scott Campbell – MIA 1995:  Executive Director, Elton John AIDS Foundation

Richard Greenberg – MPA 2004:  President, The Fund for New Jersey.

Anisa Kamadoli Costa – MIA 1998:  President, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation

Ferry Pausch – MIA 2001:  Managing Director, Deutschlandstiftung Integration

Rita Soni – MIA 2001:  CEO, NASSCOM Foundation


Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It is not uncommon to see SIPA faculty, students, and alumni in the news.  Below are a few recent examples.

Helping TANF Help Children

Professor Swati Desai has been appointed as a senior advisor to the Urban Institute, on a project to improve state performance measures for TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

TANF is a federal program, providing cash assistance to indigent families with dependent children. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, providing block grants to states, which administer their individual programs.

Desai, an expert in performance management, will spend much of 2011 advising the Urban Institute in choosing and analyzing the data for states that have implemented state-level TANF performance measurement systems that includes both outcome and process indicators and have been identified as having promising practices.

“As planning for TANF reauthorization approaches, there is a focus on improving the program’s accountability structure,” said Desai. “The program was created to help needy families reach self-sufficiency by providing cash assistance, work opportunities, and other services. But under the current accountability structure, it is difficult to know whether the program is actually meeting this goal.  The Urban Institute study will help inform the policy debate by conducting in-depth case studies of a few states.”

Desai is an associate professor at SIPA, teaching public and nonprofit management, and performance management. She previously served in a variety of positions with the City of New York’s Human Resources Administration, most recently as Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Evaluation and Research, which provides cash assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid to residents.


Stephen Sestanovich writes “America’s Facile, Self-Congratulatory Response to Wikileaks,” in The New Republic.

Here is short excerpt from the article:

The case for confidentiality in diplomatic communications doesn’t make exceptions. Most negotiations can’t be successful if every move—every embarrassing concession in which you compromise a point today that you declared sacrosanct yesterday—is made in public. By and large, because the United States is so powerful, we actually gain the most from confidentiality. Secrecy can shield the concessions that others make to us. Without it, they are more stubborn, more fearful, less able to act.

On the Front Lines of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

On December 18, Congress voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Veteran and SIPA alumnus Justin Johnson (MIA ’10) writes in the NY Daily News:

“Our battalion faced fierce combat as the 1,000 or so Marines conducted stability and security operations in a city of over 300,000. The bonds we formed in combat inspire and drive me to this day.

“The difficulty of this combat tour … forced me to confront my own mortality and make sense of what I experienced and what it meant for my life. I made the incredibly difficult decision to come out to my family and to leave active duty when my period of required service expired in June of 2005. I wanted to stay in the Marines, but did not want to serve in an environment where my entire life and career could be upended because of who I am – regardless of my performance in the position.” More

Creating and Cultivating Global Parents

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Alumna Stephanie Meade (MIA ’02) launched an online magazine for parents raising little global citizens: She says it will focus on culture, language, and traditions that appeal to parents raising multicultural and multilingual children, as well as global parenting practices.

“SIPA gave me the foundation and tools to move my career in international relations to a new level. Plus a community of amazing and talented friends who still inspire me. With children, I didn’t want to travel as much as I used to in my career, so I chose to incorporate my passions into something that matters to me –”