Institute for Global and International Studies


The Global Policy Forum, housed within the Institute for Global and International Studies, provides a platform for scholars, policymakers, activists, and other international affairs leaders to discuss key global and transnational issues, including policy and aid effectiveness; governance and law; international development; and socially informed responses to disasters and crises.

Women, Development, and Mental Health in Tanzania: Preliminary Findings from Three Regions
May 14, 2014

Neely Myers, Research Professor of Anthropology; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, GW

This presentation offered preliminary findings from data collected in summer 2013, supported by the Global Gender Program and the Culture in Global Affairs Program in partnership with World Vision Tanzania. Myers conducted interviews with women in three regions of Tanzania (Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Singida) about their perceptions of well-being. The regions include places where World Vision had worked in the past, where they were setting up a new program, and where they had been offering development initiatives plan for a few years. The research sought to learn about women's perceptions of challenges in their lives, in their own words. This exploratory study indicates that learning about women's perceptions of well-being and mental health is itself challenging. 

Sponsored by the Global Gender Program, Culture in Global Affairs Program, and the Africa Working Group of IGIS

The Special Court for Sierra Leone: Political Justice?
May 6, 2014

Chris Mahony, Research Fellow, Centre for International Law Research and Policy and recently completed doctoral candidate in Politics at Keble College, Oxford

This paper traces the case selection at the Special Court for Sierra Leone through the Court's design to the interests behind its establishment. The paper illuminates how alignment of previously opposing British and US regional policy, facilitated conclusion of the conflict by foreign-backed force, and pursuit of transitional justice processes to reinforce that military outcome. After collusion between the British government and Senator Judd Gregg, the Clinton administration changed its policy from one supporting Liberian President Charles Taylor, to one opposing him. The Special Court for Sierra Leone formed part of a multi pronged US policy to remove Charles Taylor from power - a project that included economic isolation and tacit support of an armed insurgency. These geopolitical underpinnings instructed the Special Court's design, undermining the possibility of an impartial and fair criminal justice process while subjugating the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I conclude by considering the comparative case selection independence of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court. That comparative analysis indicates whether international criminal justice independence appears to be strengthening or weakening.

Sponsored by the Africa Working Group of IGIS

China's Foreign Aid and the International Aid Regime
March 24, 2014

Shino Watanabe, Associate Professor, Saitama University, Japan

Professor Watanabe will give a brief overview of China's foreign aid and identify its major characteristics. Second, she will examine major challenges and contributions of China's foreign aid to the international donor community and, if time allows, to recipient countries.

Co-sponsored with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies

Seminar on Governance of Conservation and Biodiversity in the Tibetan Region
February 12, 2014

Drawing on several decades of experience working in eastern Tibet, Mr. Golding provided an engaging and thought-provoking set of comments on his central question for an audience of students, researchers and policy studies community.

Ethan Golding is a Tibet specialist and Director of Winrock International in the PRC. Now based in Chengdu, he was trained in East Asian studies at Harvard and Stanford and first traveled to Tibet in 1983.

Co-sponsored with Culture in Global Affairs Program

Gender, Identity Politics, and State-society Relations on the Sino-Tibetan Border
February 3, 2014

Dr. Tenzin Jinba will discuss his current research and recent book, In the Land of the Eastern Queendom:  The Politics of Gender and Ethnicity on the Sino-Tibetan Border.  Recorded in classical Chinese texts, this legendary matriarchal domain has attracted not only tourists but the vigilance of the Chinese state.  Tenzin Jinba's research examines the consequences of development of the queendom label for local ethnic, gender, and political identities and for state-society relations. 

Co-sponsored with the Tibet Governance Project and Culture in Global Affairs Program


Mali: The Peaceful Resolution of Conflict
February 5, 2014

An interview with Michael Covitt, producer of the internationally renowned documentary film “333″ and founder of the Malian Manuscript Foundation.

The Sabatier Film Group’s Documentary Film, “333,” designed to increase awareness and understanding of the Ancient Manuscripts of Mali throughout the World, has been completed. This portrayal emphasizes the fundamental approach of these Malian Manuscripts, i.e., the resolution of conflicts through dialogue, tolerance and forgiveness.

Sponsored by the George Washington University Capitol Archaeological Institute in collaboration with The Africa Working Group at the Institute for Global and International Studies

The United States and Muslim Communities Around the World
January 28, 2014

The Distinguished Women in International Affairs series and the Master of International Policy and Practice program hosted a discussion with Farah Anwar Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U.S. Department of State. Farah Pandith was appointed the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities in June 2009 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Office of the Special Representative continues to be responsible for executing a vision for engagement with Muslims around the world based on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reports directly to the Secretary of State.

Co-sponsored with the Distinguished Women in International Affairs Series and the Master of International Policy and Practice program

The Price of Sugar: A documentary featuring Haitians in the Dominican Republic and raising questions of Human Rights
December 3, 2013

In light of the recent ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Court revoking citizenship for thousands of Haitian-descended Dominicans, this event brings to campus The Price of Sugar. This award-winning documentary focuses on the lives of marginalized Haitian sugar cane cutters, who are at the center of debates of migration, citizenship, and human rights in the Dominican Republic. Haiti scholar Dr. Robert Maguire will introduce the film, and visiting scholar and anthropologist Scott Freeman will facilitate a discussion.

Co-sponsored with the Western Hemisphere Working Group

An Evening with The Honorable Barbara Bodine
November 20, 2013

The Distinguished Women in International Affairs series, along with Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority, Sigma Iota Rho Elliott School Honor Society, and WIIS-GWU (Women in International Security at GWU) hosted an evening with The Honorable Barbara Bodine, former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen from 1997-2001. Ambassador Bodine discussed Yemen as a case study on the Arab Awakening, U.S. policy options and limitations in the region, and counter-terrorism.

Co-sponsored with the Distinguished Women in International Affairs Series, the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority, the Sigma Iota Rho Elliott School Honor Society, and WIIS-GWU (Women in International Security at GWU)

Why the World Bank Should Take a Human Rights Approach to Hydrodevelopment
October 23, 2013

This talk addressed hydrodevelopment and its connections to crimes against humanity with reference to Chixoy dam in Guatemala.

Co-sponosred with Culture in Global Affairs Program

Women as Successful Entrepreneurial Leaders in Agriculture: Ten Case Studies from Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America
October 17, 2013

Featuring Marlene Gummo Stearns, this seminar discusses ten case studies, informed by in-depth field interviews with women owners of small and medium sized enterprises. Stearns is a 2013 graduate of the Elliott School’s MIPP program, and her fieldwork was partially supported by the Global Gender Program.

Co-Sponsored with the Global Gender Program and Culture in Global Affairs Program.

Social Entrepreneurship: New Ideas for a Young South Africa
A Conversation with Luvuyo Mandela
October 16, 2013

 Luvuyo Mandela seeks to engage students and others in the concept of servicing community while building a nation. The idea is to be entrepreneurial so as to create jobs and new industries in order to help alleviate unemployment and the negative effects of poverty.

African Women on the Move: Diaspora Women’s Empowerment and a Call to Action to Invest in Africa’s Girls and Women
September 16, 2013

Speakers address the importance and impact of investing in women and girls in Africa and in the African diaspora. They include:
Imani M. Cheers, Assistant Professor, School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University
Tokunbo Koiki, Atlas Corps Fellow & African Foundation for Development
Nina Oduro, Founder, African Development Job
This event is part of the 13th Annual Ronald H. Brown African Affairs Series.

Co-sponsored with the Africa Working Group, Global Gender Program, and the Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN)

Humanitarian Aid Accountability – Expectations and Realities in Haiti
September 9, 2013

Panelists discuss the politics of humanitarian aid in the United States in the context of Haiti:
Mark Schuller, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and NGO Leadership Development, Northern Illinois University
Michael N. Barnett, University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
Thomas C. Adams, Haiti Special Coordinator, U.S. Department of State

Co-sponsored with the Western Hemisphere Working Group and with Culture in Global Affairs Program

Innovations in Health: A Discussion on MCC's Investments in Fighting NCDIs in Mongolia
June 6, 2013

MCC's nearly $40 million Health Project in Mongolia aims to address the high and growing incidence of non-communicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs). Through the project, MCC has invested in training and educational support, promoting policy changes, and provision of equipment and supplies to health facilities throughout Mongolia's 21 provinces.

Ms. Batsaikhan Bolormaa, Counselor for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Mongolia
Dr. A. Munkhtaivan, MCA-Mongolia Health Project Director
Dr. James M. Sherry, Professor of Global Health and International Affairs, The George Washington University
Dr. Silvija Staprans, Director of Medical Affairs; Strategic Partnerships & Stakeholder Engagement, Merck

Co-sponsored by the GW's Center for Global Health Development, the Elliott School's Institute for Global and International Studies, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation

Mobility, Precarity and Empowerment in African Migration
May 23, 2013

Presentations and discussion offer a creative re-thinking of African migration and displacement in which movement is typically cast as a process of "rupture" in which disconnections, losses, and dilemmas receive the most attention, thus neglecting how migrants and migration transform social, economic, and political processes.

Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff, George Washington University
Jorgen Carling, Peace Research Institute Oslo
Lisa Cliggett, University of Kentucky
Loren Landau, Witwatersrand University
Stephen Lubkemann, George Washington University
Martin Murray, University of Michigan
Bruce Whitehouse, Lehigh University

Co-sponsored by the Social Science Research Council and several programs at GW: CIBER, IFER, CIGA, IGIS, the Diaspora Program, and the Africana Studies Program

Big Trucks, Pop Star Politicians and Consensus Building:
The Politics of Development in Haiti
March 26, 2013

Raymond Joseph, former Haitian Ambassador to the US
Jonathan Katz, journalist and author
Mark Schneider, Crisis Group International who will discuss their recent work on post-Earthquake Haitian development

In the wake of the 2010 earthquake and the return to 'politics as usual' in Haiti, the effectiveness of international aid has come into question. Join the panelists in a discussion of the current governmental climate in Haiti, and the opportunities to respond to current crises within the domestic and international realm.

Co-sponsored with the Western Hemisphere Working Group

The Tibet Conundrum and the New Chinese Leadership: Emerging Dynamics after the Leadership Transition in Beijing
March 27, 2013


Jigme Ngapo, Tibet Analyst and Independent Scholar, Former RFA Tibetan Service Director

Dr. Susette Cooke, Lecturer in China Studies, University of Technology, Sydney

Steven Marshall, Senior Advisor, Congressional Executive Commission on China


Dr. Sean Roberts, Associate Professor of International Affairs Director, International Development Studies

Co-sponsored with the Tibet Governance Project

Challenges and Opportunities for the Tibetan Administration in Exile: Reflections on a Shifting Political Landscape
March 19, 2013

Lobsang Nyandak, Official Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas, Office of Tibet New York

Mr. Nyandak served as a Cabinet member of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala from 2001-2006. As a Cabinet member, he headed the Department of Information and International Relations, the Department of Finance and the Department of Health. He also served as a member of the Tibetan Parliament and as the first executive director of the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, one of the premier institutions that track and promote human rights and democracy for Tibetans.

Co-sponsored with the Tibet Governance Project

From Donor-Centrism to Data Paloozas: The New World of Development Cooperation
February 28, 2013

View video recording here

A conversation with Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Co-sponsored by the Latin and Hemispheric Studies Program, USAID, and the IGIS Western Hemisphere Working Group

Al Qaeda Country: Why Mali is Important
January 29, 2013

Peter Chilson, Associate Professor of English, Washington State University

Introduction by David Rain, Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs, GW

Prizewinning author Peter Chilson is one of the few Westerners to travel to the Mali conflict zone. There he found a hazy dividing line between the demoralized remnants of the former regime in the south and the new statelet in the north - Azawad - formed when a rebellion by the country's ethnic Tuareg minority as commandeered by jihadi fighters. In this inaugural lecture of the African Research and Policy Group of the Institute for Global and International Studies, Chilson will lay out the lines of conflicting interest in Mali as some of the world's great forces take notice. He is the author of the recent book, We Never Knew Exactly Where: Dispatches from the Lost Country of Mali. The book is jointly published by Foreign Policy and the Pulitzer Center.

Co-sponsored by Africa Working Group and the Institute for Global and International Studies

Leon Fuerth

Anticipatory Governance: Upgrading Government for the 21st Century
January 28th, 2013

View video recording here

Leon Fuerth, Research Professor of International Affairs, GW; Former National Security Advisor to Vice President Al Gore


Ambassador Tom Pickering, Vice Chairman of Hills & Co.

8:30 - 9:00AM Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00AM Discussion

If we are to remain a well-functioning Republic and a prosperous nation, we must get ahead of events or we risk being overtaken by them. That will only be possible by upgrading our legacy systems of management to meet today's unique brand of accelerating and complex challenges. Anticipatory Governance responds to this need by introducing three critical elements to existing Executive Branch functions: foresightfused to policy analysis; networked governance for mission-based management and budgeting; and feedback to monitor and adjust policy relative to initial expectations. Presidential transitions - the period of time between the election and inauguration - can be used to upgrade government processes. Leon Fuerth and Amb. Tom Pickering will discuss practical upgrades that the incoming administration could make to the Executive Branch systems; upgrades that are light on resources, compatible with the existing structures and processes of government, and fully executable under customary Presidential authorities.

Co-sponsored by the Project of Forward Engagement and the Institute for Global and International Studies

The Dark Side of Chocolate: A Documentary by Miki Mistrati and U. Roberto Romano
September 17, 2012

The Dark Side of Chocolate reveals new evidence that child labor and human trafficking continue in the cocoa fields for millions of children, nearly a decade after the major players in the cocoa industry promised to resolve these problems.

Introductory Remarks and Q&A by Sean Rudolph Campaigns Director, International Labor Rights Forum

Co-sponsored by The FREE Project at GW and the Institute for Global and International Studies

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