Upcoming Speakers

Jok Madut Jok

Monday, January 24, 2022

Topic: US Military Training of African Forces: A Source of Influence or a National Security Risk?

Dr. Jok Madut Jok is a Professor of Anthropology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University.  Dr. Jok’s areas of specialization include security, governance, democracy, and development in South Sudan and Sudan. He has also written extensively about gender, sexuality and reproductive health, humanitarian aid, ethnography of political violence, gender-based violence, and war and slavery and the politics of identity in South Sudan and Sudan.

Dr. Jok is the author of Breaking Sudan: The Search for Peace (Oneworld Publications, 2017), Sudan: Race, Religion and Violence (One World Publication, 2007), War and Slavery in Sudan (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001), and Militarization, Gender and Reproductive Health in South Sudan (Edwin Mellen Press, 1998). He has also co-authored The Sudan Handbook (co-edited with J. Willis, J. Ryle and S. Baldo, James Currey, 2011).

Before joining the Maxwell School he was visiting professor of anthropology, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Linacre College.  He had also served in the government of South Sudan as undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, 2010-13.  He is the founding director of the Sudd Institute, a public policy research center.

 

Steve Simon

Monday, February 21, 2022

Topic: The US and the Middle East: What Went Wrong?

Steven Simon joined the Center for International Studies (CIS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2021 as its Robert E Wilhelm Fellow following a prolific career in government, private industry, and academia.

Simon served as the National Security Council (NSC) senior director for the Middle East and North Africa during the Obama Administration and as the NSC senior director for counterterrorism in the Clinton White House. These assignments followed a fifteen-year career at the US Department of State.

Between government assignments, he was a principal and senior advisor to Good Harbor LLC in Abu Dhabi and director of the Middle East office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Manama. He managed security-related projects at the RAND Corporation and was the Hasib Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

His academic appointments include: the John J McCloy ’16 Professor of History at Amherst College, lecturer in government at Dartmouth College, and most recently as Professor in the Practice of International Relations at Colby College. He has had fellowships at Brown University, Oxford University, and the American Academy in Berlin. He will continue his work as a non-resident senior research analyst with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank in Washington, DC.

During Simon’s time at MIT, he will be embarking on a project related to the liquidation of imperial commitments, exploring the effects of the war on terror on the United States, and writing a monograph on the history of US-Middle East relations from 1979 to the present, entitled The Long Goodbye: The United States and the Middle East from the Islamic Revolution to the Arab Spring, which will be forthcoming in 2022.

Simon has co-authored several books including The Age of Sacred Terror (Random House, 2004), winner of the Arthur C. Ross Award for best book in international relations; The Next Attack (Henry Holt, 2006), a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize which focused on the US response to 9/11; Iraq at the Crossroads: State and Society in the Shadow of Regime Change (Oxford, 2003); Building a Successful Palestinian State and The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State (RAND 2005); The Sixth Crisis (Oxford, 2010); The Pragmatic Superpower: The United States and the Middle East in the Cold War (W.W. Norton, 2016); and Our Separate Ways (Public Affairs, 2016).

David Cooper

Monday, March 14, 2022

Topic: The Third Nuclear Age: Between Disarmament and Armageddon

Dr. David A. Cooper recently retired as The James V. Forrestal Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where he previously served for eight years as the Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs. Before transitioning to academia he served for almost two decades as a career policy official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense including as Director of Strategic Arms Control Policy, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, and Senior Director for Homeland Security Integration. His areas of expertise include nuclear strategy, arms control and disarmament, nonproliferation, multilateral negotiations, homeland security, and international relations theory. He is the author most recently of Decision-Making in American Foreign Policy: Translating Theory Into Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and Arms Control for the Third Nuclear Age: Between Disarmament and Armageddon (Georgetown University Press, 2021).

Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, January 24, 2022
    Jok Madut Jok
    Topic: US Military Training of African Forces: A Source of Influence or a National Security Risk?
  • Monday, February 21, 2022
    Steve Simon
    Topic: The US and the Middle East: What Went Wrong?
  • Monday, March 14, 2022
    David Cooper
    Topic: The Third Nuclear Age: Between Disarmament and Armageddon

Past Speakers