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Students in the program choose from the following three seminars for their fall 2016 Global Fellows seminar (3 credits):

The seminars are based in global leadership and policy and designed specifically for Global Fellows in Washington, DC participants. See below for details. All FGSM courses are cross-listed with Honors courses.

FGSM380: Responses to Global Challenges: A Practitioner's PerspectiveDown Arrow for FGSM380

Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., SQH 1107

The course will examine global issues and responses primarily from the perspective of the practitioner, as a means of providing students with practical insight into the challenges and crises that exist worldwide. The focus will be on a range of social, humanitarian, and human rights issues set in different global contexts. Class topics may include humanitarian assistance and international humanitarian law, refugees and vulnerable populations, human rights, global health, environmental and human security policy, the role of Congress and the Executive branch, U.S. and U.N. relations, and good governance initiatives. The class will utilize public institution publications and government documents, as well as academic literature, in the readings. Practitioners with experience in the field will share their knowledge and expertise with students and participate in class discussions. Class attendance and active participation is crucial to the course. The guest speakers, representing different organizations, will provide students with a better understanding of the range of possible responses to global challenges. This seminar will also focus on the practical knowledge needed for careers in the international arena.

Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378B.

Instructors for FGSM380/HONR378B:

Rhoda Margesson, Ph.D., Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division at the Congressional Research Service

Dr. Margesson works as a Specialist in International Humanitarian Policy in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division at the Congressional Research Service (CRS). She conducts research and policy analysis on international organizations and global issues, with a focus on humanitarian assistance and intervention, disaster relief, displaced populations, and some aspects of human rights. As a member of the United Kingdom delegation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union, she serves as an election observer. Previously, she was an Associate with Harvard’s Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution and worked in the conflict resolution field on both domestic and international projects. Dr. Margesson has also held research and teaching fellow positions at both the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Margesson earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy and a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School, a Graduate School of International Affairs at Tufts University.

FGSM370:  Science Diplomacy: Foreign Policy and Science, Technology, and InnovationDown Arrow for FGSM370

Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., SQH 1101

Our world is increasingly defined by scientific advancements and technological innovation. Solutions to today’s global challenges — in economic growth/poverty reduction, climate change, food security, and health – will rely on developments in science and technology. Science is now a global endeavor. Developing countries are investing heavily in their science and technology infrastructure. The United States and many other countries view S&T as the means to achieve economic goals and ensure the well-being of their populations. The pursuit of knowledge and technology development relies on national level efforts and also extends beyond national jurisdictions. As a result, the linkages between foreign policy and S&T have never been stronger. Science Diplomacy integrates the foreign policy and scientific and technological communities. The U.S. integrates scientific and technological knowledge into our diplomacy to help ensure that our policies are technically sound, programmatically viable, and politically feasible. This course will explore the science and technology/foreign policy nexus with specific sectoral assessments to include energy and climate change, public health, space and innovation, and economic development. Students, through expert speakers, presentations, readings, and negotiation exercises, will explore the critical roles scientific knowledge and technological innovation play in the formation and implementation of foreign policy issues.

Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378D.

Instructors for FGSM370/HONR378D:

Jonathan Margolis, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health, Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Dr. Margolis, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space and Health in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. In this position, he is responsible for policies and programs in the areas of International Science & Technology Cooperation, Space & Advanced Technologies, and International Health and Biodefense. From 2007-2011, Dr. Margolis served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Communications in the Bureau of International Information Programs. Dr. Margolis oversaw the Bureau’s internet, video and print products, including social media. From 2006-2007, Dr. Margolis served as the Senior Coordinator for Global and Functional Issues in the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance, where he oversaw reform efforts to ensure effective use of foreign assistance resources, through strategic planning and transparent performance measures. From 1997-2006, Dr. Margolis served as the Department's Special Representative for Sustainable Development and as the Director of the Office of Policy Coordination and Initiatives in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. As Special Representative, he headed the U.S. Delegation to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Margolis joined the State Department in 1991 as a American Association for Advancement of Science Diplomacy Fellow and was integrally involved in environment, water, and economic issues and programs, as part of the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process through 1996. During that time he served as the Division Chief for the Middle East and Asia in the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at American University and the Foreign Service Institute, where he conducted courses on environmental policy, negotiations, and international organizations. Margolis has a Ph.D. from Harvard University in psychology, focusing on negotiation and conflict resolution. He holds a Master's Degree from the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy. His undergraduate degree is in Fine Arts from Harvard College.

Griffin M. Thompson, Ph.D., Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation, Bureau of Energy Resources

Dr. Thompson is responsible for guiding the Bureau's work on energy transformation, leveraging U.S. leadership in clean energy innovation to open markets for U.S. companies abroad by promoting market-based policies and the introduction of advanced and efficient clean energy technologies. Before joining the Bureau of Energy Resources, Dr. Thompson was the Senior Climate Change Program Manager in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, and served as the U.S. Government lead negotiator on Technology within the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Dr. Thompson was also responsible for overseeing the planning, designing and implementation of the Department’s energy and climate project portfolio. This includes facilitating the strategic development of the programs, generating the substantive policy, technical and budgetary rationale for the programs, and managing the implementation of the project portfolio: clean energy, adaptation, and sustainable landscapes. Before coming to the State Department, Dr. Thompson served as Director of the Office of Energy at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Executive Director of the International Institute for Energy Conservation, and as Senior Policy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Thompson has a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Georgetown University and a B.A. in English from Gonzaga University.


FGSM360: U.S. Diplomacy and Public PolicymakingDown Arrow for FGSM360

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., PLS 1168

This course will examine how U.S. foreign policy is formulated and executed in a contemporary context. The course will first look at the ideological perspectives and cognitive biases that tend to shape how U.S policymakers view and approach diplomatic challenges and opportunities. It will then look at the range of tools that U.S. decision-makers have at their disposal to approach these challenges and opportunities. The course will then examine the context and process through which decisions about specific foreign policy objectives are set and actions are implemented. Throughout the course the emphasis will be on practical understanding and appreciation of how U.S. diplomacy is formulated and pursued. Team-taught by a U.S. foreign and defense affairs specialist and a Foreign Service Officer, the course will seek to build practical skills of students for potential applications in internships and professional experiences in the international arena. As such, the course will emphasize practical writing, professional presentation, and policy analysis, including through an interagency simulation. The course will also feature guest lecturers from Washington’s international policymaking, think tank, media, and NGO communities.

Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378A.

Instructors for FGSM360/HONR378A:

Ylber Bajraktari, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter

Ylber Bajraktari is a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. From 2012-2014, he served as the Director for Iran in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy OSD(P). Previously, he was Director for Iran on President Obama's National Security Council from 2011-2012 and Country Director for Iran at OSD(P) from 2008-2011.
Mr. Bajraktari joined the Department of Defense through the Presidential Management Fellowship program in 2006. As a Fellow, he served in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, managing the Human Terrain Initiative and designing a strategic warning framework on Iran; served for a year as a Special Assistant to GEN (Ret.) David H. Petraeus in Baghdad, Iraq conducting surge-related policy analysis and strategic planning; and served with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Mr. Bajraktari has also served with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC, working on their programs on Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Balkans. Mr. Bajraktari earned a B.A. in International Relations from American University, Washington, DC and a M.P.A. from Princeton University. Mr. Bajraktari is a native of Kosovo, but moved to the United States in 1999 as a political refugee, having been forcefully displaced by the regime of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. He and his wife Besa now consider Washington, DC as their home.

Jane Rhee, Foreign Service Officer (FSO), U.S. Department of State

Jane Rhee is a career Foreign Service officer who has served with the State Department in the Middle East, South Asia, and Washington, DC, as well as on details with the National Security Council and the Senate.  She is currently serving on a detail supporting Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on international, economic, and financial policies, such as trade and banking regulatory issues.  Prior to that, Ms. Rhee worked as a Director for Iran at the National Security Council, where she advised the President and senior Administration officials on the Iran nuclear negotiations and coordinated interagency efforts to develop U.S. policies related to Iran's political and human rights issues.  At the State Department, Jane served as an Iran Desk Officer and an Intelligence and Research Watch Officer, and she worked for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and the U.S. Consulate in Dubai.  She has a Master's in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Bachelor's in Government from Harvard College. 

FGSM 350:Critical Regions and International RelationsDown Arrow for FGSM350

Tuesdays, 7:00-10:00 p.m., PLS 1172.

This course recognizes the importance of regional study within the field of international relations. Developing and implementing coherent foreign policy in a conflict region is especially challenging. The fall seminar course will look at U.S. foreign policy initiatives in the Balkans, Columbia, as well as Syria and Iraq. The course will examine the case of Columbia in the 2000s, when it transformed from a near-failed narco-state to a more prosperous nation with the desire to be a force for stability in the region. Course participants will also use the Balkans in the 1990s as a case study representing the challenges facing diplomatic initiatives in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious regional conflict. Course participants will then focus on current problems in Syria and Iraq and seek to formulate a set of realistic policy proposals to address one of the most vexing regional foreign policy challenges of our time.

Instructors for FGSM350:

Mike Pascual, Foreign Service Office (FSO), U.S. Department of State

Mike Pascual is currently a Senior Advisor in the Bureau for Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In his previous assignment, Mr. Pascual served as a Pearson Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, where he advised the Senator, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on foreign policy issues. From 2013 to 2014, Mr. Pascual served as Deputy Executive Secretary at the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House, where he managed NSC staff to ensure the President’s receipt of high-quality policy materials on national security, homeland security, and foreign affairs. Before NSC, he worked as Deputy Executive Secretary for the Department of State’s Benghazi Accountability Review Board, the internal investigation into the tragic events in Libya in September 2012. From 2011-2012, Mr. Pascual served as the Anti-Corruption Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where he oversaw more than $30 million in U.S. assistance to help combat corruption. That assignment followed two years spent at State’s Operations Center— first as a Senior Watch Officer and then as Deputy Director for the Watch, where he supervised a staff of over 60 Foreign and Civil Service personnel. From 2007-2009, he served at the White House as the NSC Director for Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian, and Jordanian Affairs. In 2006-2007, Mr. Pascual served on the “Line” at State, coordinating briefing materials and overseas visits for the Secretary of State. In 2003, Mr. Pascual served as a staff assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He has a Juris Doctor degree from The College of William and Mary School of Law and was in private practice in Washington, DC prior to joining the Foreign Service. Mr. Pascual has also received a Master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College.

Ramon Escobar, Foreign Service Officer (FSO), U.S. Department of State

Ramon Escobar joined the Foreign Service ten years ago and has served in a diverse range of tours covering issues in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. In his last assignment, Mr. Escobar served as a State Department Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University, where he researched and taught on U.S. foreign policy in conflict states. Prior to Georgetown, Mr. Escobar served on the Colombia Desk where he was primarily responsible for assisting Bernard Aronson, the Special Envoy to the Colombia Peace Process. Before the Special Envoy was appointed in 2015, Mr. Escobar was responsible for U.S.-Colombia cooperation on economic, energy, labor, and environment issues. Mr. Escobar also worked in the Executive Secretariat where he advanced the travel of Secretary Kerry and Secretary Clinton. While not on the road, he reviewed briefings materials for the Secretary, the Deputy Secretaries, and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Mr. Escobar also served in Baghdad, Iraq, where he worked on energy issues, including developing a multi-million dollar training program for Iraqi electricity sector public employees. While in London, Mr. Escobar served as Staff Aide to the Ambassador for nearly two years. Before his assignment in the United Kingdom, Mr. Escobar was posted to Saudi Arabia for two consecutive tours. In Dhahran, he was the Political and Economic Officer reporting on the energy sector and the Shia minority communities. In Riyadh, Mr. Escobar was a Vice Consul, adjudicating visas to Saudi Arabian tourists, students, officials, and military personnel. Mr. Escobar holds a B.A. in Business Marketing from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and a dual M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York and Sciences Politiques in Paris. While in graduate school, he was published in the Princeton Journal of Public and International Affairs for his field research into alternative-to-coca development projects in Bolivia. Before public service, he worked in marketing research for two years. Mr. Escobar speaks Spanish and French fluently, and Arabic intermediately.