From the Director

Greetings, IR alumnus, alumna, or friend:

Last year in the space, I mused about why students pick international relations for a major and what I say to encourage them: the vital importance of global issues, the intellectual excitement of analyzing them, and hte many professional options that follow. There's no need to reprise that theme this year, because everbody gets it: IR is USC's top undergraduate major, with over 800 students. And in this, our 90th Anniversary year, our popularity and programs only continue to grow.

Instead, let me describe these sources of pride and single out some highlights from our progress over hte past 12-18 months. Caught up in the constant demands of our academic-administrative cycles, we don't always step back to view the big picture. When we do, we see how impressive that picture is and how rapidly SIR has pushed into the top ranks of hte nation's schools of international relations. For example:

"Dornsife in DC" Washington Program

Dornsife College has no launched that which many SIR alumni have long sought-an academic-year program that builds on our successful summer DC courses toward the goal of year-round, permanent base in the nation's capital. "Dornsife in DC" begins Spring 2015 with a core foreign policy focus. SIR alumnus Jeffrey Fields directs the program, and other SIR alumni such as David Livingston are teach in it. And its exciting internahip and career-building options are second to none.

SCIR and Glimpse from the Globe

In a very short time, the Southern California International Review has soared into the elite ranks of the nation's top undergrad IR journals. Its student editors are real professionals, and have made SCIR the country's first truly international student foreign-affairs journal with the publication of articles submitted from around the world. Last year, some of those editors launched Glimpse from the Globe a foreign-affairs website that provides first-rate reporting and commentary by a staff of student correspondents at home and abroad-and that joins SIR students with contributorsfrom such universities as Georgetown and Penn.

International Fellowships and Internships

Every year, SIR students take many USC's top honors. They also earn prestigious Fulbright, FLAS, Critical Languages, DAAD, and other international fellowships. They study in Berlin, Brussels, Valencia and Washington; they do research in Rwanda, Havana and Singapore; and they intern in Paris, Mexico City, and at the U.S. Department of State. Int he Summer of 2014, we also launched the new "Discover China" fellowships for Summer and Fall work-study trips to Hong Kong and China.

New SIR Faculty and Research

Recent SIR hires Joshua Aizenman, Andrew Coe, and Carol Atkinson will soon be joined by Profs. Jonathan Markowitz and Pablo Barbera. And, at this writing, we are searching for on more new SIR faculty membr- the Erburu Chair in Ethics, Globalization and Development. With growing numbers of stellar faculty come increasing numbers of prizes, grants,a nd major research projects. Just in the past three months, new books have been published by Professors Carol Atkinson, Laurie Brand, Brian Rathbun, Mary Sarotte, and Jeffrey Fields

So this is how we are celebrating our anniversary-by raising our faculty, graduate and especially undergraduate programs to new heights. Ninety years ago, the School was established under the leadership of Rufus von KleinSmid. Now we mark this milestone not only by saluting those students and facultywho recent accomplishments put SIR int he headlines, but also with a series of special 90th-Anniversary events.

One ws hte Fall's awarding of hte J. Ann Tickner Book Prize-a highly competitive new international prize for best book in the spirit of SIR Emerita Prof. Ann Tickner's pioneering work in IR theory, whose first recipient was Carelton University's Fiona Robinson for The Ethics of Care. Other 90th Anniversary events include a special Spring-semester panel marking 25 years since the Cold War's end with former Ambassador to the USSR Jack Matlock and Dornsife Dean's Professor (and SIR faculty member) Mary Sarotte.

Please be alert for SIR as well as Dornsife College announcements on these and other 90th Anniversary events. Please join us when you can, either in Los Angeles or Washington, DC, and please also consider supporting SIR-whether that be a financial gift, and internship opportunity, or simply a new idea. Above all, please join me in celebrating past and present faculty, staff, and especially students of SIR during this mileston 90th Anniversary year. You are our legacy, and we are hard at work burnishing tomorrow's legacy today.

Sincerely Yours,
Robert English

  • School of International Relations
  • 3518 Trousdale Parkway
  • Von KleinSmid Center 330
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0043
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 2136