News & Events

Joseph Wong
Joseph Wong: Reaching the Unreachable

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #1: To end poverty in all its forms, everywhere. According to Professor Joseph Wong, this daunting challenge can one day be solved. The development world continues to offer solutions to alleviate global poverty, piece by piece. However, the biggest obstacle to progress lies with the “second to last mile” on the road to poverty reduction: the delivery.

Davis Sisters Research Beyond the Classroom

Summer break is the perfect opportunity for students to bring recently acquired skills and the research they started in Williamsburg into the world. This desire to take research from the classroom to the field is exactly what brought sisters Caroline and Megan Davis, ’17, halfway across the globe this past summer. Caroline, who has been involved with ITPIR since her freshman year, headed to the Philippines as an AidData Summer Fellow in the Philippines. Megan joined a team of undergraduate research assistants who traveled to Tanzania with Prof. Phil Roessler, Director of the Center for African Development (CAD).

AidData among provisional winners of DREAMS innovation challenge

PEPFAR, the United States President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief, announced this week that William & Mary’s AidData is one of the provisional winners of its $85 million DREAMS innovation challenge to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and women in sub-Saharan African countries.

W&M hosts Mandela Washington Fellows

On July 17, William & Mary will welcome 25 of Africa’s brightest, emerging civic leaders for 15 days of leadership training, public policy seminars and mentorship and collaboration with local faculty and community members.

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W&M wins Madison Cup. End of debate.

Debate team members Ben Marks and Venu Katta take home the top prize in the prestigious competition featuring 35 other schools.

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W&M senior named Carnegie Junior Fellow

Becca Brown ’16 is one of just 14 students nationwide selected for the program by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

W&M senior named Luce Scholar

International relations major Rebecca Schectman ’16 will spend a year working in Asia as a Luce Scholar, a nationally competitive fellowship program

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8th TRIP Snap Poll

International Relations scholars select which presidential candidate they believe will best lead the United States in foreign policy.

AidData accepting research grant applications

AidData Project within the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (ITPIR) invites current William & Mary Professional and Instructional Faculty to apply for funding to support new or ongoing research that utilizes its data to advance our knowledge of development finance.

Michael Horowitz: Could Terminator become a reality?

The apocalypse, Skynet, the Terminator, and legions of drones and robots were the subjects Dr. Michael Horowitz’s public talk last month sponsored by the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations (ITPIR).

Spatial PSM and International Development Seminar Series

ITPIR will be having a presentation series, where we will be bringing people from various universities/organizations to talk about spatial PSM and International Development. Click the link for the full schedule.

AidData’s new ‘Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change’ report reveals how external influences shape developing country reforms

Despite the considerable time, money and effort expended by donors, international organizations, and NGOs to influence policy change in developing countries, there is a lack of understanding about how they can most effectively influence reform efforts on the ground. In a new report launched today, AidData draws upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 developing countries to answer these critical questions.

AidData’s new ‘Marketplace of Ideas for Policy Change’ report reveals how external influences shape developing country reforms

Despite the considerable time, money and effort expended by donors, international organizations, and NGOs to influence policy change in developing countries, there is a lack of understanding about how they can most effectively influence reform efforts on the ground. In a new report launched today, AidData draws upon the firsthand experiences and observations of nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 developing countries to answer these critical questions.

Mapping recovery

William & Mary students participate in crowdsource mapping to provide data to the relief effort underway following a devastating earthquake in Nepal.

PIPS Releases Diplomacy Lab Report on Mediterranean Migration

William and Mary’s PIPS program recently released a report titled “Irregular Migration in the Mediterranean: Recommendations for U.S. Action” for the Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs as part of the Department of State’s Diplomacy Lab program.

PIPS to Hold Annual Policy Symposium

William & Mary’s Project for International Peace and Security (PIPS) will hold its annual symposium at the National Press Club on Wednesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m.

William & Mary’s Bosnia Project wins Best Practices in International Education Award for Student Philanthropy

Seventeen years since its founding, the William & Mary Bosnia Project is the longest running community service project at the University. This March, the project, which brings together W&M student volunteers and Bosnian educators to teach English, video production, and cross-cultural communication skills to Bosnian schoolchildren each summer will be recognized with “The Best Practices in International Education Award” for Student Philanthropy by the NASPA International Education Knowledge Community.

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Scholars rank William & Mary 18th in U.S. for international relations

For the first time since 2006 when the rankings began, William and Mary has made the list of Top 25 U.S. Undergraduate Institutions to Study International Relations, coming in at 18th. This ranking makes William and Mary the top choice in Virginia for the study of international relations and the number two institution without an international relations Ph.D. program.

TRIP Finds Scholars Optimistic about U.S.-Russian Relations

TRIP Snap Polls survey all IR scholars in the United States. To be included in our sample, individuals must be employed at a U.S. college or university in a political science department or professional school and teach or conduct research on issues that cross international borders.

International Relations Scholars Debate the Divide between Theory and Practice

The Teaching, Research and International Policy Project (TRIP) kicked off its “Strengthening the Links” conference at William & Mary on Wednesday evening with a keynote panel well qualified to engage in an honest discussion of the issues that have historically led to some tension and missed opportunities between the academic and public policy worlds.

TRIP Student Researchers Attend International Studies Association Regional Conference

Teaching, Research & International Policy (TRIP) Principal Investigator Mike Tierney and Project Manager Nicky Bell led a group of research assistants, Joana Zhu, Darice Xue ’15, Michael McCoy ’15, Luis Madrid ’15, and Matt Ribar ’17 at the recent International Studies Association (ISA) southern region conference held October 25-6 at the University of Richmond.

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PIPS Military Fellows program kicks off

The program pairs student fellows with active duty military officers, who lend strategic expertise to the students’ annual white paper submissions.

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Diplomacy Lab makes national policy research part of undergrad study

An active partnership between the U.S. State Department and William & Mary, the Diplomacy Lab continues this year with multiple projects sponsored by the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations, including the Project on International Peace & Security (PIPS), AidData, Reform Incentives and the Center for African Development (CAD).

Reform Efforts Survey

The Making Reform Incentives Work for Developing Countries project has successfully completed the 2014 Reform Efforts Survey, a first-of-its-kind survey of development policymakers and practitioners from 121 low- and lower-middle income countries and five semi-autonomous regions.

Recent Study on Health Aid Highlights Its Effectiveness and the Need to Examine Sub-National Data

According to scholars on both sides of the health aid debate, the debate is over. Those who declare that health aid works and those who maintain that health aid fails both claim consensus. Macro-level studies condemn health aid as minimally effective in the aggregate while praise for health aid’s benefits comes form project level analyses. AidData’s sub-nationally geocoded development data enable an important new approach to move the debate forward, one of analyzing aid distribution and impact within a country.

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TRIP to Launch Major Initiatives

The Teaching, Research & International Policy (TRIP) Project will launch two major initiatives, a survey of international relations faculty and a conference on "Strengthening The Links," aimed at bridging the gap between academics and policy maker.

AidData Summer Fellows Empower Organizations to Use Data for Change

In June 2014, twenty-one student researchers from seven universities traveled to Nepal, Uganda, Timor-Leste, Senegal, and Mexico to serve as AidData Summer Fellows. This article details four fellows' experiences working with different local organizations- including universities, think tanks, government line ministries, and civil society groups- to equip them to leverage geocoded data to solve development challenges in their own communities, through program planning, advocacy, and research.

TRIP Research Assistant Receives Gates Scholarship

Venu Katta ’17, a research assistant with the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) Project, has received the Robert M. and Rebecca W. Gates Scholarship for international study.

25 African fellows complete first leadership initiative

Young African Leaders Initiative fellows spent six weeks studying at Presidential Precinct members W&M, University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, James Madison's Montpelier, James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland and Morven.

Reform Incentives Project Launches “Reform Efforts Survey”

A team of researchers at the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations at the College of William & Mary has just launched the Reform Efforts Survey to more than 35,000 development practitioners and policymakers across 126 low and lower-middle income countries.

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W&M TRIP earns MacArthur grant

The foundation has awarded $240,000 for project to study the relationship between theory and practice of international relations.

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TRIP Data Featured in French IR Journal

Data from the Teaching, Research and International Policy (TRIP) project at William & Mary, referenced by two French researchers andvpublished in the Revue Francaise de Science Politique, now available in English translation.

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TechCon: Reviewing the past, improving the future

Students from eight university labs, USAID staffers and international development leaders convened Nov. 16-18 to evaluate what they've done and where they're going.

Harvard Professor Stephen Walt Critiques U.S. Foreign Policy

Celebrated international relations scholar Stephen Walt of Harvard University delivered several lectures and participated in a number of smaller group discussions with students and faculty during a recent visit to William & Mary.

PIPS Fellows Meet with Major Nathan Finney

On Friday, October 4th, US Army Major Nathan K. Finney joined the PIPS fellows for a brainstorming Session. Major Finney is founder of the Strategy Development Foundation, a member of the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum managing team, and member of the Infinity Journal’s Special Advisory Group.

Harvard Professor and Foreign Policy Blogger Stephen Walt to Present at William & Mary Sadler Center

Harvard Professor presents: "Follies and #@!%-Ups: Why US Foreign Policy Keeps Failing." When the Cold War ended, the United States was in a remarkable position of primacy and on good terms with most of the world's major powers. Yet its foreign policy record since then is mostly one of disappointments and sometimes costly failures. These difficulties are partly due to America's structural position in the international system, but they also reflect a number of deeper problems in America's entire foreign policy establishment.

AidData’s David Trichler Named Among the World's Top Rising Foreign Policy Leaders

David Trichler, operations director for AidData at the Institute for Theory & Practice of International Relations (ITPIR) at William & Mary, has earned recognition from Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) as one of the "99 Under 33,” an international list naming the most influential foreign policy leaders around the globe under the age of 33.

Sue Peterson
Professor Peterson Concludes ITPIR Directorship to Focus on Teaching and Research

During her tenure as co-director of the Institute over the past six years, Sue Peterson has seen the program grow from a brainstorm into a world-class research incubator. With the charge to bring academia and policymaking together to address real-world challenges around the world, the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations today places researchers into the farthest corners of the globe, consults with national and international leaders, creates new policy relevant knowledge and cultivates the leaders of tomorrow.

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Biggs Visits Students and Former Professor & Mentor at ITPIR

W&M Alunmna Allison Biggs visited the Institute recently to talk with students and staff regarding her career path and the choices she has made that have led her to her current role as assistant to the CEO of ONE.

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PIPS Launches E-internship Program

The Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) announces the launch of a new E-internship program for the 2013-2014 academic year.

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International Relations Director Michael Tierney Provides Insights on Chinese Development Aid

During an interview with United Nations University – World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Michael Tierney, director of the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations, provides commentary on the process of creating an innovative media-based data set on Chinese Aid in developing countries.

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International Conference Explores IR Discipline

The Teaching, Research and International Policy project [TRIP] of the Institute for the Theory & Practice of International Relations welcomed a group of scholars from around the globe to explore the state of international relations.

Libby Hennemuth Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Elizabeth Hennemuth ‘13, a former research fellow of the Project on International Peace & Security (PIPS), has earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Germany for an English Teaching Assistantship.

Keohane Discusses Hobbes and Wows Students During Visit to W&M

Renowned international relations scholar Robert Keohane of Princeton University spent a day engaging students, meeting with faculty and delivering lectures during a visit to William & Mary on April 15.

AidData Partner Develops Automated Geocoding System

The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), AidData's newest official partner, has developed a system for the World Bank that automates the geocoding of all Bank-financed projects and enables more efficient mapping of the projects for monitoring and evaluation.

Reform Incentives Project Team Reports on the Impact of the Millennium Challenge Corporation

Researchers with the Reform Incentives Project at the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations have released an independent report investigating the U.S. government's Millennium Challenge Corporation's (MCC's) impact on reform efforts in developing countries.

USAID Science and Technology Adviser Challenges W&M Students to Change the World

The nexus of science and development has immense potential for solving international development's greatest challenges, and William & Mary students have the opportunity to be at the forefront of that movement. This was the appeal by Dr. Alex Dehgan, Science and Technology Adviser to the Administrator at USAID, as he addressed W&M students and faculty on Feb. 11.

Michael Tierney to receive Jefferson Teaching Award

Michael Tierney '87, co-director of the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, will receive the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award on Charter Day.

Former PIPS Fellow Publishes in Diplomatic Courier Magazine

Emily Pehrsson '13, former research fellow of the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS), has published an article in the global affairs magazine, Diplomatic Courier, entitled "Making the Grade: International Regulatory Framework for Cybersecurity".

Managing Director of Brookings Institution lectures on China and India, meets with student researchers

In the wake of the 2012 general election, when the United States elected new state and local officials of its own, it is now imperative to understand the intricacies of regional governments in China and India. This was the message of William Antholis, managing director of the Brookings Institution, when he addressed a full auditorium of students and faculty at William & Mary on November 30.

IR Theory & Practice: A Parting of the Ways

The latest Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) report provides interesting reading on the state of international relations as a discipline. In an interview with the ISN, TRIP co-author Michael Tierney discusses the popularity of constructivism within IR studies and the growing discrepancy between IR research and political reality.

Assessing State Fragility from a Human Security Perspective

The Office of the Secretary of Defense's Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment (SMA) division recently released a white volume on National Security Challenges: Insights from Social, Neurobiological, and Complexity Sciences. The volume includes a chapter by Assistant Professor of Government, Cullen Hendrix, on the use of a human security perspective to measure state fragility. Dr. Hendrix co-directs the Social Conflict in Africa Database (SCAD) with CCAPS researcher Idean Salehyan.

Update from Uganda

In June, 2012 professors Sarah Glaser (Biology) and Cullen Hendrix (Government), along with three undergraduate students traveled to Uganda to study the complex relationship between fisheries, food security, and conflict in the Lake Victoria basin, and to establish a joint Geographic Information Systems (GIS) center in Jinja with the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute. Colleen Devlin ’13 was one of the undergraduates participating in this trip.

PIPS hits its stride

The Project on International Peace and Security enters its fifth year with a sterling reputation for undergraduate contributions to the policy-making community.

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Researchers Explore Academy's Response to Real World Trends in International Politics

In June 2012, Government and International Relations Professor Sue Peterson, post-baccalaureate research fellow Lindsay Hundley ’12, and undergraduate Ben Kenzer’ 13, travelled to the British International Studies Association and the International Studies Association Joint International Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland to present their joint paper, “The Rise of China and the Academy.”

A couple of simple questions…

The most comprehensive survey of international relations scholars ever made started at William & Mary with two elementary questions.

PIPS to Give Keynote Speech at 2012 Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Conference

Amy Oakes, Dennis Smith, Benjamin Buch, and Efrat Rosenzweig will discuss the PIPS program as a new model of undergraduate education at the upcoming Council on Undergraduate Research Conference in Trenton, New Jersey. This year’s conference is titled, Leveraging Uncertainty: Toward a New Generation of Undergraduate Research.

TRIP Around the World

How do IR scholars’ views about teaching, research, the discipline, and contemporary policy issues vary across the globe? This report provides descriptive statistics on the responses of IR scholars from 20 countries.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research Awards PIPS a Research Grant

The United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research recently awarded the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) a research grant to study the political, sociological, and psychological barriers to the deployment of the Active Denial System (ADS) in peacekeeping and counterinsurgency operations. Based on this research, PIPS will propose technical changes to ADS, criteria for its employment, and public outreach initiatives.

PIPS research fellows meet with Richard Nelson

Rick “Ozzie” Nelson is Director of the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program and Senior Fellow in International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

"Ideas, Interests, and Foreign Aid" by Maurits van der Veen

September 2011, Cambridge University Press published "Ideas, Interest, and Foreign Aid" by Maurits van der Veen, an Assistant Professor of Government at the College of William & Mary and a Researcher at AidData. His book seeks to answer the question, "Why do countries give foreign aid?"

Introducing AidData 2.0

AidData launched its new and improved website last month, featuring more content and new data and marking an expansion in the program's mission and scope.

Students spend a day as CIA analysts

Katie Mitchell '13, Emily Pehrsson '13, Dallen McNerney '14, and Connor Smith '14 represented William & Mary at a CIA Crisis Simulation Competition in November.

PIPS Students to Work for NATO

Emily Pehrsson (PIPS 2011-2012 Research Fellow, PIPS 2011 Intern) and Elsa Voytas (PIPS 2011 Intern) have been offered internships with the U.S. Mission to NATO for the summer of 2012.

W&M Takes Second Place at CIA Crisis Simulation Competition

A Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) team - consisting of Katie Mitchell, Emily Pehrsson, Dallen McNerney, and Connor Smith - placed second at a CIA Crisis Simulation Competition held at Georgetown University on November 3rd.

AidData and World Development

In November 2011, World Development will publish a special journal issue featuring new research that relies upon AidData as its primary source of aid information.

AidData research assistants attend select Global Innovation Forum

Alex Atkins ’13 and Kedar Pavgi ’11 invited to attend Athgo International’s 4th Global Innovation Forum on Climate Change and Constructive Entrepreneurship based on AidData involvement.

PIPS Students Present Their Work on Capitol Hill

At the invitation of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), the Project on International Peace and Security conducted a luncheon information session for members of congress and staff on PIPS as an undergraduate think tank and new educational model.

PIPS and CIA present crisis simulation competition

The Central Intelligence Agency joined forces with William & Mary’s Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS) to conduct the first-ever Crisis Simulation Competition, described as " a Model U.N. for the intelligence community."

PIPS Fellows Brainstorm with Robert Kaplan

Robert Kaplan has been a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security since March 2008, and has been a foreign correspondent for The Atlantic for over a quarter-century. He is the author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, published by Random House in October, 2010, with the paperback to be released in September.

PIPS Fellows Meet with Ambassador Ryan Crocker

Ambassador Ryan Crocker is Dean, Executive Professor, and Edward and Howard Kruse Endowed Chair at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

AidData goes public at Conference in Oxford, UK

On March 22, 2010 the AidData team held the Aid Transparency and Development Finance Conference at University College in Oxford, UK to make the database available to the public for the first time.

PLAID and Development Gateway's AiDA Project Merge to Form AidData

Project-Level Aid (PLAID) and Development Gateway have merged their efforts to track development finance and cooperation. They are working together, in cooperation with the Secretariat of OECD's Development Assistance Committee, to create a joint, easily accessible and independent repository of aid activities.

Institute Welcomes Professor G. John Ikenberry

Last week John Ikenberry, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, visited William and Mary to deliver several talks to William and Mary faculty and students and the Williamsburg community.

PLAID Holds Data-Vetting Workshop

Last week, the PLAID project hosted a successful data-vetting workshop at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington, DC. Researchers and development practitioners from the U.S., Europe, and Africa provided the PLAID team with feedback on data quality in a beta version of the PLAID database.

Release: Environmental Leadership Reinvigorated

Glion, Switzerland, July 3, 2009 - A group of emerging environmental leaders today pledged their personal commitment to creating a new wave of environmental action in the 21st Century. Speaking at the close of four intense days of discussion, the group set out their practical ideas on how to kick-start a deep change in the way the world economy works to prioritize human welfare and how to finally secure a long-lasting, sustainable, approach to the use and preservation of our environment, which is the fundamental basis of that welfare.

One Discipline or Many? 2008 TRIP Survey of International Relations Faculty in Ten Countries

To what extent is there national variation in how scholars teach IR, think about the discipline,view their role in the policy process, and approach critical contemporary foreign policy debates? Conversely, to what extent is there a single-perhaps American-driven-IR discipline?

Foreign Policy: Inside the Ivory Tower 2009

To what extent is there national variation in how scholars teach IR, think about the discipline,view their role in the policy process, and approach critical contemporary foreign policy debates? Conversely, to what extent is there a single-perhaps American-driven-IR discipline?

ONE Town Hall with Congressman Wittman

Students from the College of William and Mary in partnership with ONE hosted their congressman, Rob Wittman at a ONE Town Hall in Williamsburg, VA yesterday to discuss global poverty and American foreign policy.

Scholars on the Sidelines

President Obama has appointed some distinguished academic economists and lawyers to his administration, but few high-ranking political scientists have been named. In fact, the editors of a recent poll of more than 2,700 international relations experts declared that "the walls surrounding the ivory tower have never seemed so high..."

Institute Welcomes Peter Gourevitch

Peter Gourevitch, Professor of Political Science at the University of California San Diego, visited the Institute Thursday to meet with students before giving a campus wide talk on the implications of the current economic crisis.

The Virginia Gazette, "Enviro-activists"

In the article, co-authored with Daniel C. Esty, an environmental law professor, Ivanova describes the U.S. effort that was instrumental in launching the U.N. Environmental Program in 1972.

PLAID on the Cover of Environment Magazine

Since the first major international conference on environment and development in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972, environmentalists, voters, and policymakers in the developed world have faced a vexing dilemma: with some of the richest stores of biodiversity, natural resources, and carbon located in developing countries, the greatest potential for damage to the global environment resides in places outside the sovereign control of the countries most able, financially speaking, to prevent it...

Support from Gates and Hewlett foundations take PLAID to the next level

PLAID is moving to the next level. PLAID—the acronym for Project-Level Aid—has received nearly $2 million in financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The funding will allow researchers to increase the size and depth of the project.

Rich, Poor, and Climate Change

The general dialogue on adapting to a world affected by climate change by definition excludes the world's poorest people. And yet it's the world's poorest who are often put forward as the ones who are likely to feel the affects of climate change the most and are likely to be able to deal with them the least...

New Book Examines Global Trends in Environmental Aid

Washington - Denmark gives more in environmental aid funding than other countries, according to a new book unveiled Wednesday at a lecture in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars...


Every year, billions of dollars of environmental aid flow from the rich governments of the North to the poor of the South. Why do donors provide this aid? What do they seek to achieve? How effective is the aid given? And does it always go to places of greatest environmental need ...

7 Suggestions for New World Bank Chief

Congratulations, Robert Zoellick, on your expected appointment as the new president of the World Bank. You're about to assume a position that one Washington think tank, the Center for Global Development, once called "the hardest job in the world" — and that was before your predecessor flamed out in a spectacular conflict-of-interest scandal...


Williamsburg, VA - A recent survey conducted by researchers at the College of William and Mary ranked Franklin Roosevelt as the best president for U.S. foreign policy in the last 100 years. George W. Bush finished a distant twelfth...

AIDS Funding Problematic Despite Increases

The fight against global AIDS experienced a three-fold increase in cash after conservative U.S. leaders embraced the disease as a "moral" issue early in the decade, Susan Peterson, professor of government and dean for educational policy for arts and sciences, told the audience...

Containment Strategy

In a dark-green shipping container outside a Ugandan military hospital, a visiting Tanzanian general and four of his colonels encircle a desk. On the desk sits a green plastic paper tray...

Project PLAID Tracks, Evaluates Foreign Aid

Inspired by students and driven by their involvement, Project PLAID is a shining example of the power and benefits of undergraduate research.