Greetings from Williamsburg, where fall is in the air and we are in the home stretch of a condensed semester.
I enjoyed connecting with many of you virtually during Homecoming (although I can't wait until we can welcome you to a proper barbecue in the front yard of our Scotland St. house!); thanks to the hundreds of you who joined our students Matt Crittenden '21 and Nitya Labh '22 in conversation with Chancellor Robert Gates last week. If you missed the event with the Chancellor, it will be available here until Saturday. If you're interested in more ways to engage with foreign affairs, I encourage you to join the Reves Center and the W&M Alumni Association for "An Evening at the Embassy," tonight at 6pm, where three former Ambassadors discuss "the future of U.S. diplomacy."
The Center for African Development's speaker series this semester provided another way for students, alumni, and colleagues around the world to gather virtually. If you missed their panel on "Managing COVID-19 in West Africa," you can watch public health experts from Ghana and Nigeria in discussion with CAD Co-Director Iyabo Obasanjo here.
In this issue of our newsletter, you’ll find news of a new AidData partnership with the Ford Foundation, media coverage of our research in the Washington Post and Foreign Policy, and stories about students continuing their research in the face of COVID-19.
I'm also pleased to share GRI's new strategic plan, in which we detail our approach and outline initiatives that will have the greatest impact. In particular, I want to call your attention to a Director's Initiative related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and our specific action plan posted online. In June, I promised to listen and to develop concrete actions for GRI; this action plan is our initial effort. We will continue to report back to hold ourselves accountable for making progress towards a creative research environment where diverse backgrounds, experiences, and thoughts are welcomed and supported to develop insights to tackle global problems.