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Einaudi Center welcomes new and returning program directors

Sarah Besky in Kalimpong, India, in May.

“In the South Asia Program (SAP), we are continuing to build connections to our Cornell Global Hubs partners in India, and we plan to develop exciting new student internship opportunities in a variety of locations,” said Sarah Besky, associate professor in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, with an eye on this academic year’s goals.

SAP program director since July 1, Besky also serves as faculty lead for Global Hubs in India. The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies also welcomes Rachel Bezner Kerr, incoming program director of the Institute for African Development (IAD), and Rebecca Slayton, returning this year as Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) director.

“The Einaudi Center is thrilled to be working with a visionary set of program directors who nurture Cornell’s global engagement and enrich area studies through deep links to colleagues, students, citizens and organizations across the globe,” said Einaudi Center director Rachel Beatty Riedl. “Our leadership team provides a strong foundation to build dynamic partnerships in research and education.”

Climate justice will be a priority across the Einaudi Center this year. Both SAP and IAD are sponsoring cross-disciplinary event series on the impacts of climate change within and beyond their regions. IAD’s seminars will culminate in a spring conference on climate justice, said Bezner Kerr, a lead author of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sixth assessment report and professor of global development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Rachel Bezner Kerr spoke at a conference in Malawi in June.

“This fall, I’m looking forward to our seminar series theme of Envisioning Land, Agriculture and Food Futures in Africa,” she said. “We will have a wide range of speakers to help students explore contested and converging perspectives around this topic, including one speaker from our Global Hubs partner in Ghana.”

In PACS, the focus will be on climate justice and paths to peace.

“Economically disadvantaged communities, particularly in the Global South, are experiencing the worst impacts from anthropogenic warming that has largely been caused by communities in the Global North,” said Rebecca Slayton, associate professor of science and technology studies in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). “More clearly understanding how climate change impacts can exacerbate these injustices and related conflicts—and identifying paths to peace in a warming world­—are urgent priorities.”

The Einaudi Center is grateful for the expertise, service, and dedication of outgoing program directors Iftikhar Dadi (SAP) and N’Dri Assié-Lumumba (IAD), as well as interim directors Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue (IAD) and Matt Evangelista, Peter Katzenstein and Sabrina Karim (PACS).

“We look forward to our new and returning program directors’ leadership and the exciting faculty and student opportunities they are creating,” said Riedl, the Einaudi Center's John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and professor in the Department of Government in A&S and the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy.

“Throughout the Einaudi Center’s remarkable history and today, we are guided by the expertise and dynamism of our faculty,” she said. “We will continue to serve as a vital base for world-class scholarship and strengthening Cornell’s connections across regions – to advance knowledge and promote international understanding.” 

Sheri Englund is senior associate director of communication for Global Cornell.

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