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The University of Pittsburgh will hold its first-ever giving day on Pitt’s Founders’ Day–Tuesday, February 28, 2017–which marks the 230th anniversary of the founding of the University of Pittsburgh. Through Pitt Day of Giving, we will join together as a community in support of Pitt students, working to decrease the financial burden they carry as future alumni. GSPIA is very much a part of Pitt Day of Giving; we appreciate your support! 

MPPM student Sloane Davidson has been working overtime, above and beyond her class assignments, to help resettlement efforts as noted in the New York Times article, How You Can Help Refugees in the United States.  Davidson, a native of Pittsburgh, has created a national database designed to help promote refugee resettlement and immigration service agencies including those in the Pittsburgh region. She also recently produced a Valentine’s Day party where 300 Pittsburghers, including fellow GSPIA grad Mayor Bill Peduto, (MPPM '11) came together to make Valentine’s Day cards of welcome, love and hope for refugees, immigrants and kids in need in Pittsburgh. Over 400 cards... 

Dr. Müge Finkel recently participated in the Wilson Center’s 50 by 50, the 5th year anniversary event in Washington D.C. The event was hosted by the Wilson Center’s Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) which was started in 2011 by former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to empower the next generation of women around the world and mobilize them on issues of critical importance in public service. 

Former Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety, II, Dean, Elliott School of International Affairs, at George Washington University, delivered the University of Pittsburgh General Roscoe Robinson Memorial Lecture on Wed., Feb. 8 at the University Club.  Dr. Brigety began the lecture praising his childhood “hero,” General Roscoe Robinson. 

“As someone who aspired to a military career, the example of an African-American four-star officer who served his country with distinction was a powerful influence on me…” said Brigety. 

GSPIA faculty in the Energy and Environment (E&E) major have created a blog providing  commentary and analysis of E&E issues of public interest. Three years ago, GSPIA developed the E&E major as Pennsylvania emerged as the global epicenter of extracting natural gas from shale formations. The public policy dimensions of shale gas development are many, ranging from local zoning decisions to global climate change agreements. More broadly, the E&E major features courses addressing a wide range of energy and environment issues from a local, national, and global perspective and equips students with subject knowledge and analytic skills for jobs in local government, industry, and nonprofits. The E&E blog serves as yet another learning pathway for students and faculty to work together to research, analyze and write about the pertinent issues facing the rapidly and shifting energy and environment landscape. The inaugural post, Energy Production and Policy: Quickly Changing: Increasingly Relevant, written by Assistant Professor Jeremy Weber, discusses the emerging and fading energy industries. 


By Colin P. Clarke (Ph.D., '11) & Chad C. Serena (Ph.D., '10)

As he promised on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump has moved quickly against the Islamic State, directing the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop an aggressive plan to defeat the group and temporarily banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Critics of the ban believe it will actually weaken domestic counterterrorism efforts and bolster Islamic State propaganda and recruitment. But there is another glaring hole in this strategy as it is currently comprised: it fails to address another half-dozen or so other terrorist groups throughout the world that threaten American security and global order.

Pittsburgh has an exceedingly rich history of philanthropy, but many people are unaware of philanthropy's role in the area—until now. GSPIA Senior Lecturer Kathy Buechel appeared on WPXI's Proud to be from Pittsburgh segment to discuss the Pittsburgh Philanthropy Project’s website. "The website seeks to show philanthropy as inclusive, which means that people from all walks of life, every faith tradition, participated regardless of their financial circumstances in making Pittsburgh better through their own individual philanthropy," said Buechel.

In 2013, Prof. Louise Comfort received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a tsunami detection system in Padang, Indonesia.  As a result, Prof. Comfort’s research has led to the creation of a faster detection system to replace the more expensive buoy system, possibly adding crucial extra minutes of warning for vulnerable coastal cities.

Dean Keeler and Associate Professor Jeremy Weber met with Eugene DePasquale during his recent visit to campus. DePasquale is currently serving as the Pennsylvania Auditor General; from 2007 to 2013, he served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the York County-based 95th district. The Auditor General expressed great interest in the research conducted through GSPIA's Shale Gas Governance Center.

The GSPIA Student Cabinet represents the overall interests of the student body and their respective degree programs.  Members of Student Cabinet are elected for a one-year term, and act as liaisons between students, faculty and administrators. The Cabinet will host several events this year, providing invaluable social, professional development and networking opportunities with GSPIA alumni.  

David J. Hickton, former United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, has been appointed founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security.

The online news site “The Incline,” recently unveiled its 2017 “Who’s Next” winners – 19 people who are shaping Pittsburgh’s political scene.  Among the winners is Nikki Lu, (MPIA, ’13), political director for the SEIU in Western Pennsylvania. Lu is the daughter of an Irish-American mother who worked multiple odd jobs and a political refugee father from Vietnam who worked as a steelworker in a Rubbermaid factory. 

Dr. Michael Poznansky, assistant professor of international affairs and intelligence studies, spoke with KDKA host Robert Mangino about the latest developments between the U.S. Intelligence Community and President-elect Trump. The discussion focused on the recent upheaval over President-elect Trump’s “Tweets” regarding the intelligence community assessment of the Russian government’s attempt to interfere with the presidential election.  

George Cretekos, (MPA '70), leads by example. He has a long history of serving others. For 35 years, George served in both Pinellas County and Washington, D.C. as aide to U.S. Representative C.W. Bill Young. He then continued his service in the Clearwater City Council and now serves as Mayor of Clearwater.

Named in the honor of the Ford Institute’s founder, Dr. Simon Reich, the award promotes high-quality research and writing by GSPIA students in the field of human security. Students are encouraged to submit a paper, and faculty are encouraged to nominate papers for consideration.

The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications and nominations for a non-tenure-stream faculty position as a Senior Lecturer in Intelligence Studies to begin in the fall term of 2017 (authorization pending).  This is a three-year contract position with the possibility of renewal.  The successful candidate will have at least a master’s degree in international affairs (or a related field) and expertise in the intelligence field based on at least ten years of professional experience working for one or more U.S. intelligence agencies.  

Assistant Professor Sera Linardi is one of two inaugural recipients of a Ford Institute Faculty Research Grant, a competitive grant program designed to encourage junior faculty to engage in human security research and writing. Combining violence data from UN peace keepers’ weekly logs in  Côte d’Ivoire with daily antenna transmission data from Orange Telecom, Professor Linardi and her colleagues have shown a pattern of increased call volume, more within-network calls, and shorter calls in the days preceding violent events. This research holds great potential to breakthrough our current limited understanding of local level violence, to better address its insidious effect on inter-group relations and potential escalation into national-level problems.

The Johnson Institute’s Case Study Series features the accomplishments of the Institute’s Exemplary Leadership Award Winners. This is the sixth case study in the exemplary leader series and it documents the leadership of Pitt alumnus Bill Strickland, CEO, Manchester Bidwell Corporation.  Mr. Strickland founded the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in 1968 and in 1972 assumed leadership of the Bidwell Training Center. The two now operate side by side in a beautiful facility in Pittsburgh’s Manchester neighborhood.

By Nancy Jones, (MPA)

Select cities around the world are acting to mitigate their impact on the environment and must develop plans to adapt to climate change. This past summer I wrote a case study comparing climate adaptation and mitigation policies in the city of Copenhagen.  Specifically I wanted to understand the rationale for the adoption of the two distinct policies. I chose Copenhagen because the city consistently ranks among the top 10 Green City Indices and other sustainability metrics, actively reduces the use of carbon-intensive systems in its portfolio, and must cope with increased flooding as a result of climate change. I applied for funding to carry out qualitative research with industry experts and was afforded the exceptional opportunity to visit the city during the first week of September. 

Longtime administrative assistant Joyce Valiquette was recently recognized for her 40 years of service to the University of Pittsburgh by Dean John Keeler and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher.  She started her job on June 26, 1976, and has spent her entire career at GSPIA.

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