Leir Institute Newsletter – Spring 2020

Newsletter Content
What’s New with the Leir Institute
Faculty Updates
Alumni Spotlight

To our alumni and friends,
 
I hope this newsletter finds you and your family safe and well. We always knew that human security matters in our complex world – and the current pandemic is further proof of this. When millions of people fall ill, we have to stop and pay attention to the ways in which humans are interconnected, to each other and to the environments in which we live. We have to make sure these lessons are not forgotten if and when the pandemic is brought under control.
 
Here in the United States, we are also confronting the insidious racism that is a further plague undermining human security for Black Americans. The inhumanity we witness in our policing reminds us that laws are necessary but not sufficient to change prejudices, and requires our ongoing efforts both here and globally to root out intolerance in all its forms.
 
To that end, I want to share with you the inspiring work of our faculty and students over this past academic year. We went to virtual teaching and learning in March, but before then (and even since!), lots has happened.
 
Perhaps the most important is the arrival of our new Dean, Rachel Kyte. Dean Kyte is committed to further building up human security as a unique feature of Fletcher, given her lifelong work in sustainable development, climate change, women’s leadership, and food security. The Dean will be helping the Leir Institute to raise its profile and its funding over the next five years and beyond, and we are deeply grateful for her support.
 
The Leir Institute has also become a member of The OSCE Network! This is a flexible and informal track II initiative, separate from the OSCE structure. The Network’s members are research institutions from across the OSCE area engaged in academic research and policy analysis on issues relevant to the OSCE. They now have over 100 member institutions from around 45 countries. You can find a list of current OSCE members here

We are pleased to join this impressive group of institutions, to contribute our work on conflict management, migration policy, corruption analysis, gender analysis, and human security more broadly to the attention and benefit of the Network. Please let us know if you are also part of the Network, or are engaged with the OSCE in any way so we can connect our efforts.

On a bittersweet note, I am officially stepping down as the director of the Leir Institute as of June 30 this year. Prof. Katrina Burgess is taking the helm at that point, to usher in a wonderful next chapter for all of us. I’ll still be here to contribute as much as possible to our efforts, and I thank you all so much for your support of the Institute and for the remarkable work you are all doing in the world! Please let us hear from you to let us know how you are and about your latest projects and adventures.
 
Please stay healthy and safe, and warmest wishes from all of us here at the Leir Institute!

Sincerely,
Professor Eileen F. Babbitt
Director, Henry J. Leir Institute

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