Archived Stories

Read feature stories and briefs focused on our faculty, alumni, students and community.

Faculty

Voicing an environmental policy outlook under Trump

March 14, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Professor David Victor pares into five points how the election jolted parts of the nation and, in turn, generated apprehensions in the scientific community. Read more.

Office hours: Assistant Professor Teevrat Garg

Feb. 28, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

The GPS faculty member opens up about some of the dearest objects that adorn his office, painting a picture of his professional backstory and personal interests. Read more.

Imparting lessons from elections

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

A glimpse at Associate Professor John Ahlquist’s research on Hungarian election reforms, to be presented at Destination GPS. Read more.

Changing rather than researching the world

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As a faculty leader of GPS’s new MPP degree program, Professor Zoltan Hajnal is committed to shaping policymakers in the classroom and actual policy outside of it. Read more.

Office hours: Professor Barbara F. Walter

Dec. 12, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

The GPS faculty member opens up about some of the dearest objects that adorn her office, painting a picture of her professional backstory and personal interests. Read more.

From the Rio Grande to the Mediterranean Sea

Nov. 17, 2016 | By Anthony King | UC San Diego News

Using labor-force supply and demand, UC San Diego researchers predict Mexico migration surge to U.S. is over. Read more.

Jesse Driscoll named 2016 CESS Book Awardee

| By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Via a Q&A, we dive into how the assistant professor’s book, ‘Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States,’ came about and what this award means. Read more.

Getting to a Zero Carbon Future

By Anthony King and Daniel Kane | GPS News

Avoiding the worst consequences of climate change by reducing global carbon emissions to as close to zero as possible is one of humanity’s most pressing challenges. The University of California San Diego has launched the Deep Decarbonization Initiative to do just that. And they plan to do so in the real world—where costs matter. Read more.

 

Research read round the world

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Acting Dean Gordon Hanson opines on the unfaltering hype surrounding his paper ‘The China Shock’ and its significance in an election year. Read more.

Putting students first

 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Learn how Krislert Samphantharak’s new title, associate dean of student affairs, couldn’t be better suited, plus some of his recent research endeavors in Southeast Asia. Read more.

 

Influencing development through improving governance

Aug. 17, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Focusing on the Philippines, GPS Assistant Professor Nico Ravanilla is committed to examining and improving the quality of elected officials in developing democracies. Read more.

A new beginning

Aug. 16, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Enthused to join GPS in its time of positive transformation, Assistant Professor Weiyi Shi explains the research that motivates her to wake up in the morning. Read more.

Refining research in the thick of the Brexit

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Assistant Professor Lauren Prather relished in a research retreat at the University of Oxford’s Summer Research Institute. Read more.

A team effort

July 14, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As GPS Dean Peter Cowhey serves as interim executive vice chancellor at UC San Diego, GPS is left in good hands of Acting Dean Gordon Hanson and a team of senior faculty members. Read more.

Going between science and policy

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

A climate scientist with equal strengths in physical and social sciences, Kate Ricke brings an interdisciplinary punch to her dual professorship at GPS and Scripps. Read more.

Beginning by coming full circle

June 15, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Assistant Professor Teevrat Garg brings to GPS research at the intersection of ecosystem and human health—and opportunities for students to get involved. Read more.

Building off of local knowledge

June 23, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Meet GPS’s new assistant professor, Francisco Garfias, a political economist who is leveraging his inherent interest in Mexico to explore facets of state capacity. Read more.

Inside Richard Feinberg’s new book on Cuba

May 18, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In a Q&A, the professor details what went into the making of his new book, “Open for Business,” and underscores its main points regarding Cuba’s economy. Read more.

Furthering the field of entrepreneurship

May 13, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As a recipient of the 2016 Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research, Assistant Professor Liz Lyons’s research is on the fast track. Read more.

Unveiling objectives of China’s censorship

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

An overview of Assistant Professor Molly Roberts’s research on ‘reverse-engineering’ censorship in China and how partnerships with GPS keep it fueling. Read more.

Recommended reading

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In time for National Reading Month, a few GPS professor jot down their favorite page-turners. Read more.

Confronting China elite and financial politics

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

A preview of what to expect from Professor Victor Shih in his Destination GPS presentations in New York City and Washington, D.C. Read more.

Eli Berman deduces threat of ISIS

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In a Q&A, the GPS professor outlines the extent to which ISIS is a legitimate threat, plus what inspired him to research terrorism to begin with. Read more.

Keeping ahead of the quantitative curve

Dec. 11, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Craig McIntosh outlines his research involving ICT in development and how there’s no better place than GPS to pull it all together. Read more.

Susan Shirk celebrated as a 2015 Revelle Medalist

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

On Nov. 13, the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) put the spotlight wholeheartedly on 21st Century China Program Chair Susan Shirk as a 2015 Revelle Medal recipient. Read more.

Looking at North Korea through unlikely lenses

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Professor Stephan Haggard divulges his means for getting data on the opaque country and how his expertise expands beyond just this region. Read more.

GPS China scholars build ties in Chile

Oct. 26, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Gordon McCord, assistant professor at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), puts his home country’s reliance on China like this: “If China sneezes, there’s the fear that Chile may catch a cold.” More specifically, McCord explained, is that copper comprises about 60 percent of Chilean exports, with China being its largest trading partner. Read more.

Paul Niehaus as the entrepreneur, the professor

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

An affiliate faculty member at the School since 2013 and advisory committee member at the Policy Design and Evaluation Lab (PDEL), the associate professor not only splits his time across campus but he also balances his professorship with leaded a budding nonprofit. Neihaus is U.S. director of GiveDirectly, which transfers cash directly into the hands of the poor through electronic monitoring and payment technology. Read more.

Professor Barbara Walter’s formula for going viral

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

It’s 2012. Professor Barbara F. Walter has been at the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) for more than 15 years. During that time she’s mastered how to teach the core course required of all incoming master’s students—so much so that, among other reasons, she’s to be bestowed the 2012-2013 UC San Diego Distinguished Teaching Award. Read more.

Climate, Changed.

Sept. 4, 2015 By AnnaMaria Stephens | Triton Magazine

When it comes to climate change, researchers at UC San Diego have their work cut out for them. Whether cutting-edge climatologists or influential social scientists, they are tasked with finding sustainable solutions to a daunting problem that will affect our planet and future generations profoundly. Read more.

Professor John Ahlquist returns to his roots

Aug. 19, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Ahlquist speaks excitedly about the opportunities presented by GPS’ new Master of Public Policy program, including working closely with the students enrolled in it. He emphasizes feeling fortunate to enter the School when many of its early faculty figures such as Founding Dean Peter Gourevitch still are active. Read more.

Professor David Victor on climate change

Aug. 23, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

GPS’s renowned climate change expert shares how he ended up at the forefront of one of today’s most pressing issues and how honesty and candor have made him a leading voice in the climate change dialogue. Read more.

Piecing together foreign aid perceptions

Aug. 24, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Lauren Prather is all about picking people’s brains. Specifically, for the past five years as part of her dissertation at Stanford University, she’s been analyzing American public opinion on how cash and material aid to help the poor is given domestically and abroad. Read more.

Q&A: Professor Richard Feinberg

July 29, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As U.S.-Cuba relations continue to evolve, so does Professor Richard Feinberg’s attention in the media. We connected with the in-house expert at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) for some background on how he honed his interest in Cuba, plus his outlook on the country’s relationship with the U.S. moving forward. Read more.

Roger Bohn's research flying high

July 28, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

On a July afternoon, Roger Bohn is unpacking in his new office, now located on the third floor of the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) building. Most of his books already are stowed away on a shelf, his desk topped with tools for every day use and he is dusting off what, by a quick glance, appears to be old speedometers or peculiar clocks. Read more.

Leveraging technology for development

July 27, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Nestled near the Nigerian border in eastern Benin is one of the country’s humblest villages, Kalalé. Its roads are unpaved but, nonetheless, frequented by foot. Students walk them almost daily to the primary and secondary schools, spotting cell phone towers poking up in the distance. Read more.

Gordon McCord's interdisciplinary intellect

July 14, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Gordon McCord had who some would consider the mentor of a lifetime. From riding in the back of a pickup truck in Kenya to feverishly taking notes on foreign aid at high-level meetings at the U.N., he literally was beside Jeffrey Sachs in the frontlines of the fight against poverty. Read more.

2015 Alumni Weekend

June 17, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As part of UC San Diego’s annual Alumni Weekend, the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) carved out some time to not only reconnect its own alumni, but also recognize one of the School’s earliest staff members. Read more.

Susan Shirk leaving no stone unturned

June 17, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Professor Susan Shirk knows the School of Global Policy and Strategy like the back of her hand, figuratively and navigationally so. Some might even argue the Ho Miu Lam Endowed Chair in China and Pacific Relations knows its story best. Then again, she’s been one of the leading figures writing it since 1986. Read more.

Q&A with Assistant Professor Elizabeth Lyons

June 17, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

A native to Canada and newcomer to San Diego, Elizabeth Lyons spared some time from her summer fieldwork in Kenya to recount her first year at GPS. In addition to discussing what prepared her for the “dream job,” Lyons also detailed her research regarding how mobile training can improve employee performance. Read more.

UC San Diego Receives Grant for Groundbreaking Research in Global Health and Development

June 9, 2015 By Christine Clark | UC San Diego News 

The Policy Design and Evaluation Lab (PDEL), based at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. PDEL faculty affiliates Claire Adida, assistant professor of political science in the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences, and Jennifer Burney, assistant professor at GPS, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project titled “Mobile Money, Schooling, and the Poor.” Read more. 

JFIT: Through the director’s eyes

Professor Ulrike Schaede shares how the program came about, plus her vision for it

May 29, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

With the recent launch of the Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology (JFIT), Professor Ulrike Schaede’s inbox is teeming with emails chockfull of verbage such as biotech, Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless health. It’s perhaps ironic in that a part of what sparked the JFIT director’s career as a Japan expert was a curiosity in handwritten messages sent via fax machines.

In any event—and as all else evolves—her concentration on Japan is constant.

“I actually came in for the language,” said Schaede of her higher education beginnings at Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität in Bonn, Germany. “This was before we had computers. The Japanese economy was growing very fast, but Japan’s business was done in handwriting because the typewriter was too cumbersome. As a good German, I wanted to know how you could be an excellent economy without a typewriter. How does this complicated language translate into or affect business processes?”

After receiving her translator’s diploma in Japanese, Schaede continued at Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität to pursue her M.A. in Japanese studies and economics. She hasn’t veered from the focus since, also earning her Ph.D. in it from Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany.

In 1994, she joined the UC San Diego faculty as a professor in Japanese business at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, now the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS). Today, in addition to her role as incoming director of JFIT, Schaede is the executive director for the Center for Global Transformation (CGT), formerly the Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies.

JFIT will serve as a hub for research on contemporary business, science and technology in Japan, as well as associated policies and strategies, and it will foster scholarly exchange and offer a system of open innovation and access between the San Diego region and Japan. The new forum will provide a hub for cross-disciplinary research in scholarly fields ranging from business to medical and biological sciences and engineering.

Turning JFIT into a reality

“The fundamental ways in which the Japanese political economy works and what it takes to win in Japan began to change after the mid-1990s,” she said.

Her ground-breaking book, “Choose and Focus: Japanese Business Strategies for the 21st Century” explains the strategic inflection point of the early 2000s, when Japan’s business architecture began to change. More than 15 years later, the “New Japan” companies are wrapping up their internal restructuring and have the support of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, Schaede noted. They’re making the transition into the 21st century.

“There’s now a critical mass of 'New Japan' companies that are looking to grow in new and different ways—for example, by teaming up with a leading U.S. university to identify new technologies in IT, IoT and biotech,” Schaede said. “That’s the role we envision for JFIT. We’re positioning ourselves as a connector between this new globally competitive Japan and our local knowledge in cutting-edge biosciences and engineering technologies.”

On UC San Diego’s local knowledge of these innovations, Schaede provided a few examples.

First, she pointed to her Fitbit to call to point its wireless health agilities. Currently, the device is connected to her smartphone, but this is just a first step toward what lies ahead in the future. Once we have new developments in wireless health technologies, as well as ways to measure blood pressure or blood sugar counts at the wrist, these constant measurements could then be connected directly to a doctor’s office. In fact, UC San Diego’s bioengineering department is already working on such a medical technology for diabetes patients. The vision is that in the future this will be connected to a doctor’s office for more effective health-care provision. The sky is the limit for what lies ahead in the “internet-of-things”.

So, why give Japan a peek into these innovations and partner with them on other possibilities? “Because Japan has many excellent engineering companies. This is Japan’s strength,” Schaede said.

And while she hopes JFIT will feed off of Japan’s strong work ethic, Schaede also envisions the program will address it by creating a positive culture for those who visit San Diego.

Speaking to the old notion of “work hard, play hard,” Schaede said another facet of JFIT is to offer Japanese companies with aged closed-innovation systems a glimpse into open-innovation systems. Outside the lab, she hopes they’ll rediscover the value of recharging their batteries, so to speak, and striking a work-life balance.

Dr. Hiroshi Fujiwara had a taste of this during his stint on campus, Schaede reminded, remarking he went on runs and captured several photos at the beach and about the city. A Pacific Leadership Fellow at CGT, Fujiwara pledged $300,000 toward JFIT on behalf of his company, Broadband Tower, Inc.

Hellman Fellowship propels Ruixue Jia to pursue South Korean research

May 27, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Two years ago Assistant Professor Ruixue Jia arrived to the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, now the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), with two topics top of mind: China and economics. Now, she’s piggybacking off that foundation into what she considers a personally unchartered academic territory.

Which is why the Hellman Faculty Fellowship couldn’t have come at a better time.

“I am looking to expand my research. I took a small step by looking at how the rise of China affects South Korea’s economy and environment,” Jia said. “For these new projects, we need to collect a lot of data. This fellowship helps me do that as well as employ a research assistant.”

Founded in 1995, the Hellman Faculty Fellowship is designed to provide early-career funding to promising UC faculty as they progress toward tenure. Including Jia, 12 UC San Diego faculty members received the 2015-2016 fellowship, which totaled approximately $500,000.

It’s very helpful at this stage, Jia noted. She is putting the funding toward her research, including a new paper, “Is China's Pollution the Culprit for the Choking of South Korea?,” which she’s writing with Hyejin Ku, a research associate at University College London.

The spark, so to speak, for expanding her scholarship came out of a casual, yet personal conversation that resulted in a colleague insinuating much of Korea’s pollution comes from China.

“For me, being Chinese, I have very mixed feelings,” Jia said. “On the one hand, I know pollution in China is horrible. And on the other hand, I have a national feeling that is, ‘Well, how do you know?’”

As any academic would, Jia is making it a personal mission to get to the bottom of the implication.

To that end, she’s spending the bulk of her summer collecting historical data on the development of Korea as a basis for her research. In doing so, she also is employing a GPS Robinson Fellow, Jiyoung Kim, to act as her research assistant.

“On the environment spillover between China and Korea, I’ve studied more from the political economy viewpoint, thinking about how Chinese and the Korean governments are debating about this issue,” Jia said, adding her April 2013 paper, “Pollution for Promotion,” dabbles in the topic in that it explores how political incentives affect China's pollution.

Still, there’s been a time or two throughout her current research path that she’s called on Professors Joshua Graff Zivin, Gordon Hanson and Junjie Zhang for their economic and environmental expertise.

It’s those collaborations that propel Jia to think, “in retrospect,” that coming to GPS has motivated her to advance her research beyond China.

“GPS is a great place for people having a strong interest not only in China, but also in Korean and Asian countries,” Jia said.

As such, she says her work will continue to revolve around—or now evolve from—two themes: understanding the political economy of development and investigating the historical roots of current economic development.

“Understanding the development of South Korea may shed light on understanding the future of China,” Jia said. “Both countries have experienced compressed modernization and face similar economic and social problems. For instance, there is a parallel between China’s state-owned enterprises and South Korea’s chaebols, both of which are outcomes of state industrial policies.”

Outside of this research, Jia also has academic trips planned to Beijing, Stockholm, Seoul and Kyoto this summer. Plus, she has a few personal endeavors to tackle as she continues settling into the San Diego lifestyle.

“The dream is to learn to surf, but I’m still very bad at swimming,” she said, laughing. “It’s on the to-do list before I get tenure.”

Jia is the ninth GPS faculty member to earn the Hellman Faculty Fellowship. Past fellows from the School include: Jennifer Burney (2014-2015); Jesse Driscoll (2013-2014); Gordon McCord (2013-2014); Jong–sung You (2011-2012); Junjie Zhang (2011-2012); Edmund Malesky (2009-2010); Euysung Kim (1998-1999); and Ulrike Schaede (1996-1997).

Read more online at UC San Diego news.

Climate change and world hunger: disparate problems with interrelated solutions

April 23, 2015 By Leah Soleil | LA Times

Figuring out how to deal with global climate change is only one part of what Jennifer Burney does. As if that weren’t enough to keep her busy, she’s also fighting world hunger. Burney, a professor of environmental science at UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, has found that those two seemingly disparate goals complement each other quite well. To prove it, she has been doing fieldwork in some of the most far-flung and troubled regions of the world to help farmers maximize their crop yield while minimizing their negative impact on the earth. Read more. 

Award-Winning Blog by IR/PS Professor Tackles Most Pressing Problems in World's Conflict Zones

April 9, 2015 By Christine Clark | UC San Diego News

For quickly explaining complex world events, blogs can beat news articles and academic papers. That is Barbara Walter’s belief and why the political science professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) launched Political Violence @ a Glance, a blog designed to consistently produce expert analysis of problems related to violence and protest in the world’s conflict zones. Read more.

Joining the Emeritus Ranks

March 30, 2015 By Amy Robinson | GPS News
 

In a recent Q&A with Ellis Krauss, the popular professor of Japanese politics and U.S.-Japan relations, he discussed both first joining the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) in 1995, a time in which the School was building its Japan studies area of expertise, and what it means today to become an emeritus faculty member. 

“What was really unique about IR/PS in the 1990s was its Pacific region focus,” Krauss said. “No other international relations and public affairs graduate school in the U.S. had that kind of curriculum.”

Subsequently, other schools in the U.S. and Japan have incorporated a Pacific focus into their curriculum, but IR/PS was the pioneer.

“We got it right, but we are no longer as unique as we once were,” Krauss said. “That is why we are expanding our faculty and curriculum into other areas such as energy, development, environment, science and technology while still keeping our Pacific focus. We add these and other fields to allow us to compete more broadly with other graduate schools of international relations and public affairs.” 

Designing as executive education program

Krauss helped develop the School’s Global Leadership Institute (GLI), formerly called the International Career Associates Program, with then colleague Takeo Hoshi and served as its second director. It was originally designed to bring mid-level public officials, businessmen and women to the School, but has since grown to include additional short-term and customized group programming. 

“They add a fantastic ‘mix’ to the classroom,” Krauss said. “Whereas our traditional master’s students often bring some job and overseas experience, GLI students bring real-world experience as nationals of foreign countries and provide different perspectives, knowledge and information to share with our students and faculty.”

Although it might be considered a bit challenging for a faculty member to be teaching Japanese politics to government officials from Japan, Krauss remarked that he found the experience great for both himself and the other students in the class.

“GLI students tell me that they learn a lot too because they receive a different and refreshing perspective on their own country’s politics that they would not get at home,” he said. 

Developing lifelong connections

Krauss, like many faculty at the graduate level, has forged deep connections with students that often turn into lifelong friendships and in many cases, future colleagues.

“I have been very blessed to serve as an advisor and mentor to many outstanding graduate students, both master’s students at IR/PS and Ph.D. students from UC San Diego’s Department of Political Science who are interested in Japan,” he said. 

Krauss recalled that Jennifer Lind, who was in his first class on Japanese politics in the winter of 1996, went on to get her Ph.D. in political science at MIT and now teaches at Dartmouth. And, John Nylin, another former student of Krauss, went on to a successful career first at Hewlett Packard and then he went into the Foreign Service, including service in India, Slovenia, and several tours in Japan.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Ellis for 20 years now – as a student, a research assistant and as a friend,” said Nylin, MPIA '97, Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State. “The insights about Japanese politics and media that I gained from him while at IR/PS served me immeasurably during my seven years working in the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. More importantly, though, Ellis is someone that I trust and to whom I frequently turn to for advice, both Japan-related and not. I am thrilled that he is staying on in emeritus status, as the next generation of Japan specialists will benefit greatly learning from my sensei, my tomodachi, Ellis Krauss.”

The list is long, but Krauss also shared three examples of how Ben Nyblade at Rand Corporation, Kuni Nemoto at Waseda University and Dan Smith at Harvard University – all former graduate students who served as research or teaching assistants – went on to eventually collaborate on projects with him.  

Now emeritus, what’s next?

Krauss has a busy retirement planned. This month, he will visit Harvard University to be honored at a dinner and give a public talk. Later in April, he will spend six weeks in Japan as a grant recipient from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science as a visiting scholar at Waseda University. There he will participate in various symposia, conferences and workshops. One will be for a new project with Thomas Berger of Boston University and two young German scholars, Alexandra Sakaki of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and Kerstin Lukner of the University of Duisburg-Essen. They will compare the legitimacy of military and humanitarian intervention in two countries with “Peace Constitutions,” Japan and Germany. 

Krauss also plans to pursue work on a few publications with an Italian colleague, Gianluca Passarelli, which they began to work on when he was in Rome for three months this past fall on a fellowship from Sapienza University of Rome.

“UC San Diego has terrific faculty who don’t stop conducting research when they go emeritus. Fortunately, that often applies to teaching as well,” said Peter Cowhey, dean of IR/PS. “After more than 20 years in the classroom at our School, it is nice to know I can count on Krauss to teach U.S.-Japan Relations in winter 2016.”

Kruass added, “My wife and I plan to spend more time traveling, including a trip to the U.K., France and Germany in the fall. I don’t think much moss is going to grow on me in the near future!”

UC San Diego Granted Access to DigitalGlobe Commercial Satellite Imagery

March 18, 2015 By Doug Ramsey | UC San Diego News

The DigitalGlobe Foundation has selected the University of California, San Diego to be one of two institutions of higher learning given open access to DigitalGlobe Basemap, an online map and database of current, high-resolution satellite imagery – of the entire planet. For a one-year pilot study, commercial satellite imagery will be made available free of charge to selected UC San Diego faculty, students and staff who, until now, would not have been able to afford access to the planetary-scale data included in the DigitalGlobe Basemap. Read more. 

Graff Zivin research addresses NIH funding

Jan. 30, 2015 By Anthony King | GPS News

A new working paper coauthored by School of International Relations and Pacific Studies professor Joshua Graff Zivin links government funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with private-sector innovation, coming at a time when the debate over NIH funding is once again in the spotlight for policy makers.

Immediate outcomes of Graff Zivin’s research show that public funding increases the development of private-sector patents, highlighting the benefits of taxpayer money in health research and development, or R&D.

For instance, the current version of the working paper suggests that a $10 million increase in NIH funding leads to approximately three new patents. This implies that each dollar of NIH funding generates between 70 cents and $2 in drug sales. Graff Zivin emphasized that the social value of those new drugs is likely much larger than the sales figures, making these public investments quite valuable.

“These are real, sellable pharmaceuticals that would not have existed but for the NIH,” he said. Part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH is the largest funder of biomedical research in the world.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper is titled “Public R&D Investments and Private-sector Patenting: Evidence from NIH Funding Rules” and is written by Graff Zivin, Pierre Azoulay of MIT, Danielle Li of Harvard University and Bhaven Sampat of Columbia University.

Released Monday, Jan. 26, Graff Zivin said there are several additional takeaways from the paper.

“First and foremost,” he said, “it answers questions people have been asking since the inception of government funding of research and development: ‘Is this a good use of taxpayer money? What do we get out of it?’”

Second, the paper is the first to really tackle the idea in this way, in large part due to better statistical tools that now exist and a more data savvy, outcome-oriented society, Graff Zivin said.

Because the way data had traditionally been collected and analyzed, researchers and policy makers could only examine the returns to government investment by looking at a narrow slice of potential impacts, when in fact most of what is funded goes toward basic science that has a wide range of use across long periods of time.

“What we’ve really brought to the table is a painstakingly assembled data set, as well as tools that help us look at all the affects of funding in flexible ways,” Graff Zivin said.

Funding for the NIH decreased by 6.7 percent from 2010 – 2013, the largest drop in its recorded history. Spurred in part by the initial period of the current Ebola outbreak, policy makers began addressing the shortfall, ultimately ending in a proposed bill announced this month. Called the American Cures Act, the bill’s goal is to guarantee an increase in funding for the NIH year after year, putting it back on track to pre-2010 levels.

Graff Zivin said the timing is coincidental, but not surprising. Their team has been working on the paper for several years, and the debate about government funding is decades old.

“It has been implicitly believed that government funding for research has positive economic benefits since the time governments entered this business,” he said. “What this paper does is provide the most rigorous, systematic evidence to date showing that funding leads to new drug discoveries that have sizable, social benefits.”

View and download the full paper on the NBER website.

Alumni

Working toward a purpose together at GAO

Feb. 24, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As part of an ongoing series to spotlight GPS’s top employers, we profile why GAO hires our graduates, plus why current alumni enjoy working there. Read more.

Emboldened to make the future brighter

Feb. 8, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In time for International Women’s Day on March 8, we spotlight five GPS alumnae and their professional achievements stemming from moments of being bold in their careers. Read more.

A pivot from physics

Feb. 6, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Steven Buchsbaum ’97 attended GPS to discover what could be the next step in his science-centric career. What he received was so much more. Read more.

Strength in numbers

Feb. 3, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Roughly 50 alumni returned to GPS for its annual Winter Connections event, meeting with and lending advice to the students soon to enter their alumni network. Read more.

GPS graduates find culture is key at Booz Allen

Nov. 16, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As part of an ongoing series to spotlight GPS’s top employers, we profile why Booz Allen Hamilton hires our graduates, plus why current alumni enjoy working there. Read more.

Undraping a hidden gem

Nov. 1, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

How Jason Kim, MAS-IA ’12, helped to set the stage for foreign area officers to fulfill their graduate school requirements at GPS. Read more.

Drilled into entrepreneurship

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

George Eiskamp didn’t always conceive of a career in oil and gas but, as CEO and founder of GroundMetrics, the alumnus is an industry standout due in part to lesson learned at GPS. Read more.

Alumni lend lessons learned 20 years after GPS

Sept. 16, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Joel Rabasco and Rich Abrom impart to GPS’s incoming students their wisdom gained in 20 years since attending the School. Read more.

Alumnae sustain a friendship for the books

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

The common interest in sustainability that brought together Lauren DeMates and Rosaly Byrd at GPS now is turning profits for the duo in that of a burgeoning blog and book deal. Read more.

Salsa Saturday celebrates alumni who stay connected

 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As part of UC San Diego’s Alumni Weekend, GPS hosted its third annual Salsa Saturday on June 4. Read more.

Driving data in family care

May 25, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

While it wasn’t always her intent to end up in tech, Joyce Hodel ’08 wouldn’t have her career any other way. Read more.

Yiru Zhou embraces the past and shapes the future of GPS

May 6, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

GPS’s 2016 Outstanding Alumna details what it means to be honored by and why she is dedicated to giving back to her School. Read more.

The value of a classmate

By Anthony King and Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

School of Global Policy and Strategy alumni return to campus, strengthening networks with current students. Read more.

A match made in GPS

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In time for Valentine’s Day, meet a few GPS alumni who found love in the long term before, during or after attending the School. Read more.

An outlet in entrepreneurship

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Named to the ‘Forbes’ 2016 30 under 30 list, Elena Lucas founded her own software company as a sure-fire way to have a global impact on climate change. Read more.

Getting to Gap Inc.

Jan. 13, 2016 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Jennifer Gee ’91 recounts how GPS’s cross-disciplinary strengths and Pacific focus have paid off, plus how she now pays it forward. Read more.

Kevin Watt unearths savviness for sustainable farming

Nov. 9, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Peruse Kevin Watt’s resume, and one might note he isn’t the typical alum from the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS)—but he also couldn’t be happier about it. Watt, MPIA ’09,  is the founder of Early Bird Ranch in Pescadero, Calif. Read more.

Veronica Valdez on ‘rolling up your sleeves and going for it’

Nov. 3, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Veronica Valdez, MPIA ’07, is unable to see past February 2017. Once the President Barack Obama administration concludes, she along with fellow political appointees at the Pentagon will draft up resignation letters to the president and make way for the next administration to fill in. Read more.

A salute to our soldiers

Oct. 28, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

When Nicholas Matcheck, MPIA ’07, sees “Veterans Day” marked on a calendar, he automatically mulls over his grandfather and his father’s tenures in WWII and the Air Force, respectively. All the while, he’s dressed in a Navy uniform, one adorned with badges for a decade’s worth of service as an aviator, including deployments to the Middle East and Central America. Read more.

Motivating students beyond degrees

Oct. 23, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Look no further than Anna Jewell’s desk for a testament to how Professor Barry Naughton has motivated his students. Jewell, MPIA ’00, still can recall her first few encounters with the Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs, specifically as a student in his Chinese economy class in 1999 at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS). She remembers Naughton handing out loosely stapled pages of his manuscript for “The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth.” Read more.

GPS graduate returns to Mexico to propel higher education

Sept. 28, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Alfredo Martinez very much so works behind the scenes. The students he ultimately impacts may never see his face nor ever hear his name. But the curriculums they endure, particularly programs and courses preparing them for careers, are kept ahead of the curve due in part to him. Read more.

Scott Park ’90 ‘Have fun, and do the right thing’

Aug. 10, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Given that Scott Park heads up one of the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturers, it seems only fitting that he has a well-stocked toolbox. The president and CEO of Doosan Infracore Bobcat Holdings has been adding to it since college. Read more.

Michael DeZubiria ’14 receives presidential recognition

July 9, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

May 26 began as any other Tuesday for Michael DeZubiria. He put on his suit, commuted from Arlington, Va., into downtown Washington, D.C., and settled in for his workday at the U.S. Peace Corps headquarters.  Then, shortly after lunch, he took a five-block stroll to Pennsylvania Avenue. “I walked up to the Secret Service on the sidewalk,” DeZubiria recalled. “I just said, ‘I have a meeting with the president at 3:30.’” Read more.

Molly Gavin ’03 proves the power of networking, risk taking

June 23, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Molly Gavin’s career is a sequence of bold moves. The start of it all could be pinned to when, as an intern at Motorola, she sent an email to former CEO Robert “Bob” Galvin. From a speech Galvin delivered to the group of summer interns in Schaumberg, Ill., Gavin gathered she had more in common with the then-81-year-old than a similar last name. Read more.

2015 Alumni Weekend

June 17, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As part of UC San Diego’s annual Alumni Weekend, the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) carved out some time to not only reconnect its own alumni, but also recognize one of the School’s earliest staff members. Read more. 

Investing in the Future: Alumni Couple Makes Historic Gift

May 1, 2015 By Jade Griffin | UC San Diego News

HansonThe University of California, San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies has received the largest alumni gift in the School’s history thanks to class of 1996 alumni, Lisa and Jay Hanson.

With their recent pledge of $250,000, the couple has established the Hanson Sterner Fellowship Fund, which will benefit graduate students pursuing a Master of International Affairs (formerly the Master of Pacific International Affairs) at UC San Diego. The fellowship fund, which is endowed, will remain in perpetuity.

“We thank Lisa and Jay Hanson for their visionary gift,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Fellowships are critical for graduate students, who play a key role in UC San Diego’s research enterprise. Upon graduation, these outstanding scholars will go on to become the innovators, teachers and leaders of tomorrow.”

“We are so grateful to the Hansons for this historic gift to support our outstanding students,” said Peter Cowhey, dean of the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. “This donation is truly a groundbreaking action representing our alumni’s dedication to ensuring the long-term success of both our students and the school as a whole.”

The Hansons, who met each other while attending IR/PS as students, credit their education at UC San Diego with giving them the tools to succeed in business both in the United States and abroad.  Jay has a long history at eBay, Inc., and currently serves as vice president of European Expansion and Cross Border Trade at the Fortune 500 company.  Lisa worked in the finance industry, before focusing on raising the couple’s young children. Currently, the Hansons live in Berlin, where Jay leads a large part of eBay’s European operations.

The couple’s choice to give to the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, and specifically to graduate fellowships, is a personal one.  “Both of us benefited from financial support while we were there,” said Lisa. “The School had a big impact on our lives, so we would like to help make that opportunity possible for future students.”

Jay received the Nick Binkley Fellowship, established by the first chair of the School’s International  Advisory Board, while Lisa benefited from various scholarships to support her studies. Fellowships play a key role in helping to ensure that graduate students can focus on their studies rather than worrying about working to support themselves through school. They can also be used to attract top students—like current IR/PS student Emily Foecke—who may be offered more competitive fellowship packages from other universities.  Fellowship support played a key role in Foecke’s decision to attend UC San Diego.

“I would not have come to UC San Diego without my fellowship, as I was leaving a well-paid private sector job and received a 75 percent tuition scholarship to another institution,” said Foecke, who received a more competitive fellowship package to attend IR/PS. Prior to attending UC San Diego, Foecke worked with development organizations in Cambodia, Kenya and Sierra Leone, as well as at two Fortune 500 companies.

“My fellowship allows me to focus on my studies and prepare for my career after graduation,” she continued.  “Alleviating the stress and financial management and planning that crushing student loans can bring has been critical for me to have the time and mental energy to fully invest myself in my coursework and to take leadership roles outside of the classroom.” 

At IR/PS, Foecke is focusing her studies on the implementation and evaluation of programs designed to address global issues ranging from poverty reduction to uality of life. Eventually, Foecke hopes to build a company that works with small to medium-sized nonprofits to help them invest their resources more responsibility and effectively to achieve the maximum possible impact around the globe.

“Financial assistance options for graduate education are paltry today, which presents a huge disincentive to graduates pursuing careers in social impact and not-for-profit ventures,” said Foecke. “Yet, these are the same ventures where young people from forward-thinking, data-driven intuitions like IR/PS are desperately needed to find solutions to the world’s biggest problems.”

The Hansons, like many alumni, couldn’t agree more. “We believe that the School will play a key role in creating the kinds of leaders that can help the world tackle the issues and opportunities we know are coming as a result of technological advancement, globalization, climate change and more,” said Jay. “We look at our gift as, not only an investment in the School, but also an investment in the future.”

Making a Global Impact Around the World in a Day

April 29, 2015 By Amy Robinson | GPS News

On April 18, more than 175 veterans, alumni, students and their families from San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Tokyo organized community service projects in support of the inaugural Around the World in a Day. Led by the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) and UC San Diego's International Studies Program (ISP), this collective group made a deep impact by giving their time, talent or treasure to a project of their choice.

UC San Diego has a strong tradition of cultivating volunteer opportunities. One such program is UCSD Alumni’s San Diego Promise. It is a commitment to the local educational community and features a variety of ongoing service opportunities throughout the year.

“Building on the momentum of San Diego Promise’s February 15 community revitalization project at Ross Elementary School, we launched ‘Phase II’ to support the ongoing goals of this high-achieving Clairemont neighborhood school,” said Mary Jo Ball, director of alumni affairs at IR/PS.

This effort also began a wonderful partnership with the UCSD Veterans Association, which recruited 30 veterans to join more than 100 alumni, staff, family and friends who spent the day giving back their time. The volunteers built and filled planter boxes, stenciled motivational phrases from Steven Covey's book "7 Habits" on campus and helped paint bricks.

A Global Impact

Leveraging our global community, alumni clubs, groups, individuals and friends were invited to volunteer in their own communities, for any amount of time. And, it had an impact. 

Ten Bay Area alumni partnered with the San Francisco Food Bank to prepare food delivery to local nonprofits. And, Tokyo alum Gary Bremermann ’91 organized for the club to volunteer at Second Harvest Japan, the country's "pioneer" food bank. They prepared and packed lunch boxes for over two hours.

“We had a great time volunteering at Second Harvest Japan. Helping out the community is always a worthy cause, but doing this as part of the new Around the World in a Day project made it even more meaningful,” said Tokyo club leader Jonathan Shalfi ’14.

The Seattle alumni club joined the King Conservation District, Longfellow Creek Legacy Council and the Duwamish Alive Coalition. Led by club leaders Andrew Curry ’06 and Melissa Nitsch '06, volunteers spent the day helping to restore the Duwamish watershed. Now in its tenth year, the DuwamishAlive! restoration event includes hundred of volunteers working together in more than a dozen watershed sites to preserve and enhance habitat for people and wildlife towards improving the health of the Puget Sound.

Along this theme, the Washington, D.C. club teamed up with the Rock Creek Conservancy the week prior. Alumni Ryan Pope ‘12 led the charge, timing it with the group's seventh annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup. Their goal is stream cleanup of the creek and its tributaries, and organizes trash cleanups at over 75 locations along the 33-mile length of Rock Creek

"The D.C. alumni club participated in the annual Rock Creek Park cleanup organized by the Rock Creek Conservancy. IRPSers helped preserve the beauty of Washington, D.C.'s largest city park by removing trash and recyclables and clearing hiking trails," said Ryan Pope ’12.

Ways to give back

Whatever your passion, however you get involved, volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world. It can be a great way to develop skills, learn more about career options, make friends and garner new professional contacts. And at UC San Diego, Chancellor Khosla challenges us all to perform 50 hours or more of community service. Learn about opportunities and ways to get involved at Volunteer50.

“Alumni and students not only made a big difference helping their communities for our inaugural Around the World in a Day event, but they had a great time doing it too,” said Mary Jo Ball.

Read the story produced by UCSD Alumni Triton Magazine and view the photo gallery from the day.

Additional sponsors for the Ross Elementary projects included the Education Corps at UCSD, UCSD Veterans Association, San Diego Credit Union and UC San Diego's Volunteer50.

8th annual Career Services & alumni trip a success

Feb. 26, 2015 By Nurit Mandel with Anthony King | GPS News

For eight consecutive years, the Career Services department at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) has reached out to potential employers to plan a series of informational site visits, taking students on an official “field trip” stretched over the course of two intensive days.

The Feb. 18 – 19 trip concluded with over 85 alumni, students and staff at the School’s annual Bay Area Alumni Reception listening to professor Jennifer Burney give an overview of her research. Burney is an environmental scientist whose research focuses on simultaneously achieving global food security and mitigating climate change. Much of her current work focuses on the developing world.

But before the reception, one group of students met with technology giants Google, Facebook, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Sony Entertainment Network and PayPal in Silicon Valley while another descended on San Francisco. They visited nonprofit, public sector and energy-focused organizations including The Asia Foundation, U.S. Federal Reserve and Government Accountability Office, Opinion Dynamics, E.ON Climate & Renewables, and Pacific Gas and Electric.

Global business leaders were also on hand, with students meeting representatives from Matthews International Capital, IW Group and Tetra Tech DPK consulting. In addition to meeting alumni, the goal of the trip is to offer current students networking opportunities that often lead to post-graduation employment.

Liz Batty, a current Master of Pacific International Affairs (MPIA) candidate, said she was glad she went on the trip, and even connected with several key people.

“Some of the visits allowed for small group sessions with employers, really giving me an advantage,” she said. “One hiring manager offered to interview me for a future position.”

Batty’s experience is not uncommon, as alumnus Alan Elliott, MPIA ’12, can attest. Three years ago, Elliott participated in the same outreach trip, connecting with representatives at Opinion Dynamics. While they did not have any specific openings at the time, Elliott said he kept in touch with the company and was offered an opportunity to join their team several months later.

The trips take a lot of coordination and would not be possible without the support of alumni like Elliott and Mike Vergara, MPIA ’93. Vergara is the current vice president of consumer risk management at PayPal and spent over an hour with 24 students. A self-proclaimed “proud IR/PS graduate,” Vergara gave insight into his field on a global scale, as well as the overall culture at PayPal.

“Fit is important,” he said. “Having great employees is the best thing we can do. That’s why we’re successful.”

Elliott and Vergara’s enthusiasm for helping current students is a strong trait among graduates. Setting up these site visits perpetuates the career success of current students and often, as in Vergara’s case, it means alumni can “pay it forward” for future generations of students.

Vergara ended by encouraging students to pursue their passions by trying as many different opportunities as possible until they uncover that best fit. “Find the thing you love,” he said. “Life is too short to get up each morning and do something you don’t like.”

Alumni return for Winter Connections 2015

Feb. 2, 2015 By Anthony King | GPS News

Over a dozen School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) alumni returned to campus for Winter Connections, the popular, daylong event bringing current and former students together to offer career advice, employment hints and — reiterated throughout the day — networking opportunities.

“Networking is probably one of the most important things you can do while at IR/PS,” alumnus Dominique Navarro ’12 said in her presentation, Business Development in the Non-Profit Sector. Navarro is the development coordinator at the San Diego-based Center on Policy Initiatives.

“Do whatever you can to start building those relationships right now. That’s what’s going to help you in the long run,” she said.

Navarro represented just one industry students are interested in working in after graduation. In all, 13 alumni from the public, private, non-profit and research sectors held small, informal sessions, ranging from careers in sustainability and international health research to organization-specific tips in gaining employment with the United States government and Qualcomm, Inc.

Steven Buchsbaum ’97, a current IR/PS alumni board member, is a deputy director for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle and offered an inside view to getting hired and working at the international nonprofit, which he called “first and foremost” a family foundation.

“We look at the things we aspire to help with and ask a basic question: are there things that we could do today that are being underutilized?” he said. “Our job [at the foundation] is to be creative and attempt to deliver on those things.”

After a brief overview of the foundation, Buchsbaum showed a short video of the program he heads, Discovery & Translational Sciences. He then discussed the inside politics and procedures of how they staff, and students were eager to learn how they could prepare for potential work at the Gates Foundation while focusing on their personal and academic goals.

Internships were also a focus of discussion in the sessions, with many current students asking what skills are important for them to bring to potential organizations. While there was no one answer — “it’s more about how you approach solving problems,” Whitney Caruso ’13 said — the importance of internships was reiterated several times.

“The best thing I did [while at IR/PS] was take on an internship while taking classes,” Navarro said. “It’s definitely a challenge, but well worth it.”

Caruso and Sithu Thein Swe ’10 work for separate nonprofit and foundation consulting firms, and presented together on their post-graduation experience. While both work for the private sector, the alumni were most interested in nonprofit work. They said the mid-sized businesses they work for now, with networking opportunities that reach deep into the non-profit sector, were virtually unknown to them before.

“I wish I would have known this industry even existed,” Caruso said. “There’s just so much out there that I didn’t know. A lot of learning is meeting people you want to work with on a daily basis.”

Swe was able to speak on a difficult, but not-often discussed issue for many IR/PS graduate students: securing a U.S. work Visa after graduation. Roughly 50 percent of each IR/PS graduating class is foreign born, and many would like to pursue careers in the U.S.

“Do your homework on what is involved with the Visa process,” Swe, who is from Myanmar, said. “Small companies probably won’t know, so you just need to reassure them with confidence, do your homework and be diligent. Really take ownership in what is involved with the process.”

Following the individual afternoon sessions, visiting alumni participated in a larger panel session in the Robinson Auditorium. The networking — which underscored one of the most important lessons from Winter Connections — continued into the evening’s dinner reception.

Winter Connections 2015

AlumniKim Almeida ’09, program manager, Levi Strauss & Co.
Marjon Barrigan ’12, civil investigator, International Organized Crime and Intelligence Operations Center
Steven Buchsbaum ’97, deputy director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Whitney Caruso ’13, strategy director, Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies
Dominique Navarro ’12, development coordinator, Center on Policy Initiatives
Heather Rock ’06, threat analyst, Chevron Global Security
Amit Sharma ’13, transfer pricing staff, Ernst and Young
Matt Siordia ’12, trade specialist, U.S. International Trade Administration
Katie Sproule ’11, senior research assistant, International Food Policy Research Institute
Sithu Thein Swe ’10, senior associate, Blue Garnet
Adam Whinston ’06, supply chain assessments director, SGS
Erica Whinston ’06, senior manager, Qualcomm, Inc.
Yiru Xue ’12, planning analyst, Amazon Web Services

Students

Why GPS: Finding the awe in other ways of life

April 14, 2017 | By Juan Pablo Feregrino, 2018 MIA candidate | GPS News

As part of an ongoing series, we give students the creative liberty to opine on their favorite memories from the School and “why GPS” is a solid fit to pursue their graduate education. Read more.

Selected as a Sylff Fellow

March 20, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In a Q&A, two students open up about how their fellowships are preparing them to break global boundaries after GPS. Read more.

A day in the life of a BA/MIA student

March 10, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In a Q&A complementing our Storify tour of a day in the life of Jeanne Marasigan, the 2018 BA/MIA candidate paints a picture of what attending GPS looks like today. Read more.

Why GPS: A place to call home in a foreign land

 By Meghna Jain, 2018 MIA candidate | GPS News

As part of an ongoing series, we give students the creative liberty to opine on their favorite memories from the School and “why GPS” is a solid fit to pursue their graduate education. Read more.

Up to snuff

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Travis Lindsay, 2017 MIA candidate, reflects on the ways in which his first year at GPS primed him for the accomplishments that followed, such as being published in The Diplomat. Read more.

Cultured to foster U.S.-Japan connections

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Granted participation in the Kakehashi Project in 2016, GPS sent a cohort of students to Japan to absorb the culture and make memories to last a lifetime. Read more.

Why GPS: Going beyond expectations

 By Dana Kozhakhmetova, 2018 MIA candidate | GPS News

As part of an ongoing series, we give students the creative liberty to opine on their favorite memories from the School and “why GPS” is a solid fit to pursue their graduate education. Read more.

A day in the life of an MPP student

 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In a Q&A complementing our Storify tour of a day in the life of Shadi Matar, the 2018 MPP candidate paints a picture of what attending GPS looks like today. Read more.

Ensuring students are ahead of the curve

Dec. 19, 2016 | By By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Working behind the scenes, GPS’s Professional Development Committee is dedicated to dreaming up how to make students stand out in the workforce. Read more.

Why GPS: Genuine support for your future career

 By Samuel Huang, 2018 MIA candidate | GPS News

As part of an ongoing series, we give students the creative liberty to opine on their favorite memories from the School and “why GPS” is a solid fit to pursue their graduate education. Read more.

A leg up on Japanese language literacy

By Matthew Matsuyama | GPS News

Matthew Matsuyama, 2018 MIA candidate, spared time from his studies in Tokyo to opine on his Boren Fellowship, including how its readying him for a civil service career. Read more.

Protecting the planet through fellowship

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Larissa Basso, a Ph.D. candidate at University of Brasilia, is visiting GPS on a Fulbright Fellowship to explore the politics of energy decarbonization under Professor David Victor. Read more.

A day in the life of a Ph.D. student

Sept. 12, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Through the eyes of Luke Sanford, learn what being a Ph.D. student in GPS’s joint program with the UC San Diego Department of Political Science entails today. Read more.

Our 2016-17 Dean’s Fellows

Aug. 25, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Three students selected as GPS’s 2016-17 Dean’s Fellows share the experiences that qualify them for this special distinction. Read more. 

A day in the life of a GSR

June 17, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In a Q&A complementing our Storify tour of a day in the life of Maya Reynolds, the 2017 MIA candidate paints a picture of what attending GPS looks like for her as a GSR. Read more.

From the benchtop to the real world

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In its second year, GPS’s Science Policy Fellows Program continues emphasizing the policy impacts of scientific research. Read more.

GPS graduates moved to propel the 21st century



June 27, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As the School marks a milestone in conferring its first degrees as GPS, Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski advises graduates on how to achieve their own. Read more.

GPS lauds 2016 award winners

May 20, 2016 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

The School celebrated its 2016 student and faculty award winners in the form of a luncheon on May 13. Read more.

Conference puts entrepreneurship and innovation in the forefront

 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

JFIT convened some of the top scholars on Japan from around the globe to discourse ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Japan.’ Read more.

Getting the Bigger Picture

May 12, 2016 | By Anthony King | UC San Diego News

Students benefit from invaluable access to satellite imagery through Big Pixel Initiative. Read more.

Students reap oceans of knowledge at COP21

By Shayla Ragimov and Joaquin Vallejo | GPS News

Two students pen their experiences attending COP21 in support of the Scripps delegation and their enlightenments from it on the relationship between science and policy. Read more.

A day in the life at GPS

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

In a Q&A complementing to our Storify tour of a day in the life of Emily Foecke, the current student paints a picture of what attending GPS looks like today. Read more.

Being a Robertson Fellow

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Thanks to a partnership with the Robertson Foundation for Government, the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy provides at least three students per graduating class special resources that will put them ahead of the curve in securing positions in the federal government after graduation—and it handpicks which students will do so. Read more.

Baja Project and SIO partner in El Barril

Sept. 29, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

This summer, four co-directors of the Baja Project student group at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) were joined by two members of Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) to make the quarterly trek to El Barril, a Mexican fishing village on the Sea of Cortez. Read more.

Mapping out GPS students’ summer whereabouts

Sept. 25, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As first-year students at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) get their bearings, some second-year master’s degree candidates are shifting their mindsets from that of a working professional back to a graduate student—and, for a few students, that also means overcoming jetlag to do so. Read more.

GPS Launches New Master of Public Policy

Aug. 4, 2015 By Christine Clark | UC San Diego News

The School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) at the University of California, San Diego has expanded its roster of globally renowned degree programs with the launch of a new Master of Public Policy. Read more.

Our 2015-2016 Dean’s Fellows

Aug. 26, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News
The School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) selected 17 second-year students as its 2015-2016 Dean’s Fellows. Read more.

Our 2015-2016 Boren Fellows

July 23, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Funded by the National Security Education Program, Boren Fellowships support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The program provides fellows with up to $30,000 for research and language studies abroad. In exchange for funding, recipients commit to at least one year of service in the federal government. Read more.

Final IR/PS class graduates

June 18, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Under the dim lights of the RIMAC Arena, two banners stand. 2015 CommencementStage right is one clad with the emblem for the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS). Stage left is one with the new logo for the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS). Parked in between the two is the class of 2015. Read more.

8th annual Career Services & alumni trip a success

Feb. 26, 2015 By Nurit Mandel with Anthony King | GPS News

For eight consecutive years, the Career Services department at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) has reached out to potential employers to plan a series of informational site visits, taking students on an official “field trip” stretched over the course of two intensive days.

The Feb. 18 – 19 trip concluded with over 85 alumni, students and staff at the School’s annual Bay Area Alumni Reception listening to professor Jennifer Burney give an overview of her research. Burney is an environmental scientist whose research focuses on simultaneously achieving global food security and mitigating climate change. Much of her current work focuses on the developing world.

But before the reception, one group of students met with technology giants Google, Facebook, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Sony Entertainment Network and PayPal in Silicon Valley while another descended on San Francisco. They visited nonprofit, public sector and energy-focused organizations including The Asia Foundation, U.S. Federal Reserve and Government Accountability Office, Opinion Dynamics, E.ON Climate & Renewables, and Pacific Gas and Electric.

Global business leaders were also on hand, with students meeting representatives from Matthews International Capital, IW Group and Tetra Tech DPK consulting. In addition to meeting alumni, the goal of the trip is to offer current students networking opportunities that often lead to post-graduation employment.

Liz Batty, a current Master of Pacific International Affairs (MPIA) candidate, said she was glad she went on the trip, and even connected with several key people.

“Some of the visits allowed for small group sessions with employers, really giving me an advantage,” she said. “One hiring manager offered to interview me for a future position.”

Batty’s experience is not uncommon, as alumnus Alan Elliott, MPIA ’12, can attest. Three years ago, Elliott participated in the same outreach trip, connecting with representatives at Opinion Dynamics. While they did not have any specific openings at the time, Elliott said he kept in touch with the company and was offered an opportunity to join their team several months later.

The trips take a lot of coordination and would not be possible without the support of alumni like Elliott and Mike Vergara, MPIA ’93. Vergara is the current vice president of consumer risk management at PayPal and spent over an hour with 24 students. A self-proclaimed “proud IR/PS graduate,” Vergara gave insight into his field on a global scale, as well as the overall culture at PayPal.

“Fit is important,” he said. “Having great employees is the best thing we can do. That’s why we’re successful.”

Elliott and Vergara’s enthusiasm for helping current students is a strong trait among graduates. Setting up these site visits perpetuates the career success of current students and often, as in Vergara’s case, it means alumni can “pay it forward” for future generations of students.

Vergara ended by encouraging students to pursue their passions by trying as many different opportunities as possible until they uncover that best fit. “Find the thing you love,” he said. “Life is too short to get up each morning and do something you don’t like.”

Three new students selected for Robertson Foundation fellowships

Dec. 9, 2014 By Anthony King | GPS News

Three first-year students at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) earned Robertson Foundation for Government Fellowships, joining a growing number of graduate students dedicated to government service upon graduation.

Andrew Furillo, Patricia Weng and Edith Yuh were selected for the 2016 class of fellows. They bring the total number of Robertson Fellows at IR/PS to 15 since the program started in 2010, including current second-year students Joyce Kang, Daniel Rothstein and Jake Schurmeier.

“I congratulate the new class of Robertson Fellows and welcome each to a growing cohort of young leaders who are committed to serving our nation both here and abroad,” said foundation board president Katherine Ernst. “We are looking forward to working with the new fellows and they have our full support going forward.”

Furillo, whose career track is both International Politics and International Economics, worked closely with Korean student groups at UC Berkeley while obtaining his undergraduate degree. He studied abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, and said he aspires to play a role in promoting cooperation between North and South Korea while resolving tensions in East Asia.

Weng attended Pomona College for her bachelor’s degree, and studied abroad in Taiwan before teaching English in China’s Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture, just north of the border with North Korea and home to many ethnic Koreans. Weng hopes to use her International Management and International Economics career track at IR/PS to work in East Asian affairs or diplomacy.

Inspired by the multicultural communities in her native Silicon Valley, Yuh spent several summers in international youth development, including an internship in China for CEO Global USA, a nonprofit that hosts summer camps to encourage leadership and community service among China’s young adults. She taught English in rural Japan before starting at IR/PS and her regional focus is both China and Japan.

For the 2016 class, Furillo, Weng and Yuh were selected with 11 other national fellows. Thirty-three Robertson Fellows are currently enrolled in five of the nation’s top graduate schools for international studies and foreign affairs. Of the 45 who have completed master’s degrees since the program start, 80 percent currently work for the federal government or in a government-related field.

“These young men and women are the fulfillment of the Robertson Foundation for Government mission, which is to meet the federal government’s increasing need for young leaders as more than half of its employees become retirement-eligible in the next two years,” Ernst said.

Community and General 

Charlene Barshefsky chronicles China’s protectionism

March 14, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

GPS’s 21st Century China Center welcomed Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky for its fifth annual Robert F. Ellsworth Memorial Lecture. Read more.

NAFTA Under Siege

Feb. 23, 2017 | By Anthony King | UC San Diego News

As the current administration continues to call out perceived pitfalls of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, trade experts, business leaders, former government officials and current policymakers will gather at UC San Diego to lead timely and important conversations on the likely consequences of revoking or renegotiating the trade agreement. Read more.

Connecting the dots on the U.S.-Japan relationship

Feb. 21, 2017 | By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

As part of her Pacific Leadership Fellowship, Yoriko Kawaguchi rediscovered the strength of and predicted what’s in store for U.S.-Japan relations. Read more.

Research to Help Mitigate Future Shocks to State’s Water, Food and Energy Supplies

Feb. 16, 2017 | By Anthony King | UC San Diego News

The California drought may be unofficially over, but that doesn’t mean it won’t return. Policymakers, businesses and the agriculture industry can best prepare for that possibility by applying what they have learned from past droughts to future events. Read more.

Research renewed at USMEX

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Three USMEX Fellows detail how their fellowships are taking their respective research projects to the next level. Read more.

Carnegie Corporation of New York Supports UC San Diego-Hosted International Talks on Northeast Asia

Jan. 05, 2017 | By Alexandra Steven and Jade Griffin | UC San Diego News

The University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, which is based at UC San Diego, received a grant of $500,000 to support the institute’s annual Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), a forum which convenes policy-level officials from China, Russia, North and South Korea, Japan and the United States to candidly discuss urgent security topics in Northeast Asia. Read more.

Variability biggest bane of water in the West

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

GPS’s Science Policy Fellows Program gathered scientists and policy experts from across campus and San Diego to traverse the hard-hitting topic of California’s water supply. Read more.

Knowing no altruistic bounds

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

We honor UC San Diego’s 2016 Chancellor’s Medal recipients Marion and Kwan So, as told through the eyes of those at GPS they’ve impacted deeply. Read more.

Helping one woman at a time

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

JFIT’s new immersion program for female executives in Japan equips participants with the skills and confidence to be managers on a global scale. Read more.

Transforming Mexico through Innovation

Oct. 27, 2017 | By Anthony King | UC San Diego News

Mexico Moving Forward travels to Mexico City, highlighting young entrepreneurs and strengthening ties to UC San Diego. Read more.

Exploring what is most important

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Meet Zaira Razu, the new point woman for most all things research-related at USMEX with an eye for analyzing the most pertinent issues facing Mexico and U.S.-Mexico relations today. Read more.

Tooled to the excellence of the School

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

A rundown of the major renovations undertaken to GPS’s classroom and office spaces, plus what inspired their fruition. Read more.

 

JFIT broadens health sciences gateway between Japan and San Diego

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Through leadership roles in LINK-J, GPS’s research center on Japan supports yet another avenue for innovative exchange between San Diego and Japan. Read more.

Educating the next generation of US-China leaders

 By Anthony King | GPS News

GPS’s 21st Century China Center, in partnership with the Global Leadership Institute, hosted high school students on campus for its inaugural American and Chinese Future Leaders Summer Program. Read more.

School of Global Policy and Strategy Launches New Master of Chinese Economic and Political Affairs

 | By Amy Robinson | GPS News

Students get a sneak peek at careers related to STEM

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Three students affirm GPS’s emphasis on quantitative methods positioned them for success in internships related to STEM, plus granted them confidence to pursue careers in the sector. Read more.

China 21 podcast tackles US-China trends in candid fashion

 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

GPS’s 21st Century China Program began a new podcast that features conversations between top policymakers and academics. Read more.

Training a new generation of migration researchers close to home

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Under guidance from USMEX, the Mexican Migration Field Research Program is examining the impact of migration on the education of youth in San Diego and Tijuana. Read more.

Robert Hormats reconnects, reflects at GPS

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

A Q&A with the vice chairman at Kissinger Associates during his Pacific Leadership Fellowship. Read more.

Putting Google Earth Engine on the map at UC San Diego

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Ran Goldblatt brings to GPS more than just his expertise as a geographer and GIS analyst but also a determination to equip students with the latest tools of the trade. Read more.

New year, new spotlight on STEM

Jan. 4, 2016 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

GPS heads into 2016 with a revitalized focus on promoting and investing in STEM policy. Read more.

Xian Xu sets sights high for Fudan-UC Center

Dec. 4, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Meet the new managing associate director with visions of bolstering collaborations across UC and making new research connections. Read more.

A Gift with Global Impact

Nov. 16, 2015 By Jade Griffin | UC San Diego News

The impact of Qualcomm Incorporated on San Diego and its tech industry is indisputable. Likewise, Qualcomm and its founder, Irwin M. Jacobs, have helped shape the University of California, San Diego into what it is today—a catalyst for economic, social and scientific impact, ranked among the top 20 universities in the world. Read the original UC San Diego News Center story

San Diego Global Forum emphasizes U.S.-China friction points

Nov. 16, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) hosted the inaugural San Diego Global Forum on Nov. 10 at the San Diego Public Library. The forum marks the beginning of a collaboration between the School, the library and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.’s Go Global San Diego initiative to facilitate open dialogue that uncovers how San Diego is engaged in shaping solutions for a transforming and interconnected world. Read more.

Using History to Address Inequality

Oct. 29, 2015 By Anthony King | UC San Diego News

A packed house at Mandeville Auditorium Oct. 22 welcomed Thomas Piketty, the French renowned economist who penned this decade’s most talked-about political book: “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” The main topic of Piketty's work? Income inequality. Read the original UC San Diego News Center story

Reiko Akiike strikes up scholarly exchange at UC San Diego

By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

CGT’s inaugural 2015-2016 PLF lends GPS an inside glance at Abenomics and returns to Tokyo with a new point of view for business strategizing under it. Read more.

Joan and Irwin Jacobs give $4 million to rebrand EmPac to CGT

Sept. 29, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Rebranding is abuzz at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), as the School’s Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies (EmPac) now is the Center on Global Transformation (CGT), thanks to a $4 million gift from founding supporters Joan and Irwin Jacobs. Read more.

Blending science and policy

June 26, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

Hermes Taylor-Weiner perhaps explains the purpose of the Science Policy Fellows Program best. In brief, it allowed him to look at his research through a lens other than his lab goggles. “As a basic scientist, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture,” he said. “The Science Policy Fellows Program gave me the opportunity to see how the technologies I work with on the bench top are affecting people today.” Read more.

Big Pixel Hackathon reinvents role of satellite imagery

May 28, 2015 By Sarah Pfledderer | GPS News

What do you get when you let 35 students loose on the largest private collection of high-resolution satellite imagery on earth? Insight into policy issues, of course—this of which was the case at the Big Pixel Initiative’s first-ever hackathon.

The daylong event, lasting from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 23 at the Qualcomm Institute Black Box Theater, attracted the master’s and Ph.D. student from disciplines ranging from economics to electrical and computer engineering and marine biology, to name a few. No coding experience was required.

Participants were charged with breaking into teams of five, with the requirement that teams had members from multiple disciplines. Then, they were instructed to define an important policy question and brainstorm how satellite imagery can be used to resolve it.

In doing so, they were given unprecedented access to DigitalGlobe Basecamp—the aforementioned volume of satellite imagery—as part of the Big Pixel Initiative’s relationship with DigitalGlobe Foundation. The foundation selected UC San Diego to be a part of a pilot study that gave it access to the technology for a year.

DigitalGlobe Basemap features millions of square kilometers of current and archived imagery captured by DigitalGlobe Foundation’s constellation of earth-imaging satellites over the past 15 years. This includes imagery from WorldView-3, DigitalGlobe Foundation’s newest satellite that collects imagery with 30-cm ground resolution.

What hackathon participants gleaned from the technology was moving, explained Professor Gordon Hanson, Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), formerly the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.

Hanson also is the director of the Center for Global Transformation, formerly the Center on Emerging Pacific Economies that was established at the School in 2006 to address central questions about economic growth, equality and market change and bridge the worlds of academic inquiry and policy analysis.

“Teams tackled how to measure the growth of urban slums in poor countries, how to measure the impact of natural disasters on water quality in cities (such as the typhoon that devastated the Philippines last year), how to identify illegal fishing in the Caribbean and how to find boats engaged in human trafficking in the Mediterranean,” Hanson said.

In addition to Hanson, the event also was organized under the leadership of Big Pixel Initiative Co-director Albert Lin and Lead Coordinator Jessica Block. Lin and Block serve as a research scientist and staff researcher at UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute, respectively.

Founded in partnership by Qualcomm Institute and GPS, the Big Pixel Initiative partnered with the DigitalGlobe Foundation to grow a living, learning laboratory related to everything spatial. The notion for the one-year pilot study is to investigate and design best practices in geospatial data visualization user experience interfaces and design techniques for scientific discovery and decision-making.

Prizes were awarded for the best research question, the most innovative visualization strategy and the most impactful discover. View the photo gallery from the day.

School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Changes Name to School of Global Policy and Strategy

May 7, 2015 By Jade Griffin | UC San Diego News (read original story on UC San Diego News)

UC San Diego today announced that its globally recognized School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) will be renamed to become the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), effective July 1. The new name reflects the increasingly broadened scope of the school’s research impact worldwide. In addition to the name change, the school’s Master of Pacific and International Affairs (MPIA) degree will become a Master of International Affairs (MIA), a more standard degree awarded by international relations schools, that will also recognize students’ studies beyond the Pacific region.

In support of the School of Global Policy and Strategy’s new and expanded trajectory, local philanthropists and community leaders Joan and Irwin Jacobs have designated $4 million, through their Dunaway Foundation, to transform and expand the school’s Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies into the Center for Global Transformation. The newly renamed center will focus on understanding and quantifying the consequences of global economic changes and technological growth. Irwin Jacobs is the founder and former chairman and CEO of QUALCOMM and a former faculty member at UC San Diego. Joan and Irwin Jacobs have a longstanding legacy of support for the school.

“The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy is preparing a new generation of leaders who are solving complex problems in a diverse and interconnected world,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The name change reflects the school’s impact as a premier international research institution that is at the forefront of international research and policy discussions that will have an impact for generations to come.”

Peter Cowhey, dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy, added: “Change, in the form of technological, political and economic advances, is in the DNA of our teaching and research. The name School of Global Policy and Strategy is a fitting representation of the school’s trajectory to match the profound transformations of our increasingly globalized world. We are truly grateful to the Jacobs for their vision and support of strategic direction.”

Since its founding in 1986, the school has established itself as a leader in research and policy development in the Pacific region, which includes Asia and the Americas. It is widely recognized for its analysis of public policy and economic markets, as well as its work addressing key issues centered on international conflict and cooperation. GPS is home to the nation’s largest group of faculty focused on contemporary Chinese economy, politics and policy. In addition, Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2015 rankings named UC San Diego’s academic programs in international relations, offered by GPS in conjunction with UC San Diego’s department of political science, among the best in the world. The publication ranked the campus’s undergraduate international relations program and master’s program for policy careers in international relations 13th best in the world. UC San Diego’s Ph.D. program for students pursuing an academic career in international relations was named 7th best in the world.

“While the School for Global Policy and Strategy will remain firmly grounded in its strength of research relating to the Pacific, the name change reflects current and future research in other developing and politically and economically relevant regions,” said Cowhey.

Faculty, researchers and students at the School of Global Policy and Strategy will continue to leverage UC San Diego’s interdisciplinary and collaborative academic environment with the goal of breaking traditional research barriers. GPS teams work with partners across campus including Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Jacobs School of Engineering and the School of Medicine, as well as with scholars around the globe, to make leading-edge discoveries that make a positive difference for populations worldwide. In addition, the School of Global Policy and Strategy provides myriad tools, strengthened analytic training and rigorous curriculum to prepare students to become the future global leaders.

A transformative gift

The Jacobs’ gift to the Center for Global Transformation is in recognition of the past accomplishments and new direction of the School of Global Policy and Strategy. The newly renamed center will build on the success of the research entity formerly known as the Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies. It will focus on analyzing the forces driving the integration of the global economy and on designing and shaping the public policies that provide the foundation for successful integration. The center will drive inquiry on two major questions: first, how the structures of the global economy are evolving, and second, how new technologies and analytic methods open the way to improving how we govern ourselves.

“Joan and I are thrilled with the visionary direction of the School of Global Policy and Strategy and its mission to address the great challenges of our time,” said Irwin Jacobs. “The Center for Global Transformation will lead inquiry on global economic and technological transformation, two areas that are of particular interest to us. This gift is designed to help the center continue to grow as a powerful platform for understanding these fundamental shifts.”

The Jacobs’ gift will establish two new endowed chairs to recruit and retain top faculty at the center—The Center for Global Transformation Endowed Chair in Technology Policy and The Center for Transformation Endowed Chair in Technology and Information. It will also create an endowment for faculty fellows, which will support two junior professors each year who are pursuing research key to the center’s vision and priorities.

A degree above

The school’s shift from offering the Master of Pacific and International Affairs (MPIA) degree to the Master of International Affairs (MIA) degree not only takes into account the wide-ranging global studies of GPS students, but it also aligns more closely with industry norms, a benefit for students as they embark on their careers.

“We believe that this change in degree, to be more in keeping with industry standards, will greatly benefit our students and alumni, who are trained to become leaders in international discussions and policy,” said Cowhey. “Our students and alumni are key to yielding a global society of which we can all be proud.”

An invitation-only celebration of the new name will take place Friday, May 8 at 4 p.m. at UC San Diego. 

UC San Diego Granted Access to DigitalGlobe Commercial Satellite Imagery

March 18, 2015 By Doug Ramsey | UC San Diego News

The DigitalGlobe Foundation has selected the University of California, San Diego to be one of two institutions of higher learning given open access to DigitalGlobe Basemap, an online map and database of current, high-resolution satellite imagery – of the entire planet. For a one-year pilot study, commercial satellite imagery will be made available free of charge to selected UC San Diego faculty, students and staff who, until now, would not have been able to afford access to the planetary-scale data included in the DigitalGlobe Basemap. Read more. 

China’s ‘airpocalypse’ discussed at first Science Policy Fellows event

Dec. 11, 2014 By Anthony King | GPS News

In a first-of-its-kind event for the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), professor Junjie Zhang, an expert in Chinese economics related to the environment, and Deborah Seligsohn, an environmental governance researcher, discussed the intersection of policy and science in regards to China’s ongoing pollution problem.

“China’s Pending Airpocalypse: How can Science and Policy Forestall the Inevitable?” was organized by the IR/PS Science Policy Fellows Program. In addition to an event series, the interdisciplinary program offers fellowships to select students from Jacobs School of Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UC San Diego Medical School to explore the policy implications of their research with IR/PS faculty.

“There are a lot of people interested in the intersection of science and policy on campus,” said professor Jennifer Burney, who helped organize the program. “We are trying to be the center of that because we have a lot of great activity going on at IR/PS.”

“There have always been horrendously bad pollution days [in China], but one thing that has changed is the number of days in a row, which has gotten much worse in the last few years,” Seligsohn said. “There’s definitely science to be done in terms of why that is.”Seligsohn, a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego’s Department of Political Science, researches air pollution regulation in China and India. From 2007 to 2012, she was based in Beijing as the principal advisor to the China Energy and Environmental Program, and has over 20 years experience in the United States Department of State. Her most recent position was as environment, science, technology and health counselor on Beijing.

Zhang received his Ph.D. in environmental economics from Duke University, and is a go-to expert on environmental and resource economics, including climate change and air pollution. Part of his current research includes looking at the validation of air-pollution data in China and the correlation with air-pollution mask purchases, which he outlined.

“I try to illustrate the interdisciplinary collaboration we can do by combining economics and science, specifically for environmental pollution,” he said, “but first we have to understand how bad the problem is.”

Using satellite imagery and air-pollution monitors on the ground — ones Seligsohn helped install in her work at the Department of State — Zhang said 99 percent of the Chinese population are exposed to air pollution levels higher than current World Health Organization guides. He then compared sales of masks to these pollution levels, showing an obvious correlation. When the air was worse, people purchased more masks.

“We use this to try to quantify the cost of air pollution in China. If we reduce 10 percent of these heavy pollution days, the benefit is close to $200 million, just from mask sales alone,” he said. “This is one benefit of air pollution control.”

Barry Naughton, the Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs and 21st Century China Program scholar, closed the discussion by outlining the political and institutional barriers to enacting meaningful environmental regulations in China over the past decade and a half, making connections to policy action today.

“Do you think the severity of pollution in China has yet created a situation where we are on track to create really rigorous standards that will seriously improve China’s air, even though the actual improvement will take a decade,” he asked. “Are we really on track to take the first steps?”

Listen to Barry Naughton's audio comments from the event.

Inaugural fellows selected for Science Policy Program

Nov. 3, 2014 By Anthony King | GPS News

Three graduate students from UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering were selected as the inaugural recipients of the cross-discipline fellowship program offered by the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS). Natalie Larson, Negin Nazarian and Hermes Taylor-Weiner will spend the academic year working on their research with the support and guidance of IR/PS faculty and staff, focusing on the policy implications of their work.

Just in its first year, the IR/PS Science Policy Fellows Program is open to graduate students from the Jacobs School of Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UC San Diego School of Medicine. The three fellows were chosen because they presented the best example of policy relevance in their applications.

The fellowship includes three main components scheduled throughout the year: a science-policy roundtable to discuss policy linkages of each fellow’s work; a public panel to address how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interact within policy; and public presentations by each fellow.

As a first step, Larson, Nazarian and Taylor-Weiner gave initial presentations of their work to the program’s executive committee in order to be assigned IR/PS faculty advisors. At this meeting, each fellow outlined their goals for the fellowship.

Working with the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis at UC San Diego’s Supercomputer Center, Larson is focusing on a larger project that maps slowdown and congestion on the Internet, specifically network domain links. In part, Larson is tracking where congestion occurs.

“For the fellowship, I’m hoping to help provide data and analysis that can move policy debates forward,” she said, explaining important players in regulating the Internet, including the Federal Communications Commission, service providers and entertainment companies like Netflix and Hulu. Professor Roger Bohn was selected as her faculty advisor.

Professor Joshua Graff Zivin was selected as faculty advisor to Taylor-Weiner, a bioengineering Ph.D. student. Taylor-Weiner’s project looks at culturing embryonic stem cells into viable pancreatic cells with implications for cell transplant therapies, treating chronic diseases like diabetes, and drug testing.

In his work, the policy relevance is dependent — as is the nature of the research — on ever-changing political decisions, undefined guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration and public opinion.

Nazarian’s research closely mirrors several IR/PS faculty research interests, focusing on the environment, climate change and how policy can help or hinder the process, and she will be advised by professor David Victor. Nazarian is from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Jacob’s School.

Specifically, Nazarian’s work looks at the implications of urbanization on air flow, energy use and air quality. These implications are broad, from updating urban planning policy and zoning codes to making the bridge from science to real world-application easier.

“What I’m hoping to get out of this fellowship is the next step,” she said. “What can we do with this knowledge?”

The fellows program vision is to unite UC San Diego’s strengths in engineering, medicine, and marine and earth sciences with IR/PS’s faculty expertise in policy and the practical application of research for strategic decision making. Professor Jennifer Burney is leading the program, and said each of this year’s fellows is an excellent example of fulfilling their overall mission.

The first IR/PS Science Policy Fellows Program fall quarter event will take place Dec. 2 and feature professor Junjie Zhang of IR/PS and Deborah Seligsohn, a Ph.D. student in UC San Diego’s Department of Political Science. Burney will serve as moderator, and the topic will be "China’s pending airpocolypse: How can science and policy forestall the inevitable?" More details are forthcoming.


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