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In our next installment of "Four Minute Foreign Policy," Johns Hopkins SAIS Foreign Policy Institute is pleased to introduce Senior Fellow Maureen White, former Senior Advisor on Humanitarian Issues to Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke in the State Department's Office of the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

What distinguishes fragile states that devolve into conflict and those that do not? "The answer is not simple..." but we can identify key catalysts. Listen now to learn more,...

October 30, 2018

​Organizer of The Global Humanitarian Landscape:

Challenges and Opportunities

A Conversation with Sir Mark Lowcock,

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Moderated by Maureen White, FPI Senior Fellow

About the Event:

As part of the Foreign Policy Institute's "Humanitarian Crises Speaker Series", Sir Mark Lowcock discussed the challenges facing the international humanitarian system in the world of increasing conflict, rising human displacement...

Brain drains have existed as long as there has been economic disparity between geographic areas. More recently, they have been among the primary negative effects of the lopsided globalization that has long favored the developed world at the expense of developing economies. The brain-drain phenomenon occurs when skilled, educated people migrate to pursue better living standards and quality of life, higher wages, more personal freedom, access to the latest cutting-edge technologies and solutions,...

April 5, 2018

A year ago yesterday, a chemical attack on sleeping families in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun killed 72 civilians and left 550 wounded. Today is the 26th anniversary of the beginning of the siege of Sarajevo—the longest and the most brutal conflict in European post-World War II history.

Tomorrow, one year will have passed since the United States carried out one-off airstrikes on the Shayrat air base in Syria, from which the chemical attack had been launched two days earlier.  

This time last ye...

May 16, 2017

His Excellency Peter Hultqvist joined the Johns Hopkins SAIS community for a discussion on European security and transatlantic relations. Hultqvist gave an overview of longstanding ties between the US and Sweden, noting that the nations share a commitment to respect for human rights, democracy, and the international order established after World War II.

Sweden has undertaken many responsibilities for the global good, Hultqvist said. The nation is currently working to deepen its international rel...

Photo: Mishaal Al Gergawi speaking at the 2017 Gaidar Forum in Moscow, Russia

The situation in West Asia may seem hopeless. Syria is in a civil war that has turned the country into a global breeding ground for extremism. Iraq continues to struggle under sectarian and secessionist tensions, weak governance and high levels of corruption. A resolution to the conflict in Yemen remains elusive with a looming humanitarian crisis. Bahrain’s internal tensions are far from resolved. Lebanon may have final...

February 8, 2017


Experts gathered at the Washington, DC campus for a discussion on the consequences of President Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order suspends the US refugee admission program, severely restricts entry from seven majority-Muslim countries, and bars all Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely.

Michel Gabaudan said that the order risks conflating victims with perpetrators by associating refugees with terroris...

May 31, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the World Humanitarian Summit, May 23, 2016.  Original, Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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Over five thousand international delegates gathered in Istanbul last week to mull over the dire state of the world´s humanitarian needs. The venue of the World Humanitarian Summit could not have been more appropriate. It reflects Turkey´s central role in the Syrian crisis, as host to the bulk of the conflict´s exiles and its disconte...

John Kerry brings home some successes from his just-concluded fifth visit to East Asia as Secretary of State—this time around to Seoul, Beijing and Jakarta. But the biggest takeaway from his visit is that the US can expect tough times ahead as it seeks to promote its interests in a region where history continues to divide potential partners against common threats and fuel regional insecurity.

In South Korea, with the region bracing for potential new missile and nuclear tests from the North, Kerry...

On Saturday President Obama called his Turkish counterpart President Erdoğan to discuss the details of both countries’ cooperation against ISIS. While high-level consultations are ongoing at multiple levels, Western media’s Turkey bashing has become an escapist route to divert attention from the upheaval in the Middle East. Media outlets are wide open to clichés ranging from pan-Islamism to anti-Westernism that portray Turkey as failing the fight against ISIS for ideological reasons. The invalid...

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