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KDKA reporter Ralph Iannotti interviewed GSPIA students engaged in a joint research project with the FBI spearheaded by Associate Professor Michael Kenney. The foundation for the partnership developed out of the student working groups at the Matthew Ridgway Center for International Security Studies at GSPIA, under the leadership of Dr. Phil Williams, director of the center.  “As a policy school, GSPIA strives to give its students experience in conducting policy relevant research inside and outside the classroom,” explained Associate Professor Kenney. The students in the group work collaboratively and share a common interest in a career in intelligence and law enforcement. Read more. 

The U.S. nuclear power industry has found it difficult to compete in electricity markets in recent years. Major operators such as Exelon have shuttered nuclear power plants and announced plans to close others in the future. In an effort to improve their profitability, nuclear power plant operators have sought subsidies from state governments in which their plants are located. At the urging of operators, policy makers in Illinois and New York have agreed to provide billions of dollars in “zero emission credits” to nuclear power plants, ostensibly to compensate nuclear power’s lack of greenhouse gas emissions. Similar subsidies have been considered in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Zero emission credits have been widely criticized and a majority of Americans hold an unfavorable view of nuclear power.

Associate Professor Jeremy Weber, Director of GSPIA’s Shale Gas Governance Center (SGGC), recently discussed the rising price of crude oil with NPR reporter Erika Beras.  According to the report, the cost of a barrel oil increased by 30% over the past 6 months, prompting Beras to ask “Is the oil industry back?”  Dr. Weber joined Samantha Rose, an Energy Policy Analysis at the Brookings Institution and Mukul M. Sharma, Engineering Professor at the University of Texas Austin to discuss the increase in price and the implications for oil producers.  

On Friday, January 19th, GSPIA celebrated the inauguration of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Student Chapter at the University of Pittsburgh. ICMA is a leading professional association dedicated to creating and supporting thriving communities throughout the world. 

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management recently announced the finalists for the 2018 Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program, including GSPIAns: Sarah Yeomans (MPIA, Security and Intelligence); Chelsea Buckwalter (MPIA, Human Security), and Christopher Troutman (MPIA, Security and Intelligence Studies).  Representing an impressive and diverse set of interests and experiences, these GSPIAns have been selected as the best candidates for this flagship leadership development program.

Pitt Magazine’s writer Ervin Dyer traveled to South Korea to meet just some of Pitt’s notable South Korean alumni and hear their extraordinary stories. Among those he interviewed were three GSPIA alums including Byong Hyon Kwon, (MPIA ’68); Shin-Bok Kim, (MPIA ’72, EDUC ‘73G), and Keun Namkoong, (MPA '78, PhD ’89).

Eric P. Whitaker (MPA ’84) has been named the Ambassador to Niger, while David Dale Reimer (MPIA ’85) was appointed Ambassador to Mauritius with additional responsibility for Seychelles. According to Allgov.com, Mr. Whitaker, is a career Foreign Service officer, who has spent most of his career in Africa. He was nominated on September 2, 2017. Mr. Reimer, is also a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, and has served as an American diplomat since 1991. He is the former Director of the Office of West African Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State, a position he has held since 2015.

Do you have the passion to make a difference in the lives of others? Consider taking the first step toward a rewarding career in public service by applying to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public & International Affairs (GSPIA). Founded in 1958, GSPIA is one of the most recognized and comprehensive schools of its type in the world. GSPIA's 8,000 globally connected alumni hold prestigious positions in government, nonprofit organizations, business, and academia worldwide. 

Energy Policy, a leading academic journal, recently published an article by GSPIA associate professor Jeremy Weber and PhD student Max Harleman. The piece, which explores how natural resource ownership affects local financial gains, presents a typology for understanding different ownership regimes (private-absentee, public-absentee, private-local, and public-local). The article was largely informed by Harleman's fieldwork in the UK, where he spent several weeks during summer 2016 UK talking to key stakeholders about that the policies and politics of shale gas development there. 

We are delighted to announce that three new assistant professors will be joining the GSPIA faculty in Fall 2018.  Gary Hollibaugh and Daniel Jones will serve primarily in the MPA program, and Erica Owen will serve primarily in the MPIA program.

Thanks to the efforts of MPA students, Aishwarya Kumar and Shanshan Luan, GSPIA has established a student chapter of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). The ICMA Student Chapter will help to introduce and integrate students into the local government management profession and familiarize students with members, resources, and the ICMA Code of Ethics.

The Shale Gas Governance Center will host guest speaker Daniel Raimi at Noon, Wed., Feb. 28 in Wesley Posvar Hall, room 3911. During his talk, Mr. Raimi will discuss his recently released book, The Fracking DebateMr. Raimi is a senior research associate for Resources for the Future. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Raimi traveled to every major oil and gas producing region of the United States to investigate the local impacts of increased domestic production. Along the way, he met hundreds of people and gathered dozens of stories from the oilfield. 

At the intersection of disaster management and leadership studies, the Leadership During Crisis Podcast explores stories from leaders who have led through a dynamic crisis. It considers the behaviors that are necessary to guide a team under stress, ambiguity, or even danger to achieve the best possible outcomes. Between December 2017 and April 2018, the podcast series will feature leaders across local, national, and global events, and conclude with lessons drawn from across episodes. 

Recognizing the potential public and environmental danger of improperly plugged and unplugged oil and gas wells, Pennsylvania established the Orphan Well Plugging Fund in 1992 to support the plugging of wells for which there is no operator that can be held financially responsible. Supported by fees on new oil and gas well permits, the Fund allows the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to plug roughly 25 to 50 orphan wells annually, less than one percent of the nearly 6,400 orphan wells currently in Pennsylvania.

Brandon Mendoza, (MPA '10), government affairs manager at the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, highlights the importance of immigration to the region's economic future in the Pittsburgh Business Times. In his article, Mendoza juxtaposes the retiring baby boom generation with a need to attract more foreign-born workers as death rates in the region continues to outpace births. Read more.

Dr. Donald Goldstein, affectionately known to many GSPIANs as “Goldy,” has passed away after a lengthy illness. During his 35-year career at the University, Dr. Goldstein taught 259 courses, presented more than 14,000 lectures and took approximately 3,700 students on a two-day tour of the nation’s capital. He also served as the director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center, and contributed tremendously to the University by donating a collection of World War II artifacts to the school. 

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and County Manager William D. McKain CPA recently presented the Frank J. Lucchino Distinguished Service Award to GSPIA Alumnus Mr. Randolph (Randy) W. Brockington (MPA '86), Executive Deputy Director of the Office of Administrative and Information Management Services in the Department of Human Services (DHS).

The Matthew Ridgway Center recently hosted former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering of the Iran Project to discuss the state of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Ambassador Pickering began his talk encouraging tough questions. “The most intrusive and difficult questions are the ones we should be exploring together,” said Pickering.

Dr. Bradford L. Barham from the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin Madison gave a talk on “Lessons for sustainable agricultural policies from the US bioenergy boom that wasn’t.” Barham offered important insights into the lessons learned on the necessity of supplementing projections done in a lab with actual field research.  According to Barham, in the late 2000s there was a major bioenergy push, driven by the high price of oil at that time; certain scientists and policymakers believed that cellulosic fuel, ethanol made from plant fibers, was the future.  

The 2016 GSPIA Perspectives, with cover stories on Promoting International Development, won a “Gold” MarCom Award for publications. The awards are administered by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals. Each issue of GSPIA Perspectives focuses on a certain program area, with this edition centering around the Master of International Development (MID), one of three, two-year master degree programs at GSPIA.  

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Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
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