This week the Jackson Foundation hosted a lunch to highlight graduate students at the University of Washington’s Jackson School who are benefiting from Jackson Foundation fellowship support. “These Jackson Fellowships represent the core of the Foundation’s long-time support for the School,” said John Hempelmann, Foundation president, in introducing the event. “Support for high-level graduate training in international affairs is fundamental to the Jackson legacy.”
It is always inspiring and somewhat humbling to meet the young graduate students who are benefiting from the Fellowships. They are an accomplished bunch, with many languages and research areas between them!
To help the School with a new initiative, the Foundation supports a PhD student in the Jackson School’s doctoral program. The program is pragmatic in nature – it is three years (rather than the customary five) and thematic (rather than just history, politics, or economics). Two recent PhD fellows, Deep Pal and Oded Oron, joined Foundation Board members for lunch. Deep studies Indian foreign and security policy and follows India’s interaction with China with great interest. Deep values the Jackson legacy in his work: “I was first exposed to Senator Jackson’s vision of forging closer alliances in Asia during my stint with the National Bureau of Asian Research in Washington, D.C. I believe this line of thought resonates in my work – at a time when Asia is undergoing profound changes, alliances between like-minded powers like India and the United States are going to be more important.”
Oded’s research focuses on the mobilization of irregular migrants such as guest workers, undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refuges. His dissertation compares African migrants mobilizing in Israel with migrant movements in Washington State, so the Fellowship here has been a great fit. He is also deeply aware of the Jackson legacy in immigrant human rights, represented by the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and Jackson’s outspoken defense of the right to emigrate freely.
The Foundation also funds two Henry M. Jackson/Gordon Culp Fellows each year — one in Russian and East European Studies and one in China Studies at the School. Ross Doll, the China Fellow, and Celia Anne Baker, the Russia Fellow, engaged the crowd as they talked about their work and the way that the Fellowship has helped them move forward professionally. These two fields have been integral to the history of the Jackson School and were a key reason that Senator Jackson worked hard to support the School and its students during his Senate years. The Foundation is proud to continue that tradition.
Resat Kasaba, Jackson School Director, spoke of the Foundation’s unstinting commitment to the School for over 30 years: “In recent years we have introduced a new Ph.D. Program and a new Applied Master’s Program with Foundation support. These initiatives have enriched the Jackson School’s profile significantly. Thanks to our partnership, we have recruited top-notch students from around the world, strengthened our ties to the Pacific Northwest region, and established new relationships with the policy world in Washington D.C. Foundation support has been critical in keeping the School at the top of its game.”
Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director