Seton Hall University, John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations
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Facing Future Challenges of International Organizations and Global Health
Ambassador John Menzies
John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations
Seton Hall University
Speaking on the work of Associate Professors Dr. Martin Edwards and Dr. Yanzhong Huang
What are the most important challenges currently facing your field?
With emerging markets such as Brazil and India vying for a UN Security Council seat and rapidly growing countries such as China seeking a larger voice at the IMF and World Bank, the main challenge for international organizations is finding a way to reform governance that balances the status quo powers with rising countries. In addition, global health challenges are becoming a major foreign policy and security concern, with profound changes in the biological and political worlds leading to new problems, players, and processes.
How will these challenges distinguish the work of your students during their careers?
Post-conflict countries need reform in many areas including economics, human rights, and security. Many international organizations are working on the ground to solve these problems, but neglecting the connections between these areas can do more harm than good. The new generation of policy makers will recognize the connections between addressing armed conflict, ensuring economic development, and fostering political stability. With regard to health, due to globalization, a disease outbreak in a small village can immediately impact other parts of the world. Future leaders will learn to go beyond formal relationships among sovereign states to conduct a new type of diplomacy in coping with the complex matrix of technical and relational challenges of global health.
What does the Whitehead School have to offer students facing these challenges?
The School offers a niche specialization in Post-Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability. Through the School’s relationships and proximity to New York City, the UN, and Washington, DC; a dedicated office of internships and career development; and a required internship course, our students secure prestigious professional internships tailored to their interests to learn practical career skills. We also provide students close collaboration with faculty and personal attention. Dr. Edwards, who is chair of the international organizations specialization at the School, has recently coauthored papers with undergraduate and graduate students on the surveillance functions of international organizations. The Whitehead School also offers the first academic concentration in the U.S. that explicitly addresses the security and foreign policy implications of global health issues. Dr. Huang, director of the School’s Center for Global Health Studies, is integral to the current worldwide debate on global health governance and engages our students in research and policy work. The School’s Center for Global Health Studies is a member of the Consortium for Global Health Diplomacy and publishes the acclaimed online journal Global Health Governance.
What distinguishes a Whitehead School student?
Our students come to the program with a vision of what they want to do after graduation, be it working at the UN, with an NGO, or as a public servant. They are driven by causes and want to make the world a better place. Our students know how to position themselves to succeed, winning national fellowships for travel and research abroad. Choosing a professional school, our students are interested in obtaining the skills and expertise that help them succeed in the rapidly changing world. They take advantage of the School’s multiple professional, internship, travel, and volunteer opportunities, and become competent in several languages.
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