2023 Leaders in Graduate Education in International Affairs
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An Education on International Power and Politics for the Real World
Yuval Weber’s students at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service spend plenty of time in the classroom. But the true focus is on the powers and relationships outside those walls, in Washington, DC, and around the globe. In short, it’s a real-world education.
“We support departments and agencies that are trying to solve really hard policy questions,” says Weber, a research assistant professor at the Bush School DC. “We’re giving you the academic background so that when you’re in an intelligence agency or a planning or operations department, you’re able to understand in real time the invisible part of the process.”
That means not only basics about international political actors, but deep knowledge of the interests, motivations, tactics, institutions, and networks at play. In master’s degree programs that attract students with professional experience—and who often take positions in top federal agencies after graduation—the Bush School DC’s mission is to help students reach the next level of their career.
Prospective students come in all the time, and the key thing that I’m trying to figure out is, how can I and the institution be of use to this person in helping them get to wherever they want to go? … All students need to be devoted to improving themselves.“The key thing that I’m trying to figure out is, how can I and the institution be of use to this person in helping them get to wherever they want to go?” Weber says.
Weber’s expertise is in hierarchy and resilience in international politics, and he has spent years studying how major powers like the United States, China, and Russia in particular, compete globally. He is leading a multi-year project, funded by a $1 million U.S. Department of Defense grant, to create a next-generation research tool to help analyze relationships between countries more quickly.
Students serve as research assistants on the project and will be trained to use the tool on their own research. Those papers will then be used as case studies to show what the tool can do in the larger policy world.
“When we take it to the CIA or the State Department, we can show them: Here’s a way that you think about real-life questions, and here’s a tool to answer those questions much more quickly than you ever anticipated,” Weber says.
Guidance and Mentorship
Lead to the Next Stage of a Career
Miranda Snyder worked for the federal government throughout college. At 24, with years of experience under her belt, she discovered that finding her next step was challenging.
>>>When she met Yuval Weber, a research assistant professor at the Bush School DC who shared her passion for Russian studies, he helped her see a new path. “He said, ‘I think we’ve done Miranda 1.0, and you’re ready for 2.0,’” Snyder recalls.
>>>The path to 2.0 took the form of pursuing a Master of International Policy degree, which will open a range of job options when Snyder graduates in 2024. Weber continues to support her next-stage ambitions. “She brings the academic chops to do the work, and the passion and the interest to keep it going,”
- 2023 Leaders in Graduate Education in International Affairs
- Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
- Georgetown University, Walsh School of Foreign Service
- Texas A&M University, The Bush School of Government & Public Service
- University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
- University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
- Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University
- George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government
- The Fletcher School at Tufts University