Beyond the Academy: Public Policy Careers for Asianists

(Special Roundtable Discussion)

Friday, March 23, 2018
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Thurgood Marshall South, Mezzanine

Despite the context of drastic funding cuts where U.S. resources for education and cultural exchanges are affecting America’s knowledge of and interest in Asian studies, Asia continues to attract a large number of students every year. Yet the pursuit of an academic career in the field of Asian studies is becoming more challenging as the demand for teaching jobs far exceeds the number of tenure-track positions available. As a result, an increasing number of students are considering career options outside academia. This 2018 “Beyond the Academy” roundtable brings together five professionals in the field of public policy in Washington, D.C. to provide students and recent graduates with practical advice on how their academic training prepared them for their career in the US Department of State Foreign Service, think tanks, and non-for-profit sector. Drawing on their personal experience, the panelists will discuss which skills they find are best suited for non-academic jobs, how to best approach a career outside the academy, and how to capitalize on the training, skills, and knowledge gained in the course of post-graduate studies.

Roundtable Participants:

Stacy Hartman (Moderator) received her Ph.D. in 2015 in German Studies from Stanford University. Since graduating, she has served first as project coordinator and then as project manager of Connected Academics at the Modern Language Association. While at Stanford, she became interested in the relationship between doctoral education and post-Ph.D. careers, and her position at MLA has allowed her to continue pursuing these questions at the national level. She believes that the employment of humanities Ph.D.s outside the academy is not only a matter of concern for individuals, but also one of sustainability, ethics, and advocacy for the field. 

Rick Jacobsen is a Senior Advisor for Forests at the international NGO Global Witness, where he has worked for nearly 10 years carrying out investigations, policy analysis, and advocacy aimed at curbing corruption and the abuse of human rights and the environment. He set up Global Witness’ Asia Forest team and has led campaigns on illegal and unsustainable logging and associated international trade in Japan, Malaysian Borneo, Papua New Guinea, and China. Previously he led Global Witness’ Liberia campaign and international forest policy work. He has a background is in the biological sciences and holds a MS degree from Stanford University.

Sameer Lalwani is a Senior Associate and Co-Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center where he researches nuclear deterrence, inter-state rivalry and crises, strategic culture, ethnic politics, civil conflict, and counter/insurgency. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University (GWU) Department of Political Science. Previously, he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the RAND Corporation. Lalwani completed his PhD from MIT’s Department of Political Science with dissertation research examining national security decision-making in South Asia. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the British Archives. Lalwani’s work has been accepted or published in a number of venues including Security Studies, the Journal of Strategic Studies, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, CTC Sentinel, and the New York Times, as well as books published by RAND, Cato Institute, Sage, and Oxford University Press. He has been a Predoctoral Fellow at GWU Elliott School’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, an Adjunct at the RAND Corporation, a Visiting Fellow at India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and Pakistan’s Lahore University of Management Sciences, a Research Fellow at the New America Foundation, a Tobin Scholar, a Smith Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellow, and a member of the CNAS Next Gen National Security Leaders Program.

Mary Ellen Lane served as Executive Director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) for twenty-eight years until her retirement in 2014. There, she worked to create new research opportunities for American and host-country scholars, expanded programming, and built a broad and strong constituency. She secured support for existing centers and worked to establish centers in areas of the world where research and collaborative opportunities were lacking. In concert with American and host-country scholars and officials, she established and made viable research centers in West Africa, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Cambodia, Palestine, Indonesia, Algeria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and raised CAORC membership from eight to twenty-four centers in twenty-six countries.

Lane received a doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Paris IV, Sorbonne, as well as degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since her retirement, she has been a member of the governing boards of eight overseas research centers and served as Vice-Chair of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue. She is currently the President of the Center for Khmer Studies and consults on institutional management and program development.

Tim Marshall is the Senior Program Officer for the East Asia and Pacific Programs (EAP) Branch in the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), where his duties include managing the Fulbright Programs for Japan and Korea. He has previously overseen the Fulbright Programs of Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as the EAP Global Undergraduate (UGRAD) Program. 

Mr. Marshall represents ECA on several organizations/programs that promote bilateral relations and exchange programs, and also oversees the Department’s involvement with Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV). Mr. Marshall previously spent four years in ECA’s Office of Citizen Exchanges, where he managed short-term training programs for participants from the former Soviet Union. Mr. Marshall has been recognized several times for his service, including multiple Meritorious Honor Awards for his work with the EAP region. 

Before joining the Department of State, Mr. Marshall held positions at the Academy for Educational Development (AED), The American University’s Career Center, the Hariri Foundation, and Dayton Hudson Corporation (now the Target Corporation). He also has experience in the political and legislative sectors as well as working with community service NGOs. Mr. Marshall lived in both Japan and Mexico as a child and later worked in Mexico as an English instructor.

Mr. Marshall received his B.A. in History and Government with an emphasis on International Relations from Beloit College in Wisconsin, and has taken graduate courses at the University of Maryland.

Apichai W. Shipper holds the Asia Regional Chair at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of Pacific Affairs and a member of the Steering Committee on the Cornell Alumni Board for Diversity (Mosaic). After receiving his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University’s Program on U.S.-Japan Relations before joining the faculty at the University of Southern California with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the School of International Relations. He has been a visiting researcher at Georgetown University, UCLA, University of Tokyo, University of Kyoto, Hitotsubashi University, and Stockholm University. He is the author of Fighting for Foreigners: Immigration and Its Impact on Japanese Democracy (Cornell University Press, 2008; paperback in 2016) and the guest editor of a Special Issue (2010) in Pacific Affairs on “Citizenship and Migration.” His publications have also appeared in Asian Politics & Policy, Critical Asian Studies, Journal of Japanese Studies, International Studies Quarterly, and North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation, among others. 


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