On a gorgeous spring day in New York City, more than 300 SIPA alumni attended the School’s annual Alumni Day and Class Reunions celebration. Alumni traveled to the April 14 event from locales near and far — including Bogota, Cape Town, Delhi, and Tokyo — reuniting for a day of policy discussion, networking, and fun.
The program began with a welcome luncheon in Faculty House, where Dean Merit E. Janow joined Kirsten Frivold Imohiosen MPA ’03, chair of the SIPA Alumni Association, to greet returning alumni. Guests then settled down for a discussion between Janow and University Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, who talked about the world's changing economic and political landscape.
The afternoon program featured six panel discussions — alumni could choose among three panels in each of two sessions — in which SIPA faculty, alumni, and other experts addresses timely issues ranging from cyber security to “fake news” to environmental issues.
A discussion on U.S. National Security Policy featured panelists Victor Cha MIA ’88, a professor at Georgetown; Deborah Lee James MIA ’81, a former secretary of the Air Force who now is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Matthew H. Murray IF ’85, MIA ’88, current chairman of the Independent Joint Anti‐Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee in Afghanistan. Assisted by moderator Richard K. Betts, who directs SIPA’s concentration in International Security Policy, panelists discussed securities issues facing the United States today, including the nuclear threat of North Korea, Russia's interference with U.S. politics, and ISIS.
Also considering Russia’s role in the 2016 election was the panel Fake News: Policy Challenges and Solutions, which also discussed social media and mainstream news organizations before a packed room. Anya Schiffrin, director of SIPA’s concentration in Technology, Media, and Communications, moderated a panel that welcomed Alexander Cooley of the Harriman Institute, staff editor Michael Roston MIA ’06 of the New York Times, and Beatrice Santa-Wood MIA ’17 of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Alumnus Peter Marber MIA ’87, a faculty member at NYU and Johns Hopkins, moderated a panel entitled What’s Up with the Global Economy in 2018? Economist Andrea Bubula, Ibrahim Gassambe MIA ’11 of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Constance Hunter MIA ’94, chief economist of KPMG, addressed the audience's questions on trade, inflation, global financial and monetary policy, and economic outlook for the next five years.
The afternoon also featured panels on Cyber Risk to Financial Stability, Social Enterprise and Innovation for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Cities and Urban Climate Resilience, each welcoming alumni and faculty.
Before and after the panels, alumni enjoyed catching up and networking with classmates from all corners of the world. A table offering SIPA-branded merchandise did brisk business, bringing in money for SIPASA.
The day ended with a cocktail reception and festive dinner at Faculty House for nearly 300 celebrating alumni from 2013, 2008, and other classes marking intervals of five years.
— Mia Shuang Li MPA ’18