Cornell University

This is a past event. Its details are archived for historical purposes.

The contact information may no longer be valid.

Please visit our current events listings to look for similar events by title, location, or venue.

Careers Beyond Academia: International Security and Development

Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Uris Hall, G-08
Central Campus

A panel discussion with Cornell PhD alumni working in international security and development. Open to graduate students from any field.

Learn how former Cornell PhD’s have applied their skills and pursued interests and careers beyond academia: in policy-related research, work related to international development abroad, work for the U.S. government on international issues, and work related to peace and conflict.


Julie Burns is currently chief of operations for the Africa region of the Peace Corps. She served from 2011-2016 as country director for the Peace Corps in South Africa and in Guinea during the Ebola crisis. She received a number of awards and commendations, including the Meritorious Service Award from the Department of State for re-establishing the country program in Guinea following the political crises of 2009-2011. Burns holds an MPA (CIPA) and a PhD (Education) from Cornell. Her doctoral research entailed a qualitative study of post-genocide reconciliation within grassroots organizations in Rwanda. Prior to her graduate studies, Burns served for several years as associate director for wilderness programs and risk management at Cornell Outdoor Education. She originally came to Cornell after over a decade of working within the U.S. and internationally for the North Carolina Outward Bound School and the National Outdoor Leadership School.

W. Eugene Cobble, Jr. is a principal research scientist in the International Affairs Group of the Center for Naval Analyses’ Strategic Studies (CSS) division. He is a specialist on Western European defense industrial collaboration and Western European political-military integration. He received his PhD in government. Cobble’s studies at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) have focused on naval international collaborative procurement, improving interoperability between the United States Navy (USN) and its Euro-Atlantic partners, and USN crisis response issues. He has also worked on alternate operational concepts for helicopter landings on ships, USN counter-proliferation approaches, and on United States grand strategy. Cobble has served as the CNA scientific analyst to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He has also deployed as the embedded CNA field representative to Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa in Djibouti, and to United States Marine Corps Forces, Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

Chris Gibson is currently the Stanley Kaplan Distinguished Visiting Professor of American Foreign Policy at Williams College. Prior to that, he spent 29 years in the Army, rising to the rank of colonel and commanding the 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division. Gibson served four combat tours in Iraq, earned four Bronze Star Medals, and was awarded the Purple Heart. From 2010-2016, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 19th District. He is the author of Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream, a book published by Twelve in October 2017.

Stephen Watts is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and associate director of the RAND Arroyo Center's Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program. His research has focused on irregular warfare, security assistance, deterrence and escalation dynamics, and long-term conflict trends. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, he served as a foreign affairs officer responsible for peacekeeping planning for the Balkans in the state department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and twice received a Superior Honor Award for his work. He has held short-term assignments at the state department's Office of Policy Planning, the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo, and the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command in Afghanistan. Watts is the lead author of more than a dozen RAND studies and has published articles in such journals as The Washington Quarterly, Parameters, and Joint Force Quarterly. He received his PhD in government from Cornell and has held research fellowships at Harvard University's Belfer Center and the Brookings Institution.


Matthew Evangelista is President White Professor of History and Political Science and the director of the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. His current teaching and research interests are the relationship between gender, nationalism, and war; ethical and legal issues in international affairs (particularly just war theory and international humanitarian law); transnational relations; and separatist movements. Evangelista’s most recent book, Italy from Crisis to Crisis: Political Economy, Security, and Society in the 21st Century (Routledge 2018), seeks to understand Italy’s approach to crises by studying the country in regional, international, and comparative context.

This event was organized by the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, co-sponsored by the graduate major field of government and the graduate minor field of peace studies/peace science, and was supported by a grant from the Cornell Graduate School.

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type

Panel Discussion


Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Graduate School, Global Cornell



Contact E-Mail

Contact Phone


Disability Access Information

accessible; hearing assistance available on advance notice

Open To

all, with a focus on graduate students

Recent Activity