John Tirman, a political scientist who has written widely on foreign policy, politics and human rights, has been named executive director of the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS).
Tirman comes to MIT after acting as program director of the Washington, D.C., office of the Social Science Research Council. He previously served as executive director of the Winston Foundation for World Peace, a leading funder of work to prevent nuclear war and promote non-violent resolution of conflict.
"We are delighted to welcome John to CIS and look forward to benefiting from his enormous energy and creativity," said Richard J. Samuels, CIS director and the Ford International Professor of Political Science.
As executive director, Tirman will take the lead on several important new initiatives at CIS, including projects on U.S. foreign policy and the Persian Gulf. He'll also be responsible for helping CIS programs in their development efforts.
Tirman's books include "The Fallacy of Star Wars" (1984) and "Spoils of War: The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade" (1997). He is currently working on a volume on multilateralism, and as a former Fulbright scholar in Cyprus, he produced an educational web site devoted to the Cyprus conflict. He serves as a trustee of several non-governmental organizations and is a recipient of the U.N. Association's Human Rights Award.
CIS supports and promotes international research and education at MIT. Whenever possible, the center capitalizes on MIT's strengths in science and engineering by examining the international aspects of these fields as they relate to both policy and practice, and by focusing on those issues where science and engineering intersect most closely with foreign affairs. CIS sponsors formal programs, multidisciplinary working groups and public events. The center includes visiting scholars from around the world and 160 faculty and staff members drawn mainly from the departments of political science and urban studies and planning.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 3, 2004 (download PDF).