Hamilton on Foreign Policy #196: US leads search for peace and prosperity

The United States contributes more than any other nation to the search for global peace and prosperity. Our leadership is essential in dealing with the world’s difficult and confounding problems.

We are the foremost guardian of that peace and prosperity, shaping the international order more than any other nation. We have strong partners, especially the European Union and democracies in Asia and elsewhere. But we are the only player on the planet with truly global reach.

We aren’t perfect, of course. We’ve made mistakes in foreign policy and will likely continue to do so. At home, our institutions are under stress, and we are divided politically. Neither are we the uncontested power we once were after the fall of the Soviet Union. China challenges our influence in some regions. Russia is not a world power, but it can cause real problems, as we’re seeing in Ukraine.

Our actions and effectiveness also are constantly scrutinized. Our relationships with allies are always in flux, subject to political forces at home and abroad. Our role is always evolving.

Even so, the Unites States has maintained its leadership position for decades, certainly since World War II. How have we done this? In part, we can credit our values.

We know what we stand for: liberty and justice for all, in the words of the Pledge of Allegiance. We strive for a more perfect union. We oppose tyranny and the abuse of human rights. We try to treat all people and institutions decently and without arrogance. People understand that, if we follow our ideals, we will try to do the right thing.

We also are the global leader because of our military power, our strong economy and our political stability.

The U.S. military is by far the world’s most powerful. Our armed forces are professional and well trained. Our technology is modern and effective. We spend more on the military than anyone else: three times as much as second-place China. Many Americans, of course, believe much of this spending should be redirected to domestic needs. That’s a valid argument, but there’s no question a strong military serves our interests.

We can maintain a strong military because of our economy. Our gross domestic product of over $20 trillion is the world’s largest by far; it’s considerably larger than the economy of China, which has more than four times our population.

We are blessed with abundant natural resources, but our greatest advantage is our people. Our immigration policies bring in new talent all the time. Our institutions of education produce an endless line of talented people who want to solve problems. Our economy benefits from the dynamism of capitalism and the cooperation of the public and the private sectors. The 2007-08 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on our economy. Today, inflation is hurting consumers and shaking confidence. But our overall economy is solid and resilient.

Finally, America’s political stability is central to our ability to lead. Our government is responsible to the people through free and fair elections. Our system of checks and balances has largely served us well.

This is a challenging time for our political system. When politicians reject election results and question the peaceful transfer of power, we’ve got problems. We need to strengthen our democratic institutions, and bolster our faith in them. As a world leader, we also need to maintain a sense of humility. We have made mistakes when we tried to impose our values and interests on other countries.

We have to remember that we cannot solve all the world’s problems by ourselves. But with the right blend of idealism and pragmatism, we can often make progress toward solutions. Peace and prosperity should be our goals, and we have a duty to lead.

Hamilton Lugar School student one of six in US to earn Annenberg Fellowship

IU Hamilton Lugar School junior, Hayleigh Keasling, not only secured a highly sought-after internship at the U.S. State Department this summer, but she is also one of six students nationally to be named a 2022 Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg Fellow of the Council of American Ambassadors (CAA). This prestigious Fellowship, most often awarded to rising seniors, will significantly enhance Keasling’s internship in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in Washington D.C.

As an Annenberg Fellow, Keasling will be mentored by former U.S. Ambassadors and will complete coursework in U.S. foreign policy and economics at George Mason University. She will also attend weekly guest lectures and connect with experts in economics and international affairs.

Keasling’s leadership and experience at the Hamilton Lugar School prepared her well for these opportunities. She is pursuing a double major in International Studies and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, with a concentration in Diplomacy, Security, and Governance. She is also learning Arabic and is a member of the Arabic Flagship Program.

“I was floored to find out I got the fellowship – especially as a rising junior,” said Keasling. “Having the opportunity to network with other Fellows and talk to former Ambassadors will help give mean idea of what the next 10-15 years of my life will look like.”

Keasling’s Middle East area knowledge positions her well for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

“I think having Arabic language proficiency and having a cultural awareness of the region helped set me apart,” said Keasling. “In my coursework, I am focusing on understanding diplomacy and cultural nuances in that region. What also helped was learning from well renowned scholars and diplomats at HLS like Amb. Lee Feinstein and Amb. Feisal Amin Rasoul al-Istrabadi. Having professors like these who also take the time to make sure students understand will give me a strong background for my work this summer.”

Keasling has had many leadership opportunities at Indiana University that will also serve her well in her internship. Currently, she is the conference coordinator on the Indiana Model United Nations board of directors.

“I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the country competing with other universities known for foreign policy like Georgetown and University of Pennsylvania,” said Keasling. “All of these experiences have prepared me to be a leader and also an informed student going forward.”

Keasling had considered other foreign affairs schools before choosing Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School, due to its strong area studies and language programs.

“Indiana University offers the most languages in the country, and the School’s Founding Dean, Amb. Lee Feinstein, was a big reason as well,” said Keasling. “Dean Feinstein met with my mom and I when I visited IU as a sophomore to tell me what my four years would look like. It was also important to me to participate in a national language Flagship program, so the fact that IU had everything I wanted here in the Midwest made it the right choice.”

Keasling advises other Indiana University students to take advantage of international studies courses that can enhance their own fields of study.

“Even if it’s not your major, I recommend taking a few international studies courses,” she said. “I have friends in other Schools at IU who have said it has made them more competitive in their fields.”

When she returns to IU this fall, Keasling will begin her fourth year of Arabic language study, and will also become director general for the Indiana Model UN conference. She plans to study abroad in Jordan in summer 2023 before her senior year.

International School of Indiana and HLS host second annual Language Summer Camp

ISI continues partnership with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University for immersion camp in Indianapolis

The International School of Indiana (ISI) has partnered with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University for a second year to host the language immersion-focused summer camp June 20 to July 15 in Indianapolis. The ISI Language Summer Camp will offer main programming in three languages — Spanish, French and Mandarin — to students in kindergarten through grade six.

The Language Summer Camp will be led in partnership with instructors from IU’s Hamilton Lugar School, which offers more than 70 world languages, the most of any university in the country. No prior dual-language experience is required to attend, and the program welcomes beginner-level students. Participants can sign up for multiple languages.

“We are pleased that our continued partnership with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies allows us to provide a unique summer camp option to the central Indiana community,” said Elizabeth Head, ISI Head of School. “The faculty from both of our institutions bring their unrivaled expertise and passion to each week of camp and give students a window to the world.”

Lee Feinstein, Founding Dean of the IU Hamilton Lugar School, agreed.

​​“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at ISI. Learning world languages and cultures leads to global understanding and humility,” Feinstein said. “Helping young Hoosiers develop these skills in K-12 classes is the best way to nurture future global leaders.”

The camp will be held at the new Chen Family Lower School, 4330 N. Michigan Road, which will be the first school-related event to take place on the unified campus. Camp and registration information is available at www.isind.org/events/summercamp

WHAT: Language Summer Camp for incoming students Kindergarten through grade six. This is a partnership between the International School of Indiana and the Hamilton Lugar School of Global & International Studies.

WHEN: June 20 – July 15, dates vary based on language selection

WHERE: The Chen Family Lower School, 4330 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46208

COST: $270 per week (lunch not included). Discounted rate of $250 for ISI families.

About International School of Indiana (ISI)

International School of Indiana was founded in 1994 by civic, state, and business leaders. By combining the rigorous academic program with two powerful tools for future success–fluency in a foreign language and multicultural education, ISI offers the most distinct academics in the Midwest. Annually more than 500 domestic and international students, age three to grade 12, access certified full-continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) programming and language immersion and dual language programs in French, Spanish, Mandarin, and English. Over the school’s 27-year history, 17 graduating classes totaling more than 450 graduates have received an exceptional academic foundation that has prepared them to seize opportunities, realize their fullest potential, and become responsible citizens and effective leaders in a rapidly globalizing and interdependent world. Beginning in 2022 the school will be unified on a beautiful 65-acre campus in the Midtown area of Indianapolis. The campus is nestled along the White River in a park-like setting and features the Chen Family Lower School, the Daneri Family Gymnasium, the Kathryn and Sidney Taurel Building, the Henry B. Blackwell Building, outdoor sports facilities and a nature trail. For more information, visit www.isind.org/admissions/discover.


About Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies

The Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University is a global leader in the study of international affairs and the strategic languages and cultures that shape the world. Named for revered Hoosier statesmen and foreign policy voices, former Rep. Lee H. Hamilton and the late former Sen. Richard G. Lugar, the school is committed to educating global leaders who celebrate differences and seek shared understanding.

Hamilton on Foreign Policy #194: America’s Promise is Ordered Liberty

by Lee H. Hamilton


American representative democracy holds out a valuable promise to the world. We can sum it up in a phrase: ordered liberty. And this promise is the essential promise of America. Our system of government offers a beacon of hope to the world with its ideal of ordered liberty. 

As Americans, we believe all people should be able to govern themselves, and that leaders should be accountable to those whom they would lead. As the Declaration of Independence says, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed.   

Liberty is one of the rights listed in the Declaration, along with life and the pursuit of happiness. Americans treasure our liberty and our freedoms, which are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. But liberty doesn’t come without limits. A functioning society requires a balance between freedom and structure, between liberty and order. 

How do we maintain this balance? America’s Founding Fathers gave this a lot of thought. I have, over the years, spent a lot of time reading the statements made by the founders; and I am impressed by how often they wrote about virtue as essential to self-government. They made clear that our leaders must be people of virtue. They also believed it took virtuous citizens to choose good leaders. 

James Madison extolled the “great republican principle” that people would have the “virtue and intelligence” to select as leaders “men of virtue and wisdom.” George Washington called virtue “a necessary spring of popular government.” John Adams wrote that public virtue was “the only foundation of republics.” Benjamin Franklin said that “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” 

Virtue, for the founders, didn’t simply mean doing good or following rules for right behavior. They were referring to what might be called civic virtue, a quality that philosophers had discussed from the time of the ancient Greeks. In this view, a virtuous person exhibited such traits as wisdom, moderation, justice and self-restraint.  

The French political philosopher Montesquieu, an important influence on America’s founders, defined virtue as “a continuous preference of the public interest over one’s own.” In other words, it means putting the public good ahead of one’s own wishes. 

This idea of civic virtue is essential to the American conception of ordered liberty. This isn’t American exceptionalism; it’s not that we are more virtuous than the people of other nations. The point is that civic virtue is essential to self-government in our democratic system. 

Along with the liberty that our system provides, there comes a tremendous responsibility. It’s incumbent on us as Americans to understand and participate in our democracy. We need to choose our leaders wisely by making informed decisions when we vote. And it takes a lot more than voting. We need to be engaged citizens who do what we can to improve our communities and our nation. 

Civic virtue requires understanding what it means to be an American, knowing how our government works and how to participate in it. This takes civic education, and it also requires civic-minded habits of thought and behavior, a willingness to promote the public good. 

Madison wrote, in one of the most famous lines in the Federalist Papers, that, “if men were angels, no government would be necessary.” The converse is also true: If people were incapable of virtue – if we couldn’t act in the public interest – no government would be sufficient to secure ordered liberty. 

Our system of government requires a fine balance between liberty and order, maintained by the civic virtue of our leaders and the people. It’s America’s promise – our gift, really – to the world. But there is no guarantee it will work as intended. That’s up to us as citizens. 

National Taiwan University leadership visit to IU strengthens academic ties


Left to right: Victoria Cheng, program manager; NTU Executive Vice President Chiapei Chou, Ph.D.; Yea-Fen Chen, Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Nick Cullather, Interim Dean of the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies; NTU President Chung-Ming Kuan, Ph.D.; Ethan Michelson, Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Seth Walker, Director of International Partnerships

National Taiwan University (NTU) President Chung-Ming Kuan, Ph.D., and Executive Vice President Chiapei Chou, Ph.D., visited Indiana University on June 3 to discuss the institutions’ recently expanded partnership, and their new focus on Chinese language education. In Fall 2021, a $70,000 grant from the Taiwanese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education allowed NTU and IU to strengthen Chinese language education within the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. The grant is the first of a three-year award totaling over $210,000 from the Ministries, under the Taiwan Huayu Bilingual Exchanges of Selected Talent (BEST) Program.

While at IU, the NTU delegation visited President Whitten, Hannah Buxbaum, Vice President for International Affairs, and leadership across the University to discuss the grant and other opportunities for partnership.

The grant and focus on language education broadens IU and NTU’s long-standing relationship. Funding will support increased Chinese language instruction, resources, programming and scholarships for IU students, plus professional development for IU faculty and staff.

The grant-supported scholarships allow students to study at the NTU Chinese intensive language programs in Taipei, Taiwan.

“The partnership provides unusually attractive opportunities to study Chinese in Taiwan with generous scholarships,” said Ethan Michelson, Chair of the IU Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. “Both this overseas study program and the visiting lecturer from NTU support regular Chinese language students who do not have access to the Chinese Flagship Program opportunities and resources.”

To enrich IU’s Chinese language instruction, NTU has provided two instructors and a program manager on an administrative staff exchange. In fall 2021, Visiting Lecturer, Zi Jun Shen, joined IU to teach additional sections of Chinese language courses, including a course on Chinese culture, and fourth-year Chinese. Teaching Assistant, Yi-Chun Kuo, tutors Chinese Flagship program students and assisted with Chinese Flagship co-curricular activities. Victoria Cheng, program manager, is working with IU faculty and the Office of International Partnerships within the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs to develop new channels for research and collaboration between the two universities.

In addition, the grant will help support many academic and cultural activities, including an annual Taiwan Day at IU that will celebrate Taiwanese culture and history. In April 2022, the East Asian Languages and Cultures department held the inaugural event, with additional support from the NTU Huayu BEST Fund. The event featured Mr. Martin Tzou, board member of the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy Association, who gave a talk titled “Becoming a Gay Parent in Taiwan,” and also included a community outreach event with a documentary screening and discussion of “Taiwan Equals Love.” In the 2022-23 academic year, Taiwan Day will grow to include a conference.

This new grant strengthens IU’s more than 30-year relationship with NTU. A partnership between the IU Maurer School of Law and the NTU School of Law began the Universities’ collaboration, which has since extended to other units. Among various collaborations, the Universities currently have an agreement that allows NTU College of Law students to earn law degrees from both institutions concurrently.

Nearly 200 students from Taiwan attend IU, and IU students, mostly from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Chinese Flagship Program, study abroad in Taiwan each year.

Hamilton on Foreign Policy #193: Voters’ fears and worries should be taken seriously

Rep. Lee HamiltonBy Lee H. Hamilton

A recent column in the New York Times argued that American voters “haven’t been worried like this in a long time” and that their fears could have a big influence in the 2022 elections. It’s certainly true that voters have a lot to be concerned about – and that our fears and worries affect how we vote.

For elected officials, the question is, what should they do about it? If they neglect Americans’ deeply felt concerns, they’re likely to pay for it at the polls. They need to take these worries at face value and show they will work to address them.

What are voters concerned about? The economy is always a focus, as it should be. Voters always care about maintaining a decent standard of living. When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, a strategist posted a sign at campaign headquarters that read, “The economy, stupid.” It was a reminder to stay focused on what mattered to voters.

Back then, the nation was in a recession. Today, the concern is inflation, which is the highest it’s been in 40 years. The economy may be growing, but that’s an abstraction to most people. Inflation is personal: We feel it when we buy groceries or fill up the gas tank. Just two years after COVID-19 largely shut down American commerce, confidence in the economy remains shaky.

Government spending is another concern. A recent poll found that 80% of Americans favor a balanced budget. That’s a challenge, of course; there are many worthy causes for spending public money, but no one wants to raise taxes to pay for them. But we spend hundreds of billions of dollars for interest on the national debt, which crowds out spending for worthwhile programs. Deficits matter and need to be managed.

Another important concern is security. Violent crime rates are much lower than they were 30 years ago, but they have been rising in some cities, and people worry about their safety. Concern for security ties in with immigration. If Americans think we have open borders, it can create a sense of disorder and lawlessness. Government should help people feel safe and secure. Voters expect as much.

A third focus is education. The political party that is seen as doing a better job on education gets a leg up at election time. Education in the United States is primarily a state and local concern, but national leaders can do their part to support it. In the long run, education is tied to the economy. States and regions with strong education experience more robust economic growth.

Cultural issues, including abortion, religion and others, sometimes become prominent, as we saw with the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. I don’t think these issues rise to the same level as the economy and security for influencing elections, but they are foremost to some highly motivated voters.

Foreign policy is not usually as important in elections as domestic policy, but it can be pivotal. Russia’s war in Ukraine has vaulted forward in public attention in a very short time. Polls show that most Americans approve of the government’s response to the invasion, but many worry about a widening war involving nuclear-armed Russia. A recent poll found that Americans are almost as fearful of nuclear weapons as they are of inflation.

All these concerns will be in play in this year’s elections, which will determine control of the House and Senate and set the course for Joe Biden’s presidency. We might argue that voters’ concerns are exaggerated: that the economy is solid, inflation is transitory, crime rates are low and immigration is good for America. But fear and worry are powerful emotions. Politicians ignore them at their peril.

Professor Hamid Ekbia earns Fulbright to teach, establish AI program in Uzbekistan

Hamid Ekbia, Professor of Informatics, Cognitive Science, and International Studies at Indiana University, has earned a Fulbright Specialist Award from the U.S. Department of State to teach artificial intelligence (AI) courses and lead the development of one of the first AI programs established in Uzbekistan at Fergana Polytechnic Institute (FerPI).

Ekbia is a Professor at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and was influential in establishing the Cybersecurity and Global Policy degree program at IU.

During his time in Uzbekistan, Ekbia taught courses in human-centered AI and machine learning to students and instructors in multiple disciplines at FerPI. Furthermore, Ekbia partnered closely with FerPI instructors, administrators, and the Director of Curriculum Development to develop a four-year curriculum based on existing models, customized to FerPI’s needs and resources.

While language was an initial barrier, “We found ways to communicate through a mix of English, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, and sign language,” said Ekbia.

“For me the most enduring element of this project is the human connections that were established with a whole set of people from different walks of life,” he continued. “In my judgement, this project is going to have a lasting impact on our relationship with Fergana Polytechnic Institute, the local community, and Uzbekistan at large. Numerous bonds and friendships were formed during this visit, not only with academics and administrators, but also with members of the community.”

View Ekbia’s interview on his experience at FerPI.

Ekbia coordinated with the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and met with the Consul for Public Affairs to keep the Embassy informed of his activities.

The next step in developing the undergraduate AI program is securing funding to support costs, including teacher training and equipment. While in Uzbekistan, Ekbia worked closely with FerPI instructors to draft its first grant application and upon his return to the U.S., is exploring additional resources.

Ekbia said he is committed to a continued partnership with FerPI.

“I will continue to collaborate with FerPI as an advisor, teacher, and friend in the coming months and years. I indicated to them that I’m willing to dedicate my personal time and resources to pursue this project and others, but continued support from the Fulbright program, the embassy, and other institutions can make this much more effective,” said Ekbia. “I will also continue to maintain my personal relations with teachers, students, and members of the community.”

Recipients of Fulbright Specialist awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in their field, and their potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad. The Fulbright Program is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and other countries.

Hamilton on Foreign Policy #192: China is our major foreign policy challenge

By Lee H. Hamilton

Several decades ago, I noticed the rise of China coming up in international discussions with increasing frequency. It was, at the time, a startling change. We gradually realized we had a new great power in the world.

It had become obvious that China was not going to fade away. Everyone seemed to be noticing this; but, very importantly, the United States foreign policy began to focus on it. The rise of China became the topic of the day for American foreign policy. Almost overnight, attention was paid to two questions: What was U.S. foreign policy toward China? And what was China’s policy toward the United States and the world?

Those questions led to discussions of what actions the United States should be taking to deal with China. Obviously, we had to strengthen our alliances, especially in the Asia Pacific region. We had to firm up our national defense. And we had to increase investment in our strategic capabilities, especially in the critical technologies that would impact our ability to shape the global balance of military and political power.

Beyond that, it became clear that we would need to engage with China where possible; to find areas of agreement where we could work together. And there are several, including climate change, pollution, terrorism, commerce and technology. Also, we would need to manage areas of disagreement with China, and there are several of these as well. They include China’s disregard of human rights and the freedom of its own people, its threatening behavior toward Taiwan and Hong Kong, its assertiveness in the South China Sea, and its rejection of international norms of trade and intellectual property.

In recent months, Russia’s war against Ukraine has pushed China out of the headlines. American leaders are focused on aiding Ukraine and doing what they can to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s outrageous aggression. Much of the world is united behind this effort. Significantly, however, China is not.

Recent news reports from China have called attention to COVID-19 outbreaks that undermine the government’s ambitious “zero COVID” policy. A weeks-long lockdown in Shanghai led to chaos and anger. In Beijing, residents waited in long lines for COVID-19 testing, hoping to avoid a Shanghai-style lockdown. Critics of the government used social media to stay a step ahead of Chinese censors.

There was a time, as China became more engaged in the world economy, when we could hope it would join the liberal world order and adopt a more open society and democratic government. But under President Xi Jinping, China has cracked down on dissent and become more assertive in the international arena.

The Chinese people may be frustrated with COVID controls, but Xi still controls the government and is expected to win a third term as the nation’s leader this fall. Xi has made no secret of his desire to strengthen China’s influence in the world.

This month, President Joe Biden will travel to Japan and South Korea to emphasize America’s support of free trade and its “rock-solid commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to the White House. Biden will meet with leaders of the “Quad” group, including Australia, Japan and India, on how to check the growing threat from China and North Korea.

These are important meetings. We need to work with our allies to counter China’s aggression. But it’s also important to keep the channels of communication open and to avoid giving China reasons to ramp up its hostility to America and to the West. Dealing with China has become a major foreign policy challenge for the United States, and it will remain so for years to come.

IU student among 15 nationally to be awarded U.S. Department of State fellowship

Indiana University sophomore Kathryn Riordan is among 15 students nationally to be awarded a Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship by the U.S. Department of State. Riordan is a Cybersecurity and Global Policy major, a joint degree between the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.

The two-year fellowship is awarded to highly qualified candidates who are studying IT-related fields and are interested in Foreign Service careers. After completing the FAIT Fellowship program and the Foreign Service entry requirements, Fellows receive appointments as Foreign Service Information Management Specialists.

The FAIT Fellowship offers recipients:

  • Up to $75,000 in academic funding over two years (junior and senior years of a bachelor’s degree program or a two-year master’s degree program)
  • Two summer internships – one at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and one at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas
  • Professional development and personalized mentoring during the fellowship program

“I’m excited that this fellowship will allow me to try something new and engage with diplomats on technology topics,” said Riordan.

A Shreve Scholar, Riordan said that Indiana University’s dedicated international studies school and interdisciplinary programs influenced her decision to attend.

“I came to IU because I was interested in technology, public policy, and international studies, and the Cybersecurity and Global Policy program allowed me to combine my interests,” she shared. “The seamless fit of this Fellowship speaks to the relevance of this program in today’s diplomatic landscape.”

Riordan has had many opportunities to explore the intersection between technology and global security. She recently worked on a U.S. Department of State project through the IU Diplomacy Lab focusing on artificial intelligence (AI).

“For the project, we researched the importance of human rights in current AI legislation,” said Riordan. “We ultimately presented our research to 300 State Department employees, which was exciting. This past spring, I also facilitated student researchers in drafting a strategy to integrate AI into a process for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.”

Riordan is currently a researcher in the Luddy Security and Privacy Lab, where she conducted a user experience (UX) study on the Tor web browser. She was recognized for this work with the 2021 Executive Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity award.

“The goal of the research is to make the Tor browser’s anonymity tool easier for those living in restrictive regimes to use, protecting their civil liberties and rights to share and receive information,” she explained.

Riordan is involved in multiple student and professional organizations. She is the chapter president of the Women in Cybersecurity student organization, a Luddy Ambassador, a technician in Luddy Makerspaces, and was a summer consultant for the Department of Defense Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division.

“These experiences have shaped my interest in foreign service, specifically in information management,” said Riordan. “As a Cybersecurity and Global Policy student, I see this path as a perfect fit to combine my long-held fascination with diplomacy and digital connections. I look forward to what a future in foreign affairs could hold.”