Republished from Indiana Daily Student
The eighth annual America’s Role in the World (ARW) foreign policy conference, ‘Raising the Heat on Foreign Policy,’ will be held March 2-3, 2023 at the IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and livestreamed. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, former Secretary of State John Kerry, will open the event virtually from the Our Ocean Conference in Panama, where he is leading the US delegation.
The ARW conference will host scholars, diplomats, activists, journalists, and non-profit and government leaders to discuss pressing global challenges to foreign policy. Students will be given the chance to network and engage in discussion with panelists.
Among many topics that will be discussed include the climate crisis and the future of Iran after its anti-regime protests, with Robert Malley, U.S. Special Envoy to Iran. Participants can also hear global perspectives on the effects on domestic politics, economics, and society in Ukraine from Russia’s attack.
Kaitlin Scott, an IU senior studying International Law & Institutions and Arabic, has attended the event for the past three years. She believes that ARW is a valuable experience for students to both network with and learn what industry professionals think about the issues that she’s learned about in class.
“I think one of the most valuable takeaways for me has been picking the brains of people that make critical decisions about America’s role and trajectory in the world through the past tumultuous three years in global affairs and multilateralism,” Scott said. “It is no secret that there is a disconnect between academia and policy, and these conversations aid in bridging those gaps of understanding and reasoning.”
An extra special moment for Scott was when one of her questions about the U.S.’s role in aiding refugee influxes in other nations was chosen to be discussed. American journalist Judy Woodruff selected it to ask panelists, such as former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and even mentioned Scott’s name to credit her for the question.
Kyle Tucker is another IU student who has attended several ARW conferences in the past. He is now an IU alumnus with a BA in International Studies and is currently in Kazakhstan for his capstone year in the IU Russian Flagship program. Tucker credits ARW as part of the reason he chose to continue with the career path he had in mind.
“Attending ARW helped me solidify my interest in nuclear studies and international security issues. Getting to see Richard Lugar and Lee Hamilton and learn more about the school and its connections and partnerships helped me become a more productive student during the rest of my time at IU.”
Tucker’s favorite memory from attending ARW is when he helped to organize a panel called “A New Nuclear Age” at the 2022 ARW conference.
“It was an amazing feeling to see my dream panel come to life and speak with the panelists,” Tucker said.
One of the panelists was Sarah Bidgood, the director of the Eurasia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California. Because of this contact, Tucker was able to secure a summer internship at this center and learn more about nuclear nonproliferation and arms control affairs.
Both Scott and Tucker have also become more comfortable in professional settings with global experts as a result of attending ARW.
Scott says she has benefited from not only hearing from expert panelists, but also by asking questions to panelists or attending extra events like the Student Engagement Lunch.
“At ARW, you can develop your knowledge, professionalism, and confidence in a setting that feels comfortable and catered to you as a student,” Scott said.
Scott says many of the panelists are also interested in personally getting to know students that may take their jobs in the future.
“They don’t expect us to be experts on any given topic, and I have had experiences talking with panelists generally interested in IU student life, [like] what my plans were for after ARW, the best restaurants in town, and what I do for fun,” Scott said.
Before attending ARW, Tucker recommends students prepare ahead of time.
“Do your research on the panels and panelists before attending and approach someone you really want to talk to,” Tucker said. “I know it’s intimidating, but it is often rewarding.”
To hesitant students that are nervous about attending ARW, Scott advises bringing a friend to some of the panels for support.
The ARW livestream link, panels, and schedule information can be found online at: https://hls.indiana.edu/arw/.