The Diplomatic Envoy
2021Faculty SpotlightMarch 2021School of Diplomacy News

Professor Ann Marie Murphy Discusses the New Center for Foreign Policy Studies

Nandini Jani
Staff Writer

The Diplomatic Envoy recently joined Professor Ann Marie Murphy for a riveting discussion about her professional career in the field of diplomacy and developments within the School of Diplomacy’s Center for Foreign Policy Studies. 

Professor Murphy joined the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in 2004. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her for distinguished student mentorship and research development. Murphy received the Diplomacy Teacher of the Year award in 2017 as well as the Researcher of the Year award in both 2011 and 2019. She is the recipient of several research grants and fellowships, which have allowed her to conduct research on Asia and Southeast Asia, one of which includes the Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar Award. Murphy’s research is centered around the political development in Asia as well as the rise of transnational security issues. 

In addition to her independent research, Murphy teaches both undergraduate and graduate-level classes at the School of Diplomacy. Two of her most sought-after classes include an undergraduate course on comparative foreign policy and a graduate course on statecraft-designing foreign policy. Sarah Bond, one of Murphy’s current undergraduate students, considers what she has learned in her comparative foreign policy class as “fundamental to [her] understanding of how states evaluate actions and events that inevitably impact foreign policy” and believes that “every diplomacy student should take this class with Professor Murphy.” 

The Center for Foreign Policy Studies engages students through career-development workshops, guest-speaker events, and esteemed professional networking opportunities. One of the many skills developed through these programs is communication. Murphy pointed out that the ability to articulate and respectfully defend arguments is an indispensable skill. Projects developed within the center are designed to give students the opportunity to strengthen their critical thinking and analysis competencies, while also giving them a platform for meaningful application.

In accordance with the center’s goal to bring prominent experts to campus and provide an opportunity for students to learn from and engage with them, Murphy hosted a virtual event with former World Bank President, Deputy Secretary of State, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick on March 3. Murphy moderated the discussion which highlighted topics such as America’s purpose in the world, the role of U.S. allies in securing national interests, and the importance of public and congressional support for an effective foreign policy. 

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Murphy has coordinated a number of watch-parties and webinars for students and faculty to observe international relations presentations at research centers and think tanks beyond the university. These online events have addressed topics including the transition of the National Security Council from the Trump to the Biden adminitration, the plight of the Uighur population, as well as how the United States can respond to propaganda and disinformation from adversaries.

A few themes the center has explored recently include the power transition in the Asia-Pacific, the impact of democracy on the policy-making process in emerging powers, and transnational threats in Southeast Asia. Moving forward, it will prioritize research and programming related to the impact of the U.S. presidential transition on American foreign policy and its implications for key allies and adversaries. Late this semester, Murphy will host a series of webinars with prominent Southeast Asian experts that explore how key regional states are responding to the Biden administration. 

The Center for Foreign Policy Studies is a unique opportunity for graduate students at the School of Diplomacy to explore their interests in the field. As the director of the center, Murphy strives to connect passionate students with professional opportunities that will deepen their understanding of international relations both in theory and in practice. 

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