Sixteen highly respected decision-makers and academics came to Conn in July to serve as elite U.S. policy-makers. Their roles included the White House chief of staff, the national security adviser, the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, and they presented their political judgments about a fictional Council to Anticipate and Respond to Biohazards (CARB).
This experience was part of an intensely competitive, five-week U.S. State Department program hosted by the Study of the United States Institutes (SUSI), Foreign Policy. Scholars hailed from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chile, Egypt, Georgia, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, North Macedonia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland and Turkey.
The SUSI scholars spent four weeks studying at the University of Delaware and one week traveling throughout the U.S. for campus visits. At Conn, Susan Eckert Lynch ’62 Professor of Government MaryAnne Borrelli hosted a workshop focused on U.S. domestic politics and international policy-making.
Borrelli divided the 16 scholars into four groups (the White House Office, National Security Council, House Republican Leadership and Senate Democratic Leadership). The scholars were directed to act and behave as their assigned politician (personality and all!) and assess the policy, organizational and political consequences of the fictional CARB initiative for their office, department, party or branch; develop two strategies (one proactive and one reactive); and present a sound bite to serve as the hallmark of their group’s response to the initiative.
SUSI scholar Bharti Chhibber, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Delhi in India who has spent nearly two decades studying and speaking about international relations and foreign strategic policy, said, “Coming to the College and meeting MaryAnne was amazing. She made it so interesting for us.”