The IGL in London Atrey Bhargava and Jacob Rubel

This past November, on a brisk London night, IGL Director Professor Abi Williams delivered a talk on the United Nations in a Changing Global Order for an audience of Tufts Alumni and Tufts students currently studying abroad at Oxford. The talk took place in Winston House—a beautiful event space lined with portraits and Georgian architectural details.

Drawing on his own experience as Director of Strategic Planning for former UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon, Dr. Williams observed that the fate of the UN concerns all those with a stake in the effectiveness and legitimacy of the global order.  He noted that the foundations of that order are creaking under the weight of myriad challenges from militant extremism, to populism, to climate change.  He highlighted the contributions that the UN is making in peace and security, notably peacekeeping, as well as its normative leadership.

After Dr. Williams spoke, we spoke about the role that IGL has played in our lives at Tufts—how it has provided enriching academic, social, and professional opportunities that have defined our times at Tufts so far. Jacob talked about his experience with Tufts International Development and the project in Ecuador that has been one of the most fulfilling experiences he has had at Tufts. Atrey talked about the experience of taking EPIIC – the IGL’s yearlong, interdisciplinary flagship program – during his freshman year and the impact of that on his career choices and opportunities within Tufts. He also discussed his experiences with the Tufts Middle East Research Group, with which he went to Morocco, and the Oslo Scholars Program, which gave him an opportunity to work in Serbia for a summer. Uzair Sattar, another EPIIC alumnus, talked about his research experience in Pakistan, which was funded by the IGL and has impacted the work he still does today.

After the talk, we had a wonderful opportunity to meet Tufts alumni who spoke about the interesting work they are engaged in, from theorizing new voting systems to working for humanitarian NGOs. One of the alumni, Aaron Markowitz-Shulman, was the founder of the Middle East Research Group, which coincidentally Uzair and Atrey led during sophomore year. This talk was a great opportunity to meet Tufts friends, parents and IGL alumni who are making an impact across the UK and the world. All of us were connected by our experiences with the IGL and we hope we can build on this network in the future.