INSPIRE Scholars and Dedication

INSPIRE Scholars:

Ethan Corbin

Ethan Corbin completed his doctorate in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in May, 2013.  His dissertation developed a theory of state alignment with external armed groups, which he tested with a longitudinal case study of Syria’s use of the Palestinian and Lebanese armed groups from 1963 to 2010.

Prior to joining the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Ethan was a Lecturer in political international relations at Tufts University teaching courses on U.S. foreign policy and international security studies.  His research interests include U.S. foreign policy, international security, international organizations, and Middle Eastern politics.  From 2011-2013, Ethan was a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He received his AB from Bowdoin College, a master’s in Middle Eastern history from Université de Paris-IV (La Sorbonne), and a MALD from The Fletcher School.  Ethan has published on topics ranging from Syrian foreign policy, peacekeeping operations, and insurgency and counter-insurgency warfare. Ethan has also worked for the State Department and the Department of Defense.  Other past fellowships include: Earhart Foundation, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po), and The Eisenhower Institute.

Outside of the NATO PA, Ethan’s interests include music, running, mountain biking, ice hockey, and squash.


Mitchell A. Orenstein

Mitchell A. Orenstein is Professor of Central and East European politics in the Slavic Department at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. His published work focuses on the political economy and international affairs of Central and Eastern Europe. Orenstein’s first book, Out of the Red: Building Capitalism and Democracy in Postcommunist Europe, won the 1997 Gabriel A. Almond Award of the American Political Science Association for the best dissertation in comparative politics. Professor Orenstein has also published two books on European social policy with the World Bank. Roma in an Expanding Europe: Breaking the Poverty Cycle, co-authored with Dena Ringold and Erika Wilkens, is a seminal study of Roma poverty, sociology, and public health. It won the Voter’s Choice Award for the most innovative analytical and advisory activity and the World Bank Europe/Central Asia Knowledge Fair in 2004. Pension Reform in Europe: Process and Progress, co-edited with Robert Holzmann and Michal Rutkowski, analyzes the political economy of pension reform throughout the European Union. Orenstein’s teaching encompasses the fields of comparative politics, European studies, and international political economy. He teaches an elective course on Russia and Eastern Europe in International Affairs at the undergraduate level, which analyzes the geopolitical competition between the European Union and Russia over the countries in between. Professor Orenstein also teaches political economy courses on Communism and Globalization at Penn. Prior to joining the faculty of University of Pennsylvania in 2015, Orenstein held appointments at Harvard, Yale, Brown, Northeastern, Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, and Moscow State Universities. Orenstein’s research has been recognized with fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has consulted for the World Bank, USAID, the government of Slovakia, and other organizations. Professor Orenstein has lived in Britain, France, Czech Republic, Poland, and Russia.

Sebastián Royo

Sebastián Royo, Vice Provost and Professor of Government at Suffolk University, will be one of this year’s INSPIRE Scholars. His research focuses on comparative political economy in Southern Europe. At CES, he is Co-Chair of the Study Group “A Center-Periphery Europe? Perspectives from Southern Europe”. He is the author of several books, including Lessons from the Economic Crisis in Spain (2013), Portugal in the 21st Century (edited 2011), and Varieties of Capitalism in Spain (2008). He has published articles in Governance, Review of Political Economy and many other journals.


Don Thieme

A seasoned military diplomat, scholar, foreign policy practitioner and teacher, Don Thieme brings more than 25 years of global experience to the educational ‘classroom.’  Before retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, Don served in various Marine infantry and Reconnaissance units that deployed to Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Horn of Africa.  When not deployed, Don was an Olmsted Scholar (Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków), a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, and an MIT Seminar XXI Fellow.  He was a personal advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs for NATO expansion, theater campaign plans chief for U.S. Central Command, and served seven years as a senior attaché in Warsaw and London, where he regularly analyzed foreign policy and recommended pragmatic actions to very senior U.S. and foreign leaders in the pursuit of U.S. strategic objectives.  

Don has taught in various fora from West Point classrooms to desolate train tracks at Auschwitz, focused on the art – and action – of learning more than just strings of facts, but the inherent complex inter-relationships of human-ness in chaotic environments.  He has lived more than a dozen years overseas, and visited more than 60 countries.  He has published several articles, and helped conceive and write the Harvard University Carr Center Mass Atrocity Response Operations Handbook.  Currently working on his PhD, Don is researching modern slavery and human trafficking in and via Europe. 

Don spends his ‘spare’ time helping raise four amazingly dynamic children, hunting and fishing, and leading a Boy Scout Troop.


This year’s EPIIC is dedicated to Professor Stanley Hoffmann, the Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser University Professor and Former Chairman of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of Oxford, will give a keynote address at the symposium in his honor.

Over three decades, Professor Hoffmann’s intellectual and political thinking on American foreign policy, post-World War II European history, the sociology of war, international politics, ethics and world affairs, modern political ideologies, and the development of the modern state has influenced and informed the debates and programming of the IGL.

He was a recipient of the Institute’s Dr. Jean Mayer Award for Global Citizenship in 2003.