Sherman Teichman


Founding Director Emeritus, 1985-2016

I first arrived at Tufts in 1978 to lecture in the Tufts Department of Political Science for one year, and then returned to the Department in 1984, teaching seminars on Middle East politics and international theory and practice. In 1985-86, I created the Experimental College’s Symposia Project, after being named Special Advisor for University Intellectual Life. The Symposia Project soon evolved into what became the core program of the Institute, Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC), annual thematic efforts comprised of a colloquium, outward bound retreat, international symposium, global immersive education, and professional workshops.

In 1998 I led the University’s China-based Tufts Institute for Leadership and International Perspective (TILIP), which I ultimately expanded to include students from all over the world. A few years later I merged it with EPIIC and Inquiry, our secondary school simulation program, and became the inaugural Director of an expanded Institute for Global Leadership. Provost Jamshed Bharucha designated the Institute as the University’s cross-school interdisciplinary signature program in 2001.

After thirty joyous intellectually and physically invigorating years - for many years I coached the men’s saber team - I retired from Tufts in 2016, as the Founding Director Emeritus of the Institute.

Upon becoming Emeritus, I was named a Senior Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School at Harvard University (2017-19), where I explored my ongoing concern with the impact of corruption on human rights.

I am a Non-Resident Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies of the University of Oxford. My concerns are at the intersection of science, technology, ethics, and international security, and with the invigoration of the International Student/Youth Pugwash network. I am a member of the Advisory Board of Student Pugwash USA.

I became the Inaugural Fellows Mentor for the Albright Institute at Wellesley College in 2018, and an advisor for Harvard’s undergraduate International Relations Council, where I have embedded the Oslo Scholars program, an initiative that I created at Tufts with the Human Rights Foundation, where I serve as a Strategic Advisor.

I am a Senior Fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute for Strategic Development, and at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. I am a Strategic Advisor for RefugePoint, and Music for Life International. I serve on the Academic Advisory Board of the American Friends of Combatants for Peace; on the Advisory Boards of the VII Foundation, Embodying Peace, The Mind Brain Center, International Peace Accelerators, the Council for European Studies; the Boston/Brookline Council of Mistral Music. I am a contributor to a contributor to CES EuropeNow. I am the founding President of a nonprofit higher education consultancy, The Trebuchet. Resonating the mantra I originally developed for the Institute, Thinking Beyond Boundaries / Acting Across Borders, The Trebuchet’s motto is Breaking Down Barriers /Building Bridges.

The Trebuchet’s primary activities are the creation of non-partisan policy events confronting global issues, and the development of a highly-interactive, cross-disciplinary network, Convisero, integrating experts, allies and alumni of my fifty-five years of programming and mentoring.

Over the years I directed the Institute, among the descriptions attempting to capture its essence were:“Creating prostheses for the imagination,” Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann; “Passionate scholarship,” former Tufts Provost Sol Gittleman; “An intellectual boot camp,” Tufts President Larry Bacow, now Harvard’s President; “Jumper cables for the brain,” EPIIC student Matt Edmundson. For its 10th Anniversary in 1995, EPIIC ‘s theme was “20/20 Visons of the Future: Anticipating the Year 2020.” The Boston Globe ran an editorial entitled “Refreshing Thought.” It quoted my desire that students embrace complexity, nuance and ambiguity. It described our extensive professional workshops, including “Darwinism and Artificial Intelligence,” “Genethics,” and “The Future of Africa:”  As rarefied as the discussion may seem, each workshop is aimed at producing concrete policy recommendations. In a time of rampant anti-intellectualism, the thinking alone is worth celebrating. -- A Globe editorial said of EPIIC’s 1999 symposium on “Crime, Corruption, and Accountability:" The event illustrates the possibilities for moral and intellectual relevance at a university.

My final three years at the Institute were funded in part by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In support of our Carnegie grant, Founding Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, Graham Allison, wrote: I have never come across a program quite as innovative and ambitious as Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership…. The Institute not only prepares students to think globally but also to act globally…. It has long been my view that universities should produce knowledge relevant to the real world and young minds empowered to translate that knowledge into practice.  The Institute offers a remarkable and truly exceptional approach to fill this vital space.  

Carnegie’s International Program Officer, Patricia Nicholas wrote: Tomorrow’s global challenges demand a generation of international security experts who can deal with complexity, bridge cultural and political differences, and engage as responsible global citizens. IGL fills that gap. Only a few endeavors I know of in my decades in philanthropy incubate in your innovative and inter-generational ways.

Sherman Teichman, Senior Fellow, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Research Associate, Centre for International Studies, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford; Founding Director Emeritus, Institute for Global Leadership (1985-2016), Tufts University