Currently, there are two choices for the primary academic class. Scholars take either (1) a course taught by former US Ambassador to the UAE Michael Corbin on the new political economy; or (2) a seminar taught by noted journalist, author, and foreign policy expert James Traub on American foreign policy. Scholars may indicate their preference, but their final assignment rests with the program's executive director.
Assistant Instructor: Rachel Jamison
This course examines the challenges of populations and their governments dealing with a new political economy. To this end, the course will concentrate on the rapidly changing world, including the rise of artificial intelligence, changing ideas of community and social media, new ideas of social responsibility, and how to create an innovative culture. These topics serve as a starting point for better understanding how governments and their populations have responded to, or failed to respond, to the changing world around them. The course covers not just broad global trends and current events but also guides students to an understanding of how technological and social changes have upended the status quo. It uses Tunisia as a case study to examine some real world implications of the new political economy. Throughout the course students will debate a variety of topics and also participate in role-play scenarios in which they will play roles reflecting different economic, political, or diplomatic challenges. They will complete weekly writing assignments asking them to take positions on the week’s readings. The course culminates in a debate between the students and Ambassador Corbin.
Assistant Instructor: Peter Vining
This course will examine the themes, influences, and controversies in the development and execution of US foreign policy over the past 100 years. Moving chronologically, we will cover six key periods in which the United States has had to define and redefine its role in the world:
Reading the words of leaders and scholars, as well as examining the events of the time, we will learn how successive generations have found very different solutions to the tension between the "national interest" and idealism, and between "unilateralism" and working with international institutions. We will weigh the success and failure of these policies, as a prelude to understanding and assessing the foreign policy of President Obama, which is subject to many of the same forces which have shaped earlier policy, but in a very different world.
Assistant Instructor: Reem Shraim
This leadership development program explores some of the ways in which leaders, particularly over the past two centuries, have arisen in a number of settings. How do we define greatness in leadership? Have the standards remained static, or have they changed over time? How have leaders overcome the obstacles in their paths? What traits, if any, do they have in common? Do leaders make the times in which they serve, or do the times dictate the leaders who emerge? Are leadership skills innate, or can they be learned and developed?
The seminar will stimulate thinking through readings and discussion about leadership theories, research, and trends, as well as notable figures from the past and present in a variety of settings. Readings include selections from biography, analysis and commentary, history, and autobiography. The seminar also features private sessions with prominent leadership figures from the UAE and the United States who will discuss their views, experiences, and firsthand observations about leadership. In recent years, the Scholars have met with notable leaders in the UAE such as:
During the US trips, Scholars have met with individuals such as:
Assistant Instructor: Reem Shraim
This course is designed to help students improve their public speaking skills and learn how to confidently present on variety of topics in diverse settings. The course offers intensive feedback and correction on students' spoken English and includes videotaping of formal and informal presentations to provide students a record of their progress. Final presentations will be assessed by a panel of judges.
Assistant Instructor: Jonathan Marsh
Critical Thinking and Persuasive Writing is a complement to the academic courses in the program. The course takes place primarily online, although there are also four in-person classes. For the class, the scholars:
In addition, the online course site serves as a hub for the program — the syllabi, the grades for all the classes in the program, and resources are posted on the site. The instruction in this class is collaborative, as it is throughout the program — preceptors assist with the peer review in the onsite classes, the writing instructor and the preceptors respond to the critical thinking posts, and the writing instructor and preceptors co-teach some of the preceptor sessions that focus on writing issues.