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Highlights from Fall 2021 Leadership Programming for Residents

(Pictured above: Residents in Davis Hall learn from Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary General, and Commissioner Penny Abeywardena of The New York City Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, about current initiatives advancing the Global Sustainable Development Goals.) Each year, International House welcomes to its community hundreds of exceptional scholars from all over the world and offers them a variety of cultural and academic programming designed to create connection, spark inspiration, and nurture innovation in these developing leaders. Residents have the opportunity to meet one another at these events and gain insights from renowned experts in various industries who share about facing the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world. Among the academic programs offered to our smaller group of residents in the Fall 2021 semester were thought-provoking events like author visits, panel discussions, and career development workshops focused on effective techniques for working with collaborators of differing cultures and disciplines. Below are some highlights.
“Ask for It” Negotiation Workshop As part of the I-House Career Development Series, residents were invited to attend an interactive workshop to learn how to sharpen their negotiation skills. The event on September 29th was led by Alexandra Dickinson, a negotiation expert, career coach and founder of the Ask For It Project, who shared about the basics of research, strategy and approach for negotiating from a place of evidence and respect.
Enhancing Communication Through Emotional Intelligence Aligned with the I-House mission to foster international understanding is the development of emotional intelligence, a quality recognized as increasingly important to peace-building and the ability to navigate any professional environment. On October 19th, Michiko Kuroda, a former United Nations Chief of Staff for peacekeeping and peace-building missions and currently Professor of International Relations and Diplomacy at Mercy College, visited the House to lead an interactive workshop for residents on how to identify and understand emotions when communicating and dealing with conflicts and difficult conversations.
Emerging Trends in Global Gender and Sexuality On October 14th, Residents enjoyed a visit by Monroe France, Sr. Associate VP for Global Engagement and Inclusive Leadership at New York University, for an open conversation about ways to create a truly inclusive environment. Residents learned about one another through workshopping exercises that included one-on-one practice conversations.
PAGE TURNERS The semester’s programming also included a return of the International House “Page Turner” series that brings in notable authors to discuss their work and creative process, in conversation with residents. The generosity of I-House supporters made it possible for I-House to provide a free copy of the evening’s book to each resident attendee, signed by the respective authors. As described here, the first event featured I-House alum Vinod Busjeet ’74 in conversation with NY-based author and community builder Verlaine-Diane Soobroydoo about his critically acclaimed novel, Silent Winds, Dry Seas.
SLEEPER AGENT: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn On October 28th, I-House welcomed author and former staff writer for the Wall Street Journal Ann Hagedorn to share about her biography of a Soviet military-trained intelligence officer who, as a U.S. Army corporal, had full security clearance at two sites of the Manhattan Project, America’s top-secret World War II project to build the first atomic bomb. Moderating the discussion was Corey Flintoff, a former reporter and foreign correspondent for NPR, who was the network’s Moscow bureau chief from 2012 to 2016, covering Russia and the other nations of the former Soviet Union.
In This Land of Plenty: Mickey Leland and Africa in American Politics by Benjamin Talton Author Benjamin Talton visited on November 3rd to discuss his book, which presents Representative Mickey Leland as the personification of black internationalism during the 1980s. The book examines the successes and failures of African Americans in radically influencing U.S. foreign policy toward Global South countries, exploring the links between political activism, electoral politics, and international affairs.
A NEW FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMMING How the UN & NYC Drive Change for the SDG Agenda The season ended with a bang as I-House kicked off its new track of Sustainability programming by hosting a rare, off-the-record conversation between Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary General, and Commissioner Penny Abeywardena, who leads The City of New York Mayor’s Office of International Affairs. The November 9th discussion was held live in Davis Hall with a number of residents in the sanctuary space. Responding to residents’ questions informally and with candor, the guests discussed how the UN & NYC have been driving change to advance progress on the global Sustainable Development Goals.
  The Sustainability Programming also included a daylong excursion to Governors Island, where residents participated in a stewardship activity and explored the Island’s programs that are actively addressing the climate crisis. Read about that trip here. Stay tuned as more events are being planned at International House for the Spring 2022 semester, with many hosted exclusively for current residents and others offered virtually, open to Alumni and other members of the global I-House community.