GWIA’s Breakfast of Brilliance with Georgetown Professors
By Ryoji Watanabe (MSFS 2012)
Early in the morning on April 1, 2011, eight graduate students gathered in McGhee Library. They attended the “Breakfast of Brilliance with Georgetown Professors,” hosted by Georgetown Women in International Affairs (GWIA). GWIA is a Georgetown School of Foreign Service organization aimed at strengthening quality leadership among graduate students, in order to increase the visibility of women in international affairs.
It was the first in a series of “Breakfasts of Brilliance with Georgetown Professors,” and GWIA invited one of their favorite female professors, Professor Jennifer Tobin. In the “Breakfast of Brilliance with Georgetown Professors”, GWIA members have opportunities to hear from distinguished Georgetown faculty about their experiences as female researchers, policy-makers and leaders in international affairs.
Prof. Tobin currently conducts scholarly work on the political economy of development, specifically focusing on international investment, microfinance, trade, and development assistance. She teaches comparative public management at Georgetown University.
Prof. Tobin discussed her new and previous research, such as the effect of foreign direct investment on the development of the world’s poorer countries, compared to foreign aid. She also discussed her insights on the developing countries’ trade policies (such as Bilateral Investment Treaties and Preferential Trade Agreements) in attracting investment.
Professor Jennifer Tobin
Students also had an opportunity to hear about Prof. Tobin’s exciting personal life ranging from her experience in the field, such as Haiti and Uganda, to teaching at Georgetown University. She stressed that if students are interested in development policy, they should go to the field. She said, “You cannot make development policies unless you know who the people are in the field.” However, she also added that as a woman, there is a difficult consideration how an international development career and having a family can sometimes be at odds.
Andrea Motta, a first-year student in the Latin American Studies Program of the School of Foreign Service, mentioned, “It is nice to have an opportunity to talk to professors outside the classroom in a very different environment where we could hear stories that we do not normally hear during class, such as their background.”
Information on the GWIA can be found in the following website: http://sfs.georgetown.edu/community/current/gwia/