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James F. Smith

James F. Smith

Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

 

 

By Date

 

2013 (continued)

Summer 2013

"Afghanistan’s Future Holds Promise, Danger, Experts Agree"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

"Even as they acknowledged that potential dangers loom in Afghanistan over the next two years, experts at a Harvard conference pointed to some encouraging signs. One example: the number of schoolchildren has grown from 800,000 in 2001 to nearly nine million today....Speakers from Afghanistan and the West recognized that violence persists and problems such as endemic corruption still plague the country....But they took solace from the work of Afghans themselves in building a credible national military force that has increasingly taken on the brunt of combat duties"

 

 

(White House Photo)

Spring 2013

Spotlight on Gary Samore

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In the complex world of the United States government, it’s rare for a lone White House official to oversee a real change in direction on a major policy issue. Gary Samore not only helped reshape U.S. policy on one issue; he did so with two immense national security challenges during his four years as President Obama’s Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction Counter-Terrorism and Arms Control.

 

 

January 29, 2013

President Obama's WMD "Czar" Appointed Executive Director of Belfer Center

News

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Gary Samore, President Obama’s Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction Counter-Terrorism and Arms Control, has been appointed Executive Director (Research) for Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. A former fellow with the Belfer Center's International Security Program, Samore has served for the past four years as the principal advisor to the President on all matters relating to arms control and the prevention of weapons of mass destruction proliferation and WMD terrorism. 

 

 

January 25, 2013

"Belfer Center Ranks High in Global Think Tank Survey"

News

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

For the third straight year, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has been ranked among the top university-affiliated think tanks in the world. The 2012 version of the annual survey, conducted by the International Relations Program at the University of Pennsylvania and released Jan. 24, ranks the Belfer Center second in the university-affiliated category, behind the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. A year earlier, the No. 1 and No. 2 rankings were reversed, with Belfer Center ranked first.

 

2012

Winter 2012-2013

Spotlight: Susan Hockfield and the Magic of the Laboratory

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Susan Hockfield is the Marie Curie Visiting Professor at Harvard Kennedy School. After almost eight years as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she is spending a sabbatical year based at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.

 

 

November 2, 2012

"Lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis for Today’s Crises"

News

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In Harvard Professor Graham Allison’s view, “the significant unknowns” during the Cuban Missile Crisis nearly catapulted John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev into nuclear war. For former diplomat Nicholas Burns, the principal take-away from the crisis was the importance of giving an adversary a way out of a confrontation short of complete surrender. Allison and Burns were panelists on Oct. 14 at a forum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston to consider the modern lessons flowing from the missile crisis. The event kicked off an intensive series of seminars and workshops for scholars from Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to mark the 50th anniversary of the missile crisis. Panel moderator Juliette Kayyem, Kennedy School lecturer in public policy, reminded the audience that the missile crisis is often framed through the myth of the tough American president staring down the Russian foe and making him blink. Kayyem said that version fails to capture the nuanced secret diplomacy and the American concessions that made a deal possible.

 

 

(AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani, File)

June 2012

New study by Harvard Kennedy School researcher forecasts sharp increase in world oil production capacity, and risk of price collapse

Press Release

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

A new study by Belfer Center fellow Leonardo Maugeri shows that oil production capacity is surging in the United States and several other countries at such a fast pace that global oil output capacity is likely to grow by nearly 20 percent by 2020. This could prompt a plunge or even a collapse in oil prices. The findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now a fellow in the Geopolitics of Energy Project in the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, are based on an original field-by-field analysis of the world’s major oil formations and exploration projects.

 

 

Summer 2012

Paul Volcker and Mike Murphy Talk Politics and Economy

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the public’s perceptions about the economy that will decide the 2012 presidential election....That was the bipartisan analysis shared by veteran Republican political consultant Mike Murphy and a Democratic expert on the economy – no less than Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve and former adviser to President Obama. Teh two sat down and assessed the campaign during a roundtable discussion at the Kennedy School moderated by Belfer Center Director Graham Allison.

 

 

Summer 2012

Spotlight: William Tobey

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

William H. Tobey, spotlighted in the Summer 2012 Belfer Center newsletter, is a senior fellow in the Belfer Center, and is director of the Center’s U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism. He joined the Belfer Center in 2009 after serving in senior counterproliferation roles in the George W. Bush Administration. In March, Tobey was named chairman of the board of directors of the World Institute for Nuclear Security.

 

 

Time Magazine, May 7, 2012 edition

April 26, 2012

Graham Allison on Obama's Hardest Decision

News

By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Harvard Professor Graham Allison’s dramatic cover story this week in Time Magazine offers readers a behind-the-scenes account of how President Obama made the most fateful decision of his presidency – to launch the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 1, 2011.

Allison puts readers in the president’s Oval Office chair as Obama weighed the risks of the several options he faced when evidence emerged that bin Laden was living in a compound in Abbottabad, 30 miles from the capital of Pakistan..  It was never certain right up to the day of the raid that the suspect at the site was bin Laden. And key members of Obama’s own inner circle, including Vice President Joseph Biden and Defense Secretary Bob Gates, voted against launching a helicopter-borne assault.

With echoes of his prize-winning 1971 book, Essence of Decision, about President John F. Kennedy’s decision-making during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Allison traced Obama’s handling of the hunt for bin Laden from the first days of his presidency up to the decision to go for a boots-on-the-ground assault rather than an airstrike or joint operation with Pakistan.

Allison spent more than 100 hours interviewing officials in the White House, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to gather material for the Time article. The piece was paired with another article by Peter Bergen, a respected terrorism analyst, that tells the story of the raid itself.

 

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