MIT Center for International Studies
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MIT CIS logo
|Director||Richard J. Samuels|
|Location||Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States|
The MIT Center for International Studies (CIS) is an academic research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It sponsors work focusing on international relations, security studies, international migration, human rights and justice, political economy and technology policy. The center was founded in 1951.
The MIT Center for International Studies was one of several academic research centers founded in the United States after World War II. Its creation was originally funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in order to provide expert analysis on issues pertaining to the Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union.
Prominent social scientists involved with CIS include Lucian Pye, Eugene Skolnikoff, William Kaufmann, Walt Rostow, Ithiel de Sola Pool, Carl Kaysen. Early on, the center specialized in political and economic development, military strategy, and Asia, and many of its faculty (e.g. Rostow and Kaysen) served in high government posts. Daniel Ellsberg was a research fellow at CIS when he released the Pentagon Papers in 1971.
The Security Studies Program (SSP), a joint program with the department of political science, was established in the 1970s. Many prominent security specialists in government, think tanks, the military and academia, including Geoffrey Kemp, Daniel Byman, Ken Pollack, and William Durch, undertook their doctoral studies in SSP. Since the early 1990s, it has been associated with the Neorealist school of international relations, led by such theorists as Barry Posen and Stephen Van Evera.
The MIT International Science and Technology Initiative (MISTI) is a novel program in applied international studies. MISTI has placed 7,233 students around the globe from 1983 to 2015. In the 2014–2015 academic year, 880+ students participated. 31% of MIT students who graduated in 2015 participated in MISTI at some point during their MIT experience. Of these MISTI students, 27% participated in MISTI more than one time.
In 2015, the MIT Center for International Studies established the MIT International Policy Lab (IPL), whose mission is “to enhance the impact of MIT research on public policy, in order to best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.” The Policy Lab will award up to $10,000 to faculty and research staff with principal investigator status who wish to convey their research to policymakers.
- Bustani Middle East Seminar
- International Migration and Humanitarian Studies 
- Persian Gulf Initiative 
- Program on Emerging Technologies 
- International Policy Lab 
- South Asian Politics 
Several visiting fellows and scholars join the center each year, including outstanding women journalists under the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship, and distinguished public servants under the Robert E. Wilhelm Fellowship. Other individuals have spent weeks or months at the center, such as Ranil Wickremasinghe, former prime minister of Sri Lanka; David Miliband, former foreign secretary of the U.K.; and Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, a former reform member of the Majlis of Iran.
Leadership and faculty
CIS includes 160 members of the MIT faculty and staff, mainly drawn from the departments of political science and urban studies, and visiting scholars from around the world.
- Richard J. Samuels, director and Ford International Professor of Political Science
- John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist
- Stephen Van Evera, associate director and professor of political science
Partial list of faculty:
- Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science, director, Security Studies Program
- Kenneth A. Oye, associate professor of political science and engineering systems design; former director, CIS; director, MIT Program on Emerging Technologies 
- Francis Gavin, Stanton Professor of Political Science
- Taylor Fravel, associate professor of political science
- Vipin Narang, associate professor of political science
- Fotini Christia, associate professor of political science
- Owen Cote, senior research scientist
- Jim Walsh, research scientist
- Naomi Chazan, 2004, former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Israel
- Francis Deng, 2005, Under Secretary General of the United Nations, former Foreign Minister, Sudan
- Barbara Bodine, 2006, former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen
- William J. Fallon, 2008, former admiral, U.S. Navy, commander of Pacific Command and Central Command
- Hans Georg Eichler, M.D., 2010, senior medical officer at the European Medicines Agency, London
- Abbas Maleki, 2011, former Deputy Foreign Minister, Iran
- Yukio Okamoto, 2013-, adviser to the government of Japan
- Joel Brenner, 2014-, former inspector general, National Security Agency
- Jackee Budesta Batanda, 2011–2012, reporter for the Global Press Institute, Uganda
- Priyanka Borpujari, 2012–2013, independent journalist based in Mumbai, India
- Prodita Sabarini, 2013–2014, reporter from the English daily The Jakarta Post, Indonesia
- Louisa Reynolds, 2014–2015, independent journalist based in Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Meera Srinivasan, 2015–2016, senior assistant editor with The Hindu
- Donald L.M. Blackmer, The MIT Center for International Studies: The Founding Years 1951–1969 (MIT, 2002).
- "About CIS | MIT Center for International Studies". cis.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "History | MIT Center for International Studies". cis.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "Homepage | MISTI". web.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "About MISTI | MISTI". web.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "Welcome | CIS: Seminar XXI". semxxi.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "Q&A: Chappell Lawson". MIT News.
- "Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar | MIT Center for International Studies". cis.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "International Migration | MIT Center for International Studies". cis.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "Persian Gulf Initiative | MIT Center for International Studies". cis.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "Home". PoET. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "Home | MIT International Policy Lab". policylab.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "The South Asian Politics Seminar by Brown, Harvard and MIT". southasianpolitics.net. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship".
- "John Tirman Bio".
- "WBUR Staff & Contributors".
- "John Tirman". Reinvent.
- "Home | MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)". web.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "Barbara K. Bodine". Georgetown University - Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
- "William J. Fallon". Georgetown University - Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
- "Dr. Hans - Georg Eichler" (PDF).
- MIT News Office http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/fallon-0619.html; Center for Biomedical Information, http://web.mit.edu/cbi/research/newdigs/2010/111810.html; Center for International Studies press release, http://web.mit.edu/cis/press_release_maleki_abbas.html
- "Jackee Batanda 2011/12". IWMF.
- "Priyanka Borpujari 2012/13". IWMF.
- "Prodita Sabarini 2013/14". IWMF.
- "Louisa Reynolds 2014/15". IWMF.
- "IWMF Names 2015/16 Neuffer Fellow". IWMF.