Grand strategy leadership in flux

In the wake of the departure of one of its founding members, Yale’s Grand Strategy program is looking into inviting female professors to its instructing team.

History professor Paul Kennedy, co-director of International Security Studies at Yale and a founder of the University’s Studies in Grand Strategy program — a selective academic course comprising a combination of seminars and events with guest speakers — left the program last year though he still remains loosely involved. History professor Adam Tooze has taken over Kennedy’s teaching position, and other instructors include John Gaddis, Charles Hill, David Brooks, John Negroponte and Paul Solman.

The Grand Strategy course first emerged from a seminar that was taught in 2000. The course, open to graduates and undergraduates alike, is cross-listed between history and the Yale School of Management. It aims to educate students on issues of grand strategy not only as they apply to the politico-military realm, but also in the context of international organizations and private businesses, covering thinkers ranging from Thucydides to Berlin.

In reflecting on new faculty members for Grand Strategy moving forward, Gaddis said he has “had long-standing invitations” out to Branford College Master and director of the Yale Global Health Initiative Elizabeth Bradley as well as History Department Director of Undergraduate Studies Beverly Gage to join the Grand Strategy faculty when their schedules permit. He added that he is hopeful that Bradley and Gage will both be involved “in some capacity” during the 2014-’15 academic year.

Gage said in an email that although she is currently unsure of her plans for the next academic year, she is looking forward to becoming more involved with Grand Strategy in the future.

“Along with several other professors, I will likely be rotating into GS as an instructor over the next few years, and we’ll all be having a conversation about what will make GS a strong and compelling program in years to come,” she said.

According to Gaddis, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan has been Grand Strategy’s only female professor.

Rahul Singh ’15 said that though Kennedy has taken a backseat with teaching this year, leading only one seminar and attending only a handful of the program’s events, his performance as an instructor has nevertheless been impressive.

“Even though Professor Kennedy may not be around as frequently as he one was when founding the program, his presence is still certainly felt. This past week he led the class discussion on Phillip II and Elizabeth I, which was arguably my favorite section of the semester thus far,” said Justin Schuster ’15, a current Grand Strategy student.

According to Dana Schneider ’15, another current Grand Strategy student and a staff reporter for the News, Kennedy has still been able to enhance the program by encouraging students to engage with the course’s texts.

The Grand Strategy program takes place over the course of two semesters, with a research requirement over the summer.

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