To the Editor:

I read with interest of the appearance of Strobridge Talbott ’68 at a recent Branford College Master’s Tea (“Talbott discusses foreign policy, globalization at tea,” 2/8). The decision of Yale President Richard Levin to reward Talbott’s failure as architect of the Clinton administration’s naive approach to post-Soviet Russia with a high-profile job at Yale has baffled me since its announcement last November.

And, of course, Talbott’s employment resulted in not one but two jobs. Even as Talbott moves to New Haven to lead the new Center for the Study of Globalization, his wife Brooke Shearer is set to become executive director of Yale’s new World Fellows Program. Yale ought to know better than to run this risk of an appearance of nepotism. How, one wonders, will the World Fellows Program make a credible claim to impartiality and lack of favoritism in the selection of its fellows from among highly qualified applicants from around the globe if it traces its origins to personnel decisions about which such a claim is very difficult to make?

Michael Montesano ’83

February 20, 2001