Of Note

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Sunil Amrith: 2017 MacArthur Fellow

Image of Sunil AmrithFaculty Associate and Harvard Academy Senior Scholar Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies and professor of history, was named a 2017 MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Colloquially known as the “genius” grant, the fellowship is a “no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.” The MacArthur Fellows Program has awarded fellowships since 1981 to a wide range of recipients, from writers to scientists to entrepreneurs.

Amrith is an historian exploring migration in South and Southeast Asia and its role in shaping present-day social and cultural dynamics. His research is on the transregional movement of people, ideas, and institutions, and has focused most recently on the Bay of Bengal as a region connecting South and Southeast Asia. Of particular interest is the history of migration, environmental history, and the history of public health. Amrith is one of twenty-four MacArthur fellows in 2017 (also in the class is former Harvard Academy Scholar Betsy Levy Paluck). The Weatherhead Center extends warmest congratulations to Sunil Amrith on receiving the award and for all his dedication to his field of study.

Theodore C. Bestor Wins Inaugural “Senior Scholar” Award

Faculty Associate Theodore C. Bestor, director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology, received the inaugural “Senior Scholar” award from the Society of Urban, National, and Transnational Anthropology (SUNTA) section of the American Anthropological Association. SUNTA acknowledges Bestor’s decades of research, as well as the contributions his research has made in understanding urban culture, economic organization, and global commodity flows. 

Kenneth I. Juster Appointed US Ambassador to India

WCFIA advisory committee member Kenneth Juster was confirmed as the new US Ambassador to India. Juster has a long history in government and has extensive expertise on US-India trade relations, founding the US-India High Technology Cooperation Group. He also played a key role in negotiations that culminated in the US-India civilian nuclear deal. Juster will succeed Richard Verma, who left New Delhi after the US election in November 2016. 

Dara Kay Cohen Book Wins Two Awards

Faculty Associate Dara Kay Cohen, associate professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, received two prestigious awards for her book, Rape during Civil War (Cornell University Press, 2016). Her book draws on Cohen’s extensive fieldwork in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, and El Salvador. Cohen won the 2017 APSA-IPSA Theodore J. Lowi First Book Award, which recognizes the author of a first book in any field of political science that exemplifies ambition, originality, and intellectual daring. She also won the 2018 Best Book Prize from the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section of the International Studies Association. 

Joshua Kertzer Wins 2017 Alexander George Book Award

Faculty Associate Joshua D. Kertzer, assistant professor of government, received the Alexander George Book Award for his 2016 book, Resolve in International Politics (Princeton University Press). The award, given by the International Society of Political Psychology for the best book published in the field of political psychology during the previous calendar year, recognizes books that make a substantive contribution to the field. 

Melissa Dell Wins Calvó-Armengol International Prize in Economics

Faculty Associate Melissa Dell, assistant professor of economics, received the fifth Calvó-Armengol International Prize in Economics. Awarded every two years to an economist or social scientist under the age of forty, the prize recognizes “contributions to the understanding of social structure and its implications for economic interactions.” Dell was chosen for her groundbreaking research that illustrates how political institutions and social systems function well or poorly.

Mihir Desai Book on FT Longlist for Best Business Book of the Year

Faculty Associate Mihir Desai is the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and a professor of law at Harvard Law School. His book, The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), made the Financial Times longlist for best business book of the year. Desai’s book merges the usually disparate worlds of the humanities and finance. 

Faculty Associate Candelaria Garay Wins Dahl Award

Faculty Associate Candelaria Garay, assistant professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, won the 2017 Robert A. Dahl Award. The award is given annually to non-ladder and junior tenure-track faculty whose scholarship includes books, papers, reports, and articles on the subject of democracy. Garay's research interests include Latin American politics, social policy, political parties, and social movements. Her recent book, Social Policy Expansion in Latin America (2016), is available through Cambridge University Press. 

Lisa McGirr and Timothy Colton Named Cabot Fellows 

Faculty Associates Lisa McGirr, professor of history, and Timothy Colton, Morris and Anna Feldberg Professor of Government and Russian Studies, were among the group of ten Harvard faculty named as Walter Channing Cabot Fellows for 2017. Cabot Fellows receive this fellowship for outstanding publications.

John G. Ruggie Receives the A.SK Social Science Award

Faculty Associate John G. Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, received the A.SK Social Science Award for 2017. The prestigious international prize in the social sciences is awarded every two years by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, and honors researchers who have made an important contribution to political and economic reforms. 

Michèle Lamont Receives Two Honorary Doctorates

Center Director and Faculty Associate Michéle Lamont is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and professor of sociology and of African and African American studies. She was awarded two honorary doctorates: from the University of Bordeaux, which is given to personalities of foreign nationality for their contribution to the arts, literature, science, and technology; and from the University of Ottawa—her alma mater—for substantial contributions to the university, profession, or society at large.