Perry World House Announces Visitors for the 2020-21 Academic Year

September 13, 2020
By Perry World House

Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for global affairs, is proud to announce its 2020-21 class of visitors. This esteemed collection of individuals will bring real-world experience from government, the military, multilateral institutions, humanitarian organizations, and even outer space to Penn’s research, conversations, and courses. Our visitors play a vibrant role in our community, encouraging global engagement, inspiring students, and informing faculty and scholars.

Traditionally, Perry World House’s Visiting Fellows engage with students and faculty in lectures, public events, workshops, and office hours. Since March, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced Penn’s operations online, Perry World House has developed the tools to allow for virtual visitors, leveraging technology to introduce innovative ideas to students, faculty, and the broader public policy community.

“At a daunting moment in the world, this year’s visitors, who come from around the globe and a variety of disciplines, reflect the depth and diversity of people trying to make the world better,” said Michael Horowitz, Director of Perry World House and Richard Perry Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “Even virtually, our visitors will make the Penn community smarter, savvier and more global. We’re so excited to have them with us this year.”

Meet our 2020-21 Visitors

Susan Biniaz is a former Deputy Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. From 1989 until early 2017, she was the lead lawyer, as well as a negotiator, for all major U.S. climate agreements, including the Paris Agreement.

Dan Bodansky is Regents' Professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. He served as Climate Change Coordinator at the U.S. State Department from 1999-2001, and will be a Visiting Scholar at Perry World House this year.

Mark Budolfson is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in Environmental Health Sciences, Population-Level Bioethics, and Philosophy. He works on interdisciplinary issues in ethics, economics, and public policy.

Derek Chollet is Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor for Security and Defense Policy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States.  He served in senior positions during the Obama administration at the White House, State Department, and Pentagon, most recently as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

Dominique Day is the Chair of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a fact-finding body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate and report on the situation of people of African descent globally. She is a human rights attorney who also leads DAYLIGHT | Rule of Law • Access to Justice • Advocacy, an access to justice platform.

Chuck Hagel was the twenty-fourth Secretary of Defense, serving from February 2013 to February 2015. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense. Prior to his leadership at the Pentagon, Hagel served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska.

Lolita K. Jackson is the Special Advisor for Climate Policy & Programs in the NYC Mayor’s Office. She is the climate diplomat for NYC, and is also lead for the administration regarding global work on divestment and climate finance.

Cécile Kashetu Kyenge is the former Italian Minister for Integration (2013-2014), making history as the first Black Italian member of parliament. From 2014 until 2018, she was a Member of the European Parliament.

Jesse M. Keenan is an Associate Professor and social scientist within the faculty of the School of Architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will be a Visiting Scholar at Perry World House this year.

Melissa Lee, an Assistant Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, is the 2020-2021 Lightning Scholar. Lee studies foreign subversion, alongside the international and domestic politics of statebuilding and state capacity.

Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster (Ret.) was the twenty-sixth National Security Advisor of the United States from 2017 to 2018. He is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Martin O’Malley was Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 and Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. As mayor and governor, he established data-driven systems of performance management, “Citistat,” “Statestat,” and “Baystat,” the last of which helped turn around a 300-year decline in the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Capricia Penavic Marshall served as United States Chief of Protocol in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013 and as White House Social Secretary in the Clinton Administration from 1997 to 2001.

Henri-Paul Normandin is the City of Montréal’s Director for International Relations, where he spearheads an innovative urban diplomacy agenda. He previously served as the Ambassador of Canada to Haiti from 2010 to 2013, and as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN from 2006 to 2010.

Mauricio Rodas served as the Mayor of Quito, Ecuador until 2019. He is World Co-President of United Cities and Local Governments Organization (UCLG), and member of the boards of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and the International Council for Local Environmental (ICLEI).

Trudy Rubin is the foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2001 and 2017 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary. 

Robert M. Scherthe Head of International Affairs for BP America, has over 25 years of experience in senior national security roles in and out of the U.S. Government, most recently serving as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities in the Pentagon from 2014 to 2017.

Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar is Ambassador-at Large for Cyber Diplomacy at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Anote Tong, who will be this year’s Perry World House Distinguished Global Leader-in-Residence, is a world-renowned leader in the battles against climate change and for ocean conservation. He served three terms as President of the Republic of Kiribati.

Alexander ("Sandy") Vershbow was Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2012 to 2016, the first American to hold that position, will continue as the Wolk Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow. A career diplomat since 1977, Vershbow served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (2009-2012), U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2005-2008), U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2001-2005) and U.S. Ambassador to NATO (1998-2001).

Alexander S. Vindman was most recently the director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia on the White House’s National Security Council. Vindman is currently a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Koko Warner manages the impacts and vulnerability subdivision at UN Climate Change. She guides the adaptation knowledge hub and the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform. From 2006 to 2016, she was the Executive Director of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative, which she also founded.

Naoko Yamazaki is an astronaut and space policy expert. She earned a Master of Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1996, then started working for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). On April 5, 2010, Yamazaki was aboard Space Shuttle Discovery as part of the crew of STS-131, an assembly and resupply mission to the International Space Station.