Faculty changes made within IA department

Photo by Jo Tabacek

On Jan. 26, Bob Mandel, professor of International Affairs and head of the department, sent out a much-anticipated email to the IA department announcing who the search committee chose to hire for Fall 2020. 

Suparna Chaudhry, who specializes in global human rights and international law, will fill a tenure-track position vacated by Heather Smith-Cannoy, who left the college in Spring 2019. 

Matt Scroggs, who specializes in American foreign policy, the Middle East and security studies, will be teaching courses on U.S. foreign policy and Middle East politics for a two-year stint. He will be working alongside Cyrus Partovi who will be kept on staff as a professor emeritus.

 Mandel commented on the new hires.   

“For both Chaudhry and Scroggs the quality of their education, their teaching experience, and their research and publications made them outstanding candidates for the positions offered,” Mandel said via email.

For the tenure-track position, Mandel led a committee of professors and one international affairs student, Matthew Brown ’21. The committee reviewed applications from hundreds of qualified individuals and recommended the strongest candidates to Dean of the College Bruce Suttmeier. 

Three potential hires were invited in to give lectures where student feedback was gathered.. Chaudhry gave a lecture about NGOs and refugees. She was awarded the position shortly after. 

Scroggs was later approved by the dean and the same committee for the two-year position. He was initially hired to fill the post of Partovi, who has been a part of the IAs department for 28 years. Despite his original plan of retiring after this semester, Partovi will remain at LC as professor emeritus in the IA department.

“It was my request to the dean that I teach part-time and continue my advising responsibilities next fall and would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to the Dean of the College Bruce Suttermier for his kindness, collegiality and support,” Partovi said via email.

Partovi is returning to teach Middle East Politics (IA290) in the fall and Studies of Diplomacy (IA312) in the spring. As Partovi and Scroggs have similar backgrounds, their courses are intended to complement one another; Scroggs will also teach Middle East Politics, but in the spring. 

Associate Professor of International Affairs and Program Director of Political Economy Elizabeth Bennett will be on sabbatical in the academic year of 2020-2021 and Associate Professor of International Affairs Laura Vinson will return from sabbatical in Fall 2020. 

Bennett has been invited to serve as a research fellow to the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, which focuses on both political and economic rights. 

“Wherever I spend my sabbatical, I’ll be working on my book, which is about how challenging and possible it is to pay living wages to workers in global supply chains,” Bennett said. 

Bennett’s position as program director of the Political Economy minor will be filled temporarily by Eric Tymoigne, associate professor of economics. Elective courses within the minor will be taught by Aine McCarthy, assistant professor of economics. International Political Economy (IPE) will not be offered. In the Fall 2019 and this semester, Bennett taught three sections of IPE (IA 340) for those in need of that requirement.

Vinson spent her time away focusing on peacebuilding efforts and conflict communities, and the role of religious mediators in conflict and political crisis.

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