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The Intelligence Studies Project of The University of Texas at Austin announces the fifth annual competition recognizing outstanding student research and writing on topics related to intelligence and national security.  The winner of the “Inman Award” will receive a cash prize of $5000, with two semifinalists each receiving a cash prize of $2500.  This competition is open to unpublished work by undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in degree programs at accredited U.S. higher education institutions during the 2018-19 academic year.  The deadline for submitting papers is June 30, 2019. 

Strauss Distinguished Scholar Joshua Busby gave an interview on the PBS segment, In Niger, Rising Temperatures Mean Barren Fields, but Fertile Ground for Terrorism, where he discussed the impact of climate change on fragile states. The segment itself focused on how the Sahel region in Africa is already facing immediate risks from climate change. There are more frequent and prolonged droughts as well as flash flooding which makes farming harder in a predominately agricultural area. In the segment, Busby says that climate change undermines economic development and that fragile governments are ill-equipped to deal with these hazards. Throughout the Sahel, there are high risks of humanitarian emergencies and extended or renewed conflict because many of the are heavily reliant on agriculture, have a recent history of violence, and have institutions that are not fully inclusive. In the face of droughts, storms or other climate hazards, Sahel countries are likely to struggle with conflict resolution and addressing humanitarian emergencies.

In their newly released Policy Summary: The Nexus of Fragility and Climate Risks published by USAID, Director of the Strauss Center’s State Fragility Initiative Ashley Moran, Strauss Distinguished Scholar Joshua Busby, Strauss Senior Fellow Clionadh Raleigh, and their colleagues present policy recommendations to address compound risks that arise when states experience fragility and climate risks simultaneously.

Similar to the Strauss Center’s interdisciplinary Brumley Program, the Strauss Center is pleased to announce the launch of its Cybersecurity Fellows Program for graduate students across the University of Texas community.

Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Susan Gordon, delivered keynote remarks at last week’s Intelligence Studies Project spring symposium: “Intelligence in Transition.” In a follow-up article for the Washington Post, national security reporter and fellow symposium participant, Ellen Nakashima, quoted Gordon’s remarks and complimented her candor.

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