Katz International Lectures

The Professor Saul M. Katz International Lectureship on Economic & Social Development

The Katz International Lectureship was established in 1994 by one of GSPIA’s founding faculty members, Dr. Saul M. Katz.  During much of Dr. Katz’s tenure at GSPIA, he served as the Director of Programs in Economic and Social Development (now the Masters in International Development degree).  Dr. Katz was considered an international authority on economic and social development, with a special interest in the implementation of development policies, programs and projects.  He was a world renowned expert on agricultural and food policies. Dr. Katz had a lifelong interest in how society can benefit from the interaction between economic and political policies. 

Dr. Katz served in World War II, enlisting and rising to captain and participating in the Normandy landings where he was wounded and received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Later, he went on to earn two master’s degrees and a doctorate at Harvard University, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cornell. In addition to his tenure and directorship at GSPIA, Dr. Katz was credited with putting to use 20 years of government and Army experience to prepare international students in development policies that would foster growth and self-sufficiency.  A colleague said that Dr. Katz, during his time at GSPIA, “must have educated and personally related to hundreds of students.” Dr. Katz was frequently enlisted on advisory missions to foreign countries by the United Nations and other international organizations.  He became Professor Emeritus in 1986 and passed away a year after he established this lecture series. 

Katz Lecture Featured Speakers

2015: Dr. Des Gasper

On Sept. 21, 2015, Dr. Des Gasper presented “Human Security and Human Rights: Competitive or Complementary?” He is a professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, part of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He delivered a talk based on his current paper-in-progress responding to a recent article by Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann entitled “Human Security, Undermining Human Rights?”  He argued that the distinction between human rights and human security are strongly complementary.  He then presented a case for human security approaches and how they could strengthen our understanding and application of human rights ideals.

2013: Dr. I. William Zartman

Dr. Zartman presented “Ripeness in Revolution?: From North Africa to the Sahel” as part of the Katz Lecture Series in 2013.  Dr. Zartman is the Jacob Blaustein Professor Emeritus of International Organizations and Conflict Resolution at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.  Dr. Zartman’s lecture focused on the conditions of revolution and how these do or do not apply to the Arab Spring revolts.  He discussed the role of the negotiation process as well as how the concepts of legitimacy and organization factor in to revolt and revolution events.  He then expanded on the role these factors play in the ongoing events in the Sahel area of Africa. 

2012: Former USAID Director Andrew Natsios

On Thurs. March 15 Andrew Natsios, former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), discussed the past and future of U.S. foreign aid and the role of development in an uncertain world. His lecture examined the three main types of foreign aid: charitable aid, grassroots development and state building. Natsios also speculated on the future of foreign aid, noting how he sees growing public and private alliances in the sector.  In addition to USAID, Natsios also worked for World Vision U.S.  At the time of his lecture, he was teaching as a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service,  as well as serving as a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute.

2010: Dr. Dipak K. Gupta

In 2010, the Katz Lecture Series presented Dr. Dipak K. Gupta discussing “Human Nature: Terrorism and Conflict”.  At that time, Dr. Gupta was a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Diego State University.  He had authored nine books and published over 100 articles and was an established scholar in the field of terrorism and political violence research. Dr. Gupta completed one of two master’s degrees at the University of Pittsburgh in Econometrics/Public Finance and continued on to complete his PhD through GSPIA. 

Expanding on his book, Understanding Terrorism and Political Violence (2008), Professor Gupta discussed his work on developing a new theoretical paradigm to understand human motivations as social beings, by expanding rational choice hypothesis to include group motivation.  He explained how the human nature factors of rationality and altruistic behavior are the primary basis of collective actions, including the decision to participate in an act of terrorism.

2009: Steve McDonald

Steve McDonald, Former Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, discussed the topic of “Changes in U.S. Policy on Africa” as part of the Katz Lecture Series. McDonald’s career has crossed many sectors and taken him across the African continent.  He has experience as a Foreign Service Officer, consultant and has also taught at the post-graduate level.  At the time of his lecture, McDonald was a Public Policy Scholar for the Africa Program at the Wilson Center, a world-renowned think tank located in Washington, D.C.  In the lecture, McDonald discussed AFRICOM, The United States Africa Command, in the context of the first four years of the Obama administration, the likely changes in U.S. policy and AFRICOM’s place in the global environment.  He noted AFRICOM’s need for interagency coordination and flexibility in order to increase effective governance within the command and to become more influential in U.S./African relations.

1999: Dr. Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, presented not one, but two discussions in January, 1999 for the Katz Lecture Series: “Coping with the Tragedy of the Commons” and “The Contested Role of Heterogeneity”.  “Coping with the Tragedy of the Commons” elaborated on the theory of overuse of community resources and the consequences associated with these events.  She addressed the difficulties developing countries encounter when confronted with such conditions.  This concept was expanded upon in her second talk, “The Contested Role of Heterogeneity”.  In this lecture, Ostrom presented a paper by the same name which disseminated research results from 27 community-managed forests in Nepal.

Dr. Ostrom had an extensive career in academia, the majority of which was at Indiana University.  In addition to her professorship, Dr. Ostrom had served on numerous editorial boards, consulted overseas, and served on dozens of advisory boards.  At the time of her visit for the lectures, Dr. Ostrom worked as Co-Director for the Center for the Study of Instituttions, Populaton, and Environmental Change.  She finished out her career at Indiana University as the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and Distinguished Professor.  While Dr. Ostrom was the recipient of countless awards and honors, the most notable was the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her work in economic governance and management of common property.



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