Nitze Café

By J.W. Dixon WASHINGTON — It’s 8:50 a.m. on a misty Tuesday and — mother of God — “these snacks…

The unsustainability of the INF

By John Fenton WASHINGTON — The Russian use of Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCM) upsets the status quo established by…

The rise of rap music in China

By Jing Xuanlin NANJING, China —— Last summer, the question on every young Chinese person’s lips was: “你有freestyle吗?”—“Do you have…

From the Editors

Danielle Thompson Editor-in-chief @thedanithompson Dear Reader, Welcome back to SAIS! My name is Danielle Thompson, formerly the deputy editor-in-chief, and…

We Are Moving

By Danielle Thompson WASHINGTON — On January 25, President Ron Daniels and Dean Vali Nasr announced that SAIS will be…

“Straight man cancer” in China

By Jing Xuanlin NANJING, China — “You really have ‘straight man cancer’!” Burgeoning feminist movements in China have encouraged many,…

“What are Gaymis?” 什么是“Gay蜜”: An investigation of Chinese subcultures

By Zhou Jie, translation by Mario Colella 2018年10月24日,南京大学人类学研究所邓国基(Chris Tan)副教授应邀来到中美中心,为师生们带来了一场新颖且精彩的讲座——“Gay蜜”:中国济南新兴的“女汉子”及“直女”与男同性恋者之间的亲密友谊。邓国基教授曾在2002年获得耶鲁大学东亚研究的硕士学位,并于2011年获得美国伊利诺伊大学香槟城分校的人类学博士学位。他的研究兴趣集中于社会性别与性,对新加坡、中国大陆及台湾的同性恋群体也颇有研究。 NANJING, China — On Oct. 24, Chris Tan, a Nanjing University…

SAIS goes to the ballot box

By Keel Dietz WASHINGTON — The midterm elections may be over, but the horse-trading of election season continues in full…

The final word belongs to Beijing

Hong Kong: Independence and authority in Beijing’s “one country, two systems” policyBy Marco Saracco WASHINGTON — Hong Kong is a…

Please send apology email

By Danielle Thompson In August 2018, SAIS Career Services replaced SAISWorks, students’ previous online career services platform, with the Handshake…

Orientation week at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center 南京大学–霍普金斯大学中美文化研究中心的预备课

By Shen Hao, translation by Amy Bodner    秋天是一个开学季,到处充满了欢声笑语,南大–霍普金斯大学中美文化研究中心也不例外。中心迎来了第33届学生,包括来自全球各地的国际学生,例如美国、丹麦、挪威、加拿大等地。大部分国际学生刚刚下飞机就赶来了中美中心,有点倒时差,不大适应。中心的志愿者热情地接待他们,帮他们把行李搬到双人间公寓。除此之外,志愿者学生还带着国际学生参观校园。桂花开了,整个校园香气扑鼻。 NANJING, China — Autumn signals the beginning of a new semester…

A chat with Nina Jankowicz

By T.J. Sjostrom WASHINGTON — If you have read any authoritative source in the past two years about the Russian…

Cleaning up the Laundromats

By Anthony Meyer This past summer, Danske Bank came under international scrutiny for allowing 234 billion dollars of allegedly laundered…

Remembering Kathryn Knowles

By T.J. Sjostrom WASHINGTON – On behalf of my teammates at The SAIS Observer, we are crestfallen about the passing of…

From the Editors 2018-2019

T.J. Sjostrom Editor-in-chief Dear reader, It is my distinct privilege to work with such a diverse and talented team of…

Wear the SAIS Uniform

Over two years, SAIS has given each of us one of the best educations in the world, stimulated our intellect in newfound ways and opened doors to our future careers. It is time to give back for all we have received. Section Editor and former Co-Editor-In-Chief, Tristram Thomas, calls for giving to the Class Gift.

P.J. Crowley on Secrecy and Reporting in the Age of Leaks

Co-Editor-In-Chief Jameel Khan interviewed P.J. Crowley, the former Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the State Department. He shared his thoughts with The SAIS Observer on a timely and controversial topic: secrecy and reporting in the age of leaks.

After 19 Years, SAIS’ Ron Lambert Retires

Director of Career Services, Ron Lambert is due to retire at the end of the semester after 19 years at SAIS and is going to be a trainer at YMCA. Section Editor Selim Koru had a chance to talk with Lambert about his the various hats in his office and the various roles he has taken in life.

Glorious Sea, the Sacred Baikal


The world’s oldest, deepest, and largest lake, Baikal is a natural treasure and a national symbol of Russia. Unfortunately, until recently, pollution and neglect have virtually suffocated the lake.

SAIS Europe Thanksgiving


SAIS Europe celebrates Thanksgiving in annual feast in the auditorium — and a special guest appearance by the SAIS Europe-pardonned turkey.

La Vita della Vespa: 5 life lessons from driving a Vespa in Italy

MA Student at SAIS Europe

When I decided to spend my first year at SAIS in Italy, I knew I wanted to live with a host family. I chose my particular host family because they had hosted my good friend’s mom 30 years prior. However, the family’s home is almost ten kilometers outside of the city. In order to help me out, the family offered to repair an old Vespa for me to take to school everyday. So went the plan.

The Changing Price of Motherhood

SAIS Nanjing blogger Rui Zhong looks at how China’s evolving One-Child policy will continue to affect Chinese mothers, attitudes on women’s choices in family planning, and the costs it may place on the expecting.

Details Behind SAIS Finances

Jameel Khan
Assistant Editor at SAIS Washington

The state of SAIS’ financial union is one of sweeping change — contouring on varied issues of budgets, debt, fundraising, philanthropy, new academic programs, organizational restructuring and leadership changes.

SAIS Budget Review

Michael St. Germain
Assistant Editor at SAIS Europe

The arrival of Dean Nasr has ushered in a new era for the school and nowhere is this more apparent than with the school’s finances.

Dean Bonnie Wilson Steps Down

Selim Koru
Assistant Editor at SAIS Washington

The longest-serving dean in SAIS history, Assistant Dean for Student Life Bonnie Wilson will step down at the end of December. In the spring, she will transition to working part-time with the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.

SAIS China Initiative Explained

Tristram Thomas

In October, Dean Vali Nasr announced Professor David M. Lampton, director of China Studies, would lead SAIS China, an initiative intended to facilitate Nasr’s One SAIS vision for the school.

SAIS Announces New Degree

Nimisha Jaiswal

AFTER 18 months of planning, SAIS opened applications for a new Masters in International Economics and Finance (MIEF) degree program this November. The degree program is set to take in its first batch of up to 35 students in fall 2014.

Discussing China’s ADIZ: Reasonable Move for China

Fan Wu
Guest Contributor at SAIS Washington

The latest flashpoint in East Asia is China’s newly-announced Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which covers the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands and significantly overlaps with the defense zones of Japan and South Korea, both US’ allies.Thus, the mainstream media have interpreted it as an extension of both the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute and the Sino-US rivalry in the air.

The Corrosive Nature of Qat in Yemen

SAIS Europe blogger Joshua Levkowitz discusses a little-know social ill that is threatening Yemen: qat addiction. Qat, an addictive, chewable mild narcotic, has driven out Yemeni agricultural production and the plant’s water-intensive production process is pushing the Sana’a towards becoming the world’s first “dry” capital. Yet reform, although necessary, seems unlikely as Yemen’s elites benefit both economically and politically as the plant flourishes.