Archive for Elisabeth Lindenmayer

Elisabeth Lindenmayer Is New Director of IO/UN Specialization

Professor, a former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, has special expertise in peacekeeping

Professor Elisabeth Lindenmayer, a former assistant secretary general of the United Nations with special expertise in peacekeeping, has been named as the director of SIPA’s specialization in International Organizations and UN Studies (IO/UN). Lindenmayer, who was the founding director of the track in UN Studies within IO/UN, was selected following a national search to replace Dirk Salomons, who retired as the IO/UN director at the end of 2015.

Lindenmayer, who also holds the position of lecturer in international and public affairs, joined SIPA in 2009 as an adjunct professor. She has taught classes on subjects including the UN Security Council and peacekeeping and peace building in Africa and advised multiple Capstone teams. In 2010 Lindenmayer won the Teacher of the Year award at SIPA and in 2012 led a team of students to North Korea in the first such trip sponsored by a U.S. university.

Lindenmayer told SIPA News that she plans to survey IO/UN students in order to help plan the direction of the specialization in the months ahead.

“Students choose the specialization for different reasons,” she said. “I need to understand where the interest comes from so we can better fulfill their expectations.”

It is a promising time to study international organizations, Lindenmayer explained, because the United Nations, World Bank, and other multilateral institutions are moving toward closer integration to deal with interconnected global challenges. The major international organizations need to break their silos, she added, and move from fragmentation to synergy  and partnership.

To implement international programs like the Sustainable Development Goals and COP21 protocols on climate change, and to address challenges like the refugee crisis of recent years, will require multiple organizations to work together, she observed—otherwise we will fail the people we are mandated to help.

“It’s not so easy to have a structure that reflects the world we live in today, but the international system simply has to evolve,” Lindenmayer said. “I want the IO/UN specialization to be part of that story and evolution.”

Read about SIPA’s specialization in International Organizations and UN Studies

Seeple Spotlight: Rina Lila, MIA ’15

Rina Lila MIA ’15

One of our very own students, Rina Lila, MIA ’15, will lead the first focus group discussion about a positive digital media registry about Kosovo. Lila’s organization, Kosovo Diaspora will host “From a Concept to Success: Focus Group on the Diaspora Virtual Registration,” this Friday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m., in room 1302 of the International Affairs Building in New York City. Read this Q & A excerpt to get a sneak peek at how a SIPA education, along with her background, has prepared her to take on such an exciting and challenging project:

Born and raised in Kosova, Rina Lila, a Master of International Affairs student, came to the United States in 2005 to finish high school in southern California; she went on to major in political science at Whittier College. Lila spoke with SIPA News about growing up in Kosovo, the impact the United Nations has had on her life, and being a part of Kosovo Diaspora in New York City.

Kosovo Diaspora’s upcoming event, “From a Concept to Success: Focus Group on the Diaspora Virtual Registration,” will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 14, in room 1302 of the International Affairs Building.

Tell us a bit about Kosovo Diaspora.
A former SIPA student, Behar Xharra MIA ’12, established the Kosovo Diaspora initiative, which is meant to raise awareness on Kosovo, and to highlight Kosovo through digital diplomacy. We want to make available positive digital media about Kosovo.

Behar graduated in 2012, before you came to SIPA. How do you know him?
Everyone from Kosovo knows each other. Behar actually convinced me to come to SIPA. [I was considering other schools], but he told me that SIPA is more international. He said you have more international students, you get to make more connections, it’s close to the United Nations—it’s an invaluable experience. So I came here. Then, last year, he got me involved with the Kosovo Diaspora.

How are your studies at SIPA related to this?
My concentration is in Economic and Political Development, and my specialization is in International Conflict Resolution. I am one of the co-presidents for the UN Studies Working Group and the Conflict Resolution group and I work very closely with Professor [Elisabeth] Lindenmayer as one of her course assistants. She’s been an inspiration for me with respect to the UN. I’ve always wanted to work for the UN. The fact that the UN was here was the main reason I wanted to come to SIPA.

Tell us more about the Kosovo Diaspora event you’ve planned for this Friday [November 14].
This year Behar asked me to lead the first focus group discussion on diaspora registry. Kosovo Diaspora is partnering with International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Kosovo Ministry of Diaspora to promote the registry among our widespread diaspora communities across five continents. The information collected will provide the Kosovo government with a better understanding of geographic and demographic profile of Kosovo Diaspora in order to establish evidence-based policies in Kosovo to address the needs and concerns of diaspora worldwide. As Kosovo Diaspora, we see a lot of potential to having a database of all Albanians everywhere, while working on our mission to digitlize diplomacy. The mission of this diaspora virtual registration is to bring together Albanian civil society leaders, successful entrepreneurs politicians well as students.


Read the rest of the Q & A here via SIPA News.


"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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