Rear Admiral Jeffrey Lemmons delivers symposium lecture

The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies was honored to host Rear Admiral Jeffrey Lemmons, Director of International Engagement for the United States Navy.  After sharing a brief video that highlighted the crucial importance of free navigation on the seas as the backbone of American economic strength, RADM Lemmons took students through the six core capabilities identified in the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. 

Among the new capabilities he identified are humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.   RADM Lemmons explained ways in which these are being implemented in cooperation with America’s allies and partners. 

In the Q&A that followed, students and faculty engaged RADM Lemmons with questions that ranged from issues of the naval support for theater combat commanders to the ways the Navy might emerge from the budget scuffles raging here in town. 

Dr. Roth presents RADM Lemmons wtih a Global Security Studies coin.

At the end of his remarks, RADM Lemmons made a strong argument that as the United States draws down its currently engaged ground forces, the Navy will become even more prominent.  The reason? The nation counts on the USN's foward presence to deter adversaries and thereby give ground and air forces the downtime to rest and refit. 


Professor Louis Fisher publishes article in National Law Journal 

Louis Fisher, who will be teaching a course at the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies this summer, recently published a thoughtful article on legislation aimed at banning "crush videos."  In particular, Dr. Fisher examines the role that Congress played in passing laws against crush videos as a good example of a constitutional issue being resolved through the regular legislative process (rather than the Court assuming that role) with strong bipartisan support.   Dr. Fisher is a Resident Scholar at The Constitution Project and recently retired as the Senior Specialist in Separation of Powers at the Library of Congress.


Wondering how federal budget plans affect your job prospects?

As Congress is working out the budget, federal employees have had to think about the future of the negotiations and the possible effects on their jobs.  Right now, federal agencies are operating under a continuing resolution (CR), which has authorized spending based on last year’s funding levels until a full year’s appropriations bill is approved. The CR is set to expire Friday, March 4.

The budget saga not only affects current federal employees-- it also has important implications for the hiring process, for both jobs and internships.  Click here to access a primer and info sheet on the details of this.  Thanks to Lucy Shapiro, Career Services Specialist for Governmental Studies, for putting this together!


Federal Job Webinars Help Students to Develop Career Plans

On February 16th and 23rd, Governmental Studies and other AAP students attended two Career Services Webinars.  Lucy Shapiro, Career Services Specialist for Governmental Studies, Colleen Connolly McCusker, the new AAP Career Services Associate Director, and Blake Ethridge, faculty for the government program, organized the events.

The Partnership for Public Service, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of the federal workforce, offered the webinars that provided a wide variety of tips and guidance on how to get a good federal job.  Staff from a number of agencies participated in the webinars and added insider advice.  Hopefully more Johns Hopkins students and alumni will be helping to achieve the Partnership’s goals of attracting high caliber individuals to government service as well as making the bureaucracy a more effective and efficient institution.

If you missed the events, all is not lost.  Lucy Shapiro provides Career Services for all MA in Government and Global Security Studies students and alumni.  Check out her many postings/career services on this blog, which include weekly updated job listings; career information on job search strategies, networking, career exploration, and writing marketable application materials, and other career programming.  You can contact Lucy Shapiro directly at for confidential career counseling via telephone/email.  Colleen Connolly McCusker offers Career Services for students of all other AAP programs at Johns Hopkins. 

Due to the high level of interest in these events, Career Services will likely be able to make the recordings of these events available for viewing in the next few weeks.  Please watch for announcements on the Government Blog.

Also, please let us know if there are other career events or services you would like to have offered.  You might even put them in the response section to this blog entry.


Lester Munson Speaks on Changes in Congress at February 23 Symposia

The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies was pleased to have Mr. Lester Munson, Chief of Staff to Senator  Mark Kirk (IL) speak before a full house at the symposia Wednesday night. 

Professors James Norton and Dorothea Wolfson with speaker Lester Munson

Mr. Munson shared the ways in which Congress has changed over the last 20 years in which he has been serving there, first as a Legislative Aide and Press Secretary to Representative Henry Hyde and later as a Senior Staff member on the House International Relations Committee handling African affairs.  Mr. Munson focused on three areas in particular:  the legislative process, campaign finance, and political communications. A theme of Mr. Munson’s talk was how much faster-paced Congress has become in recent decades in all of these areas.   For example, communications, as Mr. Munson pointed out, is governed by the internet and Twitter, which dictate immediate reactions (in contrast to the days of “snail mail” when stuffing envelopes to regional newspapers was the norm!).  The decline of the Committees’ role in the legislative process in favor of leadership’s role produces much faster bills.  For example, the recent health care reform bill was a product of the Speaker and the President, not the committees. Finally, campaign financing once ran at a much slower pace:  Mr. Munson shared that Representative Hyde would hold a fund-raiser once every 2 years, now congressmen are engaged in what some call the “continual campaign.”   

 Mr. Munson touched on all three areas with thoughtful insight and humor, along with fascinating anecdotes gleaned from his years in public service (which began, incidentally, with a baptism by fire – interning for Hyde at the height of the Iran Contra hearings!).  Students also came away with a better sense of the impact staffers can have on important policy matters (and even on important world historical figures, such as Nelson Mandela, who singled out Mr. Munson for a report he wrote as a staffer on the House International Committee).  Mr. Muson’s love and knowledge of Congress as an institution were deep and impressive, and it was a treat to have him share his experiences in public service at the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies.