Carnegie Mellon University

IPS Policy Forum


The Policy Forum represents one of the means by which the Institute for Politics and Strategy and the Center for International Relations and Politics integrates international relations and politics into the intellectual conversation at Carnegie Mellon University. The Policy Forum regularly brings statesmen, scholars, policymakers, journalists, and other thought leaders to the university to address major issues facing the United States and the world.

Recent speakers include Barbara Barrett, the Secretary of the Air Force; Robert O'Brien, the former National Security Advisor; and Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the former US Ambassador to Malta. By inviting guests with such breadth and depth of experience in national security, international relations, and politics to campus, whether in person or in a remote format, the Policy Forum exposes students from all courses of study at Carnegie Mellon to real-world insight. 

The Policy Forum adapts to the current environment. The Fall 2020 schedule featured talks on the Trump administration's foreign-policy doctrine, election interference, the Islamic State's Internet presence, and white supremacy. The Spring 2021 slate does the same: It includes a visit from a former police chief and a talk on election data. 

As always, our lectures are free and open to the public. Please email our Program Manager with any questions or for more information. 

*Lecture titles and topics are subject to change. 


Wyndee Parker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's National Security Advisor since 2009 and the former Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, visited IPS in August 2020.


Marcia Chatelain, a Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University, joined IPS to speak about Breonna Taylor and race in America.

Humanities Initiative

For many years, the Institute for Politics and Strategy and the Humanities Scholars Program in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences have brought to the university scholars and other thinkers whose work is equally relevant for the humanities and the social sciences. The Humanities Initiative has evolved from this joint venture with the purpose of inviting guests to lecture and converse with faculty and students, thus enriching the cross-disciplinary research and teaching that are hallmarks of Carnegie Mellon University. Activities under this initiative are co-hosted by Professor Kiron K. Skinner, director of the Center for International Relations and Politics, and Dr. Tim Haggerty, director of the Humanities Scholars Program. 

Women in the Social Sciences       

Women in the Social Sciences (WSS), a joint initiative of the IPS Policy Forum and the Office of the Director of Undergraduate Economics, brings to campus women who are leaders in their fields to speak about their professional journeys. The program seeks to inform the conversation at Carnegie Mellon about the challenges women face at each stage of their professional lives and provide unique networking opportunities for university faculty, administrators, and students. WSS events are co-hosted by Professor Kiron K. Skinner, director of the Center for International Relations and Politics, and Dr. Carol B. Goldburg, director of Undergraduate Economics.