Carnegie Mellon University
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to inform you of the postponement of the remainder of the Center for International Relations and Politics Policy Forum lectures for the Spring 2020 semester. Some events have been rescheduled in remote fashion for Fall 2020. Please note the rescheduled dates* and check back here for updates. For the latest on Carnegie Mellon and COVID-19, click here.

CIRP Policy Forum Spring 2020*


John M. Carey, "Campus Diversity: The Hidden Consensus"

Monday, February 3, 2020
Tepper Quad, PNC Foundation Rooms
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Media, politicians, and the courts portray college campuses as divided over diversity and affirmative action. But what do students and faculty think? We deploy a novel technique to elicit honest opinions. We find far more consensus than division over how race and gender should play into undergraduate admissions and faculty recruitment decisions.

Presented in partnership with the CMU Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion.


Rita Konaev, "US Military Investments in Autonomous and AI-Enabled Weapons and Systems: Costs, Benefits, and Strategic Effects"

Monday, March 2, 2020
Baker Hall, Room 136A (Adamson Wing)
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

In a complex and competitive security environment, the United States needs to preserve its military dominance, deter adversaries from aggression, prevent proliferation of weapons and technologies to hostile state and nonstate actors, ensure interoperability with allies, and be prepared to conduct a range of military operations, effectively and in accordance with the laws of war. Achieving these strategic objectives requires capabilities such as speed, precision, coordination, reach, persistence, lethality, and endurance – all of which can be enhanced through investments in emerging technologies, such as autonomy and artificial intelligence. This talk will present an analysis of US military investments in basic, applied, and advanced research on autonomous and AI-enabled weapons and systems, discuss the benefits, risks, and implications these technologies could have across the different strategic areas of interests, and assess strategic scenarios and operational conditions in which using autonomous and AI-enabled weapons and systems could harm US objectives.

Presented in partnership with the CMU Institute for Strategic Analysis.


POSTPONED: Panel Discussion: Women Leading Navy Technological Innovation

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Tepper Quad, PNC Foundation Rooms
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.


  • Vice Admiral (Retired) Jan Tighe: First Female Numbered Fleet Commander (US Tenth Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command)
  • Captain Ann Casey: Commanding Officer of the Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group
  • Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (Information Warfare/Surface Warfare) Shirley Dulux
  • Command Master Chief (Information Warfare/Surface Warfare/Aviation Warfare) Patricia Kelly: Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command
  • Lieutenant Erica Leinmiller: One of the First Generation of Female Submarine Officers

Moderator: Carol Goldburg, Co-Founder, Women in the Social Sciences; Executive Director, Undergraduate Economics Program, Tepper School of Business

Presented in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Analysis and CMU Women in the Social Sciences, a joint initiative of CIRP's Policy Forum and the Office of the Director of Undergraduate Economics.


POSTPONED: Colin Dueck, "Conservative Nationalism and the Trump Doctrine"

WAS: Thursday, April 2, 2020
NOW: Thursday, September 17, 2020
Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, Room A14
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

How does President Donald Trump fit into America’s foreign policy tradition? In his new book, Age of Iron: On Conservative Nationalism, author Colin Dueck argues that Trump’s brand of foreign policy fits into conservative nationalism, the oldest tradition in American foreign policy. Age of Iron describes the shifting priorities that have shaped American foreign relations over the last century, and frankly assesses the administration’s foreign policy in that context.


POSTPONED: Jason Blazakis, "Onlining White Hate: The Challenge of White Supremacy Extremism"

WAS: Monday, April 6, 2020
NOW: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Baker Hall, Room 136A (Adamson Wing)
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Professor Blazakis will explore the online dimensions of the rising challenge of white supremacy  extremism.  He will explore the following questions: How do white supremacists spread their propaganda?  How do they finance their operations?  And what are the real-world and virtual links between U.S. based white supremacists and their international analogs? And, finally, what, if any, policy moves can be made to counter the rising threat of white supremacy?

Presented in partnership with the CMU Institute for Strategic Analysis.


POSTPONED: Morris Fiorina, "Is America Still a Country?"

WAS: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
NOW: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, Room 103
4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Morris Fiorina is the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution. His current research focuses on public opinion and elections. He has written or edited thirteen books, most recently, Unstable Majorities: Party Sorting, Polarization and Political Stalemate (2017). Fiorina has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He has received two career achievement awards from organized sections of the American Political Science Association.

*Lecture details are subject to change.