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New Diplomacy Leaders Ready to Take on New Year  

Courtney Smith

Dr. Courtney B. Smith

The close of August and arrival of September annually brings with it a series of new beginnings at Seton Hall: a new semester and academic year, new hopes and new challenges. At the School of Diplomacy, it also brings with it a series of new roles for faculty members ready to shape the future of diplomacy with the Diploforlife community. 

At the helm, guiding the collective work and impact of the School is gifted administrator, scholar and teacher, Acting Dean Dr. Courtney B. Smith. With 20 years of experience at the School, as a founding faculty member and subsequently, Associate and Senior Associate Dean, Dr. Smith has managed almost every aspect of the school's operations, from recruitment of students to the management of budgets. He has ably worked with the School's team on many initiatives, including the World Leaders Forum and the School's partnership with the United Nations Association. He regularly engages the United Nations community through his roles on the Governing Council of the International Studies Association as its representative to the United Nations, as the treasurer of the Friends of the Academic Council on the United Nations System Board of Directors, and as the designer and director of the School's United Nations Intensive Summer Study Program. A strong proponent of student engagement and initiative, Dr. Smith says, "The success of the School over the last 20 years rests on a collaboration between students, faculty, and administrators working together as colleagues to build the School." He continues, "Our culture of student leadership and engagement is in the DNA of our School, and it is the root of our many accomplishments.  We will celebrate and enhance this culture as we move forward."

Martin Edwards

Dr. Martin Edwards

Partnering with Dean Smith to manage faculty and curriculum development across the School's menu of undergraduate and graduate programs is newly elected department Chair Dr. Martin Edwards. A champion of teaching innovation and faculty-student collaboration, Dr. Edwards is well-known for wearing many hats, both on and off campus. This past winter, he published The IMF, the WTO & the Politics of Economic Surveillance, in which he recommended design strategies to increase the effectiveness of surveillance in the future. While producing the book, he was asked to serve as Associate Editor of the International Studies Quarterly (ISQ) journal and awarded a research fellowship with the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD). Prior to this transition, Edwards played a role in establishing the University's United Nations Studies Graduate Certificate Program and served as the School's Director of Graduate Studies, where he worked to enhance student recruitment, experience and retention while advising the Graduate Diplomacy Council. 

Assefaw Barriagber

Dr. Assesfaw Bariagaber

Taking over Edwards' post as Director of Graduate Studies is former Chair Dr. Assefaw Bariagaber. Dr. Bariagaber has been a dedicated faculty member at the School of Diplomacy since its founding, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. During his tenure at Seton Hall, he has published Conflict and the Refugee Experience: Flight, Exile, and Repatriation in the Horn of Africa, written papers for the UN High Commission of Refugees and the UN Association of the USA, and led over 100 students through an international seminar examining conflict in the horn of Africa. In addition to his new position, he is currently the faculty director of the Post-Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability and also the Africa specializations. 


Dr. M'Cormack-Hale

Kicking off her first full year as the School's Director of Online Programs is Dr. Fredline M'Cormack-Hale. When she's not conducting research on the role of international organizations following state collapse, Dr. M'Cormack-Hale teaches a variety of courses within the Africa and Post-Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability specializations. As the Director of Online Programs, she assists online students in maximizing their virtual Seton Hall experience. 

One of the hallmarks of the School of Diplomacy is the direct access that students have to both faculty and staff. Feedback, ideas and reflections are not only welcomed, but encouraged by these new leaders, and the faculty and staff as a whole. We are eager to engage with students, advance learning and impact the field. We can't wait to see what we will do together in 2019-2020. 

Categories: Nation and World

For more information, please contact:

  • Gwen DeBenedetto
  • (973) 275-2562