Stacie Goddard is the Betty Freyhof Johnson ’44 Professor of Political Science and Paula Phillips Bernstein ’58 Faculty Director of the Albright Institute for Global Affairs. She is currently researching issues of international security with a specific focus on legitimacy, rising powers, and territorial conflict.

Q: We are now in a technological age where we can see the impact of war play out in real time. How will this affect the way students learn about and professors teach world politics and war?

A: We’ve been watching war in real time for at least a few decades now. I remember watching the beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 on CNN. But a really important lesson is that the visibility of war is not only about media coverage, but about media attention. Even though the U.S. was at war in Afghanistan for 20 years, it was not at the forefront of political discussions. We have ongoing wars in Yemen and Syria that get little attention. I think it’s important to use the classroom as a place to talk about why some violence becomes visible and other violence does not. Technology is part of that, but it is as much a political issue as it is a technological one.

Q: In an article in Foreign Affairs last spring, you wrote about the United States’ role in the world as a political power and keeping in check countries like Russia and China. Why is this issue so important to you?

A: I’m less interested in how the U.S. should keep in check Russia and China, and more interested in how the U.S. should approach a world where it is no longer the sole superpower. It is not at all surprising that we are seeing increased contestation among the great powers. My interest is in finding spaces for cooperation during periods of contestation. Whatever the different interests of the U.S. and China, for instance, both need to be on board in order to have effective climate change policy. Whatever the differences between the U.S. and Russia, both need to be on board in order to have effective nuclear arms control agreements. Increased contestation cannot be the end of cooperation on these key issues.

Q: You’ve been the faculty director of the Albright Institute since 2018. Do you have a favorite memory of Madeleine Korbel Albright ’59?

A: Madeleine was a brilliant, powerful, warm, and funny personality, so I have many memories. One thing that stands out is the day after January 6, 2021, when mobs stormed the Capitol. We were in our Wintersession programming, and I organized an impromptu panel on the insurrection. I let her know that we were doing the virtual panel. Not only did she clear her schedule to show up, she ended up joining the panel. I watched her guide our fellows through a conversation about this difficult event, and listened to her explain with such passion the importance of preserving democracy. It was exemplary of her dedication, not only to democratic governance, but to education.

Q: Why is it so important to support and empower women to be the next generation of global leaders?

A: Women and other marginalized groups still lack access to leadership positions, in government as well as in the private sector. As Secretary Albright always argued, you can’t have a functional democracy when so many voices are excluded.

Q: What is the best part about working with the Albright Institute fellows?

A: Their curiosity, their enthusiasm, and their ability to work with each other, especially on their final presentations. Those presentations are quite intense—they have three weeks to research new topics and coordinate a presentation. Seeing them support each other through that process is quite remarkable.

Q: What skills do you hope the fellows will acquire during their time with the Albright Institute and bring to their internships?

A: Most fundamentally, the skill of teamwork. Leadership isn’t about being the most powerful individual in the room. It’s about learning to coordinate and mobilize action across a group, to see the value of having different voices at the table.

Q: You have a pretty long title with a lot of names! A professorship, made possible by a gift from Betty Freyhof Johnson '44, and a directorship, made possible by a gift from Paula Phillips Bernstein ’58. How has this support from Wellesley women enhanced your work and made it possible?

A: When I first received these titles, I was a little hesitant about using them—it sounds like a lot! But what they demonstrate is the way in which Wellesley’s alumnae are so dedicated to supporting faculty. My endowed chairs as a political science professor provide support for my research, and I am deeply grateful for that. I am fortunate enough to be in contact with Paula Bernstein, who funds the Faculty Director position at the Albright Institute. Paula has a deep and abiding interest in global affairs, and we’ve often discussed how her own values of collaboration and empathy align with our programming. Her generosity in endowing the faculty director position allows me to devote significant time to working on developing new programming within the Albright Institute.