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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

As his term ends, Sec. Eric Fanning speaks about his role leading Army

Eric Fanning

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning is days away from leaving his post as head of the U.S. Army, but he believes others should answer the call to public service.

Fanning spoke Wednesday to a full theater at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. He was a featured speaker for the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

Fanning’s career path has led him to jobs in and out of Washington, D.C., and to leadership roles in three branches of the military.

“Do whatever you are asked to do as well as you can do it,” Fanning said.

His message to the audience: if you are too focused on following a career path, you may miss opportunities along the way.

“Seize opportunities as they come so you can learn that next thing,” Fanning said. “Work with someone you admire and it will lead to something else.”

Fanning, the first openly gay Secretary of the Army, spoke about the need for and value of diversity. He said he has worked to conscientiously pick diverse teams to get all points of view in his decision-making. Fanning said it is critical to have an Army that reflects the country it serves.

Fanning is a graduate of Dartmouth College but is no stranger to the Buckeye state. He went to Centerville High School, just outside of Dayton.

Zachary Mears, assistant vice president for national security and research programs at Ohio State, moderated the conversation. Mears and Fanning served in the Department of Defense together.

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Eric K. Fanning

Eric K. Fanning, the 22nd secretary of the Army, will visit The Ohio State University this week to discuss how changes in demographics, labor markets, and technologies are forcing the Department of Defense, Army, and other military services to think creatively about attracting the next generation of Americans to a life of public service.

Fanning will share his story, discuss why students, faculty, and small business in the Columbus area could do more to contribute to our nation’s security, and provide recommendations for how they should go about pursuing it.

The conversation will be moderated by Zachary Mears, assistant vice president for national security programs and research at Ohio State.

What: A National Security Conversation with the Honorable Eric K. Fanning, 22nd Secretary of the Army

When: 5 p.m., Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Where: Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law, Drinko Hall, 55 W. 12th Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43210

Parking: Ohio Union North Parking Garage, 1780 College Road, or Gateway E Parking Garage, 75 E. 11th Ave.

For more: Visit http://go.osu.edu/fanninge

Esther Gottlieb

Rudy Hightower

A Mershon graduate student affiliate and faculty affiliate are among the 26 Americans to receive grants from the International Research and Exchanges (IREX) Board for study and travel in sub-Saharan Africa.

Rudy Hightower, doctoral candidate in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and Esther Gottlieb, Ph.D., senior advisor in the Office of International Affairs, have received Reciprocal Exchange Awards as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The grants are made available through the U.S. Department of State and IREX.

The Reciprocal Exchange Awards allow American professionals to travel to sub-Saharan Africa to collaborate on projects with Mandela Washington Fellows who participated in the program. Through these projects, Americans and young African leaders form lasting partnerships and increase mutual understanding across the United States and Africa. Ohio State hosted a cohort of Mandela Fellows – 25 young professionals from 17 different countries in Africa – in June 2016 to participate in a six-week Public Management Institute coordinated by the Glenn College and the Center for African Studies.

The Reciprocal Exchange component awards up to $5,000 to each American to help fund ongoing projects between 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows and American professionals. Fellows met the Americans through site visits, networking, internships, and other parts of the six-week Academic and Leadership Institutes in the U.S. during the Fellowship.

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Rachel Armstrong traveled in Spain to do research for her dissertation

Each year, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies holds a competition for Ohio State faculty and students to apply for research grants and scholarship funds.

Applications for Faculty Research and Seed Grants and Graduate Student Research Grants must be for projects related to the study of national security in a global context. We are also interested in projects that emphasize the role of peace-building and development; strengthen the global gateways in China, India and Brazil; relate to campus area studies centers and institutes; or address the university's Discovery Themes of health and wellness, energy and the environment, and food production and security.

In recent years the center has funded several dozen faculty and graduate student research projects with grants for travel, seminars, conferences, interviews, experiments, surveys, library costs, and more. To learn about the types of projects being funded, please see faculty project summaries on the Mershon Center website under Research and graduate project summaries in past Annual Reports.

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