2013 Symposium

Second Annual International Politics and Economics Symposium

Global Inequalities in Gender, Public Health and the Environment: What Can We Do?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Global inequalities pose some of the most difficult challenges to growth, stability, and justice In the contemporary world. This year’s symposium flags three overlapping and consequential forms of inequalities for a close examination. By exposing the depths of the inequalities and by asking what can be done, the symposium aims to raise consciousness and understanding, and to generate practical ideas about the best paths forward.


12:00-5:15 PM Three Panel Discussions
McCullough Social Space

12:00-12:15 PM
Welcome and Opening Remarks by Ronald Liebowitz

Erik Bleich
Director of International Politics and Economics

12:15-1:45 PM Panel One: Globalization, Women, and Work in the Middle East: Toward Economic Citizenship by Valentine Moghadam

Professor of Sociology and Director, International Affairs Program
Northeastern University

Moderator: Sujata Moorti, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
Student Chair: Fayezeh Haji Hassan ’14

2:00-3:30 PM Panel Two: Health Behavior: Puzzles and Policies by Michael Kremer

Gates Professor of Developing Societies, Department of Economics
Harvard University

Moderator: Erik Gong, Economics
Student Chair:  Matthew Porat ’14.5

3:45-5:15 PM Panel Three: Native Rights Based Approach: Canada’s Last Best Effort to Save Our Water, Land, and Air from the Tar Sands by Clayton Thomas-Muller

Activist for Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice
Mathais Colomb Cree Nation, Canada

Moderator: Kemi Fuentes-George, Political Science
Student Chair: Lander Karath ’14.5

7:15-8:30 PM Roundtable Discussion
Robert A. Jones ’59 House Conference Room

Michael Kremer, Valentine Moghadam, Clayton Thomas-Muller
Chair: Erik Bleich


Valentine Moghadam
Professor of Sociology
Director of the International Affairs Program
Northeastern University

Valentine Moghadam joined Northeastern University in Boston as director of the International Affairs Program and Professor of Sociology in January 2012. She was previously at Purdue University. Born in Tehran, Dr. Moghadam received her higher education in Canada and the U.S.

In addition to her academic career, she has been a senior research fellow at UNU/WIDER in Helsinki, Finland (1990-95), and a section chief at UNESCO in Paris (2004-06). Dr. Moghadam’s areas of research are globalization, transnational feminist networks, civil society and citizenship, and gender and development in the Middle East and North Africa.

Among her publications are Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (1993, 2003, 2013), Globalizing Women: Transnational Feminist Networks (2005) which won the American Political Science Association’s Victoria Schuck Award, and Globalization and Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism, and the Global Justice Movement (2009, updated second edition 2012).

Michael Kremer
Gates Professor of Developing Societies
Department of Economics
Brookings Institution

Michael Kremer is the Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Presidential Faculty Fellowship. Kremer’s recent research examines education and health in developing countries, immigration, and globalization.

He and Rachel Glennerster are the authors of Strong Medicine: Creating Incentives for Pharmaceutical Research on Neglected Diseases. His articles have been published in journals including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Kremer previously served as a teacher in Kenya. He founded and was the first Executive Director of WorldTeach, a nonprofit organization that places more than 360 volunteer teachers annually in developing countries.

Clayton Thomas-Muller
Activist of Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice
Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, Canada


Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan, in Northern Manitoba, Canada. For the last eleven years he has campaigned across Canada, Alaska, and the continental United States organizing hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native, and Native American communities in support of grassroots Indigenous Peoples to defend against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry. This has included a special focus on the sprawling infrastructure of pipelines, refineries, and extraction associated with the Canadian tar sands. He is also the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute.

Thomas-Muller has traveled extensively domestically and internationally leading indigenous delegations to lobby United Nations bodies including the UN framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Earth Summit, and the UN Permanent Forum on indigenous issues.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Thomas-Muller is that he is just getting going. He has been recognized by UTNE magazine as one of the Top 30 under-30 young activists in the United States and as a “Climate Hero 2009” by Yes Magazine.


  • International Politics and Economics Program
  • Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs
  • C.A. Johnson Economics Fund
  • Academic Enrichment Fund
  • Department of Political Science
  • Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
  • Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship
  • Global Health Minor
  • Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
  • Program in Environmental Studies
  • African Studies Program
  • East Asian Studies Program
  • Latin American Studies Program
  • Middle East Studies Program
  • South Asian Studies Program
  • Atwater Commons
  • Brainerd Commons
  • Cook Commons