Alumni Highlight

Maggie Powers
Monday, October 26, 2015
Congratulations to alumna Maggie Powers, M.A. 2014, for the recent publication of portions of her Master’s thesis as “Responsibility to Protect: Dead, Dying, or Thriving?” in the International Journal of Human Rights. The article presents an empirical analysis of the use of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm at the UN from 2005 to 2014 and provides a quantitative measure of the backlash to R2P after the 2011 Libya intervention. Using quantitative text analysis of over 3,000 UN documents, Maggie found that use of R2P language at the Security Council significantly increased since 2011 and was further internalized by a growing number of member states. Maggie also summarized the research in a article on openDemocracy and served as panelist at a conference at Columbia University in April 2015 on The Future of the Responsibility to Protect alongside Dr. Jennifer Welsh, UN Special Adviser on R2P, and Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN.
In 2013, Maggie joined the Columbia Global Policy Initiative as a research assistant for Professor Michael W. Doyle. The Global Policy Initiative was founded by President Lee C. Bollinger and is directed by Professor Doyle. After graduating, Maggie become a full-time project coordinator for Professor Doyle’s International Migration project. The project is a multi- year joint venture undertaken with Mr. Peter Sutherland, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration. Together they aim to develop a new migration agenda for the coming decade that recognizes the importance and positive impact of migration and ensures rights of migrants are fully respected. This work become especially poignant as the migration and refugee crises have unfolded in Syria, Europe, and the Bay of Bengal, revealing serious deficits in international and national responses to the movement of people. Maggie also works with Professor Doyle on a new project to develop a model treaty on international mobility that would holistically address the needs of refugees, migrants, tourists, and international students and fill the gaps that exist in the current international legal architecture.