Faculty Professor Michael Cohen and Assistant Professor Peter J. Hoffman are founding a new SGPIA initiative that brings together alumni who currently work at the United Nations (UN). Called “UNAnalyzed,” the title connotates both the intent to analyze the UN, and how, too often, the Organization is taken as a given without careful systematic research and interpretation.


SGPIA Professor Michael Cohen (left) and Assistant Professor Peter J. Hoffman (right)

The Professors hope to develop a working group of staff professionals that cuts across different organs, branches, and themes of the UN with the aim of sharing experiences and reflections. To move past the usual boilerplate celebration or condemnation of the UN, the Initiative seeks to collaborate in an investigation of UN operational structures, and examine the challenges it faces both externally and from within. Ultimately, they hope to distill what works in the Organization, and what does not.

This initiative has been in part motivated by the work of The New School’s Global Urban Futures Project that, based on the work of SGPIA Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, has developed an innovative approach to measuring the outcomes of the 1996 UN Habitat Conference between 1996-2016.

Outside of renewed calls from current US President Donald Trump, the UN has long been under pressure to reform, but the substance and meaning of that reform continues to be debated. What is needed are voices, including those within the UN, to speak to relevant issues. The working group would provide a space unaffiliated with the UN in order to foster critical analysis, candor, and deliberation.

In the upcoming first meeting, the group will begin to assemble an agenda and a network. SGPIA alumi are invited, and encouraged, to participate.

For further details, including the date and location, please email Prof Cohen ([email protected]) or Assistant Prof Hoffman ([email protected]) prior to October 2, 2017.

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