Thu, Apr 29, 2021

4 PM – 5 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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Join Sophal Ear *97 for a conversation with James M. Van Wyck about resilience, navigating graduate school and the professoriate in the 21st century, and the futures of the Ph.D.

The conversation's themes and topics will include: leadership, public service, board directorship, being an "accidental professor," the shifting nature of graduate training, and how he approaches the life of a professor.


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Sophal Ear *97

Sophal Ear, PhD, is a tenured Associate Professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles(link is external) where he lectures on political economy, security, development, and Asia. Previously, he taught how to rebuild countries after wars at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and international development at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

He consulted for the World Bank, was Assistant Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme in East Timor, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Advisor to Cambodia's first private equity fund Leopard Capital, Audit Chair of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Treasurer of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center. A TED Fellow, Fulbright Specialist, and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, he sits on the Boards of Refugees International (Washington, DC), Partners for Development (Silver Spring, MD), International Public Management Network (Washington, DC), the Southeast Asia Development Program (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), and the Center for Khmer Studies (Siem Reap, Cambodia).

He is the author of Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013(link is external)), co-author of The Hungry Dragon: How China’s Resources Quest is Reshaping the World (Routledge, 2013(link is external)), and co-editor of the virtual issue of the journal Politics and the Life Sciences on Coronavirus: Politics, Economics, and Pandemics (Cambridge University Press, 2020(link is external)). He wrote and narrated the award-winning documentary film "The End/Beginning: Cambodia(link is external)"├óÔé¼ÔÇ╣ (47 minutes, 2011) based on his 2009 TED Talk(link is external) and has appeared in four other documentaries. A graduate of Princeton and Berkeley, he moved to the US from France as a Cambodian refugee at the age of 10.