Daniel Benjamin

Dickey Center Director Named to Holocaust Museum Council

May 8, 2017 |  Dartmouth News | Bill Platt

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin was sworn in as a member of the Council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum—the museum’s governing body—at a ceremony in April during the national Days of Remembrance commemoration of the Holocaust. 

“Particularly at this moment, when anti-Semitism, xenophobia of all kinds, and anti-migrant sentiment are on the rise, I’m excited to work with the Museum,” says Benjamin.

He was asked to join the museum’s Committee on Conscience, whose mandate is “to alert the national conscience, influence policy-makers, and stimulate worldwide action to confront and work to halt acts of genocide or related crimes against humanity,” according to the museum.

Retired President of the Supreme Court of Israel Talks About Social Justice

October 5, 2015

The Honorable Aharon Barak is the retired President of the Supreme Court of Israel. He has been described by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan as "the judge or justice in my lifetime whom, I think, best represents and has best advanced the values of democracy and human rights, of the rule of law and of justice.”

Justice Barak discussed “Human Dignity: A Constitutional Value and Constitutional Right" in a lecture on September 28, 2015, hosted by the Dickey Center for International Understanding. He spoke as the Rabbi Marshall Meyer Great Issues Lecture on Social Justice at Dartmouth.

Justice Barak discussed the origins of the notion of human dignity, tracing the concept through classical antiquity, the great world religions and philosophy as well as its incorporation into modern constitutional law. He will also address a range of contemporary issues involving human dignity and questions of law.

View a video of his talk.

Dartmouth a Lead on Fulbright Arctic Program

October 22, 2014  Dartmouth Now

Professor Ross Virginia, Director of the Dickey Center's Institute of Arctic Studies, was selected by the U.S. State Department as one of two distinguished scholar leaders of the newly established Fulbright Arctic Initiative. His work focuses on climate change and the effect of rapid warming on the polar regions.

Virginia, the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, and Professor Michael Sfraga, a geographer and vice chancellor for university and student advancement from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will take lead roles in the new Fulbright Arctic research program, which will fund interdisciplinary work for some 16 scholars from the eight countries that sit on the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum of the eight member states that border the Arctic Circle.

Russia’s Game: From the End of the Cold War through the Election of 2016

May 3, 2017 | YouTube

Earlier this year, Ambassador Daniel Fried retired from the State Department after 40 years of service. Watch his talk at Dartmouth on May 3, 2017 about Russia's role in the world from the Cold War to the 2016 election. 

Ambassador Fried served in his most recent position as the State Department’s Coordinator for Sanctions Policy since January 28, 2013. Prior to that, Ambassador Fried was Special Envoy for Closure of the Guantanamo Detainee Facility starting on May 15, 2009, with the additional responsibility as the Secretary’s Special Advisor on Camp Ashraf (Iraq) from November, 2011. Daniel Fried served from May 5, 2005 until May 15, 2009 as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council from January, 2001 to May, 2005. He served as Ambassador to Poland from November, 1997 to May, 2000.

A Voice from the American Wilderness

April 12, 2017  |  The Lancet

Writing in The Lancet, one of the oldest and best known medical journals, Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton gives a detailed analysis of the recent Dartmouth and Dickey Center symposium on global health, held on April 12, 2017. 

At an inspiringly timed conference held last week—Global Health in the Era of De-Globalisation—Dartmouth academics and alumni gathered to discuss what Ambassador Daniel Benjamin called “the great unravelling."

...Dartmouth is on the front lines of what might turn out to be one of the greatest acts of civil protest since the Vietnam War—a rebirth of the social role of the American university, triggered by the values of public, global, and planetary health.

Just What Is Trump Trying to Do in Syria?

April 14, 2017  |  POLITICO MAGAZINE

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin, writing in POLITICO Magazine with co-author Steven Simon, asks what foreign policy objective President Trump's limited raid on the Syrian air base on April 6, 2017, was meant to deliver. 

Let’s start with the the scale of the air raid itself. In the annals of pinprick strikes, Trump’s Tomahawk attack now stands as the pinprickiest. 

Read the entire article in POLITICO.

Why Steve Bannon Wants You to Believe in the Deep State

March 21, 2017  |  POLITICO Magazine

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin writes in POLITICO Magazine online that the so-called Deep State does not exist. It is merely in the imagination of President Trump and his allies, "the convenient enemy from within that they blame for their frustrations."

As Trump takes a wrecking ball to the federal bureaucracy—what Steve Bannon has called “the administrative state”—an illusory enemy like the Deep State is exactly what is needed to justify the destruction. 

Read the article in POLITICO by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, who was National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa from 2011 to 2012, is the John J. McCloy ’16 visiting professor at Amherst College. 

Donald Trump Changed His Tone But Not His Message: Be Afraid

March 2, 2017  |  Time

Following President Trump's address to Congress on February 28, 2017, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin writes in Time magazine that Trump "gave a ray of hope that even the most incorrigible might have their moments of presentability."

Through the Trumpian lens, you would have to count the speech a success of sorts. A spot poll by CNN after the speech found 70% of viewers said that it made them more optimistic about the direction of the country. TV commentators, desperate to find something to praise after months of exasperated head-shaking and slack-jawed incomprehension, were only too glad to retrieve forgotten adjectives and hail a “presidential” president.

Meanwhile, Benjamin says, Trump ignored issues that should have been addresse: Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and terrorism. 

Read more at Time

The Islamophobic Huckster in the White House

February 24, 2017  |  The New York Times

The following story, written by Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin and Stephen Simon, a professor at Amherst College, appeared in The New York Times on February 24, 2017.

The Islamophobic Huckster in the White House

The new point man for the Trump administration’s counter-jihadist team is Sebastian Gorka, an itinerant instructor in the doctrine of irregular warfare and former national security editor at Breitbart. Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller, the chief commissars of the Trump White House, have framed Islam as an enemy ideology and predicted a historic clash of civilizations. Mr. Gorka, who has been appointed deputy assistant to the president, is the expert they have empowered to translate their prediction into national strategy.

Who Told Michael Flynn to Call Russia?

February 14, 2017  |  POLITICO

Writing in POLITICO online, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin says, "Let’s stop focusing on the resignation, and start focusing on the real issue here: The mystery of Trump’s Russia ties."

Hours after national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned amid reports that he misled top officials about his pre-inauguration talks with the Russian ambassador, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to encourage everyone to move on. “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?” he tweeted out Tuesday morning.

In a sense, Trump is right: The real story is not Flynn. But it isn’t government leaks, either. No, the “real story here” is Trump himself—and the continuing mystery of his ties to Russia.

Read the entire article in POLITICO

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