Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs
As an associate clinical professor for the M.S. in Global Affairs program, Michael Oppenheimer draws upon his expertise in international relations and foreign policy to help his students to find connections between essential academic theories and their practical applications on the global stage. "The link between theory and practice is central to how I see the world, and to how I have used the depth of my knowledge to deliver relevant content in the classroom," he asserts. "I try to impart in my students, a deeper appreciation for ideas, and I strive to illustrate the real leverage they provide in understanding a complex international reality."
For nearly four decades, Oppenheimer has provided research, consulting, and policy advice for the U.S. foreign policy and intelligence communities. As an expert on international conflict, global economics, US-European relations, and national security strategy, he has imagined, speculated, and created solutions to conflict, through the use of scenarios and alternative analyses, free of political motivation.
His commitment to integrating theory and practice in the learning environment is best exemplified by his development of the CGA Scenarios Initiative, which is a mediated workshop series that is designed to produce cross-disciplinary, forward thinking about countries and issues that are critical to U.S. national interest. Scenarios workshops bring the world’s top experts and policymakers to the CGA, where they interact with NYU-SCPS faculty members and students. Also valuable in this regard, is Oppenheimer’s scenarios-focused course, The Future of International Relations: Forces for Change and Alternate Scenarios, in which students build alternate scenarios around emerging forces for change and potential ‘wild card’ events.
Oppenheimer‘s dedication to helping his students launch or advance their careers in global affairs does not end in the classroom. As director of the international relations concentration, he advises students on their career paths, helps identify internship opportunities, and brings leading experts and policy makers into direct contact with them. Many of his former students have built successful careers working at foundations, in government agencies, or in NGOs, including the Council on Foreign Relations, the UN Association of the United States, the Asia Society, Council of the Americas, and the Clinton Foundation.