December 2 | WorldBoston | Great Decisions: Future of Persian Gulf Security
The Persian Gulf remains tense as the rivalry between the regional powers of Saudi Arabia and Iran continues. Tensions escalated in early 2020 as the United States began to intervene in the Gulf, launching an airstrike that killed two Iranian military commanders. What are the historical influences that have led to these tensions? What role, if any, should the United States play? Is using military force a viable foreign policy option for 2021 and beyond?
Banafsheh Keynoush, PhD, is a scholar of international affairs. An academic for over thirteen years, she has conducted fieldwork in the Middle East for two decades, including in Saudi Arabia and Iran, was a visiting scholar at Princeton University, and a visiting fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. The author of Saudi Arabia and Iran: Friends or Foes? (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), she is the editor of Iran’s Interregional Dynamics in the Near East (New York: Peter Lang, 2021). Her other publications include articles published in academic journals, policy papers, and media reports. In addition, she is the translator and editor of Refugee Rights in Iran written by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi (London: Saqi, 2008), and the editor of five volumes of Persian poetry entitled the Five Treasures of Ferdowsi (Tehran: Iranian Calligraphy Society, 1999).
December 14 | WorldBoston | Supply Chains and U.S. National Security
The shutdown of global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore an issue with the high level of global economic interdependence: what happens when one country is the main source for an item, say face masks, and then can no longer supply the item? Countries suddenly unable to meet the demand for certain supplies are faced with growing calls for economic nationalism. What are some of the lasting effects that the pandemic could have on global supply chains and trade? How would this affect national security?
Willy Shih is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration. He is part of the Technology and Operations Management Unit, and he teaches in the MBA and Executive Education Programs at Harvard Business School. His expertise is in manufacturing and product development, and he has written or co-authored numerous cases and teaching materials in industries ranging from semiconductors, information technology, consumer electronics, aerospace, transportation equipment, manufacturing processes and tools, and intellectual property. His paper, “Restoring American Competitiveness,” co-authored with Gary Pisano, won the 2009 McKinsey Award. His book, Producing Prosperity – Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance, co-authored with Gary Pisano, has called attention to the link between manufacturing and innovation. He is also the author of “Back Bay Battery,” a best-selling innovation simulation.
Prior to teaching at Harvard Business School, Willy spent 28 years in industry at IBM, Digital Equipment, Silicon Graphics, Eastman Kodak, and Thomson SA. He worked in product development and manufacturing in a wide range of areas including computer systems, scientific instruments, semiconductors, digital cameras, optical discs and software systems. Reporting to him have been major manufacturing operations in the United States, China, Ireland, Japan, and Mexico, as well as global sales and marketing operations. He has led the building of billion dollar revenue businesses.
Willy is on the Board of Directors of FLEX Inc., a large provider of design, manufacturing and supply chain services. He is also on the Board of Directors of VEO Robotics, a firm that brings advanced computer vision, 3D sensing, and AI to industrial robots, enabling them to work collaboratively. He has two S.B. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.