David A. Steinberg, assistant professor of International Political Economy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), is the recipient of the 2017 Max M. Fisher Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Steinberg received the recognition at the school’s commencement ceremony on May 25, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The student-nominated award is presented each year to an outstanding professor who embodies teaching excellence.
“The Fisher Prize recognizes the exemplary ability of a professor to bring the school’s international relations curriculum to life for our students,” Dean Vali Nasr said. “I congratulate Professor Steinberg on his award and thank him for being a part of our world-class faculty.”
Steinberg, who joined the school in 2015, teaches Applied Methods of Political Analysis and International Political Economy of Emerging Markets.
Upon being informed that he would receive the award, Steinberg called the Fisher Prize a big honor and very humbling. “I’m aware of my colleagues who have received this in the past and think that they’re outstanding teachers,” he said. “I’m happy to be in their company.” He added that students at Johns Hopkins SAIS bring a unique perspective, “They combine intellectual interests and abilities with very impressive, practical knowledge and experience. Which means that they have a lot of interesting, distinctive insights on international affairs.”
Steinberg said being nominated for the award is also a testament of the student body willing to tackle more serious and technical, methodologically-oriented courses. “I was surprised, in part, because I don’t think of my courses as being especially fun ones,” he said. “That would normally almost automatically disqualify you from being a popular teacher.”
Steinberg said he had very few parting words to the Class of 2017 as they pursue their next steps because they are already successful, but alluded to staying the course. “The students here are very impressive and they’re doing the right thing: getting a great degree,” he said.
Before joining Johns Hopkins SAIS, Steinberg was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon. He was a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Browne Center for International Politics, and visiting researcher at Peking University’s School of Government in China and Torcuato Di Tella University’s Department of Political Science and International Studies in Argentina. The Ottawa, Canada native holds a MA and PhD from Northwestern University, and BA from McGill University.
Steinberg is also among the distinguished group of Johns Hopkins faculty who was honored with the 2016-2017 Catalyst Awards. The prize recognizes 34 early-career faculty members across the university with a $75,000 grant for their research endeavors and is part of a $15 million university commitment to faculty-led research.
Steinberg used the funding for ongoing research that focuses on the politics of international money and finance, and most recently traveled to Argentina over spring break for field research to interview government officials and interest groups. He is currently examining the transformation of the global financial system over the past 40 years, focusing on the deregulation of international financial markets in emerging economies.