Embracing Change in a Complex World

“Many of us started at Johns Hopkins SAIS with a clear picture of the world we would be graduating into. For many of us that imagined future is now our unexpected and often confusing present. But, the skills we learned have prepared us to face the unexpected.”

Ross Hurwitz
MA ’17
Conflict Management
2017 Student Commencement Speaker 

After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, Ross spent the next 5 years working as a professional actor, specializing in Shakespeare. In 2014, he decided to move to Washington, DC to begin a career transition toward the world of international relations. To achieve this goal, he spent a year on Capitol Hill, first interning in the House of Representatives and then working in the press office of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. This experience solidified his desire to obtain a Master’s degree and, after examining multiple graduate school options, Ross found that Johns Hopkins SAIS offered the best program to expand his knowledge of international affairs with the necessary coursework in economics.

Ross’ coursework as a Conflict Management concentrator focused on the human dynamic of conflict and how practitioners, policy makers, and theorists can best use 21st century science and technology to better address the issues posed by conflict situations around the world. In addition to his classes, Ross was on the leadership team of the Global Security and Conflict Management Club. He also participated in two Strategic Studies Staff Rides, including a trip to Germany and Poland during his first year. In his second year, Ross was part of a team of students who traveled to Ukraine to research the state of the current conflict and develop recommendations for the parties involved. Ross also had the pleasure of coordinating a research practicum on the plight of cultural heritage in conflict zones with the Antiquities Coalition. Additionally, he had the opportunity to work for the International Negotiation Journal as an editorial assistant.

After graduation, Ross hopes to apply his background in theater and communications with his graduate education at a media or news organization or through continuing his commitment to public service.